Disability Awareness Sunday, as defined by the 2016 Book of Discipline: “calls the Church to celebrate the gifts and graces of persons with disabilities and calls the Church and society to full inclusion of persons with disabilities in the community.” Western PA Conference established August 12-13, 2023, or another weekend chosen by the local church, to be designated as Disability Awareness Weekend and that a special offering may be received in local churches for promotion of awareness issues as well as ministries that provide opportunities for fuller inclusion of people with disabilities. Information concerning the observance of this Sunday will be provided to local churches upon request by the People With Disabilities Inclusion Ministry Team.
• Download information on disabilities: The Committee on Disability Concerns created resources that can be found at www.wpaumc.org/disabilityconcerns.
• Invite a committee member to speak to your congregation: Arrangements can be made by emailing the committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Take up a special offering: One of the components of Disability Awareness Sunday is a special offering, with proceeds going to the Accessibility Grant Fund. Every penny of this fund goes back into our churches to assist with updating and improving the accessibility of their churches and parsonages. We ask that your congregation observe this special collection – your church treasurer simply sends the funds to the Conference Center, earmarked for the Committee on Disability Concerns. This offering is especially important this year – we have had to suspend our grant program due to lack of funds. Please help us help our local churches with their accessibility projects.