Discussion Forum: Introduce Yourself
Hello from Holly Springs, NC!
(Anyone who was just in the Spiritual Gifts class might recognize the first part of this introduction, but the questions pertaining to this class are new!)
Hello everyone! My name is Rebecca Chapman and I am currently a member of Holly Springs United Methodist Church. I a super-excited about this class and getting to know everyone here. I'm something of a lifelong student, having gotten undergraduate degrees in English and Computer Science, and most recently, a Masters degree in Teaching with a focus in Mathematics.
Over the course of my life, I have been employed in retail, office administration, UNIX system administration, and structural engineering support and technical work. When I went back to school for Teaching, I was considering teaching high school math, but decided it wasn't quite where God wanted me to be, and so I'm currently in transition while I am discerning what he means for me to do rather than doing my usual thing of just jumping back into the first thing that becomes available as it's the "responsible" thing to do rather than being a true vocation or calling. (I'm still working out the whole concept that just because I *can* do something, or even do something very well, doesn't mean it's what I *should* be doing, or is what God wants me to be doing.)
So the two questions:
1) What do you hope to learn from this class?
I'm interested in this topic as it pertains more particularly to the church. One of the classes I was required to take for my M.A. in Teaching focused on students with disabilities in the classroom and schools in general, so it will be interesting to see any organizational similarities and differences.
Also, I consider it to be a good thing to continue to increase my own awareness on the topic. While many disabilities are very obvious to the general public, there are also many hidden disabilities that we do not easily see, whether they be either physical or mental illnesses.
2) What do you hope to be able to do as a result of it?
I would like to help raise awareness of hidden disabilities to make sure that we as a church are welcome and accommodating to the needs of current and future congregations.
Welcome, Rebecca! I'm glad to be with you in a course again. I think you will find that most of the folks in this particular course are joining us because of their connection to the Conference's committee connected to ministry with persons with disabilities. I look forward to having your input as well, especially with your background in education.
Hi Rebecca! I look forward to learning more in this class with you.
Looking forward to learning with you Rebecca!
Looking forward to learning with you Rebecca!
So glad to see you here! If this sparks an interest, I have it on good authority that you can add your voice and what you learned for your degree to the committee on ministry with/for the differently abled! I believe part of our calling as the church is the teaching ministry in a wide variety of expressions and your mastery of the topic could help enrich our work! My interest is also from recent degree work for mental health counseling - it is those unseen issues that intrigue me and that I want the church to address.
Thanks Mary! Where is more information about this committee I keep hearing about?
We are developing it! There's not too much out there yet! So come on along and we'll figure it out together.
The bits I know are -- this used to be the committee on disability. It is required by the BOD but ours has dwindled away over the years. This quadrennium it was re branded as the Ministry with the Differently Abled. (see we already need to rename ourselves with person-centered language!) One of our largest tasks is consulting with churches to help them become accessible. We can serve as a clearing house for resources, make training available, and partner with other committees and agencies like Safe Sanctuary.
Please forgive me, but I'm still not sure where to come along to. :)
We are a committee under Christine Harmon's portfolio in the NCAC for spiritual formation. We have just formed and this class offering is one of the first things we have done to acclimate ourselves to the work of advocating for "Ministry with the Differently Abled." After this class, we will be setting a meeting to help us define our work for the conference. As a participant in this class, you will be invited to attend that meeting and join the committee if this is a way you would like to invest your time and energy. We could use your input!