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Disability Concerns Committee

Tennessee Annual Conference

Murfreesboro First United Methodist Church
June 2008

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ:

The Disability Concerns Committee expresses thanks to the Conference

leadership and membership for supporting the efforts and concerns of the
committee to be in ministry with and for individuals with disabilities and their
support systems. We thank congregations for working towards means for being
architecturally and attitudinally more accessible for all God’s children.

Disability Awareness Sunday:

Disability Awareness Sunday is observed annually on a date determined by the

Annual Conference; the event celebrates the gifts and graces of persons with
disabilities and calls for the Church and society to full inclusion of persons with
disabilities in the community. An offering may be received to promote the work of
creating architectural and attitudinal accessibility in local churches. The
Tennessee Conference has selected the 1st Sunday of September as the annual
observance for Disability Awareness Sunday. If this Sunday does not work for
your congregation, please select a Sunday that is suitable.

Disability Resource Materials:

Copies of the Disability Resource Manual for Middle Tennessee have been
purchased and delivered to each District Office. This manual was produced by
Disability Pathfinders and the Vanderbilt-Kennedy Center. The manual contains
contact information for resources in each Middle Tennessee county. Resource
manuals are also available for services offered in West and East Tennessee.

The Disability Concerns Committee shares information with the conference on

upcoming events related to programs, events, and legislation surrounding
disability concerns. (e.g. Disability Days on the Hill, Disability Mega Conference)

Braille Embossing:

We were able to provide copies of Braille embossed worship service programs

for five worship services for the 2007 Annual Conference. This was a first for the
Tennessee Annual Conference and was well received. We received requests for
more copies. Thanks to Rev. Diane Johnson, Deacon of the East Ohio
Conference for providing this gift to the Tennessee Annual Conference.

We encourage congregations to provide curriculum, resources, and worship

service materials in electronic version, Braille, and large print, as needed by the
congregants and communities they serve so that everyone will have an
opportunity to be in ministry and share fully in the worship experience.

Camping Committee:

Rev. Marie C. King, Chairperson for Disability Concerns, serves on the Camping
Committee as a resource person.

Accessibility Grants:

The Disability Concerns Committee awarded a one thousand dollar grant to Clark
UMC in McMinnville, Tennessee, Rev. Robert Utley, Pastor, to assist in making
their church building more architecturally accessible.

Key-Stewart UMC in Gallatin has utilized grant monies to designate accessible


Key-Stewart UMC
Disability Pathfinders:

Disability Pathfinders was invited to present to the Disability Concerns

Committee programs that are offered to the community. They have expanded
their services to include working with faith-based organizations and programs for
the Hispanic community.

Working Together in Collaboration:

The Disability Concerns and Health and Welfare Committees are working
together to realize ways we can address health issues. Of note is one health
issue, stroke prevention education. Stroke is one of the leading causes of
preventable long term disabilities.

Disability Concerns is working with Health and Welfare to provide Health

Screenings for the 2008 Annual Conference.

The Chairperson of Disability, Rev. Marie C. King, Chairperson of Health and

Welfare, Zelma Waller, and Health and Welfare Committee member, Nancy Ray,
attended the Annual Congregational Health Ministries Conference, September
2007, in Wichita, KS. The 2008 Conference is scheduled to meet in Lake
Junaluska, N. C.

Accessibility of District Offices:

An updated report will be provided during Annual Conference concerning the

status of resolving any accessibility concerns with our District offices.

Respectfully Submitted,
Rev. Marie C. King, Chairperson
Disability Concerns Committee