Mission and history
Therefore, since it is by God's mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart . . . we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.
2 Corinthians 4.1,7-9 (NRSV)
Raising awareness regarding persons with disabilities and how their ministry may be enhanced by the challenges that ministers work with in everyday life.
Helping others to understand disabilities and the way in which such is a means of being "otherly gifted" for serving God in ministry.
SUPPORTING Being together in an association to support one another and provide a community wherein we join together to address the needs and opportunities that are presented by disabilities.
The United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities is a national caucus in The United Methodist Church. We were founded in 1990 as the Association of Physically Challenged Ministers. We changed our name in 2009 to reflect a wider mission, encompassing all disabilities and both representative (clergy) and congregational (lay) ministry.
Our main purpose is to encourage and support men and women who sense the call to ministry, who exhibit the gifts and graces for ministry, but also live with a disability. A current concern is that while the number of people with disabilities is increasing, the number of persons with disabilities in the United Methodist Church who are either in professional ministry or preparing for professional ministry seems to be decreasing. The task of the UMAMD continues that of the former APCM: to alert the denomination and others in faith communities to the ways attitudinal barriers have discouraged such ministry.
Our theological statement emphasizes trust in God's creation as good, rather than equating disabilities with fear or sin. The statement offers a positive affirmation of faith and insistence on our rightful place in ministry and among the leadership in the church.
The ongoing agenda of the association is to increase dialogue with the United Methodist denomination at every level of leadership. This includes the ongoing educating and consciousness-raising for United Methodists and others in the faith community, an ongoing legislative effort through Annual Conference and General Conference petitions, and the encouragement and networking with all interested persons, those with and without disabilities. A continuing hope is to be a support to those who are facing difficulties in their churches or conferences because of the response of others (including those in leadership positions) to persons with disabilities.
We welcome all who are interested in supporting the ongoing efforts and hopes of this caucus. For further information, see our membership page.