The vision of the Access Leadership Network is to provide advocacy for persons affected by disability who require some accommodation to participate fully; to provide training for churches regarding building community to promote belonging, participation, growth, and service; and to provide resources for best practices in re-envisioning communities where all are recognized as fearfully and wonderfully made, specifically in the areas of liturgical life together.
"And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God." Ephesians 2:17-19
The Access Leadership Network exists to encourage proactive and intentional belonging, and participation of anyone affected by disability. Within our denomination, we seek to come alongside churches, ministry workers, and parishioners, to remove barriers and to create community among all God's image bearers.
Adapted from Dr. Leslie Thyberg, Trinity School for Ministry
- the uniqueness of each person's capacity and potential.
- the integrity of each person’s pace of development.
- each person as part of a family and community.
- activities and experiences that have sense, purpose, and meaning, and
involve joy, wonder, concentration, unity, and satisfaction.
- a holistic approach to learning which recognizes each individual as an active,
feeling, thinking human being built for relationship, seeing patterns and
- an approach to learning which develops autonomy and self-confidence.
We work toward creating environments that:
- are physically safe and intellectually challenging - prompting curiosity,
inquiry, sensory stimulation, and aesthetic awareness.
- are an integral part of the community they serve, working in close partnership
with parents, family members, and other community members.
- promote interdependence as well as independence, community as well as
individuality, and responsibility as well as freedom.
Access Network Resources
- 2022 Gulf Atlantic Diocese Synod Workshop: Removing Barriers, Creating Communities of Belonging
- Pre-conference and MAP Talk descriptions for New Wineskins Global Mission Conference (September 22-25, 2022)
- "A Place of Belonging" by Erik Carter
- "The Changing Landscape of Disability and Ministry in the Church" by Erik Carter
Access Network Leaders
The Steering Committee for the Access Leadership Network includes Kathy Ayres, Jennifer Feldman, Susan Rhodes, Ann Shower, Ruth Brewbaker, and Charlotte Sievert. If you would like more information about the Access Network, please contact coordinator Kathy Ayres.
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