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That All May Worship-2019 The Art of Inclusion

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Church of the Holy Family

1279 North Great Neck Road

Virginia Beach, VA 23454

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Refunds up to 7 days before event

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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


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

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

  • 8:30 am-Check in
  • 9:00 am-Opening Worship and Introductory Speaker
  • 10:00 am-12:00 pm-Breakout Session
  • 12:00 pm-Networking Luncheon
  • 12:30 pm-Author Introductions and Book Signing
  • 1:00 pm-Community Conversation
  • 2:30 pm Closing Program

Saturday, March 9, 11:00 am-Free private tour of the Chrysler Museum and the exhibit, Caregiver Experience Through the Lens, photographer, Dr. Michael Gellar. Tour given by docent, Gray Puryear

National Guests and Presenters*

We are delighted to have this amazing group of National FIN friends joining us this year. Breakout session descriptions, more guests and guest bios coming soon.

  • Jan Benton, National Catholic Parntership on Disability
  • Erik Carter, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • Shelly Christensen, Inclusion Innovations, MN
  • Rachel Chung, Catholic Archdiocese of Washington DC
  • Neil Cudney, Christian Horizons, Ontario
  • David Eckert, Access Services, PA
  • Rev. Bill Gaventa, Summer Institute on Theolgoy and Disability, Austin, TX
  • Pam Harmon, Younglife Capernaum, Nashville, TN
  • Stephanie Hubach, Covenant Seminary Research Fellow, PA
  • Lisa Jamieson, Walk Right In Ministries, Minnesota
  • Mary O'Meara, Catholic Archdioces of Washington DC
  • Jolene Philo, Author, National Speaker,
  • 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 Nyenhusi, Southern California Disability Network
  • Tom Reynolds, University of Toronto
  • Mark Stephenson, Disability Concerns, Christian Reformed Church
  • Lynn Swedberg, United Methodist Church Special Needs Ministry, Washington
  • Milton Tyree, Presbyterians for Disability Concerns, Kentucky
  • Tom Van Wingerden, Friendship Ministries, Michigan
  • Laura Lee Wright, Lift Disability Network, Florida
  • Mohammed Yousuf, Equallyable, Washington DC

*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. 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 Guest Bios

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

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.

Pam Harmon is the Vice President of Young Life’s Capernaum Ministry. Pam has served in Young Life since the fall of 2000. Her first role in the organization was to start and establish both a YoungLives and a Capernaum ministry in the Washington, DC region. Realizing her calling was to YL Capernaum, Pam has served as: area director, Eastern Division Coordinator, Co-Director, Executive Director, and now Vice President.
Pam brings with her a vast array of experience serving youth with disabilities across the country and resources to help churches take next steps in becoming more inclusive and welcoming. She is actively involved in the Capernaum ministry in Nashville and is on the Advisory Committee for the special needs ministry at her church.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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

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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