UCCDM Board

The Board consists of at least seven members drawn from the diversity of the United Church of Christ–gender, ministers/lay persons, age group, geography, ethnic background–the majority of whom are persons with disabilities, members of families of persons with disabilities, or experts on disabilities.

The Chair of the UCC Mental Health Network (MHN) sits on the DM Board. Two Members of UCCDM Board of Directors currently sit on the Unified Board of the United Church of Christ.

The Board meets regularly by conference phone call and gathers in person for at least one meeting a year.

 

Paul Fogle

MR.PAUL FOGLE, Chair, Class 2019

I am a lifelong member of the United Church of Christ, as is my father and maternal grandfather who are both ordained UCC Ministers. I have spent the past 15 years working in various areas of the disability community on the local, state, and national levels. Currently, I work at a center for independent living, which provides core support services to people with disabilities. I have maintained my membership at Salem United Church of Christ in Campbelltown, PA. I currently serve on the Church Council there, along with other committees. I also serve my local association on its Executive Committee and Committee on Ministry.

 

Terry Martinez

MS. TERRY MARTINEZ, Vice Chair, Class 2021
Terry has been a member of Plymouth United Church in Spring, Texas and the UCC since March 2012. She was invited almost immediately into Plymouth’s Missions and Outreach Team and was trusted with working in Congregational Care, ONA, and Social Justice. In 2013 she served on the Council as Missions and Outreach Co-Chair, and in 2014 has been serving as Assistant Moderator. In this role she is Chair for this year’s Nominating Committee, Delegate to the Houston Association, and was the Voting Lay Delegate at this year’s South Central Conference Annual Meeting. She will serve as Plymouth’s Moderator in 2015.
Terry has been living with severe rheumatoid arthritis for 15 years, and uses a power chair for mobility. She has helped bring attention and sensitivity to accessibility and inclusion at Plymouth by mentioning to their Pastor, Rev. Dr. Ginny Brown Daniel, to please consider changing the way she calls for the congregation to stand- “Please stand as you are able, in body or spirit”, and at the South Central Conference’s Outdoor Ministry- Slumber Falls Camp and Retreat Center in New Braunfels, Texas, she supported changes to add wheelchair access to one of the cabins, and restroom remodels in the main lodge.
Terry believes that anyone wanting to serve God and/or their church home, should be encouraged, regardless of limitations or challenges they may face. And that the church should be more intentional in inviting these special people into service.
She and her beloved of 23 years, Crystal, raise their 9 year old grandson, and enjoy watching him play baseball! Terry also enjoys crafts, cooking and travel (by van).

MS. EMILY CULP, Secretary, Class of 2022

Emily Culp grew up in the PC(USA) church and taught special education in Atlanta, Georgia, before following a call to seminary.  She earned a Masters in Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University, where she found a heart calling in the field of disability ministry, which speaks personally to her as she lives with epilepsy.  After graduating from seminary, Emily lived in a L’Arche community, an international intentional community for adults with and without disabilities, in Belfast, Northern Ireland.  She found her way to Cleveland, where she currently works part-time with the L’Arche Cleveland community as the Pastoral Leader and part-time with children’s and family ministries at The Federated Church UCC in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. 

Class of 2019

DR. KEVIN PETTIT

Kevin began working to become a commissioned minister in the United Church of Christ not terribly long after having sustained a severe Traumatic Brain Injury in 1998.  It was with the hope that he could help churches learn to provide an honest welcome to visitors or members who happen to live with a disability that he enrolled at the Iliff School of Theology where he received a Master’s of Arts in Specialized Minister in June of 2010 with a concentration in Religious Leadership.  It was with this intention of working with UCC churches in the Denver Metro Association and the Rocky Mountain Conference of the UCC, and after working with former UCCDM Board Member Heather Luehrs, that Kevin began pursuing work as a Disability Inclusion Associate (DIA) in the Rocky Mountain Conference.

Kevin worked with the First Congregational Church in Boulder, CO and helped establish an Inclusion Team that wrote our Accessible To All Covenant which was adopted unanimously by the church congregation in May of 2010.  Kevin serves on the Conference Inclusion Team (CIT) of the Rocky Mountain Conference. He has also worked on the planning board of the Widening the Welcome Conference and, with Peggy Dunn, presented the call to all UCC churches to become A2A at Widening the Welcome 2012.

 

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MRS. RACHEL CHAPMAN

Rachel Chapman, diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, has become a spokesperson and advocate in many arenas for persons with disabilities. She has been selected as Advocate of the Year andinducted into the National MS Society’s Advocacy Hall of Fame for the work she has done speaking up for the disabled in her community and across the country. Ms. Chapman is a former UCC Regional Women’s Ministry Consultant and speaks throughout the country on issues impacting women. She is the editor of her church newsletter and is active at the Association level. She has a master’s degree in Human Development and Education with a specialization in Social Change. The mother of three grown children, Rachel lives in Chula Vista, CA with her husband Kevin and is a member of Christian Fellowship Congregational Church of San Diego, UCC.

 

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REV. GUNNAR CERDA

Rev. Gunnar Cerda is ordained and endorsed in the Central Southeast Ohio Association.  He is a Board Certified Chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains and serves as the Manager of Pastoral Care for OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital in Delaware, Ohio, where he also serves on the bioethics committee.  Gunnar has provided didactics on disability models to CPE students, and seminars on disability models and bioethics to the APC annual conference.  He lives in Delaware, Ohio, with his spouse, 2 kids and 2 dogs and is a huge Ice Hockey fan.  Aside from being in-house tech support for all things electronic,  and a huge Jeff Gordon fan, Gunnar‘s son Benjamin is also diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome.

 

Class of 2021

MR. DAVID RIDINGS
David Ridings has been a long-time advocate for those with both physical and intellectual disabilities. He has attended well over 40 week-long summer camps for children with neuromuscular diseases, managed three group homes for intellectually disabled adults while pursuing his undergraduate degree in psychology, and has volunteered as a Special Olympics volunteer when he was younger. At Kamp Kaleo he is active with their Adventures in Community camps that serve adults with varying levels of intellectual disabilities. A native Tennessean, he is currently the Facility Administrator of Kamp Kaleo, the UCC Nebraska Conference Camp. His wife Sunny is an ordained Disciples of Christ minister currently serving the three UCC churches in the Thomas County Parrish in Nebraska. They live on the grounds of Kamp Kaleo with their new son Douglas Brian.

Danielle Rochford

MS. DANIELLE ROCHFORD

Danielle Rochford is a disability advocate in intellectual and developmental disabilities in Northern Vermont. Her insatiable interest in caring for humanity leads her on a bi-vocational with a secular job with Department of Children and Family in VT and working towards becoming an ordained minister.

Danielle is discerning a call in Spiritual Direction and Faith Formation. She is a ministry student at the Vermont School of Ministry (VTSOM) based out of the Vermont Conference and affiliated with the New York School of Ministry (NYSOM). She is a member at First Congregational Church of Burlington and very active in local, association, and conference level work. Danielle Rochford also sits on a committee with the organization Gift of Voice, a mental health training organization, stationed out of Illinois. Her present advocacy work includes being a presenter and writer on disabilities and interpersonal relationships.

Danielle serves as Social Media Coordinator for UCC Disabilities Ministries. In the past she served as Secretary for the 2015-2017 term.

Class of 2022

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MS. JACLYN SCHOFIELD 

Jacky Schofield is a resident of Greenwich, CT and member of the Second Congregational Church. She received her M.Div. from Yale Divinity School in 2007. Since 2008, she has worked as a Disability Inclusion Associate and team leader for the Disabilities Ministries Team of the Connecticut Conference. Previously she was the Chairperson for the First Selectman’s Advisory Committee on Disability in Greenwich. Currently, Jacky works as a Chaplain at Stamford Hospital in Stamford, CT.

 

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MS. JAMIE CALLOWAY-HANAUER

Jamie is currently working on her Master of Divinity and is a Member in Discernment in the United Church of Christ. Previously, Jamie graduated magna cum laude from Texas Tech University and received her law degree from UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall). She practiced dependency law for several years before opening her own law office, where she represented low-income women in domestic violence and family law cases. Now a writer and editor, Jamie’s background as a public interest attorney serves her well as she writes about issues of poverty, gender equality, disability, and social and juvenile justice, among other things. Jamie is a mayoral appointee of her city’s Human Relations Commission, as well as a deacon and Director of Christian Education at her home church. She has four children and is married to Andy, who is the founder and director of the One America Movement. Jamie lives daily with chronic illness, and has been called to minister to those who do the same.

 

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REV. CHRISTINA M. FIDANZA

Rev. Christina M. Fidanza holds a B.A. in Biological Sciences granted by Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey (1996) and M.Div. from Lancaster Theological Seminary (2015). Prior to Seminary she was employed as a Hazardous/Dangerous Goods Logistics Management Officer, Assistant Technical Editor, and ESL Support for XenoBiotic Laboratories, Inc. Rev. Christina has served at the Cashtown-McKnightstown Charge (Trinity & St. John’s UCC) in various manners since October 2013: as an intern, stated supply pastor/licensed minister, called and licensed associate pastor, and currently, after her ordination in November 2016, as Designated Pastor. Rev. Christina is a self-taught artist, usually working with mixed-media/found objects. She sees this kind of artwork, and the process that it entails, as a reflection of the intersections of our lives, revealing hidden beauty.

 

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MR. MIKE FEKULA

Mike Fekula is a resident of College Park, Maryland and has spent his adult life in the Washington, DC area. He became aware of disabilities issues after suffering a stroke in which he was paralyzed down the right side of his body. He had to take charge of his own rehabilitation while finishing seminary. He has since received a Masters in Divinity (2015) and a Masters in Theological Studies (2017) from the Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. Prior to that he was a staff employee at the Univ. of Maryland at College Park for eight years, preceded by a four year stint at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition’s bureau office in Washington. He is also a former sports writer who spent over twenty years covering Univ. of Maryland Athletics.

 

UCC Mental Health Network LIASiON, EX-OFFICIO

Rev. Judith Johnson

I am a licensed clinical social worker with over 30 years of practice in community mental health centers in Missouri. I retired in  2014 and moved my primary home to Florida. I spend about 5 of the summer months in upstate New York. I am an ordained doc minister active in a UCC Church in Florida. I teach Mental Health First Aid and supply preach. I have 3 dogs to whom I am very devoted. I am married for 41 years. My dog Caleb and I are a therapy dog team.

UCC National STAFF LIASiON, EX-OFFICIO

Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer, Executive for Health and Wholeness Advocacy

PERSONS INTERESTED IN BEING PART OF THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST DISABILITIES MINISTRIES OR SERVING ON THE BOARD ARE INVITED TO CONTACT the uccDM Secretary.

Please see the page about Former Board Members to learn about others working for Disability Ministries