UCC Disabilities Ministries Seeks Nominations for Board of Directors-2015

UCC Disabilities Ministries FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (April 17, 2015)

Contact: Rev. Kelli Parrish Lucas, UCCDM Secretary kelli@womenwhospeakinchurch.com

The UCC Disabilities Ministries Board’s Nominations Committee is seeking people who are passionate about disability ministry who would like to serve on our Board.  Our Board is made up of people with disabilities, professionals who work in the disability field, and family members of people with disabilities.  Our mission is to encourage our denomination to create worship and meeting places, programs and leadership, classes, and activities that are accessible to all (A2A) and welcoming and inclusive of all persons with disabilities.

Some of our short term goals include increasing our voice and presence from the pews to the national planning boards; development of curriculum and programs for people with intellectual disabilities; building the Kreyer Scholarship Fund for students with disabilities who wish to pursue theological education; and increasing our web and social media presence.

Someone interested in serving with us should be someone who is a member of a UCC church; regularly reads, responds to, and is comfortable with using email; can devote a minimum of ten (10) hours a month to this work, which includes a monthly conference call meeting of about 90 minutes to two hours. Being a Board Director includes a willingness to make a financial commitment to our disability ministry each year and  serve on at least one Board subcommittee. At this time we are looking to fill a term that will end in September 2017, should any other seat come open between now and the end of September 2015 the pool of applicants replying to this call shall be considered. Applications must be received by May 15, 2015 or contact should be made with the UCCDM Secretary to explain why that deadline can not be met.

We encourage interested candidates to visit our website at http://www.uccdm.org to learn more about us. Located there are Board updates, our blog, and the application. We welcome all those with a great passion for disability ministry above all. In exchange, we offer you an opportunity to learn new skills and experience personal growth and knowledge of the workings of our denomination.

Rev. Lynda Bigler, Chair UCC Disabilities Ministries Board

Click the link to go to the UCCDM Board Director Application

2 thoughts on “UCC Disabilities Ministries Seeks Nominations for Board of Directors-2015

  1. I am a born and raised UCC member for 47 years with a 16 year old daughter who has Down syndrome. We are not financially able to meet your criteria for board membership. If the board considers family members and people with disabilities, doesn’t the requirement exclude a lot of people that possibly should be included? Just a thought when I read this. Dominique is joining the church this year. It has been an interesting road. She is all about self advocacy and has a lot of experience in what not feeling included looks like. I bet if we slowed down and actually took the time to listen, these young adults have a lot to contribute. Inclusion starts from the top all the way to the bottom and at the at the same time starts when the kids are very young. Group acceptance cannot allow even one act of unkindness to go undiscussed. God thinks everyone is perfect. Total love and acceptance of all is the starting point. Just a few thoughts for consideration. Thank you for your time.

    • Dear Heather,

      Peace and grace to you from the UCC Disabilities Ministries Board. We wish to thank you for sharing your story and concerns with us.

      Those of us with disabilities and those like you who parent children with disabilities share your frustrations as we experience or watch our children experience exclusion and hear hurtful comments. The task of guiding others toward inclusion is not easy on good days and is filled with hurt, anger, and emotional scarring on bad days. I am pleased to know that Dominique has persisted through these daily challenges and will be joining the church soon.

      I want to address the financial aspects of serving on our Board which you questioned. Many on our Board have little or no income so our financial expectations and obligations are very small, especially when compared to other boards of directors. Board members travel for our ministry each year for annual meeting and under certain circumstances to Synod or other events we sponsor or participate in. Member travel is fully reimbursed by our board; this includes transportation expenses, hotel room, and many meals. If the person with the disability needs a nurse/assistant to travel with him/her, the Board covers the same expenses for the companion.

      With Board service comes a financial obligation to donate to our sponsored scholarship fund. We ask each Board member to try and donate at least $25 to the fund. If this amount is too high, we would welcome a lower donation.

      I’m glad to know that there are parents like you helping to effect inclusion in church and in the community. Inclusion ministry can unfortunately be slow moving in success and those involved with it often feel like they are alone in the cause. Please know that there are many of us out there working toward change and it will be thanks to all of us working together from both the pews and our boards that change will happen. We encourage you and/or Dominique to consider applying for our open Board position. Whether selected or not, we hope the application process will be a positive learning experience.

      Rev. Lynda Bigler, Chair

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