Darla Stewart

About Me: 

I have lived in the same town for all but 10 years of my life.  It is a small, rural community that during the ten years away changed a great deal.  Some not for the better.  During the 10 years away, I was in the Army, met & married my sons' father, had the two boys, and was divorced.  Parent & Legal Guardian of two sons diagnosed with MPS VI.  There are disabilities stemming from this diagnosis effecting all parts of the body.  But not their loving, caring for others, compassion, humor, and faith except that they have nurtured and strengthened those areas. 

I am also a Certified Lay Speaker in the LaMoine River District of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference of the United Methodist Church.  I serve on the conference Committee on Disability Concerns.  I am the "adopted mom" of 14 individuals (5 older then I am) with disabilities living in a group home. Two have attended church with my sons and I; and another regularly talks about his church-going with me when I visit. He was so excited the summer before last when he was baptized.  His first words are regularly, "Jesus Loves Me".

I believe God is calling me to ordination and a missional church that is inclusive with those who have disabilities and to break the barriers of "normality" mindsets. Teaching Jesus's lessons with love, compassion, and not judgment because we are not perfect but are working toward it.

Interests: 

I am a Special Olympics Volunteer/Coach.

I like all kinds of music (except rap/hiphop).  Country and Country Gospel music are regulars in my CD player or on the radio.  But, I also listen to classical, jazz, and big band.  Movies: Westerns or any John Wayne.

I like bowling, volleyball, football, rodeo, camping, crocheting, and reading.