UCC Disabilities Ministries and UCC Mental Illness Network
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (March 10, 2013)
Coordinator: Rev. Kelli Parrish Lucas, UCCDM Secretary
Widening the Welcome Pre-Synod Event Location and Details Announced: Developing Congregations to Include People with Disabilities and Mental Illnesses/Brain Disorders to be held in Long Beach, CA June 27.
The United Church of Christ Disabilities Ministries (UCCDM) and the United Church of Christ Mental Illness Network (UCC MIN) is happy to announce that the Fourth Annual Widening the Welcome: Inclusion for All Conference will be held at the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel, CA. Widening the Welcome 2013 will commence at 7:30 am and conclude at 7:30 pm on Thursday, June 27th, 2013. Registration information, including link to on-line registration is available now , and here: Widening the Welcome Registration Brochure!!
Widening the Welcome: Inclusion for All will celebrate the theme “God’s Vision: The Great Dinner is Open to All” (Luke 14:15 ff) with speakers and workshops designed to assist congregations in welcoming and ministering with people with disabilities and/or mental illness/brain disorders. Keynote speakers include The Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroder, Founder, Mental Health Ministries, and The Rev. Kathy Reeves, Coordinator of Ecumenical Disability Advocacy Network-North America, a program of the World Council of Churches.
Workshops will include “Becoming A2A (Accessible to All): From Theory to Practice”, “Mental Illness and Families of Faith: How Congregations Can Respond”, “Mental Illness in Prison: Understanding the Facts”, “Spiritual Care for People with Disabilities & Brain Disorders of Aging”, “Centers of Hope and Transformation: People with Disabilities Creating a Consciousness of Inclusion”, “Cherish the Parents, Care for the Child: Supporting the Emotional Well Being of Families from Birth to Young Adulthood,” and “Developing and Sustaining a Spiritual Support Group for Mental Health and Wellness”.
“Widening the Welcome: Inclusion for All” was termed “a movement within the movement” of the UCC by General Minister Geoffrey Black. UCCDM and UCC MIN welcome all UCC churches and conferences as well as our ecumenical partners seeking to do ministry with persons with disabilities including mental illnesses to send representatives to join us on June 27, 2013 for this fourth historic gathering. This Widening the Welcome Conference is offered prior to General Synod so as to make this educative, informative and engaging Conference available to Synod delegates. This is also the first of the three prior national conferences that will be held in the west so as to make it available to people in this region of our country. ###