"And when they could not bring [the paralyzed man] to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him..." —Mark 2:3-4 (paraphrased)
The Disabilities Ministry is committed to opening doors and building bridges in the Church of the Brethren and beyond so that all may worship, serve, be served, learn, and grow in the presence of God as a valued member of our Christian community.
Through a volunteer committee, this ministry plans awareness raising events and provides services for those with disabilities as well as for people interested in disabilities ministry. Activities in recent years include:
- Partial sponsorship of the We Are Able Workcamp, an opportunity for intellectually disabled youth and young adults, ages 16 to 23, to have a week-long experience of faith-based service and fellowship.
- Providing worship resources and general resources, especially related to congregational accessibility and Disabilities Awareness Month.
- Establishing the "Open Roof Award," an annual award to recognize districts and congregations that are making great strides in Disability Ministry.
- Presenting informational insight sessions and workshops at denominational conferences such as Annual Conference, National Older Adult Conference, and others.
The Disabilities Ministries was created at the 1981 Annual Conference and was the first task group formed under the auspices of the Association of Brethren Caregivers (now part of the Mission and Ministry Board). From the beginning, this ministry's focus has been to address concerns of advocacy, awareness education, and accessibility. In 1994 a motion was accepted by Annual Conference regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act, and in 2006 a Resolution was approved at Annual Conference affirming the Church of the Brethren's commitment to accessibility and inclusion.