The Methodist Church needs to stand up and shout that they invite, welcome and will integrate all persons with disabilities, and giving a taskforce elevated standing and responsibility as a committee is one way to declare and implement it.
Annual conferences of the United Methodist Church elect half lay and half ministerial delegates to attend the General Conference of the church. Petitions and legislations are presented at this conference. This year a very important piece will be presented to change the Taskforce on Disabilities to a Committee on Disabilities. The distinction is very important in a number of ways, more than I am an expert about, but I do know that the function of a task force is to gain information and work to complete a task. Thanks to dedicated personnel, the takforce has accomplished most of its goals, and now it needs to move ahead in a more recognized and important way.
Disabilities cut across the vast reach of the entire Methodist church. One in five persons has a disability, and many of these five have one or more caregivers, so congregations need to be aware of this statistic, and they need the help of a committee on disabilites of the Methodist Church to help them know how to serve these persons with safety and love. It’s not with malice that we do not serve these persons; it is basically that many churches do not know what to do and how to do it. A committee on disability will be a goldmine of information and inspiration. If you are a delegate, please vote to implement this committee. If you are not a delegate, please consider this important issue and pray for the General Conference that members may see with clarity that God’s love extends to everyone, and the church is a means for saying this.