By Carla Thomas
A Northern CA Disability Ministry Conference (NorCal DMC) to support people with disabilities at churches will take place Sept. 28 at Abundant Life Christian Fellowship. 2440 Leghorn St. in Mountain View, CA.
In partnership with the Disability Ministry Conference of Southern CA, the NorCal DMC will feature keynote speaker Diane Dokko Kim, a local special needs mom, disability ministry advocate and nationally renowned author.
Workshops will include Autism and Sensory, Understanding Behavior, Supporting Families, Curriculum Activities, among others.
Organizer and consultant Gisele Darden of Doing It Their Way says many churches are unequipped for guests with special needs and disabilities.
“The conference is designed to offer tools for new parents, parachurch ministries, for churches just considering first steps of disability ministry, those in early stages and established ministries looking for further training,” said Darden.
“Mobility issues or staff unequipped to assist those with disabilities prevent people with disabilities from coming to church or actively participating within their capacity.
“There are many people who want to attend church but just don’t come because their disability makes it difficult to either get to church or they are limited once they do arrive. The workshops will also be applicable to supporting children, teens and adults.”
In the spirit of Bible scripture Luke 12:13-23, Darden says the event will help attendees advance the quality of their disability ministry by creating inclusive faith communities at local churches through coaching, training, encouragement and collaborating.
By equipping local churches with training, practical tools and coaching along with supporting families with encouragement through Christian community, Darden says people with disabilities can be viable participants in congregations.
“We invite you to join us in prayer and partnership, as we strive to build a connected and thriving community of disability ministry teams, churches and families.
This article originally appeared in the Oakland Post.