By Debbie Eisenbise
The Open Roof Award is presented annually to congregations who widen their welcome to include those who have to deal with significant physical or mental disabilities. Fourteen congregations have received this award in the eight years since it was initially established. Congregations are recognized during the Mission and Ministry Board meeting just prior to Annual Conference.
Please consider nominating your congregation or another in your district where this effort to include others is evident. This may include intentional outreach to group homes or nursing care facilities; building modifications or transportation to provide accessibility; assistance for persons who are visually or hearing impaired; program development to intentionally include and empower those who have developmental disabilities, cognitive impairment or mental illness; or advocacy for accessibility and equal treatment for persons with disabilities in the local community. Full information is available at www.brethren.org/disabilities/openroof.html . Also, look for our ad in this next month’s “Messenger” magazine.
The deadline for applications is May 1. If your congregation is interested but needs more time, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-323-8039 ext. 306 for questions. In addition to direct nominations, you can help by distributing this information, and accessing additional resources available online at www.brethren.org/disabilities .
Thank you for helping encourage congregations to reach out and include all our brothers and sisters.
— Debbie Eisenbise is director of Intergenerational Ministries, serving in the Congregational Life Ministries of the Church of the Brethren.