The Board of Directors of the United Church of Christ Disabilities Ministries (UCCDM) is accepting submissions of written daily devotionals in our campaign to raise awareness and educate through stories by people living with disabilities and those who care for and about them. The devotionals are to be stories, preferably taken from life experiences, meant to illuminate as well as inspire through a Bible scripture that relates in some way. Lay people and clergy are welcome to participate. Writers may submit as many stories as they like. Please note that not all submissions will be used. Content will be reviewed and determined appropriate for print and sharing by the UCCDM Board of Directors. In making a submission you are granting UCCDM permission to publish your devotional as well as share it with our United Church of Christ partners.
CONTENT GUIDELINES FOR DISABILITIES MINISTRIES DEVOTIONALS
(Adapted from the UCC Still Speaking Writer’s Group Daily Devotionals Guidelines)
- Use the devotional to illuminate how your experience with disability informs your personal theology or spiritual experience. These devotionals are meant to be an evangelism tool that helps foster greater understanding of and compassion for people living with disability, so it is important that we write them in a welcoming and supportive tone. Although not all readers may be members of the United Church of Christ, the devotionals may also serve to highlight the importance of wide-ranging inclusion in churches of the UCC.
- The Title. Your title is your first opportunity to capture the reader’s attention. Titles should be chosen for relatability and potential to keep the reader reading.
- Do not assume the reader has access to an open Bible while reading. The short Bible excerpt may be all the scripture the reader has to go by. Keep it simple.
- Have a sharp focus. Be concise but thorough in telling the story. Concentrate on one theme.
- Write for understanding by lay people, and include clergy. And not the other way around. Your work may be read by people with varying reading and comprehension levels so please do not use words or acronyms that you need a seminary degree to understand. You do not want to frustrate and ultimately lose a reader.
- Devotionals are not propaganda. Do not promote programs or agendas. People turn to devotional pieces to be inspired, possibly provoked into thought or action, and ultimately drawn closer to God.
- Be timely. If your story refers to a specific date or season be sure to submit it in plenty of time to be edited.
- Please proofread your own work. Before submitting your work, please proofread for clarity and typos. We are all volunteers wanting to offer the highest quality product we can to our readers.
USAGE OF INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE
The United Church Christ and Disabilities Ministries are committed to the usage of inclusive language with respect to God and people. For more information please refer to http://www.ucc.org/worship/inclusive-language/
DEVOTIONAL FORMAT GUIDELINES
Length: No more than 500 words, INCLUDING date, title, your name, scripture, story, prayer.
Title: Must have one.
Format tips: (please put everything in the order stated above)
- Minimum of 12 point type for everything.
- Use italics for emphasis and book titles.
- Use quotation marks around scripture.
- Scripture citation goes after the verse.