In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, many congregations adopted hybrid worship and meeting models, and as the pandemic wanes, we urge them to continue such programs in ways that increase accessibility. Read this article for ideas and considerations in Word or PDF.
Disability Awareness Sunday
United Methodist congregations are to observe Disability Awareness Sunday once a year (Book of Discipline, p. 265). The Disability Ministries Committee provides the resources below to assist you with planning the service. Unless noted, the authors have provided permission for use of their resources. Please follow copyright laws and give credit to sources.
- Disability Awareness Sunday FAQs has more information about observing the day.
- The United Methodist Committee on Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Ministries has a variety of congregational resources specific to Deaf, hard-of-hearing, and DeafBlind users.
- Consider printing inserts for specific or general disabilities: Mental Health (pdf) | Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Basic Facts (pdf).
Order of worship
The order of worship would be similar to other Sundays; here we provide a variety of samples to meet your congregation’s strengths and needs:
- A service using hymns by disabled writers, including extensive references, provided by the Baltimore-Washington Conference (MS Word).
- “All Are Welcome,” a contemporary service by Rev. Harriet Wilkin (PDF).
- A traditional service with alternate selections created by UMCOR with contributions from pastors with disabilities (MS Word).
- Litany and prayers for Blue Christmas by Bonnie Kinschner, One Mind Mental Illness Ministry, Word and PDF
Hymns and Songs
“Above all sing spiritually,” John Wesley directed early Methodists. Singing presents an opportunity to teach, preach, and discuss social power, hope, hurt, exclusion, and inclusion. Visit Songs to see hymns, songs and themes, which are important in the context of disability awareness.
Prayers and Litanies
Prayer is vital to faithful worship and is enabled by the Holy Spirit. Visit Prayers for inclusive meditations and ways to connect with God. For specific resources about
Scripture is one of corner stones for United Methodists. Visit Scripture for Old and New Testament Bible verses that relate disability, inclusiveness, healing, spiritual generosity and human wholeness.
As United Methodists, we have an obligation to bear a faithful Christian witness to Jesus Christ, the living reality at the center of the Church’s life and witness. To fulfill this obligation, we reflect critically on our biblical and theological inheritance, striving to express faithfully the witness we make in our own time (Board of Discipleship). Visit Sermons to increase your understanding of Scripture and Disabilities.
Consider sharing part or all of your Offering (collection) with groups who are in ministry with people who have disabilities. This may include your local church, conference disability committees and the national Disability Ministries Committee of the United Methodist Church (UMCOR Advance #3021054).
Our Resources for Worship section includes printable bulletins and inserts, orders of worship, and congregational supplies.