Disability Ministries

Disabilities ministry

“Our culture tends to not value people with disabilities as whole persons,” says Bishop Peggy Johnson. “But the goal for any religious group is to help people see with new eyes that people with disabilities are truly valuable and have skills and abilities that enhance the faith community.”

Through advocacy, education and empowerment, the Disability Ministries Committee is leading The United Methodist Church in creating a culture where people with disabilities are fully included in all aspects of worship, leadership and ministry.

Eastern PA Conference Disability Committee

Certificate & Award for Disability Ministry

"Welcome All" Disability signThe Eastern PA Conference Disability Ministry Committee has established the “Bishop Peggy Johnson 4A’s Award for Disability Ministry” and also a Certificate of Recognition for Excellence in Disability Ministry.

The Bishop Peggy Johnson 4A’s Award for Disability Ministry gives recognition to one “Congregation of the Year” and one “District of the Year” that have made great strides toward being in inclusive ministry with persons and families who experience disability. Additionally, all conference churches are eligible to receive a Certificate of Excellence in outstanding disability ministry after meeting certain criteria.

Please send all applications for the 2017 Disability Ministry Award by the March 31 deadline to Deaconess Barbara Skarbowski, 63 Holly Drive, Lancaster, PA. 17603, bskarbowski@gmail.com.


January 22, 2017

The Discipline, the book of procedure and legislation of the United Methodist Church, states that the church is to be inclusive, and that it should enable every person to participate in its life (¶ 139). It further states that all persons with “mental, physical, developmental, neurological, and psychological conditions or disabilities” are fully human and full members of God’s family, with a rightful place in church and society. In recognition of this status, the church is to be in ministry with all people who have any special need, and to enable their full participation in its activities. The church is also to be an advocate for equality (¶ 162, emphasis added).

To recognize and affirm these statements, a Disability Awareness Sunday is to be observed annually. The date is determined by each Annual Conference. An offering may be received for disability ministries if the conference chooses to do so (¶ 265). Find out more »

Accessibility Audit Documents

  • Annual Accessibility Audit – An accessibiilty audit is a list of items that your congregation can use to evaluate its accesibility. Conducting such an audit does not guarantee compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, building codes, or other legal requirements, but one can be used to get a program underway and alert you to potential problems.
  • Accessibility Mini-Audit – Primarily focused on physical facilities and signage, this mini-audit includes some material on worship welcoming and resources.

External Resources

Disability Ministry News & Information

  • Apply for Disability Ministry Award by Mar. 31
    The Eastern PA Conference Disability Ministry Committee has established the “Bishop Peggy Johnson 4A’s Award for Disability Ministry” and also a Certificate of Recognition...  Read more
  • Celebrate Disability Awareness Sunday
    The Eastern PA Conference’s Disability Ministries Committee urges churches to celebrate Disability Awareness Sunday Jan. 22 (or on a more convenient date). The UMC’s Book of Discipline calls for every conference and church... Read more