Is Your Congregation Ready to Explore Accessible to All (A2A)?


The UCCDM encourages all setting of the United Church of Christ to be Accessible to All (A2A)!

New tools are NOW ready to help local congregations determine how accessible their programs and buildings are. (Accessibility is more than a ramp!) This tool is called the Church Building And Program Accessibility Audit. This church accessibility audit can be completed online (Church Building and Program Audit ONLINE). It is also available to be printed as a PDF (UCCDM Church Building and Program Audit 12 pt PDF), LARGE PRINT PDF (UCCDM Church Building and Program Audit 16 pt PDF), Word Document (UCCDM Church Building and Program Audit 12 pt WORD), and LARGE PRINT Word Document (UCCDM Church Building and Program Audit 16 pt WORD).

Once a congregation completes a building and program audit and has identified how to become more (or continue being) inclusive of people with disabilities or/and mental health concerns, the congregation may be ready to become Accessible to All (A2A). To become A2A a congregation completes an A2A Checklist. The checklist was revised in 2016 is available to be completed online (UCCDM A2A Checklist ONLINE)or printed as a PDF (UCCDM A2A Checklist PDF) or in LARGE PRINT (UCCDM A2A Checklist LARGE PRINT PDF).

Congregations that complete the A2A Checklist are added to the A2A Listing!

Widening the Welcome Conference Recordings

Widening The Welcome

Listen to and view the events of Widening the Welcome: Inclusion for All, September 24-26, 2015, Hartford, CT, hosted by the United Church of Christ Mental Health Network and Disabilities Ministries. We’ve posted videos and audios from the 5th national United Church of Christ Widening the Welcome: Inclusion for All Conference 2015.

The opening worship and the keynote speakers are posted as video files; while the workshops are posted as audio files.

These are posted on the Widening the Welcome 2015 playlist within the WtW channel on YouTube.

UCCDM Lenten Devotional-Willing

This is devotional is for the Second Sunday in Lent. It is the third in the UCCDM Lenten Series 2014. This reflection is provided by Rev. Kelli Parrish Lucas, UCCDM Secretary.

“Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’* So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.” Genesis 12:1-4


“ — We have completed a building and program audit. [Several different audits are mentioned in this packet. Your score is less important than your willingness to survey and assess places where improvement is needed.]

–We have identified __ things to change this year.

–We have identified __ things to change in 2 years.

–We have Identified  __ things to change in 5 years.” ~from the A2A checklist in “Anybody, Every Body, Christ’s Body”

Ah, Lent. It sometimes seems that Lent can be a season of magnifying our imperfections, second only to the resolution season of New Year. (In all honesty, Lent is not a pleasant time.) We often talk about what we are giving up or taking on as new spiritual practice for the season of Lent.

We often talk about Lent as an individual journey, and that is fitting if we are just to mirror Jesus’ journey in the wilderness. The lectionary this week focuses on Abram’s journey out of Ur (Genesis 12:1-4). Abram, however, did not journey alone he went with God and his family. Abram had his community with him on the journey. Is the lectionary nudging us to consider the journey of our community as well as ourselves?

What if the Body of Christ started a journey of community reflection? I wonder what we would reflect on..dogma, creeds, ecumenical relations? In the UCC, there is little doubt we would focus on issues of justice. But the Christian practice of Lent has traditionally been an internal journey, like Jesus in the wilderness. Is there something internal to the Body of Christ that we might bring forward for reflection and discussion? Surely we are not perfect as a church–as a community of believers–even as the Body of Christ. We celebrate Communion with the broken Body of Christ, surely we don’t expect the body is perfect for we celebrate the brokenness and the new covenant that comes from the brokenness and bringing back together!

Even when we work for justice and ‘walk the talk’ of the gospel to the best of our ability, there is always something more that God is calling us to set out towards. We are not a people destined to settle in Ur.

In the UCC when we reflect on how we live in covenant and community as the Body of Christ, we often reflect on how ‘inclusive’ and diverse our community is~we are multi-racial, multi-lingual, anti-racist, open and affirming, immigrant welcoming. . .. Are we “Accessible to All” as well? If the Body of Christ is always breaking open and coming back together to welcome the stranger from margins…then perhaps the journey is one which continues each time God calls us to move forward. Do we continue to respond as Abram did? Do we simply go or do we say ‘enough of your speaking God, we are staying in Ur where we know who we are and who we include’?

The UCC asserted at the 2005 Synod, that is called to be a church that is “Accessible to All”. This does not mean that the church, or the Body of Christ, is or will be perfect–just that it is faithfully continuing the journey. This is the season of Lent, the time to reflect on or to practice a new understanding of our response to God’s call. To paraphrase the A2A checklist: Our score is less important than our willingness to survey and assess places where improvement is needed.

Save the Date, Widening the Welcome 2010

This content was part of the post about the Mental Illness Network until it was made it own post on January 4, 2014.

September 23-26, 2010
forThe 2010 UCC National Gathering in St. Louis

Widening the Welcome: Inclusion for All

Your congregation is a people that is called to be a welcoming community. In Romans we read, “Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” Romans 15:7, 13. Welcome embraces the involvement of everyone, including people who have been touched by or have experienced a mental illness/brain disorder and/or a disability, apparent or unapparent. Sponsored by the United Church of Christ (UCC) Disabilities Ministries and the UCC Mental Illness Network, the purposes of this Conference are:

i. to educate about mental illnesses/brain disorders and disabilities;
ii. to learn how to develop Mental Health Ministries and A2A Covenants in your congregation;
iii. to share best practices by telling stories;
iv. to network, staying in touch with each other and learn from each other;
v. to offer spiritual support group experiences;
vi. to worship and offer devotions;
vii. to wrestle the words and actions for the UCC MIN Covenant;
viii. to plan activities around UCC Synod, including the Covenant; and
ix. to work toward encouraging every UCC congregation to be committed to compassionate action and widening the welcome for all.

This National Gathering will be hosted by the UCC Mental Illness Network (MIN) and UCC Disabilities Ministries (DM). This Conference will be held Thursday, September 23-Sunday, September 26, 2010. It will be in St. Louis. This gathering is for clergy, consumers, laity, families, and mental health professionals.

So far the speakers include Dr. Nancy Kehoe, a nun and a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School, author of “Wrestling with our Inner Angels: Faith, Mental Illness, and the Journey to Wholeness” Dr. David Greenhaw, President of Eden Theological Seminary, the Rev. Jane Fisler-Hoffman and the Rev. Bob Molsberry, UCC Conference Ministers, the Rev. Jeanne Tyler with the UCC DM, Mr. Jeffrey Pollack Esq., Attorney in Cleveland, the Rev. Dr. Craig Rennebohm, author of “Souls in the Hands of a Tender God”, and the Rev. Alan Johnson, author of “Encounters at the Counter: What Congregations can learn about Hospitality from Business”.

For more details and information, email Alan Johnson, Chair of the UCC MIN,


Two UCC-Related Seminaries to Offer Courses in Inclusion and Accessibility

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A church without people with disabilities is itself disabled. – Jürgen Moltmann

“The class filled up right away. Not one class member missed even one hour – great discussions,” the Rev. Craig Modahl said about his course that will be offered again this January at the Chicago Theological Seminary.
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