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Ableism in the Church

The Center For Leadership Excellence presents a webinar with Melinda Baber…

August 22, 2023 @ 12:00 pm 1:00 pm


It is not possible to be a congregation that welcomes all and a congregation that perpetuates ableism at the same time. But how do we dismantle ableism in our congregations if we do not know what it is or how to recognize it?

In this webinar, Melinda Baber will highlight experiences of ableism in the church and provide tools for church members to recognize ableism in their own contexts, disrupt it, and dismantle it.

Other webinars in our Disability Ministries series include:

About Melinda Baber

Melinda Baber is an ordained Elder in the Mountain Sky Conference, currently appointed as senior pastor to Phillips UMC in Lakewood, Colorado. Her call is to the local church and the world, to follow the Way of Jesus that values, sees, delights in, disciples, and equips all people to be their best selves. She also serves as a member of the Mountain Sky Conference Disability Ministries Committee and the denomination-wide Disability Ministries Committee of the UMC.

In her own words…

I am autistic. I am grateful for the experiences, perspectives, and gifts that come with my particular set of both hidden and obvious disabilities, living as I do from the margins of the dominant ableist culture here in the USA. I am an immigrant’s daughter, a middle child, a former foster-care child, a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, bi-racial, a certified Benedictine spiritual director with a special emphasis in trauma-informed spiritual care, a former hospice and law enforcement chaplain; and a mother of four adult children, each with their own complex personhoods, three of whom have disabilities.

I am told that I am a Bible nerd. I have a special love for oceans and old forests, old people, and babies; and a gift for numbers, patterns, singing off-key, communication in the written word, and in the poetry of silence. I am introverted, introspective, detail-oriented, free-thinking, self-directed, and a lifelong learner; and my preferred leadership styles are playful, contextual, and relational.

middle-aged female, no jewelry, emotionally neutral expression, cafe au lait skin color, green eyes, brown curly shoulder length hair, wearing large lens eyeglasses with rainbow color frames and a royal blue tank top

Missed the webinar? Watch the recording below!