The United Methodist General Conference last week took at least two exciting steps forward in the field of disabilities signaling the importance of not only welcoming but seeking out the persons who are often on the fringe of things. The General Conference meets every four years, and there are clergy and lay representatives taking up the business of the church. First, they indicated the success of the national Task Force on Disabilities in doing its work by now designating it a standing committee in the Methodist organization. This has many advantage I won’t go in to here, but the evidence of this change will be seen in the near future. Thanks, Lynn Swedberg for your leadership, and thanks to all those who worked to make this passage a reality. It’s a big deal!
Second, the General Conference voted that every annual conference (it meets every year by area) will within the next quadrennium have disabilities as the conference theme. This decision puts everyone on notice that the one in five persons with a disability should find a church not only welcoming but seeking them. Now that’s a hurrah!
My own church, Chapelwood United Methodist, already does this, and the congregation is as blessed as the persons with disabilities who attend who have become part of the working business of Christ’s body.