UCCDM Spring & Summer Update 2016

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 Disabilities Ministry (UCCDM) Board of Directors during our Spring and Summer quarters of 2016.

We are pleased to announce one new member to the board and a new ex-officio member. Early this summer UCCDM extended an invitation to Rev. Gunnar Cerda, from the Ohio Conference, as a board member.  As much as we are excited to welcome our new board member we also said goodbye to four board members. Rev. Susan Burns, Minnesota Conference and Vice Chair, and Rev. Nancy Erickson, Nebraska Conference, have submitted their resignations from the board.  Rev. Dr. Sarah Griffith Lund, Ex-Offico Mental Health Network, also stepped down.

We regret to inform that Minister Brenda Waleff, Minister of Communications for Penn Central Conference and cherished board member of UCCDM (class 2017), recently passed due to medical complications. Brenda Waleff contributed greatly to UCCDM including fundraising which lead to reaching our goal for the Virginia Kryer Scholarship of raising $100,000 in 2015.

Exciting News Regarding A2A Guidance

We are happy to announce an updated version of our A2A guidebook for congregations seeking to become A2A. The new guidebook will accompany the A2A Checklist for churches and the Church Building and Program Accessibility Audit tool, now available on the uccdm.org. Board members have been hard at work over the past year updating information to provide the most up-to-date information for congregations, associations, and conferences who are considering becoming Accessible to All.

UCCDM Outreach

The UCCDM was present at a number of UCC Conference Annual Gatherings this summer. Workshops were given at the Rocky Mountain Conference and South Central Conference. Tables were hosted at the Penn Central Conference, Southern California Nevada Conference, and Vermont Conferences. A2A information was also made available at Annual Meetings of the Nebraska Conference and Southwest Conference.

If you would like to have the UCCDM present in your Conference, please ask your Conference staff to invite the UCCDM. If you would like to host a table at your Conference event please contact the Board two to three months in advance so materials and training can be provided to you.

UCCDM Believes….

Ms. Danielle Rochford represented UCCDM at Believe National Youth Event from July 26th to July 29th. During NYE we met amazing youth and church leaders from all over the nation joining together at Disney World to talk about what it really means to believe.  During TIE Hall times Danielle met many who became excited upon learning that there is a ministry that advocates for their needs, youth who wanted to know how to include those with disabilities, and heartfelt conversations focusing on parents and youth personal stories.

2016 Annual Meeting Chicago, IL

UCCDM Board Directors are preparing to meet for our Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL September 29th-30th where we will be discussing future works of UCCDM for the 2016-2017 year.

In Grace,
Ms. Danielle Rochford
UCCDM Secretary