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That All May Worship-2019 The Art of Inclusion

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Location

Church of the Holy Family

1279 North Great Neck Road

Virginia Beach, VA 23454

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That All May Worship-2019, The Art of Inclusion

The arts; music, drama, and visual mediums, have long been used to express our deepest and most profound feelings and beliefs. Join us for our 6th bi-annual faith and disabilities conference as we explore the different ways people of faith are using artistic expression to develop community and also how creative and innovative disability inclusion efforts can change the way inclusion is achieved in our congregations so...That All May Worship.

Sponsor Opportunities

We welcome individuals, faith communities, organizations and businesses to be a part of our event as a sponsor. Sponsor details are included on the ticket options. A FIN representative will contact you to get your logo and business ad. Please note: to have your business or faith community advertisement included in the printed program, you will need to have your ad to us by February 8. Thank you!

  • Corporate/Business Level-$500+
  • Gold Level-$300
  • Silver Level-$200
  • Bronze Level-$100
  • Vendor-$50

Accomodations:

All conference facilities are wheelchair accessible.

We will have CART and an ASL Interpreter for our opening session on Friday, March 8 (9:00-10:00 am). There will also be a hearing loop system in the sanctuary where the opening session and "The Art of Inclusive Worship and Music" breakout sessions will occur.

If you would like CART, ASL Interpretation or another kind of accommodation during the breakout sessions and afternoon community conversation, please contact us by Feb. 18 and we will do everything we can to provide what you may need.

SCHEDULE

Welcome Dinner:

Thursday, March 7, 6:30 pm-Welcome Dinner at The Founder's Inn, 5641 Indian River Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23464

Welcome Speakers -Ben and Sandy Hartranft (see bios below)

Conference:

Friday, March 8, 8:30 am-3:00 pm-Conference at Church of the Holy Family

  • 8:30 am-Check in
  • 9:00 am-Welcome and Opening Speaker, Mr. Tom Reynolds, University of Toronto
  • 10:00 am-12:00 pm-Breakout Sessions (see list below)
  • 12:00 pm-Networking Luncheon
  • 12:30 pm-Author Introductions and Book Signing-Authors include: Rev. Bill Gaventa, Shelly Christensen, David Morstad, Jolene Philo, Maureen Pratt, Barbara Newman, Erik Carter, Rosemarie Hughes, Mark Stephenson, Lisa Jamieson, Karen Jackson
  • 1:00 pm-Community Conversation, led by Erik Carter, Ph.D. Vanderbilt University
  • 2:30 pm Closing Program

Exhibit at the Chryler Museum:

Saturday, March 9, 11:00 am-Free private tour of the Chrysler Museum and the exhibit, A Labor of Love: The Caregiver Portraits, photographer, D. Michael Geller. Tour given by docent, Gray Puryear


Breakout Sessions at Conference on Friday, March 8

Session I-10:00 am

The Art of Disability Etiquette-Rev. Mark Stephenson and Laura C. Robb

Interactions with other people always involve some artistry when we wish to interact with respect and care. This workshop will give a brief biblical perspective on hospitality, as well as tips for interacting with people who have various disabilities.

The Art of Connecting-Rachel Chung

How can our places of worship be places of support and resources for families supporting loved ones living with disabilities? How can we connect people and their families to available services and nurture their faith life? Learn about different ways faith communities can support individuals living with disabilities and families throughout their lifespan and be a connection to their community.

The Art of Belonging-Panel Discussion with Keith Dow, Shelly Christensen, Sandy and Ben Hartranft

Developing a sense of belonging for all people is of primary importance in our faith communities as we pursue inclusive and welcoming practices of worship, study, friendship, participation, and contribution. This panel will share their work and experiences in helping to develop the sense of belonging and will allow time for questions and shared experience from the audience.

The Art of Inclusive Worship and Music-Barbara Newman and Dianna Swenson

Come discover important practical tools for sharing a common perspective as a community, participation through universal design, and personalization through individual planning that will facilitate the opportunity to worship as one. Leave the sessions equipped with a framework, loaded down with tools to use this coming week-end, and having experienced inclusive worship.

The Art of the Ordinary: Moving Beyond Special-Anne Masters and Milton Tyree

Everyone is special and unique in the eyes of God, yet “special” typically only refers to certain people, often persons with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities continue to be absent or marginalized within congregational life, despite the shared belief across faith traditions that all are created in the image of God and share the same call to holiness. We will explore a framework for understanding the social dynamics underlying and perpetuating this marginalization in this workshop, as well as offer considerations to address them.

Session II-11:00 am

The Art of Supporting Families-Jolene Philo and Rosemarie S. Hughes

This interactive workshop is designed to help faith communities, ministry leaders, friends, and extended family learn the art of supporting families in four crucial areas–listening to families, supporting their spiritual needs, creating a network of special needs resources, and understanding the stress factors in their lives. After examining these areas as a large group, small groups will be formed to discuss them in greater detail.

The Art of Collaboration-Dave Eckert-Fostering collaboration between congregations and human service organizations that support people at the intersection of faith and mental health

The Art of Accessible Media-Lynn Swedberg

Two often overlooked but growing groups are people with limited or no vision and/or who are late-deafened or hard of hearing. Creative use of multi-sensory approaches such as audio description, alt-text captions, and three-dimensional art can add to everyone’s experience. This interactive workshop provides guidelines to take to your faith community to ensure that social media, projected worship aids, documents, music, drama, and more are accessible to congregants with vision and hearing disabilities.

The Art of Inclusive Worship and Music CONTINUED-Barbara Newman and Dianna Swenson

Come discover important practical tools for sharing a common perspective as community, participation through universal design, and personalization through individual planning that will facilitate the opportunity to worship as one. Leave the sessions equipped with a framework, loaded down with tools to use this coming week-end, and having experienced inclusive worship.

The Art of Storysharing-Mary Ruppert

Hearing and sharing stories is at the heart of creating community. As unique as each story are the tools available to the storyteller. We will explore how tools of creativity such as words, movement, and visual art can tell stories that build relationships.


National Guests and Presenters*

We are delighted to have this amazing group of National FIN friends joining us this year.

  • Janice Benton, National Catholic Partnership on Disability, Washington DC

  • Erik Carter, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

  • Shelly Christensen, Inclusion Innovations, MN

  • Rachel Chung, Catholic Archdiocese of Washington DC

  • Jeanne Davies, Anabaptist Disability Network, Parable Community

  • Keith Dow, Christian Horizons, Ontario

  • David Eckert, Access Services, PA

  • Elrena Evans, Evangelicals for Social Action

  • Terry DeYoung, Disabilty Concerns, Reformed Church in America

  • Rev. Bill Gaventa, Summer Institute on Theology and Disability, Austin, TX

  • Ben and Sandy Hartranft, Autism Advocates and Speakers

  • Rosemarie Scotti Hughes, Ph.D., Author, Virginia Beach, VA

  • Lisa Jamieson, Walk Right In Ministries, Minnesota

  • Jolene Philo, Author, National Speaker, Iowa

  • Maureen Pratt, Author, National Speaker

  • Anne Masters, Catholic Archdiocese of Newark

  • Lida Merrill, Heritage Christian Services

  • David Morstad, Author, National Speaker

  • Barb Newman, Author, National Speaker

  • Steve Nyenhuis, Southern California Disability Network

  • Mary O'Meary, Archdiocese of Washington DC

  • Tom Reynolds, University of Toronto

  • Laura Robb, Self-Advocate, Suffolk, VA

  • Mary Ruppert, L'Arche USA

  • Mark Stephenson, Disability Concerns, Christian Reformed Church

  • Lynn Swedberg, United Methodist Church Disability Ministries, Washington

  • Dianna Swenson, Vocal Inclusion, Virginia Beach, VA

  • Milton Tyree, Presbyterians for Disability Concerns, Kentucky

  • Tom Van Wingerden, Friendship Ministries, Michigan

  • Laura Lee Wright, Lift Disability Network, Florida

*Subject to change

Hotel Accomodations

Discount hotel accommodations are available at two places for our conference.

1. The Founder's Inn and Spa, 5641 Indian River Road, Virginia Beach 23464 from March 6-9 Hotel Registration Rate is $99/night or call 757.366.5721. This is the location of the Thursday evening Welcome Dinner. Deadline is February 8 to get the discounted rate.

2. Best Western Plus, 2809 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 (on the beach) Rate is $119/night. Guests may call the hotel directly at 757-428-5370 and ask for the FIN Conference room block or register online at Best Western FIN Conference Deadline is February 8 to get the discounted rate.

FIN Local and National Guest Bios

Janice L. Benton, NCPD Executive Director has over 35 years of experience as catechist and advocate for people with disabilities; national/international presenter, author, editor, and Catholic radio and television guest.

Dr. Erik Carter is a Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Special Education. His research and writing focus on promoting inclusion and valued roles in school, work, and congregational settings for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He helps lead the Collaborative on Faith and Disability and the Putting Faith to Work project, as well as collaborates with other faculty to host the annual Summer Institute on Theology and Disability. He has co-authored more than 150 articles and six books, one of which is Including People with Disabilities in Faith Communities: A Guide for Service Providers, Families, and Congregations.

Ms. Rachel Chung currently serves at the Disabilities Coordinator for the Archdiocese of Washington Department of Special Needs Ministries. She has worked in a variety of settings supporting people with developmental and intellectual disabilities in employment, coordinating services for adults with developmental and intellectual in state funded programs, and developing programs for orphaned children with multiple disabilities as a Maryknoll lay missionary in Cambodia. Ms. Chung lives in Germantown, Maryland with her husband and two children.

Shelly Christensen, MA is a leader in the growing faith community disability inclusion movement. She is an international speaker and consultant to numerous faith communities and faith-based organizations. Shelly’s new book, From Longing to Belonging-A Practical Guide to Including People with Disabilities and Mental Health Conditions in Your Faith Community, is a resource for any faith-based organization that values participation and inclusion for each and every person.

Shelly is past president of the American Association on Intellectual Disabilities Religion and Spirituality Network and is recognized by AAIDD as a Fellow for her meritorious contributions to the field. She is the co-founder of Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM), recognized in February in communities around the world. Shelly believes that people with disabilities and mental health conditions, and those who love them, want what anyone else wants—to belong, to contribute, and to be a valued member of the community they choose.

Jeanne Davies serves as Program Resources Manager for Anabaptist Disabilities Network in Elkhart, Indiana, and also as pastor for Parables Community, a new church start in Lombard, Illinois committed to accessibility for and full inclusion of all persons. She is currently working on a Graduate Certificate in Disability and Ministry at Western Theological Seminary.

Terry DeYoung-Although I have lived since birth with a degenerative bone condition that limits the movement in all of my joints, I have been slow to become an advocate for people with disabilities. In nearly 30 years as an ordained minister, I have served as a pastor, magazine editor, and denominational staff member. My position as RCA Coordinator for Disability Concerns was established in 2009 to work in partnership with the Christian Reformed Church in North America’s Disability Concerns ministry. My wife, the Rev. Cindi Veldheer DeYoung, is a hospital chaplain and has lived with hearing loss since childhood. We live in Holland, Michigan.

Keith Dow serves on the Organizational and Spiritual Life team with Christian Horizons (www.christian-horizons.org), a faith-based organization working with people with intellectual disabilities in Canada and around the world. He is a credentialed pastor with BIC Canada and is currently wrapping his PhD in Theology at the VU University of Amsterdam. His academic work explores the ethical and theological motivation and formation of care, under the direction of Hans Reinders and Tom Reynolds. Keith lives just South of Ottawa, Ontario with his wife Darcie and their three children.

Dave Eckert is the Director of Intersect, http://www.accessservices.org/intersect/ and has spent 17 years working for Access Services within various roles including Director of Starting Point, a mobile psychiatric rehabilitation program. In addition, Dave has served as Associate Pastor of Grace Community Church in Chalfont, PA for the last 11 years. Dave and his wife, Debbie have three children and live in Montgomery County, PA.

Elrena Evans is Editor and Content Strategist for Evangelicals for Social Action, where she curates writing dedicated to the intersection of faith and social justice. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Penn State, and has written for Christianity Today, Red Letter Christians, The Mudroom, Literary Mama, Episcopal Life, and elsewhere. She is the author of a short story collection, This Crowded Night, and co-author of the essay collection Mama, PhD: Women Write About Motherhood and Academic Life. She enjoys spending time with her family, dancing, and making spreadsheets.

Rev. Bill Gaventa is currently the Director of the Summer Institute on Theology and Disability as well as the new Collaborative on Faith and Disability, linking a number of University Centers of Excellence in Developmental who are addressing spirituality through initiatives in training, technical assistance, research, and/or dissemination. He was formerly Director of Community and Congregational Supports at the Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities in New Jersey. Bill’s primary areas of experience and expertise are spiritual and faith based supports with people with disabilities, training for clergy, seminarians and community services staff, aging and end of life/grief issues in intellectual and developmental disabilities, cultural competence, and community building. He served as the President of American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities for 2016-2017.

Ben and Sandy Hartranft

Ben is a 20 year old young man who was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 2 when he only knew 20 words and everything was a safety issue. Ben has exceeded all expectations and is now in his last year of school, has 3 part time jobs (Olive Garden, Chick-Fil-A and Dorney Park) has his driver’s license and treats everyone he meets like a rock star. Ben has the amazing experience of being the Philadelphia Eagles Autism Ambassador and the extraordinary opportunity to carry the Lombardi trophy to start the ring ceremony for the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles. Ben’s dream came true in October 2018 when he was invited to be a guest on the Ellen show and promote autism awareness and funding for research. Ben loves being a part of his congregation’s special needs ministry and loves to tell the story of his faith journey.

Sandy, also known better as Ben’s mom, is a registered nurse who works for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as a Certified Diabetes Educator and assists children and their families learning how to care for Type 1 Diabetes. She and her husband Glenn have 3 sons, of whom Ben is the youngest and they enjoy traveling and spending time with their boys. Throughout Ben’s life, she and her husband have advocated for Ben’s needs and the limits others tried to place on him. They have designed faith-based programing in their own congregation and have had successes and failures that have shaped their journey.

Rosemarie Scotti Hughes, Ph.D. is Dean Emerita of the School of Psychology and Counseling of Regent University and Retired Licensed Professional Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist. She has over twenty five years of teaching on the graduate level, both in person classes and online and served on editorial review boards of five professional journals. She also served on the Board of Counseling for Virginia for eight years, with two years as chair and served twice on Board for Human Rights in localities in Virginia.

Dr. Hughes is currently chair of the board of the Faith Inclusion Network of Hampton Roads and on the leadership Team of the Stephen Ministry of Virginia Beach United Methodist Church. She is a volunteer usher for the Sandler Center, an entertainment venue in Virginia Beach.

In addition to visiting her grandchildren, she enjoys travel, having been to almost all of the 50 states, including Hawaii and Alaska, and 50 countries on six continents.


Lisa Jamieson is an author, speaker, and advocate who serves as executive director of Walk Right In Ministries and leads the Minnesota Disability Ministry Connection. Lisa has written several books and Bible studies including Finding Glory in the Thorns which she co-wrote with her husband, Larry. She has a passion to help people experience intimate relationship with their Savior Jesus Christ and thrive in life, especially when facing the challenges associated with disability and chronic health conditions. Her children’s book Jesus, Let’s Talk helps all children, including early readers and people with developmental differences, to learn the basics of prayer and personal connection with Jesus. Lisa and Larry have three grown children. Their daughter, Carly, has Angelman Syndrome and lives happily with them at home in Minnesota.

Anne Masters, M.A., FAAIDD is Director of the Office for Pastoral Ministry with Persons with Disabilities for the Archdiocese of Newark, a Fellow of the American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), and a former President of its Religion and Spirituality Special Interest Group. She has presented widely on inclusive catechetical and pastoral practices in the Catholic Church and with ecumenical and interfaith partners. Anne contributes to the work of the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD), currently on its Council on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and has worked with Our Sunday Visitor as a contributing author and consultant, and with University of Dayton VLCFF program designing adaptive resources and education for pastoral practices supporting the meaningful participation of individuals with disabilities in the life of the Church. She is a PhD student in Theology at Vrei University and is the author of Pastoral Ministry WITH Persons WITH Disabilities Parish Resource Guide

Lida Merrill has a varied work and volunteer history serving people and her community. She studied special education and human services administration before taking a path that led her to a Masters in Theology from Northeastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan College.

Lida serves full time for Heritage Christian Services where she leads the Faith Community Inclusion team. This team encourages inclusion of people with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities into local faith communities. They provide training to direct support professional staff as they support people in their spiritual and religious journeys. The team serves as a resource for local faith community leaders and congregations as they welcome people with varying gifts.Lida leads an international outreach to people with disabilities and women-led families in Guatemala. She is a part time assistant pastor at Zion West Walworth United Methodist Church.Lida was the 2018 recipient of AAIDD's Henri Nouwen Leadership Award.

David Morstad, M.Ed, is the author of the book, "Whole Community: Introducing Faith Communities to People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities". He is a Fellow of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), and was the 2010 recipient of the AAIDD Religion and Spirituality Division’s Henri J.M. Nouwen Award. For more than 38 years, he was with Bethesda Lutheran Communities in roles that included educational resource development, corporate director of staff training, Vice President for Communications, and was the Executive Director and Senior Fellow of the Bethesda Institute. David has published numerous articles and has lectured to professional organizations across the US, Central America, the Baltic nations, and the Middle East. He currently serves on the Wisconsin Governor’s Committee for People with Disabilities, and is an advisor to the Faith Inclusion Network of Hampton Roads, and the Summer Institute on Theology and Disability.
His blog can be found at www.LargerTable.com.

For over 30 years, Barbara J. Newman has endeavored to create communities of inclusion through CLC Network where she serves as the director of church services. Co-administrating inclusive education at Zeeland Christian School allows her to stay on top of best practices which she shares at schools and churches nationwide and in her books and practical resources, including Autism and Your Church, Helping Kids Include Kids with Disabilities, Nuts & Bolts of Inclusive Education, and her latest title, Accessible Gospel, Inclusive Worship. Barbara was the 2012 recipient of the Christian Service Award from Bethesda Lutheran Communities and the 2015 recipient of the Henri J.M. Nouwen Award from the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, as well as the recipient of the Ability Award from the Disability Network (Lakeshore) in 2017. She holds a teaching certificate with a cognitive impairment endorsement from Calvin College, and a Master of Arts in early childhood education and early childhood developmental delay with a concentration in autism spectrum disorders from Grand Valley State University.

Steve Nyenhuis is the Disability Ministry Director at Anaheim Christian Reformed Church where he teaches an inclusive Sunday School class and also plans and helps to lead monthly worship services with adults with intellectual disabilities. Steve is also one of the administrators for the Southern California Disability Ministry Network on Facebook.

Steve and his wife, Val, enjoy spending as much time as possible with their two daughters, son-in-law and two grandkids.

Mary O'Meary is the Executive Director for the Archdiocese of Washington’s Department of Special Needs Ministries https://adw.org/living-the-faith/special-needs/ and a graduate of Gallaudet University. The Department of Special Needs serves persons across the archdiocese who are Deaf, persons with developmental and physical disabilities, persons who are blind, Veterans with war related injuries and persons with mental illness. Mary serves on the Board of the International Catholic Foundation for the Services of Deaf Persons (ICF), based in Liverpool, England, and is Chair of the Board of the Kennedy Institute in Washington DC. Mary is married to Terry O’Meara (Executive Director of the ICF). Mary & Terry have four adult children and two adorable grandchildren.

Jolene Philo is the mother of a son born with life-threatening special needs and the daughter of a father severely affected by multiple sclerosis. In her 25 years as an educator, she integrated children with special needs into her classroom. She’s written 5 books about caregiving, special needs parenting, and childhood PTSD. She is currently co-writing a book with Dr. Gary Chapman about how parents of kids with special needs can use the 5 love languages in their families. Jolene speaks at conferences around the country and internationally, facilitates classes about childhood trauma for educators, and trains special needs ministry leaders and volunteers. She blogs at www.DifferentDream.com. She and her husband live in Iowa.

Maureen Pratt is a popular speaker, vocalist, and retreat leader and the author of eight books including Salt and Light: Church, Disability, and the Blessing of Welcome for All (23rd Publications) and Peace in the Storm: Meditations on Chronic Pain and Illness (Image/Penguin Random House). She also lives with lupus and other often-disabling conditions.

Tom Reynolds teaches theology and is Vice Principal at Emmanuel College in the University of Toronto and the Toronto School of Theology. He has published numerous articles and two books. His second book, Vulnerable Communion: A Theology of Disability and Hospitality, reflects on his life as a parent of a child with disabilities and envisions a church with wide welcome. Connected to this, Tom has been exploring one of his life-long passions, jazz, as a way to think about care, being a person of faith, and living life meaningfully together in community. He plays piano and can be found on Sunday morning playing at his Toronto church or out in the Toronto scene and beyond with his jazz trio or other performers. Previous to his teaching career, he played professionally in Nashville, Tennessee, and toured as music director with artists like Grammy Award winning vocal group Take Six and Engelbert Humperdinck. He also toured with Crystal Gayle, Glen Frey (from the Eagles), and other artists.

Born with a physical disability, Laura C. Robb finds ways to overcome obstacles, chase simple and impossible dreams, and embrace life with her community. She writes and speaks to encourage people that thriving beyond limits is possible, lauracrobb.com.

Mary Ruppert is the Manager of Donor Relations for L’Arche USA, and an actor creator. Connecting people with L’Arche’s mission to create communities of belonging for people with and without intellectual disabilities, she draws on over ten years of experience as a member of L’Arche Greater Washington, D.C. and L’Arche Toronto. She has had the opportunity to explore inclusive communication and decision making for groups of differing abilities through various roles in caregiving, development and fundraising. A graduate of the Professional Training Program at Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre, Mary enjoys exploring the intersection of storytelling, creativity and spirituality. L’Arche USA www.larcheusa.org

Rev. Mark Stephenson serves the CRC as Director of Disability Concerns. He and his wife Bev have several children, including their oldest daughter Nicole who has lived joyfully with multiple disabilities for 30 years.

Deaconess Lynn Swedberg is a consultant for the DisAbility Ministries Committee of The United Methodist Church and an occupational therapist and chapel volunteer at a state facility for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Her passion is facilitating accessibility and inclusion in faith communities. Lynn edits the Committee newsletter The Voice. She is from Spokane, Washington, and serves on her church’s Inclusivity Committee. She is a Lay Servant/ Speaker and has completed coursework for certification in Ministry with People with Disabilities. She is vice-chair of Access 4 All Spokane and consults on park and playground accessibility.

Dianna Swenson, who is a daughter of God first, wife, mother of two, and owner of Vocal Inclusion, received her bachelor degree in music education with vocal performance numbering from Old Dominion University. She has performed on numerous stages which include Virginia Beach Chorale and Little Theatre of Virginia Beach. She sings on her praise team at church and leads two small choirs from her home business, as well as teaching approximately 50 students of all abilities, that range from ages 8 to 45, several of which have had leads in local shows produced by the Hurrah Players and Little Theatre of Virginia Beach. The passion she has for inclusion of those with differing abilities began with her oldest child, who has cerebral palsy and is non-verbal. Her neuro-typical daughter also performs in the arts. Through these merging relationships, she has discovered how music reaches all abilities and provides a catalyst for confidence. Since 2003, Dianna has done work with people with disabilities in many forums including, Ability Center, RavensWay, Arts Inclusion Company which she originally co-founded, The Chosen Ministries, and is the current Glee Club leader for the Vanguard Landing Sound Waves. Dianna is well-known as a purposeful advocate for inclusion in the arts, especially music and theatre. She continues to believe that community is for all the people, and therefor all the people should be encouraged to express themselves through the arts.

Milton Tyree has more than 35 years of experience in the design, development and provision of supports and services centered on people with disabilities having access to valued aspects of everyday life. A particular area of interest has been the ongoing struggle around people with disabilities having good employment. 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, www.friendship.org 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.

Laura Lee Wright once had a friend who described her as a “Ministry Junky”. Laura Lee has a strong passion for developing people into strong Disciples of Christ and to see the universal church become whole. Laura Lee has worked globally in large and small churches to help congregations include persons with disabilities. Laura Lee lives with a disability and has worked in the field of disability in a variety of capacities including church ministry, residential settings and camping ministry. Laura Lee founded Table Ministries, a consulting agency helping churches and para-churches to understand the complexities of disability and assisting them to create space at the table.


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Church of the Holy Family

1279 North Great Neck Road

Virginia Beach, VA 23454

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Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

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