Northeast Jurisdiction |
South Central Jurisdiction |
Minutes of Meetings
July 25-26, 2018, Las Vegas NV
Wednesday July 25
1. UMCD officers will met jointly with UM-DHM members for a mission/vision discussion regarding the role of UMCD and DHM facilitated by Kirk VanGilder.
We had a general brainstorming session in three groups looking at two questions:
- 1. What is the purpose of UMCD?
- 2.How does it relate to DHM? Should the goals be similar, different, complementary?
A thematic pattern from all three break out groups seemed to emerge that envisions the following relationship:
The United Methodist Church
UM-DHM (as a committee of the church under GBGM)
UMCD (as a community-based organization that connects the communities of Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Late Deafened, and Deaf Blind people to the church)
The World (communities of people whether they be in churches or not)
Notes from group conversations:
- Empower CLM/CLS trained people (who feel called to do this sort of work) to develop and run workshops on GBGM's healthy living goals (mind, body, and spirit). Then offer those as workshops. This could be come workshops for UMCD jurisdictional and national meetings and/or community workshops that partner with independent living centers, churches, and other deaf community hubs to broaden UMCD's connection with communities and churches.
- UMCD jurisdictions can take turns hosting workshops at meetings. NEJ and SCJ are the strongest right now with SEJ emerging and WJ. NCJ is still not re-established.
- Aging and dwindling leadership and membership in UMCD means we need to figure out how to empower young people to do things within our organization.
- Discover and use young people's ways of connecting, organizing, and engaging the world.
- DHM works from the top down (doesn't directly aid local churches beyond grants) while UMCD works from the bottom up (member driven organization).
- DHM can assist UMCD with information about churches requesting grants, information, etc. as well as spread information about new ministries.
- UMCD meetings are about connecting people.
- UMCD is needed through uncertain times with the larger church structure.
- DHM is a resource provider while UMCD is a grassroots organization fostering cooperation between churches and promoting deaf ministries.
Challenges for UMCD.
- A lack of having many deaf leaders, it cannot rely on only the few we have now.
- Lack of sharing ideas and resources and connecting different deaf ministries at different churches.
- Creating resources and leaders for deaf ministry
- Confusion between Late Deafened/HoH needs and Deaf/Deaf Blind needs.
- There's a perceived disconnect between UMCD and DHM and what the connection should be is unclear.
- DHM is a grantor of funds, not a group to address the day to day needs of local churches.
- UMCD should be providing help to develop Deaf and HoH ministries
- UMCD should be facilitating unique needs of different people separately. (i.e. HoH/LD: Keeping people in church, networking and social connections; Deaf/DB: community, culture, and leadership.)
- UMCD's purpose (as a caucus) is to develop church rules and legislation that address the need of Deaf and Hard of Hearing people and protect their interests.
- UMCD Jurisdictional meetings should foster connectionalism between ministries.
- UMCD should be a platform for Deaf stakeholders
- UMCD should be an advocacy group to promote and encourage ministries.
- UMCD should disseminate information and resources on website
- Better reporting is needed between DHM and UMCD. Perhaps ex-officio representatives on each others' boards.
Thursday July 26
1. Minutes from April 9, 2018 board meeting approved.
2. Treasurer's report received and approved with one amendment to clarify that the funding from UMCOR is a UM-DHM funded grant. (The check was labeled UMCOR).
3. Membership encouragement and engagement. Program goals and “what is needed to make them work” were discussed as a whole from our previous day's brainstorming session. The framing question was, “Is God calling you to UMCD involvement? How? For what?”
- Develop Deaf ministry profiles, so we know more about what is going on at different places (and can connect them with similar ministries), possibly with Facebook groups or other means.
- Needs people who can develop a profile checklist or a way of gathering info.
- UMCD as follow-up group for grant recipients from DHM. Invite them to a relationship with other deaf ministries in the church.
- Needs people who are skilled with Facebook groups, moderating, willing to reach out, etc.
- Methods for establishing deaf ministries, (LD, HOH, DB etc.). that we can give as models. Include worship, church life, but also mission outreach, human needs where people are (i.e food bank etc.)
- Needs someone to research, catalog and organize different approaches. Add to website as a resource.
- We need NEW approaches and communications, effort, willingness to work. Plans are only plans! We need more people involved in more things.
- Needs everyone to consider their gifts and calling and a way to plug people into goals. Needs sustained communication between meetings to keep people involved and connected. Accountability with support.
- Face to face? Zoom? (train UMCD members on Zoom)
- UMCD's survival relies on a commitment to connect with one another.
- Needs everyone! Find a place to “plug in” with whatever you can do no matter how small.
- Deaf/ASL &ldqup;prayer line” or “coaching line” for deaf ministries. Or a contact team that reaches out by a note, email, etc. to deaf ministries to ask “how are things going?”
- Needs training for how to manage situations. Clear communication on its purpose.
- “Investigative team” to identify deaf ministries out there to contact. In addition to DHM's list, a team of people to contact District Superintendents to encourage them to keep an eye out for churches at charge conferences that have deaf/hoh/LD/DB ministry or inclusion going on and report to UMCD for follow up. Use find-a-church at Umc.org. conference journals etc.
- Needs people who are comfortable contacting DS's, etc. Lost sheep finders! A follow up team to inventory what's going on at a church and maintain contact.
Actions taken at the end of this brainstorming: