That All May Worship-2017
$0 – $500
That All May Worship-2017

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Church of the Holy Family

1279 North Great Neck Road

Virginia Beach, VA 23454

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That All May Worship-2017

Pathways to Powerful Inclusion

The pathways to develop truly inclusive and integrated congregations are many and varied. Join FIN for our 5th bi-annual That All May Worship Conference to hear some of today’s most visionary voices of the faith and disability movement share important aspects of disability ministry and explore the ways your faith community can best develop their own pathway to ensure “That All May Worship”.

“Show me your ways, O God Teach me your paths, Guide me in your truth and teach me, For you are God my Savior and my hope is in you all day long."-Psalm 25:4


8:00 AM-Vendors set up

8:30 AM -FIN Membership Meeting

9:00 AM-Opening Worship

9:15 AM-Pathways Discussion Panel #1-Beginning Efforts: “How does a faith community start on the path to developing a welcoming, inclusive and integrated faith community?”

Moderator: Anne Ferrell Tata

Panelists: Milton Tyree, Shelly Christensen, Laureen Lynch-Ryan, Barbara Newman, Carrie Price


10:15 AM-Pathways Discussion Panel #2-Supporting Individuals and Families: “What are the pathways that help support individuals and families affected by disability?”

Moderator: Anne Ferrell Tata

Panelists: Jolene Philo, David Morstad, Rev. Dr. Lorna Bradley, Dr. Neil Cudney, Lisa Olson

11:00 AM-Break

11:15 am-Pathways Discussion Panel #3-Visions for the Future: “What are new paths and thoughts as disability inclusion efforts in faith communities develop and mature?”

Moderator: Anne Ferrell Tata

Panelists: Dr. Jeff McNair, Rev. Bill Gaventa, Anne Masters, Sarah Kranz-Ciment

12:00 PM-Networking Luncheon

1:00 PM-Breakout Discussion Groups and Presentations

1. The Service Provider/Faith Community Connection: How can faith communities work with service providers to develop and enhance inclusion and integration of persons with disabilities into the life of a congregation? Discussion led by Rev. Bill Gaventa and Steve Johnson, Executive Director, The Endependence Center

2. PTSD in Children and Adults Affected by Disability-Jolene Philo This workshop explores the impact of invasive medical trauma in children and adults. Participants will learn to differentiate between trauma and PTSD and learn how medical trauma is remembered. Risk factors for and symptoms of PTSD are identified and effective prevention and treatment methods are examined. Participants are encouraged to participate in the question and answer period at the end.

3. Self-Advocacy and Encouraging New Voices- Presentation by Laura Robb and discussion led by Ms. Robb and Dr. Jeff McNair.

4. Coming Alongside People with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses- Most churches care well for the first few weeks after a member has some health crisis. However, usually church members are not sure how to continuing caring when fellow members do not "get better," such as people who have an accident, illness, or stroke that results in permanent disability. This workshop will introduce the principles for care described in A Compassionate Journey by John G. Cook including understanding the emotional journey that people (including loved ones) travel when disability enters their lives, and how church members can join fellow members and their loved ones in that journey with disability or chronic illness. Presentation and discussion led by Rev. Mark Stephenson

1:45 PM-Break

2:00 PM-Breakout Discussion Groups and Presentations

1. Making Worship More Accessible-How the use of CART (Communication is Realtime Translation), ASL, (American Sign Language) Hearing Loop and Developmental Disability Supports Can Enhance Worship Experiences. Presentations and discussions led by Barb Newman, Sue Tanea, Lois Boyle and Laureen Lynch-Ryan.

2. Supporting our Caregivers and Families- Our caregivers and families are in need of ongoing support and can benefit tremendously from the understanding and help of their congregation. This breakout discussion is a unique opportunity to hear from three leaders from three distinct faith traditions. Discussion led by Janice Benton (Catholic) , Rev. Lorna Bradley (United Methodist Church Clergy) and Shelly Christensen (Jewish)

3. Welcoming People with Mental Illnesses in our Faith Communities-This presentation, by Mark Salzer, Ph.D., will focus on the importance of faith and spirituality in the lives of people with mental illnesses and the barriers they face in being included in faith communities. Strategies for creating welcoming faith communities will be offered, including reducing prejudice and discrimination among congregants and actively welcoming people into congregations. Kay Ashby, NAMI Virginia Beach, will also join hime to help lead and faciliate the discussion.

4. Friendship Ministries and Local Adult Social Ministries Discussion-Friendship Ministries provides resources that support faith formation and congregational inclusion with individuals with intellectual disability. Presentation by Tom VanWingerden, Executive Director of Friendship Ministries and discussion led by Mr. VanWingerden, Karen Fox, Director of The Chosen Ministry, Norfolk and Susie Stefanowich, Director of The Chosen Ministry, Virginia Beach.

2:45 -3:00 PM Closing

Hotel Accommodations

Coming from outside the local area and need hotel accommodations for Wednesday, March 9th? Rooms have been set aside for $109 at the Doubletree Hilton, approximately 10 minutes away by car from the conference location. Call 757-422-8900 and Group Code: FIN and reserve a room by Feb. 28.

Direct link:

Local Guests and Conference Presenters

Stephen Johnson has been involved in disability rights for his entire 35 year career. He has been employed by the Endependence Center, Incorporated since 1982 and has been the Executive Director of ECI now for 28 years. As a Center for Independent Living, the Endependence Center has provided opportunities for involvement in all issues related to disability rights including advocacy, transportation, housing, education, employment and others. His past experience includes being the President of the Virginia Association of Centers for Independent Living, a member of the State Independent Living Council, Board for the Rights of People with Disabilities and Chairman of the Virginia Beach Mayor’s Committee on Disability. As a person with a disability who became spinal cord injured 50 years ago, he has had the opportunity to experience firsthand disability issues and been able to observe and be part of change in the last four decades related prior and after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Anne-Ferrell Tata, (Moderator)- Anne lives in Virginia Beach with her husband Bob but often travels for work. She and her husband have four children and she currently works for KLOVE/Air1 Christian Radio Network. She is host for TBN's Joy in Our Town and is a frequent content contributor for myCBN app and You can learn more about Anne and her work on her website,

Laura Robb- "I was born with Arthrogryposis, a physical disability. I have limitations that have always affected my daily life, but I refuse to see these limits as obstacles. I constantly find ways to embrace the story I am living, chasing dreams and overcoming the challenges as they come. As I share my own journey, I hope to encourage others to learn what it means to live...BEYOND YOUR LIMITS."

Laura lives in Suffolk, VA and blogs on her site

Lisa Manyata Olson was saved from euthanasia soon after her birth, rescued by a Christian doctor in India, lived in a mission and later adopted by an American Missionary.
Lisa Olson established Manyata Ministries to deliver God's message of acceptance and love to the nations. Lisa speaks to various groups and appears in the media to share her remarkable life story. Lisa has spoken to churches, retreats, schools, women in prison, wounded soldiers and additional groups. Her life is an amazing example of how God has a purpose for each of us.

Lisa lives in Virginia Beach and teaches at Regent University. You can find info about her ministry at

Carrie S. Price is the Family Ministry Special Needs Director at Grace Bible Church in Virginia Beach. She's responsible for ensuring authentic faith is cultivated through appropriate programming for kids and students with special needs. Carrie leads a team of amazing volunteers who have a heart for kids with special needs and she loves it. She and her husband live in Virginia Beach and have attended Grace Bible Church for over a decade.

National Guests and Conference Presenters

Janice L. Benton, Executive Director of the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD), Washington, DC, guides initiatives aimed at promoting greater participation of persons with disabilities in the Catholic Church. She frequently speaks at national and diocesan conferences, and as a guest on national Catholic radio. In 2012, Janice received the Harry A. Fagan Award from the Roundtable Association of Catholic Diocesan Social Action Directors, and the Justice, Peace & the Integrity of Creation Award from the National Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order, USA. Ms. Benton spoke at the Vatican international symposium on autism, November 2014, and presented two posters at the Vatican Living Fully 2 conference in June 2016.

Rev. Dr. Lorna Bradley, an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church, received MTS and Doctorate of Ministry degrees from Perkins School of Theology. Her research focuses on how churches can provide a holistic welcome to families raising children with special needs by meeting the emotional and spiritual needs within the entire family. She is the author of Special Needs Parenting: From Coping to Thriving, has led parent support groups for seven years and worked in welcoming ministries for ten years. She and her husband of 30+ years have an adult son on the autism spectrum.

Shelly Christensen literally wrote the book on inclusion of people with disabilities, the Jewish Community Guide to Inclusion of People with Disabilities. She directed the award-winning Minneapolis Jewish Community Inclusion Program for People with Disabilities at Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis for 13 years. She is Executive Director of Inclusion Innovations, providing training, organizational and community development, and strategic planning to faith communities. Shelly holds a Master of Arts degree in Developmental Disabilities from the St. Mary’s University.

Shelly is co-founder of Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM) recognized in February. She is on the advisory board for the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) Inclusion Learning Center. She is the Inclusion Specialist for the Ruderman-Chabad Inclusion Initiative (RCII), and principal of the Jewish Leadership Institute on Disabilities and Inclusion. Shelly is on the professional advisory board of Faith Inclusion Network (FIN). She is immediate past president of the Religion and Spirituality Division of the AAIDD and was recently recognized as a Fellow (FAAIDD) for her contributions to the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities. Shelly is as sought-after speaker, presenting at national and international conferences including AAIDD, Autism Society of America, Union for Reform Judaism, Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Summer Institute on Theology and Disability, and World Union for Progressive Judaism.

Shelly and her husband Rick are parents of three adult sons, one of whom lives with a disability. They live in Minneapolis with their Shelties, Penina and Caleb, and are a mere 7 minutes away from their two grandsons, Eli and Isaac. You can reach Shelly at Visit Inclusion Innovations at

Dr. Neil Cudney B.A., M.T.S., D.Min has served the organization of Christian Horizons for more than two decades. He has also served as senior pastor in two churches. He has worked a various number of positions from direct support to senior executive leadership. Currently, he is the Director of Organizational Culture and Spiritual Life.

His experience working the field, and in the church along with his academic work gives him a holistic perspective when addressing issues relating to disability, supports and services, and the church. His brother has a cognitive disability which gives him a personal connection to the conversation. His interest in theology, ministry and disability have led him to be a frequent speaker, lecturer and writer on the topics of disability and church, creating communities of belonging and theologies of disability. He serves as the chair of the Ontario Faith and Culture Network and is the current president of the Division of Religion and Spirituality, AAIDD.

Rev. Bill Gaventa is currently the Director of the Summer Institute on Theology and Disability and a consultant, trainer, and speaker. He served as Director of Community and Congregational Supports at the Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, and Associate Professor, Pediatrics, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School until June 30, 2013. He now lives in Waco, Texas.

In his role at The Boggs Center, Bill worked on community supports, initiatives in cultural competence, aging/end of life issues, supervision of a program in Clinical Pastoral Education, faith community leadership, and inclusive congregational supports. He has been active in initiatives in workforce development, support of direct care staff, self-directed supports, and staff training.

Rev. Gaventa is involved with the following organizations and projects: Summer Institute on Theology and Disability,, SITD Facebook: Editor:Gleanings, National Collaborative on Faith and Disability, Texas Faith Inclusion Network on Disability,

Dr. Sarah Kranz-Ciment, PT, DPT is the director of the Ruderman Chabad Inclusion Initiative (RCII) - a 4 year international Initiative to educate and utilize over 4,200 centers to include people with disabilities in every part of Jewish Community Life. Locally in Richmond, VA, Dr. Kranz-Ciment is the founder and director of Friendship Circle of Virginia (FCVA) which is in it's 5th year of programming. FCVA promotes community inclusion by facilitating friendships amongst teenagers and youth in the community. Dr. Kranz-Ciment has a background in early childhood education and received her doctoral degree in physical therapy from Touro College in New York (summa cum laude). She is currently treating children with developmental delay and specializes in infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities in her StepsPT practice in Richmond, VA.

Dr. Kranz-Ciment lives with her husband and three children in Richmond, VA.

Laureen Lynch-Ryan, MSW is the Coordinator, Office of Deaf Ministry with the Archdiocese of Washington Department of Special Needs Ministries. In her role, she supports faith formation for children and adults at St. Francis Deaf Catholic Church, training for liturgical ASL interpreters, and planning for Deaf participation in Archdiocesan wide events.

She assisted with developing a teaching resource on Deafness for a Special Needs course entitled Fundamentals in Deaf Faith Formation Methodologies with the University of Dayton Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation.

Prior to joining the Archdiocese of Washington, Laureen was a Director of Programs and Quality Improvement at Deaf-REACH for over 18 years. Laureen continues to work for the Gallaudet University, Department of SocialWork in the undergraduate program to supervise the students at their internship sites.

Laureen holds a MA in Social Work from Gallaudet University and a Certificate in Catechism from University of Dayton Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation, is the current President of the Board of Directors of the National Catholic Office for the Deaf and also the current member at large of the Board of Directors of the Deaf Catholic Youth Initiatives of the Americas.

Laureen, Deaf, has 2 hearing adult children and 2 grandsons, (4 years & 10 month olds). When she is not busy doing the “works”, she enjoys reading, dancing, and traveling.

Anne Masters, M.A., FAIDD Director of Pastoral Ministry with Persons with Disabilities for the Archdiocese of Newark, Catholic Charities, where she works on structures of support at the parish level for the inclusion and participation of individuals with disabilities in the life of the Church. She is also a Fellow of American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) and a former President of its Religion and Spirituality Division. She has written and consulted with Our Sunday Visitor on adaptive learning strategies; contributed to the work of the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD), is currently on its Council on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and is a member of the Board of Directors for Friendship Ministries. Anne has worked in various areas of pastoral ministry in the San Francisco Bay Area and northern New Jersey, and presents on inclusive catechetical and pastoral practices, including interfaith collaboration, in NJ, the US and Rome (Living Fully 2016 Vatican conference). She is a PhD student in Theology at Vrei Amsterdam University. Her most recent publications are: “An Opportunity for Charity? A Catholic Understanding Disability and Its Impact on Ministry,” Journal of Disability and Religion; Pastoral Ministry WITH Persons WITH Disabilities Parish Resource Guide available from Advocate Publishing Corporation and “Working With Catholics,” Learning to Lead, with Msgr. Richard Arnhols, M.Div. (SkyLight Paths Publishing, 2013). You can reach Anne at

Jeff McNair, Ph.D., is the Director of Church Relations for the Joni and Friends, Christian Institute on Disability. Dr. McNair is also a faculty member at California Baptist University where he oversees the Moderate to Severe Education Specialist and the Disabilities Studies MA programs. He has been a professor of special education for 28 years.

Dr. McNair is a regular contributor to journals and magazines and is a sought after speaker on issues of community and social integration through churches and disability ministry. In 2016 he authored three books. Meowoof is teen fiction about the experience of being different. The Church and Disability 2, is a collection of posts from his blog, disabled Christianity, and Lessons from the Light & Power Company Class: The Psalms is curriculum for ministry to adults with intellectual disabilities based upon the book of Psalms.

Jeff and his wife Kathi have been personally involved in ministry to adults with intellectual disabilities since 1974. They currently lead the Light and Power Company, a ministry that includes adults with disabilities at Trinity Church in Redlands, CA.

David Morstad is an advisory board member of the Faith Inclusion Network of Hampton Roads and served with Bethesda Lutheran Communities for over 38 years. He was the founding executive director of the Bethesda Institute and served as its Senior Fellow until 2015.

As a teacher and consultant, Morstad has assisted organizations in the US and several developing nations to advance their faith-based and training initiatives. He is a Fellow of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) and was the 2010 recipient of the Henri J.M. Nouwen Award, presented by the Religion and Spirituality Division of AAIDD. Morstad is a widely published writer of curriculum and resources for adults with developmental disabilities and is a frequent presenter on issues involving disability and faith communities. He currently serves on the Governor’s Committee for People with Disabilities in Wisconsin and writes at

Barbara J. Newman is the Church Services Director and Special Education Consultant for CLC Network in Wyoming, Michigan, and a Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Program Affiliate. In 2015, Barbara received the Henri Nouwen Award. She is the author of several books on creating a place of welcome in our congregations for persons with disabilities including “Accessible Gospel, Inclusive Worship”, “Helping Kids Include Kids with Disabilities”, “Autism and Your Church”, "El Autismo Y Tu Iglesia,", and “Body Building: Devotions to Celebrate Inclusive Community”. She is a frequent national speaker at conferences and churches. In addition to writing and speaking, Barbara enjoys working in her classroom at Zeeland Christian School.

Jolene Philo is the mother of a son born with life-threatening special needs. In her twenty-five years of teaching experience, she worked with children with special needs in the classroom. She has written several books about caregiving, parenting children with special needs, and special needs inclusion ministry. Jolene speaks at special needs parenting conferences around the country, conducts accreditation workshops for foster and adoptive parents, and trains special needs children’s ministry leaders and volunteers. She and her husband live in Iowa.

Jolene is a prolific author with titles including A Different Dream for My Child, Different Dream Parenting, The Caregiver's Notebook , Every Child Welcome and Does My Child Have PTSD?

Her website, Different Dream Living can be found at

Mark Salzer, Ph.D. is professor and founding Chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at Temple University. He is also the Principal Investigator and Director of the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities, a rehabilitation research and training center (RRTC) funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. Dr. Salzer is an internationally-known scholar on community inclusion and has given more than 300 presentations and provided training and technical assistance to more than one hundred programs, agencies, and government organizations.

Rev. Mark Stephenson-Mark and Bev Stephenson have six children and one grandchild. Their oldest child, Nicole, was born extremely prematurely and lives joyfully with severe, multiple disabilities. God used Nicole to lead Mark and Bev to the callings they have today. Bev was a German teacher and now teaches special education. Mark was ordained in the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) and served as pastor of two churches for 17 years; in 2006 he began serving the CRC as Director of Disability Concerns ministry, which works closely with the Disability Concerns ministry of the Reformed Church in America.

Milton Tyree’s work is centered on people with disabilities having access to participation in valued aspects of everyday life. A particular area of interest over the last 35 years has been the ongoing struggle around people with disabilities having good employment. His work for the University of Kentucky’s Human Development Institute focuses on supported employment leadership development. Milt also consults with congregational members and clergy for the Presbyterian Church (USA) about benefits of inclusive faith communities. He lives in Louisville with his wife, Vicky, and daughter, Kaylyn, a University of Louisville student.

Tom Van Wingerden has been involved in Friendship Ministries for more than 20 years as a leader and mentor, and for the last 3 years as Executive Director. His background is in business, having owned his own company for 20 years and having worked in administration at Calvin College, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for 14 years.

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Church of the Holy Family

1279 North Great Neck Road

Virginia Beach, VA 23454

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