The Discipline, the book of procedure and legislation of the United Methodist Church, states that the church is to be inclusive, and that it should enable every person to participate in its life (¶ 139). It further states that all persons with "mental, physical, developmental, neurological, and psychological conditions or disabilities" are fully human and full members of God's family, with a rightful place in church and society. In recognition of this status, the church is to be in ministry with all people who have any special need, and to enable their full participation in its activities. The church is also to be an advocate for equality (¶ 162, emphasis added).
To recognize and affirm these statements, a Disability Awareness Sunday is to be observed annually. The date is determined by each Annual Conference. An offering may be received for disability ministries if the conference chooses to do so (¶ 265).
To assist congregational planning, here are resources for disability awareness observances. If you know of others, please contact us and we will gladly include them.
- A Disabled God: A Lenten Devotional from Western Pennsylvania Conference, Lent 2018
- The Garden UMC, Indianapolis, Prayer of the Day, October 2017
- Service of Holy Communion: Friday, May 13, 2016 led by Bishop Peggy Johnson at General Conference
- Litany from CRCA, January 2016
- A Credo for Support from Think Inclusive, October 2015
- Prayer, Disability Awareness Sunday, Fallbrook UMC October 16, 2011
- Prayers from Random Acts of Expression
- Prelude to a Sermon, Eric Pridmore (April 2018)
- The Body Broken, Sharon McCart, April 2018
- A Sermon of Truth About Depression, Kathy Hurt, NAMI, January 2018
- Beyond Our Barriers, Highland Park UMC, Texas, 28 February 2016
- "Who Made Your Mouth," Deb Wade, North Alabama 2006-2012 Word
- "That We May See," Deb Wade, North Alabama 2011-2012 Word
- "Gone with the Wind . . .", Bob Walker, St. Andrew's UMC, January 2008
- "That We May Understand", Jo D'Archangelis, as printed in Wings: PDF or Word
- "Flesh and Blood", Chaplain Van Dickens, as printed in Wings: PDF or Word
- "Thou Shalt Enter", Fallbrook UMC, CA, September 1995, as printed in Wings: PDF
- Money Illustration, Deb Wade