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Speaker topics

Ideas for presentations

Mark Pickens preaching a sermon
​Field Associate Mark Pickens preaches on topics of disability ministry, theology, and issues of inclusion. 
 
Anabaptist Disabilities Network staff have prepared presentations on each of the topics listed below. We are also open to exploring topics that are not listed. Contact us to explore how we can meet your group's needs. We have speakers located in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Videoconferencing is available for other locations. Meet our speakers.
  
Any of our  speakers can address these topics:

Introduction to Anabaptist Disabilities Network. This presentation can be adapted to the time available. ADN board, staff, and associates located in locations around the country may minimize travel costs to you.  (Home locations: Goshen, IN; Auburn, IN; northwestern Chicago, IL; Bluffton, OH; Lancaster, PA, Harrisburg, PA)

5 Stages in the Journey of Disability Attitudes. An approach to initiating conversation about disability attitudes that invites people to take steps toward greater engagement and deeper relationships with people with disabilities. Makes use of a tool designed by Dan Vander Plaats, www.the5stages.com. Presented by ADN staff, board, or Associates.

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Kathleen Nofziger Yeakey

Administrative Director

Home base: Goshen/Elkhart, Indiana

Seminary-training in Pastoral Care & Counseling, Spiritual Direction, Chaplaincy. Personal Experience facing Anxiety and Depression in myself and loved ones

 For worship settings

  • Confessions of the Gerasene Disciple (Sermon or informal storytelling) Mark 5:1–20.  Dramatic reading; first-person account from perspective of man of the tombs.

  • From Cure to Community: Biblical interpretation that challenges the stigma of disabilities/mental illness. (sermon or lecture)

  • Indispensable! (Sermon) 1 Cor 12:22.  Those who seem weaker are indispensable in the Body of Christ.

  • Practice Makes Perfect (Sermon) Matthew 5:48. When Jesus says “be perfect,” he is not demanding that we hide or deny our human mistakes; he is inviting us to impartial, generous love, as God loves.

  • Praying Hands, Clenched Fists (Sermon: Luke 18:1–8). A vigorous image of prayer can provide us with a way to hang on in the face of intense, persistent struggle.

  • Stages in the Journey of Disability Attitudes. Scripture, prayer, and storytelling, and an invitation to reflect on God’s invitation to journey toward hospitable attitudes toward people with disabilities.

Workshops

  • After We’re Gone.  Considers a Christian perspective on estate and life planning for families that include a dependent member with a disability. 

  • Camp Inclusion. What steps can outdoor ministries take to become more welcoming of campers with disabilities?

  • Circles of Love. Stories of Anabaptist congregations that have created networks of support for members with disabilities and their families.

  • The Face of Disability is Changing: Is the Church Ready? Practical ways congregations can respond to disabilities that are on the increase: autism spectrum, ADHD, and the disabilities of aging.

  • From Cure to Community: Biblical interpretation that challenges the stigma of mental illness. (sermon or lecture)

  • Healing Community in an Overstimulated World. (workshop). Adapting for persons who are hypersensitive to various sensory stimuli turn out to be healing for all of us.

  • Introduction to the Autism Spectrum. (workshop)

  • Mental Health Care Access: How Anabaptists are Responding to a Discriminatory System (workshop or lecture)

  • Ministry with Youth and Young Adults Who Have a Disability or Mental Illness (workshop or lecture)

  • No Longer the No-Casserole Disease (workshop). How congregations are supporting persons living with mental illness. Ideas for engagement.

  • Scripture and mental illness: Helpful and unhelpful interpretations. (workshop)

  • Setting Boundaries.  (Workshop) When we participate in God’s mission to welcome people on the margins—including people with mental illness and disabilities—healthy boundaries keep us from being overwhelmed by the needs of the world.

  • Successful Employment of People with Disabilities (workshop). Transformed attitudes, practices, and technologies to support people with disabilities in the workplace.

  • Support group ministry. (workshop) Tips on starting and leading a support group in your congregation.

  • Supportive Care in the Congregation. Introduces the classic Mennonite model for circles of congregational support for individuals with significant disabilities.
  • Supportive Care Group in the Congregation: how to get started
  • What does God Have to Do with Disability? (Lecture/workshop) Overview of contemporary Christian thinking on issues of disability and Christian faith.
  • Employing the Chronically Unemployed: an experiment in disability empowerment (Chain Reaction Bicycle Project, Inc.’s Re-Cycling program, a bicycle-powered collection service.)

  • Inclusive Worship Strategies: Spanish/English language; Vision and Hearing disabilities, and more 

  • The role of Accessibility Advocates in the Congregation

  • Mental Illness Disability and the Family: Understanding the Impact and Providing Support

  • Including children and youth with disabilities in Christian education and the youth group

  • Planning for Their Future: introducing financial and supportive care planning for family members with disabilities
 

Jeanne Davies

Program Resources Manager
Home base: West Dundee, IL

  • Making Church Life accessible to people with intellectual disabilities
  • ​Understanding a family member with autism


Denise Reesor

Field Associate
Home base: ​Goshen/Elkhart, IN

  • Supporting teachers to make Sunday School classrooms more inclusive    (class or seminar)

  • Talking about Youth Self-harm and Suicidality - helping adults in the church bridge this conversation

  • Breaking the Silence and Isolation of Mental Illness

Kathy Dickson, M. Div.

Field Associate

Home base: Bluffton, OH
 
  • Disability and Theology 101

  • Peacemaking in theology and disability

  • Identifying barriers and gifts: creating stronger communities

  • "One body, many differences" (reflection or sermon)

  • Understanding Vocation through the lens of intellectual disability and theological anthropology

  • Identifying barriers and listening to gifts: creating more inclusive communities

  • Working with young adults with disabilities in your congregation
 

Mark Pickens

Field Associate
Home base: Harrisburg, PA

  • Living with Vision Loss and Blindness
  • Disability and Serving the Church


Jim Smith

Board Member

Home base: Goshen, IN
 
  • Supportive Care in the Congregation. Introduces the classic Mennonite model for circles of congregational support for individuals with significant disabilities. Highlights the model outlined in the book by this title and updated in 2011 by ADN staff.

  • After We’re Gone.  Considers a Christian perspective on estate and life planning for families that include a dependent member with a disability.  Highlights the  book by this title updated in 2011 by ADN staff.
 

Milt Stoltzfus

Field Associate

Home base: Lititz, PA.
 
  • Worship-Related Inclusion – Where do People with Intellectual Disabilities fit in the Church?

  • Is Your church Disability Friendly?

  • Sibling Relationships

  • When People Think Differently

  • Future Planning

  • Sermons for Disability Awareness Sunday
 

 Learn more

 
  • Christian education resources for children and adults with intellectual disabilities or learning disabilities.
  • Resources for teaching and preaching that support the full and intentional inclusion of people with disabilities.
  • Reviews of recommended books and videos for church groups and individual enjoyment
  • Tips for effective inclusion of individuals with disabilities into church youth groups.
 

 Related topics

 
 

 Opening Doors

 
 

 Connections