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The Power of "How": People with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities in Congregational Leadership
How do we become congregations that are inclusive and promote belonging? How do we seek out the gifts of ALL people for service/discipleship? What barriers stand in the way? The simple change of phrasing from "can or can't" to "HOW" can be powerful, hopeful, and generate possibilities for ALL.

An inward look must ensue to more fully acknowledge the challenges, needs, and opportunities of people with I/DDs who are already at our door and in our sanctuaries. We must affirm that people with I/DDs desire a meaningful life and authentic experiences and equitable opportunities in the broader community including meaningful work, housing, transportation, and faith practice.

We will engage together in the discovery of ways to broaden our parameters and hear from both the pastor and some of the Friends to Friends Community Church leadership. How creative can you be to discern gifts and see possibility in ALL people to serve in worship and beyond in your congregation?

Oct 19, 2021 02:00 PM in Indiana (East)

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Rev. Dr. Joanne Van Sant
Pastor at Friends to Friends Community Church and Chaplain at Eastern Christian Children's Retreat
Joanne is pastor of a congregation of people living on the broad spectrum of Intellectual, Developmental, Neurodiversity and physical ability, their friends and family. She serves as a chaplain for the Eastern Christian Children's Retreat in Wyckoff NJ, an agency providing support services to people living in both supervised housing and in residence at the main campus. Joanne was ordained by the PCUSA in 2012. She served the congregation of Faith Reformed Church for 2 years. In 2015 she answered the call to the RCA cong. of Friends to Friends Community Church. Joanne completed her DMin in Pastoral Care and Counseling. Her work, A Place at the Table, provides a perspective of the church and the inclusive discipleship of people with I/DD. She continues to work in spiritual development, faith practice, worship and advocacy for people living on the the spectrum of physical, intellectual, developmental, neurodiversity and the undiagnosed becoming full, included members of the church.