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The Church and Deaf Ministries

A Time for Action

Strategy and Structure for Strengthening the Connection with the Greater Deaf Community for the New Century.

A new era demands a new approach. As the greater deaf community desires to serve the church and become a resource for the whole connection, it is recommended that the General Conference of 2000 adopt the proposed plan for "Strengthening the Connection with the Greater Deaf Community for the New Century."

Structure

  1. A Steering Committee shall be established by an assigned staff member of the General Board of Global Ministries.
  2. There shall be ten (10) members recruited for the steering committee as follows: two deaf, two deafened, two hard of hearing, one deaf-blind, one deaf institutional ministry professional, and two clergy with experience in ministry with the greater deaf community.
  3. It is strongly urged that the committee be inclusive with regard to gender, ethnicity, jurisdictions, and different sign language and hearing abilities.
  4. The initial meeting will be called by the staff member of the General Board of Global Ministries during the first year of the quadrennium and the Steering Committee members shall elect their own officers.

Tasks and Objectives of the Steering Committee

  1. The initial meeting of the Steering Committee shall be to establish and organize an overall agenda for the quadrennium. This agenda will include two training events where the Steering Committee and other invited members of the greater deaf community and hearing advocates will be trained in various areas of outreach to include but not be restricted to:

    presentation and advocacy skills for strengthening the connection with the greater deaf community;

    becoming resources for the general church, annual conferences, faith communities, and local churches;

    working with general boards and agencies for strengthening the connection with the greater deaf community;

    creating action plans and legislation for annual conferences and General Conference.
  2. The Steering Committee shall also identify general boards and agencies as well as target annual conferences and seminaries for strengthening the connection with the greater deaf community.
  3. All trained persons will be expected to serve in teams of two or more to provide resources, leadership, and a presence for the greater deaf community at annual meetings of the targeted general boards and agencies, annual conferences, and seminaries.
  4. Targeted general boards and agencies will provide adequate agenda time at their annual meetings for the 2000-2004 quadrennium for these trained teams to educate, inform, and lead them to strengthen their connection with the greater deaf community.
  5. Targeted annual conferences will agree to provide adequate time and access to conference staff and cabinet to educate, inform, and lead them to strengthen their connection with the greater deaf community.
  6. Targeted seminaries will agree to provide adequate time and access to administration, faculty, and staff to educate, inform, and lead them to strengthen their connection with the greater deaf community.
  7. Teams shall report back to the Steering Committee for direction and development as the process of strengthening the connection with the greater deaf community continues through the quadrennium.

Accountability

The Steering Committee of "Strengthening the Connection with the Greater Deaf Community for the Next Century" will be accountable to an assigned section of the General Board of Global Ministries sharing yearly progress reports and evaluation. The steering committee shall also report to The United Methodist Congress of the Deaf for discussion, sharing information, and plans for implementation.

Summary

As The United Methodist Church prepares to enter into a new century, one of our most pressing concerns is to strengthen our connection with one another and with our world. Methodism has a long history from its origins with John Wesley of commitment to its connection with the forgotten communities of our world. The United Methodist Church's connection with the greater deaf community is a history of forgotten stories and forgotten people. Never has there been a more important time to act as God's people and strengthen our connection with the greater deaf community for the next century.

ADOPTED 2000
READOOPTED 2008resolution #111
2004 book of resolutionsresolution #101
2000 book of resolutions

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.

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