Disabilities Committee


Denise Ranger
Joan Farrar


UMC Disability Ministries

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body — whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free — and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. (1 Corinthians 12:12-13)

The inclusion of all people – including those with disabilities – is essential to the wholeness of the body of Christ. We must celebrate the gifts of people with disabilities and incorporate them into the life of the church, because the church is not complete unless all of us are present and included.  

Through awareness-raising, education, and advocacy, the Disabilities Committee seeks to assist our local churches, districts, and Conference to fully include people with disabilities in all aspects of church life, including worship, ministry, missions, and leadership.

The committee is currently focused on:

  • Disability Awareness Sunday: ¶265.4 of the Book of Discipline states: “Disability Awareness Sunday shall be observed annually on a date to be determined by the annual conference.” In the New England Annual Conference, local churches are encouraged to observe Disability Awareness Sunday on any Sunday during the month of October, but it may be observed on any Sunday. Worship resources and educational materials are available here.  www.neumc.org/Disability-Awareness-Sunday
  • Theology, Justice and Hospitality resources: This list includes reading recommendations, suggestions for book and Bible studies, information on upcoming events, an ableism toolkit, links to video and audio media, etc.    www.neumc.org/disability-resources
  • Accessible and Disability-Friendly Badge Project: The UMC’s Accessible and Disability-Friendly Badge program uses the Annual Accessibility Audit to assess the level of a church’s ease of access and disability hospitality. The project’s rating badges help churches publicize that their church building is accessible and their congregation welcomes children and adults with disabilities www.neumc.org/badges     

According to the CDC, one in four adults in the US has a disability that impacts major life activities. In adults aged 65 and older this number rises to two in five.