Accomdations for Annual Conference 2023 for the Susquehanna Conference of the UMC

ACCOMMODATIONS AVAILABLE FOR ACDear Siblings in Christ:Our Annual Conference is being held at a new venue this year. While we look forward to new beginnings, we also recognize that this new location offers many new challenges when it comes to accommodating people with disabilities. The following accommodations are currently available for the 2023 Annual Conference:Auto-generated … Continue reading Accomdations for Annual Conference 2023 for the Susquehanna Conference of the UMC

Disability Ministries Advent Devotional Resource

Advent/ Christmas Disability Devotional for Disability Ministries Committee of the United Methodist Church Working Title: Room at the Inn: Christmas Reflections on Disability, Diversity, and Hope Introduction: Thank you for your interest in taking part to create this Christmas/Advent Devotional for Disability Ministries of the United Methodist Church. This devotional resource will be given away … Continue reading Disability Ministries Advent Devotional Resource

Four Reasons Why Disability Is Not a Bad Word: Why Language Matters

Cover image shows multicolored people in silhouette with a person in a wheelchair at the center. Introduction: In the past, people have asked us, "Why ae you the Disability Ministries Task Force? Why not the Differently Abled Task Force?" Well meaning questions such as this inspired me to write this article. Language has power. I … Continue reading Four Reasons Why Disability Is Not a Bad Word: Why Language Matters

Report for Annual Conference 2023

We submitted the following report to the Susquehanna Annual Conference Journal for 2023 Disability Awareness Task Force (Report prepared March 8, 2023) Disability Awareness Task Force (Report prepared March 8, 2023) Our Mission- Our Mission is to lead the Susquehanna Conference in creating a culture where people with disabilities are fully included in all aspects … Continue reading Report for Annual Conference 2023

Please Carefully Consider Before Inviting a Faith Healer to Come to Your Church

An Open Letter to Clergy and Congregations of the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church: Please Carefully Consider Before Inviting a Faith Healer to Come to Your Congregation Key Points: --Please be careful who you invite into your pulpit. --People with Disabilities can live full and happy lives. --Not every person with a disability … Continue reading Please Carefully Consider Before Inviting a Faith Healer to Come to Your Church

Disability Awareness Sunday October 10, 2021

Resources and Ideas for Susquehanna Conference Disability Awareness Sunday: October 10, 2021 Introduction: This year during Annual Conference, we passed a motion to celebrate Disability Awareness Sunday on the second Sunday of October! We hope that you will join the Disability Ministries Task Force of the Susquehanna Conference as we celebrate this special Sunday.  There … Continue reading Disability Awareness Sunday October 10, 2021

Beyond Suffering: A new class on disability offered by FUMC, Mechanicsburg, PA

Public Invited to Take “Beyond Suffering” Course on Disability Ministry
First United Methodist Church is pleased to offer “Beyond Suffering”, the groundbreaking course created to transform the way we view God’s plan for disability.
“Beyond Suffering” equips participants with the tools and knowledge they need to begin or enhance a disability ministry within their church or faith community.
The demand for churches to develop disability ministries is growing daily. According to the National Health Interview Survey, currently one out of six children (17 percent) in the United States has special needs, with autism affecting 1 in 45 births.
This has a dramatic effect on the spiritual life of entire families. In fact, many families with a child who has a special need do not attend church because they do not feel accepted. Parents also may be concerned that the church staff and volunteers cannot adequately care for the needs of their child.
“Beyond Suffering,” designed by the Christian Institute on Disability and Joni & Friends, is unique in that it views disability and suffering through a Biblical lens, and is only taught by certified trainers.
Lisa Wickenheiser, M.Ed., a certified instructor and member of First Church, will teach the “Beyond Suffering” course. Lisa is a local educator who has a passion and personal connection to those living with a disability. See Lisa’s bio here.

The eight-week course will conclude with a field trip to the "Finding the Forgotten" exhibit at Joni & Friends in Mountville, PA. This free exhibit gives an immersive, realistic glimpse into five or six very personal disability journeys.

“First Church is blessed to have an active disability ministry,” said Tina Eaton, Director of Discipleship at First Church. “And we have a responsibility, not just to continue to grow our own ministry, but also to encourage and equip other churches in developing their own disability ministries.”
“Beyond Suffering” is open to all. You do not have to be a member of First Church or any church to participate.
“Our dream is to build a network of churches in the local area that cooperatively work together to bring about God’s glorious plan for a fully inclusive body of Christ,” Eaton said.
Classes will be held at First United Methodist Church, 135 W. Simpson Street in Mechanicsburg. A brief orientation meeting will be held on Jan. 20, 2020. Course dates are Jan. 27, Feb. 3, 10, 17 and 29, and March 2, 9, 16 and 23. Classes will run from 6:15 to 7:45 p.m. The course concludes on March 28 with the field trip to Joni & Friends “Finding the Forgotten” exhibit. Find the flyer here.
The $35 fee includes a workbook, CD-ROM with valuable resource materials, and the cost of the field trip.
Learn more about “Beyond Suffering” at

To register for the course, go to or contact Tina Eaton at or 717.766.4611, ext 104.