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Advocates in the Congregation

An invitation

Be an Advocate! Nurture supportive communities

A Congregational Accessibility Advocate

  • is a blessing and a concrete expression of Christ's love and hospitality for people with disabilities.
  • speaks up for others with overlooked needs, because advocating for one's own needs or one's family's needs is often difficult.

Increase your congregation's hospitality by naming a Congregational Accessibility Advocate or advocacy group.

Congregational Advocates receive an ADN Advocacy packet of materials to share with other members in the congregation and periodic email resources. Additional resource materials are available on request.

Getting Started

"Accessibility Advocates," is a succinct description of the ministry of accessibility advocacy. Share this article with others in your congregation to get the conversation started.

Role of Advocates

  • Encourage the inclusion of all persons, regardless of abilities or disabilities, in the life of the church.
  • Raise awareness in the congregation of the types of disabilities experienced by persons in the church congregation, and when appropriate, who those individuals are.
  • Share information and resources from ADN with appropriate persons within the congregation.
  • Communicate with ADN about your congregation's journey with disabilities.
  • We invite you to share with the Anabaptist Disabilities Network of accessibility advocates:
    • Stories of including persons with disabilities in the life of the congregation.
    • Issues that the congregation faces related to persons with disabilities.
    • Feedback regarding inclusion of persons with specific disabilities. What works? What doesn't?
    • New resources we can share with others in the network.

Resources for Advocates

Empowering Effective Advocacy

Congregations benefit when they bless or commission the Advocate or Advocacy Team and empower them to make recommendations to facilitate greater participation of people with disabilities. Within the the unique structure of each congregation, the Advocate(s) might be:
 
  • A member of the pastoral staff or a church elder.
  • An individual appointed to advise and be responsible to a pastor or elder group.
  • An existing group such as the Pastoral Care Committee, the Mission Commission, or the Congregational Caring Committee.
  • A small group or task force set up to lead the congregation in accessibility advocacy.
  • A new responsibility added to an existing role such as the Everence congregational advocate.