We initiated a conversation this past March about making high quality disability ministry training available within a half-day drive of every church in the U.S. The conversation stimulated lots of interest in the Special Needs and Disability Ministry Leaders group we help to facilitate on Facebook, and many in the group volunteered trainings and events sponsored by the the churches and ministries where they serve.
This past weekend alone, we're aware of three significant ministry conferences involving national speakers that took place in three different time zones - the Accessible Gospel Conference in Chattanooga, TN, the Embrace Fall conference in Little Rock, AR and the Northern California Disability Ministry conference in Mountain View.
Our staff has developed a page on our website listing disability ministry and mental health ministry training opportunities throughout the Continental United States. Feel free to check the list for disability ministry events in your region and send our team a message if you're planning a training event and would like us to help get the word out!
Our team is going to be very busy providing a variety of training opportunities throughout the last three months of 2019. Here's a sampling of what we'll be offering and where we'll be through the remainder of this calendar year...
American Associations of Christian Counselors, Nashville, TN, October 9th-12th. I'll be presenting on Friday, October 11 on Why Families of Kids With Mental Illness Don’t Attend Church - And How Counselors Can Help. Amy Simpson and Dr. Matthew Stanford will also be presenting.
Wonderfully Made Conference, Grace Church, Overland Park, KS, October 24th-25th, pre-conference events on October 22nd-23rd. The initial Wonderfully Made conference drew over 300 attendees from across the U.S. in October 2018, and in size and spirit, our team considers this as the "sister" conference of Inclusion Fusion Live. Included among the conference keynote speakers are Sandra Peoples and Colleen Swindoll-Thompson. Many Key Ministry writers will be presenting, including Sarah Broady, John Felagellar, Melanie Gomez, Dr. Lamar Hardwick, Lisa Jamieson, Jonathan McGuire, Sarah McGuire, Jolene Philo, Shelly Roberts and Evana Sandusky.
Beth Golik will be leading a workshop on Hidden Disabilities in Your Sunday School Classroom and will be participating on a panel of disability ministry leaders taking questions from the audience. I'll be leading a two-part, three hour workshop on Mental Health Inclusion Ministry any Church can Do, a second workshop on The Many Impacts of ADHD Upon Spiritual Development and a "Ted-type" talk on Five Attributes of the Mental Health-Literate Church.
HHS Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives Webinar, Tuesday, November 5th, 12:00 PM Eastern (registration info pending). I'll be participating in a webinar discussing how churches and other houses of worship can support families impacted by mental illness. Co-presenter to be announced.
Mental Health and the Church, Winebrenner Theological Seminary, Findlay OH, Saturday, November 9th. I'll be serving as the keynote speaker for this half-day event sponsored by Winebrenner Seminary invites you to help pastors and church leaders better understand, embrace and respond to the uniqueness and gifts of those of us with mental health concerns.
Cuyahoga Valley Church, Broadview Heights, OH, Sunday, November 10th. I'll be training on Supporting children and teens who struggle with self-control at church. Registration info pending.
I'm also scheduled to be in the Atlanta area for meetings with church leaders on November 18th and November 20th, and in Destin, FL for a private ministry training event on November 19th. Looking ahead to 2020, we'll be in Houston for a private training event on the weekend of March 27th-29th. We're also planning a little event for Cleveland on April 24th and 25th in Cleveland. Sign up here if you'd like updates on Inclusion Fusion Live 2020, including the Call for Speakers that will be issued inn October.
If you'd like someone from our team to meet with your church's leadership when we're in your neighborhood, reach out and we'll make something happen if schedules permit.
We're very thankful - and very encouraged that so many new disability ministry training opportunities as a result of churches recognizing the need!
In Mental Health and the Church: A Ministry Handbook for Including Children and Adults with ADHD, Anxiety, Mood Disorders, and Other Common Mental Health Conditions, Dr. Stephen Grcevich presents a simple and flexible model for mental health inclusion ministry for implementation by churches of all sizes, denominations, and organizational styles. The book is also designed to be a useful resource for parents, grandparents and spouses seeking to promote the spiritual growth of loved ones with mental illness. Available now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, ChristianBook and other fine retailers everywhere.