Welcome to UCC Disabilities Ministries!


This site is designed and maintained by the UCC DM web team to help members and friends of the UCC explore what it means for our churches (and our hearts) to be “accessible to all” (A2A Study Guide).

  • How Do We Become A2A?
  • Why A2A? The mission of the United Church of Christ is to be Multiracial, Multicultural, Open and Affirming, and Accessible to All – A Church where everyone is welcome.
  • What is the A2A mandate?

Widening the Welcome Conference Recordings

Widening The Welcome

Listen to and view the events of Widening the Welcome: Inclusion for All, September 24-26, 2015, Hartford, CT, hosted by the United Church of Christ Mental Health Network and Disabilities Ministries. We’ve posted videos and audios from the 5th national United Church of Christ Widening the Welcome: Inclusion for All Conference 2015.

The opening worship and the keynote speakers are posted as video files; while the workshops are posted as audio files.

These are posted on the Widening the Welcome 2015 playlist within the WtW channel on YouTube.

UCCDM Reaches $100,000 Milestone, Press Release

United Church of Christ Disabilities Ministries 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (September 7, 2015)
UCCDM Contact:


The United Church of Christ Disability Ministries Board (UCCDM) is excited to announce that they have reached the first fundraising goal of $100,000 to fund The Virginia Kreyer Endowed Scholarship Fund for persons with disabilities called to authorized ministry in the United Church of Christ. Student applicants with disabilities and/or mental health concerns seeking ordination, licensed, or commissioned ministry will be awarded scholarship assistance beginning in 2016. Application information will become available later in the fall.

This scholarship honors the life, struggles, and work of the Rev. Virginia Kreyer. Born with Cerebral Palsy, Virginia experienced a call from God to ministry and answered that call. A graduate of Union Theological Seminary and ordained by the American Baptist Church, she struggled with not receiving a call from a local parish. In 1967, she joined Garden City UCC in New York and began organizing a committee concerned with issues around disability and the church. She brought a resolution to the New York Conference and then took it to the General Synod. Virginia was the first consultant to the committee which became the UCCDM. We are so grateful for the gifts of this “feisty” woman and the mission and ministry she nurtured, supported, and empowered.

The Second Hundred campaign has begun and there are various ways to donate. First, donations can be sent directly to Ms Pat Lyden, Associate Director, Grant and Scholarship Administration, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue East, Cleveland, OH 44115. Second, October 11, 2015 is Accessibility Sunday, celebrated throughout the United Church of Christ. Churches are encouraged to take a special offering for the Kreyer Fund that day and send it to the above address. Finally, donate through either the UCC.org or uccdm.org. Although donors “land” on a page that appears to be exclusively for the UCC Annual Fund, page 2 of the donor form allows donors to designate the special offering or scholarship fund the donation is for. No matter how a donor chooses to give, please be sure to indicate the Kreyer Scholarship Fund on checks, cover letters, or on the online form.


Widening the Welcome 2015 is Coming Soon

Register now for Widening the Welcome 2015, which will be held in Hartford, Connecticut on September 24-26, 2015, before the rate goes up on Friday, Sept. 4.

Widening the Welcome 2015: Inclusion for All will celebrate the theme “Your gates shall always be open; day and night they shall not be shut.” (Isaiah 60: 11 NRSV) with speakers and workshops designed to assist congregations in welcoming and ministering with people with disabilities and/or mental health challenges. Keynote speakers include The Rev. Dr. Christina Jones Davis speaking on “The Journey Towards Inclusion,” and The Rev. Dr. Brett Webb-Mitchell speaking on “Inclusion 2.0: Envisioning What Comes Next.”

Complete information, including links to the registration packet, on-line registration, hotel booking, and ADA airport/hotel transfer information, is available now here:

Widening the Welcome 2015

UCCDM Annual Meeting for 2015 Announced

The UCCDM Annual Meeting for 2015 has been scheduled. The Annual Meeting will be held at the Windsdor/Hartford Marriott Hotel in Hartford, CT starting on Sunday, September 27, 2015 at 4pm and running through Tuesday, September 29 at 12:00 noon.

UCCDM Board Directors are expected to attend. According to UCCDM by-laws other persons who are interested in attending may do so , at their own expense. This meeting will not be webcast. If you have interest in attending or for more information, contact the Rev. Kelli Parrish Lucas at kelli@womenwhospeakinchurch.com.

Top 10 Ways Churches Can Include People With Disabilities

At General Synod 30 in Cleveland, Ohio, June 26th – June 30th UCCDM participated in the Friday night worship service.  Our participation included our Chair Rev. Lynda Bigler and Vice Chair Rev. Jeanne Tyler presenting the Top 10 Ways Churches Can Include People With Disabilities.  Received with overwhelming response by attendees we are republishing them.  You can find out more about the Chair Rev. Lynda Bigler and Vice Chair Rev. Jeanne Tyler on our board member page.  



  1. Provide rides for people who can’t get there on their own.
  2. Add a T-coil loop system for those who don’t hear well.
  3. Provide 22 pt font large print bulletins.
  4. Provide wheelchair cutouts with GOOD views of the chancel.
  5. Do not judge noisy or squirmy adults or children.  Leave them be!
  6. Have accessible bathrooms people can get to without having to go OUTSIDE to get there.
  7. Invite people with disabilities to sing in the choir, ring bells, and read scripture in worship.
  8. Invite people with disabilities to take leadership roles.
  9. Learn how to include people with intellectual disabilities.
  10. Be WISE. Welcoming. Inclusive. Supportive. Engaging.

UCCDM Update June 2015

Grace and peace to those who may be interested in the work of the UCC Disability Ministries Board–Friends, UCC Members, UCC Clergy, UCC persons with disability and our ecumenical partners,

This is to provide you with an update of the work of the UCC Disability Ministry (UCCDM) Board of Directors since our last update published for March 2015.

This year the UCCDM Board of Directors is arranged into four subcommittees focused on Stewardship and Philanthropy, Special Events, Education, and Publishing, Identity, and Communication (PIC). There are a few other subcommittees focused on specific tasks for the UCCDM such as the Nominating Committee and the Virginia Kreyer Scholarship Committee. All these subcommittees have been very active this quarter. The highlight of our work this quarter includes:

Stewardship and Philanthropy
The UCCDM Board decided to put some of the gift from the estate of the Rev. Virginia Kreyer into the Kreyer Scholarship and to invest the remainder for the future work of the UCCDM.

Special Events
General Synod 30: Arrangements for the UCCDM and UCCMHN booth as well as the UCCDM sponsored lunch to be held at General Synod 30 have been made. A new UCCDM banner has been ordered for the occasion. A video presentation about the history and work of UCCDM has been created for a Synod presentation celebrating 25 years of the ADA.
Registration for Widening the Welcome 2015 is now open! Widening the Welcome will be held September 24-26th in Hartford, Connecticut. Widening the Welcome 2015 Flyer.
Additional financial support for the Widening the Welcome Conference is being sought. You are invited to contact the UCCDM if you have thoughts about how to do this.

A new booklet explaining the A2A process and a brochure on disability etiquette have been approved!
Work on revisions of “Anybody, Everybody, Christ’s Body” the A2A study document have been put on hold due to the large nature of the task.

Publishing Identity, and Communication
Envelopes for special offering to benefit the Virginia Kreyer Scholarship was created and will appear for the first time at General Synod 30.
Volunteers presented UCCDM Booths, presented workshops, and/or shared information at the Annual Gatherings of the Northern California Nevada Conference, Penn Central Conference, Southern California Conference, Rocky Mountain Conference, and the Vermont Conference.
Those wishing to present UCCDM materials at their conference annual gathering in 2016 should notify the UCCDM Secretary, secretary@uccdm.org, of this no later than January 2016.
A new booklet about the A2A process and new brochure on welcoming people with disabilities have been printed. Both will be available at General Synod 30.
An accessible press release about Widening the Welcome 2015 was added to uccdm.org.
The domain name of uccdm.org was renewed.
The email secretary@uccdm.org was established to ease leadership transitions on the Board.

Virginia Kreyer Scholarship
Rev. David Denham traveled to the Garden City UCC in New York to preach and receive an offering for the Virginia Kreyer Scholarship. Garden City UCC was Rev. Virginia Kreyer’s church of membership for many years.

A call for UCCDM Board of Directors nominations was sent out via uccdm.org and thorugh the Conference offices to fill a seat vacated on the Board. A new Board member will be announced when the nominating process is complete. UCCDM Officers for the 2015-2017 term will be announced when all have been elected.
Three congregations have been chosen to receive UCCDM Awards for outstanding achievement in providing opportunity for all. Two persons with disabilities who have made outstanding contributions to church and/or society and two persons without disabilities who have made notable contributions to the lives of persons who have disabilities will also receive UCCDM Awards. Award winners will be announced at the UCCDM Sponsored Lunch entitled “Come Celebrate With Us! 25 Years of ADA” on June 28, 2015 at General Synod 30..
Four delegates representing UCCDM will attend General Synod 30 as voting delegates, they are Rev. Kelli Parrish Lucas, Rev. Susan Burns, Dr. Kevin Pettit, and Ms. Danielle Rochford.

Ecumenical Work
Rev Jeanne Tyler represented the UCCDM at the National Council of Churches (NCC) recent gathering. Rev. Tyler reports that the NCC will focus on the issue of mass incarceration for its program work over the next two years. Rev Tyler notes mass incarceration is an important topic for people living with mental health issues.

The UCCDM has been busy spreading the word about disabilities ministries. We would like to hear how you too have been working for inclusion and accessibility in your UCC context. Won’t you share your story?

Peace of Christ,
Rev. Kelli Parrish Lucas
UCCDM Secretary

UCCDM Update March 2015

Grace and peace to those who may be interested in the work of the UCC Disability Ministries Board–Friends, UCC Members, UCC Clergy, UCC persons with disability and our ecumenical partners,

This is to provide you with an update of the work of the UCC Disability Ministry (UCCDM) Board of Directors since our last update published in November 2014.

At last Fall’s Annual Meeting, the UCCDM Board organized itself into four subcommittees: 1) Stewardship and Philanthropy, 2) Publications, Identity, and Communication, 3) Education, and 4) Special Events. Below are some highlights of the things we have been working on.

Stewardship and Philanthropy
The UCCDM Committee to establish the Virginia Kreyer Scholarship received a $10,000.00 matching grant to encourage donations to the fund. Thus, any individual or congregational donations to the Kreyer Fund up to $10,000 between now and the end of 2015 will be eligible for matching funds! Make your donation today!
The UCCDM Board was notified that the Virginia Kreyer Scholarship will be the recipient of an offering at Synod 2015.
The UCCDM Board was notified that the UCCDM had received a gift from the estate of Rev. Virginia Kreyer to further the work of UCCDM.

Special Events
UCC Disabilities Ministries will be sponsoring a Luncheon at Synod where we will celebrate the ADA Anniversary and present the UCCDM Awards. Look for the UCCDM booth at Synod.
Widening the Welcome 2015 is scheduled to be held September 24-26th in Hartford, Connecticut. Widening the Welcome 2015 Flyer

Publications, Identity, and Communications
This committee is working to update the UCCDM website with necessary and important details.
Infrastructure such as email address @uccdm.org are being established to support the work of UCCDM into the future.
Members of the UCC were invited to contribute to a Lenten devotional series reading the lectionary text from the lens of disability.
Discussions about a UCCDM logo have begun.

A group is working on revisions of “Anybody, Everybody, Christ’s Body” to serve as an A2A Curriculum.
Plans are being made for a training about disabilities and UCCDM for UCC staff.
UCCDM continues to be involved in the development of ecumenical disability theology.
A toolkit for churches to become A2A is being developed.

The Board looks forward to a productive year spreading the word about accessibility and inclusion of people with disabilities in the all aspects of the life of the church. We would love to hear what your congregation is doing to increase inclusion!

May the Peace of Christ Remain with You,
Rev. Kelli Parrish Lucas
UCCDM Secretary