“Disability and Your Church”, September 30th, 2017: What’s on Your Calendar?

Before you read any further, get your pen and paper day planner out; open your Google calendar; grab a loose Post It note or, if needed, use your hand and note this date and place, Saturday, September 30th, Idlewild Baptist Church, Lutz, Florida.  Go ahead, I’ll wait……… Oh, and don’t forget to add 8:30am-3pm.  Don’t rush. I’m having a sip of my morning tea…….

Got it? I hope so, as you DO NOT want to miss the Third Annual Disability and Your Church Symposium 2017 hosted by The One Roof Initiative and Idlewild Baptist Church! This year’s event will be the biggest and best yet with many new ideas incorporated…. multiple, informative breakout sessions, an exclusive Pastor Track and a keynote speaker, Emily Colson, author of “Dancing with Max”.

The smash successes of our two previous events have given us the confidence and inspiration to expand our offerings within this event.The intent of the Symposium remains the same, to inform, equip and inspire those on the front line of disability ministries. From the novice to the veteran, there is something for everyone and all will leave with practical and relevant information that can be implemented the next day at their home churches.

Breakout sessions include popular standards, Communication, as well as Positive Behavior Support, but the palette deepens with “Family Matters”, ministering to the family behind the individual; “Mental Health and the Church”, discussing how our churches can start to come around those impacted by this prevalent aspect of the human condition; “Beyond Sunday”, which features presenters who are doing disability ministry in novel ways, as well as “Ministry to Adults” and “Resources”, which provides a “10,000 ft view” of relevant organizations and resources in our area to point families to who are seeking services and connection. An important source that many find as inspiring as our speakers are the great networking opportunities with likeminded peers, so bring your business cards if you have them!

This year, we are making a concerted effort to invite the Senior Pastors and leaderships of area churches. It is a fact that if our church leaderships do not fully understand the need, the breadth of the mission field (in Hillsborough County alone, it is conservatively estimated that 150,000 children and adults are impacted by disability) and the special attention that a disability ministry needs to be sustainable within a church, they most likely will dissolve. The result is that easily dozens, if not hundreds, of people from within and outside a church will not be served or blessed.

Pastor Ken Whitten of Idlewild Baptist will spearhead a robust list of experienced speakers for the two session Pastor Track the morning of the Symposium. He, along with other church leadership representatives, a social worker who has facilitated faith based parent support groups, a parent and others, will discuss the importance of disability ministries within our churches, the deep practical and spiritual needs in this community, the multi-faceted blessing they are to the culture of our individual churches, as well as the practicalities of welcoming those impacted by disability. There will be ample time allowed for questions and answers. This track is intended solely for pastors, priests and those on church leaderships.  View the Pastor to Pastor video.

As part of our intention to reach church leaderships, we have specifically requested Emily Colson to speak.  Emily speaks in churches and organizations nationwide, and has appeared on numerous media outlets including Focus on the Family, the Huckabee Show, and Hallmark’s Home & Family. In her book Dancing with Max, Emily and her father, Chuck Colson, shared the struggle and beauty of life with Max, Emily’s adult son with autism. Emily is passionate about The Church being aware and open to fully welcoming individuals with disabilities and their families. She agrees that this novel realm of ministry will not flourish if those making the decisions at our churches do not understand the need and potential of adaptive ministry. Emily  is eager to share her passion, faith and experiences with our Tampa Bay audience.

We are so excited about this year’s Symposium and how God will, and is, working in Tampa Bay and beyond! The fee for this full, fun (there will be surprises!) and informative day, which includes lunch, is only $25!!

Share this info with your Senior Pastors and Priests, church leaderships, staff members and anyone who you believe will be blessed by this chock-full day of information, networking and memorable experiences!!

Don’t miss out and register today!!!

Time: 8:30 am to 3:00 pm
Location: Idlewild Baptist Church, 18333 Exciting Idlewild Blvd., Lutz, FL 33548

Cost: $30 (lunch is included)

**Advance registration of $25 is available for a limited time.**