Disability Awareness Sunday

Disability Awareness Sunday is a special Sunday dedicated to empowering people with disabilities and helping to raise awareness about the disability community. According to ¶265.4 of The Book of Discipline, “Disability Awareness Sunday shall be observed annually on a date to be determined by the annual conference.” 

In the New England Conference, all local churches are encouraged to observe Disability Awareness Sunday on any Sunday during the month of October.


 from UM Disability Ministries

Disability Awareness Sunday Church Kits 

From Baltimore-Washington Conference

From California Pacific Conference

From Western Pennsylvania Conference

“Access Sunday” resources from the United Church of Christ (including music videos)


Preaching Helps

Bible readings that relate disability, inclusiveness, healing, spiritual generosity and human wholeness, from Disability Ministries of the United Methodist Church

Scripture suggestions from the Illinois Great River Conference

Accessible and inclusive sermon samples


Liturgies and Prayers

An order of worship from the Baltimore-Washington Conference

“All Are Welcome to the Table” by Harriet Wilkin

Traditional Order of Worship prepared by Jennifer Young

Prayers and litanies from UM Disability Ministries 

Gathering prayer by Rev. Ann Rose Davie

Prayer of confession by Katie Ritsema Roelofs

A Great Thanksgiving from “Inviting, Confessing, Great Thanksgiving, and Sending” by Bishop Peggy Johnson, adapted by Taylor Burton-Edwards

Prayers and children’s messages from Resource UMC: 

Prayers from New Zealand Lay Preachers Association

Prayers by Rebecca L. Holland

Prayer by Jo D’Archangelis:


Suggested Hymns

Song suggestions from UM Disability Ministries in the United Methodist Hymnal and The Faith We Sing:

Hymn suggestions from the Illinois Great Rivers Conference

UMH #89 “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” – set to the music of Ludwig van Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, composed when he was totally deaf.

UMH #98 “To God Be the Glory,” “#369 Blessed Assurance,” and “#419 I Am Thine (Draw Me Nearer)” – written by Fanny Crosby, a prolific hymnist who was born blind.

UMH #480 “O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go” – written by George Matheson, who was rejected by his fiancée after losing his sight.

UMH #114 “Many Gifts, One Spirit” – a hymn that can be used as a springboard to discuss including the gifts of all, whatever they are, and extending our ideas beyond the typical thinking of gifts.

FWS #2225 “Who Is My Mother, Who Is My Brother?” – a hymn by Shirley Erena Murray which specifically addresses the topic of disabled persons, one rarely mentioned explicitly in hymns. With the stanza beginning, “Differently abled, differently labeled,” the hymn invites us to “widen the circle round Jesus Christ.”

W&S #3149 “For Everyone Born” – another hymn by Shirley Erena Murray reflecting the theme of equality and inclusion, promising “for everyone born, a place at the table”.

A list of hymns from Churches for All in the UK (note that not all these hymns are in UMC hymnals):


Special Offering

Consider taking a special offering for an accessibility project for your congregation or community.

Donate to UMCOR Advance #3021054, which provides resources and funding for churches to empower and equip persons with disabilities. Donations to the Advance help fund seed money grants for projects such as church entry ramps and elevators, speaker fees and materials for church programs and projects, etc.