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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church

    news article

    Honor Disability Awareness Weekend Feb. 2-3

    January 8, 2019 / By Shannon Hodson / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    At the 2018 Upper New York Annual Conference, held at on Onondaga Community College’s SRC Arena, in Syracuse, NY, a petition was adapted for local churches to hold a Disability Awareness Weekend.

    This petition was submitted by Rev. Missy McCarthy and the Accessibility Committee. The petition recommends a Disability Awareness Weekend to be held during the first weekend of Feb. or another weekend chosen by a local church for a special collection for promotion of awareness issues as well as ministries that provide fuller inclusion of people with disabilities.

    Rev. McCarthy has supplied several resources to help your church broaden the awareness of disability issues. Below are the resources she recommends.

    Click here for UMC Giving’s explanation, offertory prayer, and a newsletter tidbit to be used by local churches for their Disability Awareness Sunday.

    Click here to visit UMC Disability Ministries, which has FAQs, Annual Conference materials, grant information, and several resources, including videos of how other Annual Conferences have promoted disability awareness.

    Click here to visit the United Methodist Church’s Disability Ministries’ Disability Awareness Sunday website. This resource explains that the Book of Discipline states that “all persons with mental, physical, developmental, neurological, and psychological conditions or disabilities" are fully human and full members of God's family, with a rightful place in church and society. In recognition of this status, the church is to be in ministry with all people who have any special need, and to enable their full participation in its activities. The church is also to be an advocate for equality.” There are dozens of general resources, worship plans, prayers, and sermons that churches can use to assist in congregational planning of a Disability Awareness Weekend/Sunday.

    Click here for The UMC’s Global Ministries’ recommended resources for Disability Awareness Sunday.

    Click here for some small group resources on disability awareness created by the United Methodist Women.

    Click here to read a blog on disability concerns created by The Disability Concerns Committee of the Western PA Conference.

    Rev. McCarthy also recommends the book, Amazing Gifts: Stories of Faith, Disability, and Inclusion by Mark Pinsky. This book supplies examples and stories of inclusion of persons who are disabled.

    How are you going to honor Disability Awareness at your local church? Share your stories and ideas by sending them to or visiting our Facebook page and responding to the corresponding post.

    With more than 144,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 91 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."