This summer brings so much joy and anticipation for the coming year. We are finally able to start reconnecting with friends and family, travel, and consider the reality of what life after a pandemic that shut down our world may look like. For the Disability Concerns ministry, the pandemic offered us a learning opportunity in how we could provide connection and support in an online environment. While we are excited to be able to meet with our communities in person again, offering connections online will definitely continue as we have seen our disability community grow as a result of shifting online this year.
As a ministry, we are looking forward to our leadership training event that will be happening in just a few days: August 11 and 12. As we did last year, we will be hosting this event entirely online. For two days (from 11 am to 2 pm Eastern), our community will come together to explore the conversation: who’s missing in my church? This year, we will engage in ongoing conversations about developing church communities that create accessible spaces for millennials and Gen Z. This generation has grown up with an education system that understands and responds to their needs, but this has not been the case in our churches.
We are excited to hear from our keynote speaker Zoie Sheets, on Wednesday. Zoie is a disabled scholar, speaker, and consultant focused on expanding holistic accessibility and combating ableism. Her areas of expertise include health care, higher education, and faith spaces. She will be speaking about the experience of Gen Z living with a disability and their experience with the church. Anna Radcliffe and Ruth Langkamp will be co-leading the conversation on Thursday. Anna Radcliffe is coordinator for Next Generation Engagement for the Reformed Church in America and Ruth serves as the Next Generation program specialist. Their discussion will focus on insights into what the church needs to do to welcome the presence of younger generations. We will also be hosting a panel discussion each day.
To find out more about the event, including how to register, please be sure to visit our website: https://bit.ly/whosmissinginmychurch