Skip Navigation

* United Methodist Implementation of Americans with Disabilities Act (deleted or expired 2012)

WHEREAS, our human rights as stated by the United States of America Constitution are God given, and we can set priorities unto ourselves apart from the rest of His creation, and

WHEREAS, these priorities are applied to our life and what it means to us, how we live it, who we are and to become, and anyone can have an attainable priority to direct their life, and

WHEREAS, by applying the use of our love with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength in our time, money, and attitudes we can perceive our priorities within ourselves and others, and

WHEREAS, God's grace is with us throughout our lives: birth, disease, accident, crime, and aging, yet, not realizing it till it's been revealed, and

WHEREAS, we all are instruments of God's grace in other people's lives when we are open to His grace, and

WHEREAS, we are all priests-the whole church is the holy priesthood, those called to be a mediator between God and a needful world representing Jesus Christ-where all are to share God's love and salvation with other people, and

WHEREAS, God's love for us is unconditional; God loves us for who we are-not what we are or how we look; Christ died for us while we were yet sinners, and this great love moves us to accept this gift in our hearts of a living relationship with God as a priority for all our lives, and

WHEREAS, we are consciously living our lives in relationship with God that can be nurtured through the spiritual discipline of living in God's presence, and these lives are courageous and joyful-not tragic or brave, and

WHEREAS, study brings our minds to Christ like lives, equips us to fulfill the highest calling of all of us, and

WHEREAS, Christian study brings all to a knowledge of God and knowledge of the world to serve God, and

WHEREAS, sacred moments and practices (through services and discipline) bring us to know, experience, and live in the presence of Christ through the church (meaning everyone), including the serving and receiving of the sacraments, and

WHEREAS, baptism and Holy Communion are upheld by all Christian traditions and have been given to us so we may live on growing as disciples in every part of our life, and

WHEREAS, showing Christ as being real and important for others, we all must live authentically as our serving Christ gives our hands to Christ by making a friend, being a friend, and introducing our new friend to the friend of all friends-Jesus Christ, and

WHEREAS, through the Resolution of the "Annual Accessibility Audit" (#43 2004 Book of Resolutions, adopted in 1992), Social Principles, ¶ 162I "Rights of Persons with Disabilities," and the section in the Book of Discipline on inclusiveness (¶ 139) gives the opportunity for each person, and congregation to make a plan for serving Christ, and

WHEREAS, even with God's gift of grace and a new life in Christ, we can still sin in many forms, yet there is still forgiveness, realizing and admitting our sin (physically and spiritually) in our lives as the first step to overcome them, and

WHEREAS, through prayer, repentance, surrendering anew, counseling, and creating a new plan to reevaluate and prioritize to God's direction in all our lives, and

WHEREAS, by becoming disciples, we can reply to the call of Christ with all our hearts, minds, souls, strengths, hands, and feet as we are able to walk with Jesus and grow into His likeness as our highest priority; to share Christ and to learn to love as Jesus loved, and

WHEREAS, people all around us, including the church, are in need of God's transforming love for living in this world and can be changed whenever we bring Christ's love and truth working within our church, family, work, social environments, and our private times, and

WHEREAS, we are edified by God's grace for growth in our relationships as we live in obedience to His call, the Holy Spirit teaches and empowers us to love as Jesus loved and to mature in the likeness of Christ as children imitate their parents, to be focused upon our call in humble service, and

WHEREAS, the body of Christ is the gathering of all disciples who offer their lives to proclaim Christ in the world, and every member of the body of Christ has been given special gifts for ministry that need to be sought and exercised to build up the church, to form healthy, living communities, and to show Christ's life of love in concrete ways "that the world may believe," and

WHEREAS, we are called to persevere in grace for the rest of our lives by weekly attendance, commitment to share support, accountability, and guidance, and

WHEREAS, all are sent out by Christ's Great Commission, to be Christ's apostles in today's world in the midst of obstacles that can be overcome through Christ and other Christians, and

WHEREAS, there are 56 million disabled citizens at any one time in the United States, and

WHEREAS, disabled persons are real people, with real voices and real choices whose lives have been stolen within ALL cultures within America comprised of young, middle-aged, seniors, veterans, parents, husbands, wives, children from all races and all ethnic backgrounds, and

WHEREAS, people with disabilities constitute a discrete and insular minority, subjected to a history of purposeful unequal treatment and placed in a position of political powerlessness in American society and within the church, and

WHEREAS, prejudice and discrimination against people with disabilities based on unjustified stereotypes continues, with disparate treatment and disenfranchisement, and

WHEREAS, such discrimination and prejudice denies people with disabilities the opportunity to pursue opportunities in society and within the Church on an equal basis, to live in their own homes so as to be close to family, friends, work, school, church, recreation, social stimulation, libraries, theaters, community centers, museums, and medical facilities, and

WHEREAS, accommodation for our disabled people (parishioners and visitors alike) are part of our reaching out through the provisions of The Book of Discipline through Church and Society empowers and frees us to advocate for personal assistants, accessibility in public and private areas, housing, transportation, and technology to do so, and

WHEREAS, through Church and Society we have a duty to bring justice and fairness in our civil responsibilities (like voting or serving in civil government) for our people with disabilities for Medicaid, Medicare, vocational rehabilitation, housing, education, job training, in-home services, and transportation-all of which are everyone's civil right, and

WHEREAS, this inability to participate fully in American society and within the church robs people with disabilities of the opportunity to claim any degree of independence and costs the United States (including the church) billions of dollars annually in unnecessary expenses from enforced dependency and nonproductivity, and

WHEREAS, the body of Christ, the church, need to be vigilant as consumers, advocates, and legislators to reserve funding and accountability to promote choice for persons with disabilities, and

WHEREAS, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by George Bush in 1990 to, in his words, "in the unjustified segregation and exclusion of persons with disabilities from the mainstream of American life," and

WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court promoted community living through its OLMSTEAD decision, which urges all 50 states to plan for people living in the community over institutional placement, and

WHEREAS, the ADA's primary goal is to promote access to all aspects of social interaction including education, employment, commerce, recreation, government, and transportation, and

WHEREAS, the ADA provides the means for full implementation of the Act and legal recourse to redress discrimination on the basis of physical disability, and

WHEREAS, The United Methodist Church has brought closely within itself to help people as taught by our Lord Jesus Christ those who are hungry, thirsty, sick or in prison,

Therefore, be it resolved, that the assembled delegates to this General Conference of The United Methodist Church 2004 affirm our support of the full implementation of the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and

Be it further resolved, the General Conference of The United Methodist Church urge all our congregations to implement and enforce the provisions of the ADA and all disability-related programs within every area that members of The United Methodist Church reside with the same vigor and interest as they would any other law affecting their able-bodied constituency.

ADOPTED 2004readopted 2008

See Social Principles, ¶ 162I.

From The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church - 2008. Copyright © 2008 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.