UCCDM Welcomes New Directors to the Board of Directors

In late June 2014, the UCCDM Board of Directors issued a call for self-nominations for the UCCDM Board of Directors. Twenty-three nominations were received. Five persons have been invited to join the current UCCDM Board of Directors. The new UCCDM Directors fills three vacated seats and two new seats to bring representation on the Board to twelve Directors. Three persons from those who self-nominated have been asked to join the Board of Directors for the class of 2015-2021. Another Nomination cycle is not expected until 2017.

A total of eight out of twenty-three nominees were invited to Join the UCCDM Board of Directors. Of the twenty-three nominees: 35% are male and 65% female; 52% are lay persons, 17% are ordained, 13% are commissioned, and 17% declined to state; 4.4% were young adults. Of the eight persons invited to serve on the UCCDM Board 37.5% are male and 62.5% female; 25% ordained; 12.5% commissioned; 50% lay; and 12.5 % declined to state; 12.5% are young adults.

New Board of Director terms will start in November 2014. The 2014-2015 UCCDM Board of Directors will welcome five new Directors. Danielle Rochford of the Vermont Conference and Rev. Anthony Sullivan Jr. of the Illinois Conference will join the Director Class of 2015. Rev. Nancy Erickson of the Nebraska Conference and Minister of Communications Brenda Waleff of the Penn Central Conference will join the Director Class of 2017. Mrs. Rachel Chapman of the Southern California Nevada Conference will join the Director Class of 2019. The addition of these new Directors will alter the composition of the UCCDM Board of Directors for 2014-2015  making the 2014-2015 Board 25% male and 75% female; and 66.6% ordained, 8.3% commissioned, 25% lay persons; and 8.3% young adult.

Three of the current UCCDM Board of Directors will rotate off the Board in October 2015. Persons who self nominated in 2014 have been invited to fill the Board of Directors seats opening in 2015 as follows: Mr. Paul Fogle of the Penn Central Conference will join the Director class of 2019 to even out the Board rotations; Mrs. Terry Martinez of the South Central Conference and Mr. David Ridings of the Nebraska Conference will join the Class of 2021. Danielle Rochford of the Vermont Conference and Rev. Anthony Sullivan Jr. of the Illinois Conference are eligible to extend their service on the UCCDM Board of Directors to the class of 2021. The 2015-2017 UCCDM Board of Directors is projected to be composed of 33.3% male, and 66.7% female; and 41.7% ordained, 8.3% commissioned, 50% lay persons; and 8.3% young adult.

The current UCCDM Board of Directors is eager to welcome the new Director starting in 2014 and 2015. The new Directors will bring to the Board new experiences of disability, including a person with Autism, persons who use power chairs, persons with hidden disabilities, family members of people with developmental disabilities, as well as HIV/AIDS advocates to the Board. The newly named Directors also bring a wealth of skills to the Board including fundraising, communication, inclusive camps, event planning, fiscal management, and web development.

 

UCCDM Update November 2014

Greetings to those who may be interested to know about 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 June 2014.

For the past year the UCCDM Board of Directors has been focusing on three main goals: strengthening relationships, strengthening the A2A (Accessible to All) program, and continuing our ecumenical work.

  • Relationships-The UCCDM Board of Directors has been advocating for some disability ministry recognition at the General Synod 30 scheduled for June 26-30, 2015 in Cleveland. The UCCDM submitted a proposal to present two workshops at the upcoming Synod; both proposals were rejected. The UCCDM plans to host a booth with the United Church of Christ Mental Health Network (UCCMHN) in the exhibit hall at Synod 30. UCCDM has also made plans to sponsor a luncheon at Synod which will  highlight the work of UCCDM, celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the ADA, and provide an opportunity for the presentation of the UCCDM Awards. UCCDM Delegates to Synod 30 will be Rev. Craig Modhal, Rev. Susan Burns, Rev. Kelli Parrish Lucas, and Dr. Kevin Pettit.
  • Relationships-The United Church Board has named a search committee for the next General President and Minister of the United Church of Christ. While a person with disabilities was not named to serve on the search committee, the UCCDM has been invited to submit questions that should be asked of potential candidates.
  • Relationships-The UCCDM is partnering with the UCCMHN to plan another Widening the Welcome Conference scheduled for September 24-26, 2015 in Hartford Connecticut. Rev. Susan Burns is the UCCDM Co-Chair of Widening the Welcome 2015 along with  Rev. Alan Johnson the UCCMHN Co-Chair for the Widening the Welcome 2015.
  • Relationships-In late June 2014 the UCCDM issued a call for self-nominations for the UCCDM Board of Directors. Twenty-three nominations were received. Five persons have been invited to join the UCCDM Board of Directors; this fills three vacated seats and two additional seats to bring the Board to twelve Directors. Three persons from those nominated have been asked to join the Board of Directors for the class of 2015-2021.
  • A2A-There had been a desire to make the A2A Resource booklet “Anybody, Everybody, Christ’s Body” more user-friendly. The A2A subcommittee reviewed the resumes of a few persons with the expertise to do this work. The A2A subcommittee interviewed and hired a consultant with disabilities and a PhD in education with a background in both creating inclusive curriculum and disability advocacy to assist the Board with this work.
  • Ecumenical- The National Council of Churches has disbanded its Committee on Disabilities. However the persons who had been active in this work have continued to work together and have established the Congregational Accessibility Network. UCCDM Board Director, and UCCDM Vice-Chair, Rev. Jeanne Tyler continues to be an active leader in this work.
  • Ecumenical Work-Our World Council of Churches partner, EDAN (Ecumenical Disabilities Advocacy Network) hosted a consultation in the Netherlands on a new theological statement entitled “The Gift of Being” being developed for the World Council of Churches. [EDAN website or EDAN description] It is hoped the document will be completed in Spring 2015. An EDAN bi-annual leadership meeting was held in conjunction with the consultation. Carolyn Thompson, former UCCDM Director, and Rev. Kelli Parrish Lucas, UCCDM Secretary, were invited to participate in the EDAN consultation and leadership meeting. Rev. Kelli Parrish Lucas has been named the new (volunteer) EDAN North America Coordinator. For more on the meeting in Elspeet see the official WCC news article on the EDA event.

The UCCDM continues to raise money to establish the Kreyer Scholarship to provide modest assistance to level the playing field for people with disabilities or mental health diagnosis preparing for authorized ministry. It is envisioned that the Kreyer Scholarship may be used to purchase assistive devices or technology, pay for academic testing to establish grounds, assist with medication costs, pay for books, assist with tuition, room and board, or other needs faced by persons with disability preparing for the ministry. You are invited and encouraged to contribute to the Kreyer Fund today! 

The UCCDM would like to partner with you in your disability ministry efforts. Please let us know what you are doing for accessibility and inclusion.

Yours In Christ,

Rev. Kelli Parrish Lucas, UCCDM Secretary

News on Ecumenical Work on Disability

Participants in the Ecumenical Disabilities Advocacy Network Consultation on new theological document called "Gift of Being" and leadership meeting in Elspeet, Netherlands October 2014.

Participants in the Ecumenical Disabilities Advocacy Network Consultation on new theological document called “Gift of Being” and leadership meeting in Elspeet, Netherlands October 2014.

The UCCDM works with Ecumenical partners around the issue of disabilities. Recently, UCCDM’s partner, the Ecumenical Disability Advocacy Network held a consultation on a new theological document and met for its bi-annual leadership meeting in Elspeet, Netherlands.

For more information on this ecumenical work and event please see the official report from the World Council of Churches news. At the end of the news article is link to the official communique from the consultation and leadership meeting that provides more details about the discussions at the EDAN leadership meeting.

Carolyn Thomson, former UCCDM Board, and Rev. Kelli Parrish Lucas, UCCDM Secretary, represented the UCCDM at both the theological consultation and the EDAN Leadership meeting. Rev. Kelli Parrish Lucas has been named the new North American Coordinator for EDAN.

UCC Disabilities Ministries Seeks Nominations for Board of Directors

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. The Board also meets in person annually, usually over a two day period to set goals and plan for the year; annual meeting is schedule by the Board and recently has been occurring in the fall. A Board term is six (6) years and includes a willingness to make a financial commitment to our disability ministry each year.

Some of the specialized gifts we are seeking this year are:  web and social media development skills, creative, effective fundraising talents, event planning skills, financial skills, writing and editing expertise, and having a Bold Voice. Above all, we welcome all those with a great passion for disability ministry.  In exchange, we offer you an opportunity to learn new skills and experience personal growth and knowledge of the workings of our denomination.

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 look forward to hearing from you soon! The deadline for nominations is July 31, 2014.