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“Beloved, we are God’s children now.” —1 John 3:2

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Presbyterians for Disability ConcernsPresbyterians for Disability Concerns welcomes those who affirm, support and advocate for the gifts, rights and responsibilities of persons with disabilities in the total life of the church.

Join PHEWA and take part in this ministry.

Four consultants are available to help with questions about welcoming persons with disabilities.

Meet our Disability Concerns Consultants.

Disability Access/Inclusion Sunday 2014

The seasons of life in the family of faith: resources for worship and inclusion

pdc 2014June 22, 2014 is designated on the Presbyterian Planning Calendar as Disability Inclusion Sunday. PHEWA’s Presbyterians for Disability Concerns (PDC) network has developed our annual resource packet to help in observing this day- on June 22nd or whenever works best in the life of your worshiping community.  In addition to our full packet of worship and awareness resources that you will see in the next posting on this page, we have developed a “scaled-down” version of our packet, with resources to perhaps introduce this emphasis for the first time.  Feel free to supplement what is offered here with additional pieces from the full packet.  With our 2014 theme, The Seasons of Life in the Family of Faith: Resources for Worship and Inclusion, we challenge congregations and worshiping communities to become authentic circles of inclusion for persons with disabilities in all stages of life. Sometimes it takes courage to invite others into our circles, or we may not know how to be more genuinely welcoming. Our prayer is that these PDC resources will help you to think through the challenges and take the risk of being more inclusive. Working together, we can make sure that no one is missing from the Lord’s Table and that the gifts of all God’s people are valued, affirmed, and put to good use, to the Glory of God.  Thank you for your role in making this the reality.

Read packet online

Download introductory packet     Download full packet

Download Packets from previous years

Walking with wounded warriors

Presbyterian chaplain works with soldiers, families to provide healing, hope

by Toni Montgomery

Soldiers play foosball with a boy

The Rev. Lucy Der-Garabedian plays with an orphaned Iraqi child. Dergarabedian is a chaplain who works with wounded soldiers and their families. Photo courtesy of Lucy Der-Garabedian.

MONTREAT, N.C. - When we hear about casualties of war, we tend to think about those who don’t return home. But many in the military do return home with wounds of various types and degree.

For the Rev. Lucy Der-Garabedian, who serves with a wounded warrior unit, helping these men and women has been part of her job for the past two years. 

Der-Garabedian, an active duty Army chaplain with 16 years of service, was among the chaplains who recently took advantage of a chance to connect and relax at Montreat Conference Center during the Aug. 6-9 Presbyterian Council for Chaplains and Military Personnel retreat.

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Read a book review from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Life After War

The Blue Cascade: A Memoir of Life After War
by Mike Scotti
Grand Central Publishing (2012), $26.99

Read the the review

Prayer Litany for Celebrating Abilities and Love

Written by Eric W. Edwards (with a little help from his Mom, Christine Cornell)

Christine Cornell and Eric Edwards

Christine Cornell and Eric Edwards


Eric and Christine are members of Memorial Presbyterian Church in Appleton, Wisconsin.  Eric is an active deacon, sharing God’s love with members of his “neighborhood.” He especially likes to go with a deacon buddy to deliver flowers making people happy. Eric also sends cards, makes calls and visits, offers hugs and prayers and never misses a meeting of the Board of Deacons. 

Congregational Audit of Disability Accessibility & Inclusion

This Congregational Audit of Disability Accessibility & Inclusion was prepared by the Presbyterians for Disability Concerns (PDC) leadership team, in consultation with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Disability Consultants.


Living into the Body of Christ: Towards Full Inclusion of People with Disabilities

This disabilities paper was approved by the 217th General Assembly (2006), includes a study guide.


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Offering Our Gifts

New From Presbyterians for Disability Concerns (PDC)

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone.

I Cor. 12:4-6

Offering Our Gifts is a PowerPoint presentation with pictures and audio that features the personal experiences of persons with disabilities.  Included are “Access Your Heart,” by poet Sarah Nettleton, and “Beatitudes for an Inclusive Church,” by Bebe Baldwin.  The resource celebrates the valuable gifts people with disabilities bring to the Body of Christ and offers practical suggestions for including people with disabilities in the church’s life.

Originally developed by the PDC Leadership Team for orientation of Commissioners to the 219th General Assembly (2010), the PowerPoint is appropriate and recommended for all church gatherings.

Watch the presentation.

2010 Nancy Jennings Award

Presbyterians for Disability Concerns (PDC)

A man and woman embracing

C. Lynn Cox, from Presbyterians for Disability Concerns, presented the Nancy Jennings Award to the Rev. David E. Young at the PHEWA Ministry Awards Reception on Monday. Photo by Danny Bolin.

The Nancy Jennings Award honors a person or congregation or PC(USA) entity that affirms, supports and advocates for the gifts, rights and responsibilities of persons with disabilities in the total life of the church. With an unwavering sense of life’s joy and a broad lens for justice, Nancy Jennings, a founding member with an eight year presidency of PDC, was instrumental in turning emotional pain and exclusion from church participation because of her disability into advocacy and positive change for inclusion of all people in the life of the church and society.

Presbyterians for Disability Concerns is pleased to announce that this 2010 Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly Ministry Award has been awarded to the Reverend David E. Young in recognition of his involvement with Arc of Midland’s Arc Faith Group and specifically the AFIRE (Accessing Faith in Religious Environments Experiential) Program.

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  • I am serving in a congregation with three young adults with intellectual disabilities. During the worship time for children, they come forward with several children aged from 3-9. There is a wonderful spirit of inclusion in the congregation, but I could use any suggestions for these short worship experiences. I am intent on making sure that this worship time maintains its inclusive nature. by Rev. Nancy Troy on 09/27/2010 at 7:57 p.m.

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