DIOCESAN FORUM ON
FULL INCLUSION OF PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES: to be held on Saturday, November 23rd, from 10:00 AM to noon, at Christ Church, Montpelier
(Intellectual Disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD)
Invitation from The Rev. Stannard Baker, Cathedral Deacon, The Cathedral Church of St. Paul
The forum is intended for parents or families of people with Developmental Disabilities and for adults with developmental disabilities to share their experiences in our parishes
Forum focus: Our work in Montpelier will contribute to a church-wide survey that will lead to recommendations to bring to General Convention 2015 in Salt Lake City and, perhaps to a resolution for Diocesan Convention 2014.
Questions for response at the forum:
When we meet in Montpelier on the 23rd, we will be responding to three simple questions under the overall core question:
What is your experience related to inclusion of your family member or yourself in liturgy and formation (religious education) in your parish?
1 – What has worked?
2 – What could be better or is missing?
3 – What is your vision for the future?
Background: The Rev. Stannard (Stan) Baker is a member of The Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission on Health and a co-chair of the sub-committee on Full Inclusion of People With Developmental Disabilities in part because working with and supporting people with Developmental Disabilities is one of his professional skills and passions, in his previous work as Clinical Director for HowardCenter Developmental Services and now as a psychotherapist in private practice.
In several dioceses, including The Diocese of Los Angeles and here in Vermont, forums are being held to assess the needs of people with Developmental Disabilities in our church.
General Convention Resolution D068:
The direction for our sub-committee is in response to Resolution D068 passed at TEC’s 77th General Convention in 2012:
In Resolution D068, “Move Toward Full Inclusion of Persons With Developmental Disabilities,” the 77th General Convention made the following commitment:
Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the Church recognizes that all
people are children of God, regardless of mental abilities; and be it further
Resolved, That those with developmental disabilities, including but not limited to
persons with Asperger’s syndrome, persons on the autism spectrum, persons with Down syndrome, and persons with ADHD, require different approaches to
education and pastoral care; and be it further
Resolved, That the 77th General Convention create a Task Force to study what
resources are currently available, and to create resources that can be used to help
educators and clergy to tend to this population, and to foster the unique talents
found in this population that should be embraced and encouraged.
Work of the Sub-committee on Full Inclusion:
The work of our sub-committee is as follows:
Title: Resources to Encourage Full Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities
We intend to conduct a two-year process that will result in the development of a statement of the challenges and opportunities posed by full inclusion of persons with the three developmental disabilities identified in 2012-DO68 (“Move Towards Full Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities”); a theological rationale for the full inclusion of persons with developmental disabilities in congregations; guidelines for pastoral care of persons with developmental disabilities and their inclusion in congregations; and materials for the Christian formation of persons with disabilities and congregations that include them, including liturgical resources.