Disability Ministry logo with open doors

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About us — History and Members — Practicing the Means of Grace

And look at this! Some people came in, carrying a paralyzed man in a chair.
They wanted to bring him to Jesus, but they were not able to find a way in because of the crowd.
So they went up onto the roof and let him and his chair down through it!

— Luke 5:18

The Disability Ministries Committee is dedicated to opening hearts, minds, and doors for people of all abilities in the United Methodist Church. As an agency of the United Methodist Church, we welcome interested people of all backgrounds. We draw our mandate from the story in Luke, which tells how many people displayed through their actions that the man was part of their community.

We'd like to be those friends Jesus mentioned, and help you with your questions, even if it means knocking down some doors or a roof!

Our vision is to create a culture of inclusion for persons with disabilities within the faith community.

Our mission: through advocacy, education and empowerment, the Disability Ministries Committee will lead the United Methodist Church in creating a culture where people with disabilities are fully included in all aspects of worship, leadership and ministry.

disability ministries brochure with symbols for blind, wheelchair access, and person with cane. deaf and hard of hearing brochure with symbols for hearing, signing, and DeafBlind. Spread the word! You can obtain brochures about our work to share with others:
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Ministries
Disability Ministries Committee

Welcome Cards These information sheets provide an introduction, overview of the goals, and often-requested information about our work.

PDF (2 side flyer)
Microsoft Word Word ("Making Paths Straight" sheet)

PDF and Word

PDF and Word

PDF and Word

PDF and Word

PDF and Word

PDF and Word

History and Members

The committee began in Leavenworth, Kansas as the United Methodist National Task Force on Developmental Disabilities. Its goal was ensuring that people with developmental disabilities, their families and caregivers were included and nurtured in the worshipping community.

Founding member Pat Cook had a vision to form the group, which the denomination initiated in 1992. From its inception, the group has worked to include representatives from across the United States who have a passion for ministry with persons with developmental disabilities and their families. The Task Force was instrumental in changing the language of the Book of Discipline, paragraph 653, to include a provision for each annual conference to have a Committee on Disability Concerns.

In 2009, the group voted to change its name to the United Methodist National Task Force on Disability Ministries to more accurately reflect its expanding work in partnership with people affected by all types of disabilities. In 2010, the name was further clarified as the United Methodist Task Force on Disability Ministries. The 2012 General Conference voted to make it a standing committee.

Using the formal name Disability Ministries Committee of the United Methodist Church, we are comprised of thirteen representatives from the various jurisdictions, who, along with advisors from other groups and consultants, work to lead the church in becoming a welcoming place for people with any disability. The entire group meets once a year. It reviews goals and progress during monthly conference calls. This web site, established in 2010, provides resources on disabilities and spirituality to congregations and individuals, as well as being an advocate for disability concerns.

photo of Russell Rev. Russell Ewell,
Capacity Building,
UMAMD Liaison
photo of Howard Howard Guetherman,
Western Jurisdiction
no photo Rev. Debbie Hills,
Northeastern Jurisdiction
photo of Sharon Sharon McCart,
Chair of Committee,
Western Jurisdiction
photo of Lisa Rev. Lisa McKee,
Long-range planning
Southeastern Jurisdiction
photo of Debby Debby Newman,
Co-chair, Communications Team,
North Central Jurisdiction
photo of Eve Eve Newman,
North Central Jurisdiction
photo of Shelly Shelly Owen,
South Central Jurisdiction
photo of Eric Rev. Eric Pridmore
Long-range planning,
Southeastern Jurisdiction
photo of Lynn Swedberg Lynn Swedberg,
photo of Tim Tim Tice,
South Central Jurisdiction
no photo Stephen Taylor,
Southeastern Jurisdiction
photo of Tim Tim Vermande,
Co-Chair of Communications Team,
Social Media and Webmaster
photo of Leo Rev. Leo Yates jr.,
Liaison, UM Committee on Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Ministries

Annual Meeting Reports
2016 |  2015 |  2014 |  2013 |  2012 |  2011 |  2010

By-laws Microsoft Word

Presentation about Task Force (2012) Microsoft Power Point

Presentation about Task Force (2012) Adobe PDF

Practicing the Means of Grace

As a part of the "People Called Methodist,"
we encourage our visitors to practice the Wesleyan "means of grace," which include
reading Scripture,
attending meetings, studying, and seeking justice;
earning, giving, and saving;
and engaging in works of love.
These practices are the basis of our site's organization,
and we urge you to consider them as you move through it.


Upper Room Living Prayer Center

Submit prayer requests, volunteer,
or read about prayer



Upper Room Daily Devotional Guide

Daily devotion dedicated to practical Christianity


Thank you for visiting this page!

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series of photos of people with disabilities participating in church activities