The Association of Physically Challenged Ministers of the United Methodist Church held its 1990 meeting at the Scarritt-Bennett Center, Nashville, Tennessee, in October.
It was at this event that the association was founded by a vote of participants.
As we gather recollections and records, it appears that the second meeting was in Norcross GA. A 1993 meeting was held in Dallas, Texas.
Helen Betenbaugh's hymn "Celebrate Difference" which is reproduced here, was adopted as the association's official hymn.
O praise our Creator, Redeemer, and Friend,
Who called us as shepherds God's Children to tend.
And given us talents, lives laden with gifts;
Our darkening clouds to new bright skies God lifts.
Though sound and mobility, sight are not ours,
Yet lives rich with blessings our God on us showers.
We hear that voice calling, "I need you to go;
For my ways, my truths, and my glories to show."
My grace is sufficient, God to us has said,
So weariness, pain and despair we must shed.
With legs that are stilled on God's pathway we lead,
With hands lacking motion God's creatures we feed.
With tongues that are silent, with voices thus mute,
We sing out our praises with harp and with flute.
With ears hearing not a friend's words most sincere,
We yet hear that song of the angels ring clear.
We celebrate challenge and grateful we feel,
That as wounded healers the once lost we heal.
Yes, touching and healing are part of God's work;
We pray that our calling we never will shirk.
Our eyes now are clouded and lacking in sight,
Yet still looking East to the clear radiant light.
Oh take now our full lives and gather our hearts,
That each to a world lost in pain love imparts.
With Christ leading we focus not on our loss,
But eagerly carry our share of the cross,
The Spirit infuses with grace from above,
Empowers and quickens all work done in love.
St. Denio ("Immortal, invisible")
alternate: Anniversary Song
May be reproduced by association members for use at meetings.