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The United Methodist Church and Disability: Essays and Practical Tips for Churches, Clergy, and People with Disabilities


Martha Harris Libri


Sometimes it takes low vision to give the church new vision! Rebecca was no stranger to adversity. Born with bilateral congenital cataracts, Rebecca developed glaucoma at the age of four years old and experienced significant sight loss. When Rebecca was ordained as an elder in the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church, she promised herself that she would use her voice to lift up others who have also experienced hardship and adversity in their lives. In October of 2018, Rebecca started a blog (BeckieWrites.com) and was deeply touched to discover that her voice resonated with many other people, especially other women of faith and people with disabilities. In this volume, Rebecca gathers the best of her writing as it relates to faith, disability, and the United Methodist Church. This volume includes: -A basic introduction to the theology of disability -Advice for churches who would like to become more accessible -Ideas for inclusive worship -Practical tips for clergy and other professionals who are dealing with sight loss -Relationship and career advice for people with disabilities -Analysis of ways that a possible split in the United Methodist Church may impact clergy with disabilities As a person of Filipino-American descent, Rebecca hopes to offer her diverse voice and unique world view to help her church find a way forward through this challenging time. It is also her hope to that the essays, ideas, and articles gathered together in this volume will inspire and empower other people with disabilities to follow their dreams. About the Author: Rebecca is proud to be a visually impaired writer and half-Filipino clergywoman. She is chair of the Disability Ministries Task Force of the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church and a graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary. She has been recognized as an emerging young leader by Path 1 Ministries. Rebecca?s poems have been published in several small literary journals. In 2018, she published her first chapbook, Through My Good Eye: A Memoir in Verse. Her writing has also appeared in Hacking Christianity, United Methodist Insight, Keys for Kids, CAPTIVATING! Magazine, Bold Blind Beauty, and Sacramental Life, among others. She blogs about faith, books, and disability awareness at BeckieWrites.com. Rebecca serves in full time pastoral ministry in the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church. She and her husband are the proud parents of one very large cat and one exceedingly sassy Chihuahua.
 
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