The Disabilities Ministry Leadership Council and the Archdiocese of Detroit collaborated to produce a video course entitled, “All Belong: Inclusion in Ministry.” The intent of this resource and program is to support and offer guidance on the inclusion of people with disabilities and special needs into all aspects of parish life. In our experience it is not that people don’t want to include all, but they feel they don’t know what to do or are fearful of making a mistake.
This course is now live and can be accessed at the link below:
The purpose of the “All Belong: Inclusion in Ministry” video course is three-fold. First, to help encourage the inclusion of all into all aspects of parish life: the Liturgy, Sacraments, Faith Formation, Christian Service and Devotions. This is an imperative of our baptism to share the “Good News” with all. The second purpose is to give guidance and support to both lay people and clergy on how to include people with disabilities into the many ministries that take place in our parishes. The third purpose is to provide those leading ministries in our Church with resources that may guide and assist efforts to include all of God’s people in the elements of parish life.
The resource guide on the surface appears to be directed at those who teach in our Catholic Schools, Religious Education Programs or Adult Faith Formation. However, the strategies that are provided can also be used by those in other ministries to foster inclusion. These strategies can assist you in communication and help in focusing, encouraging, and motivating those with special needs. In addition to the strategies provided, there are many links to other resources that can offer many other ideas for inclusion.
To view the All Belong: Inclusion in Ministry Guide (Click Here):
All Belong Mentor Program
To assist our Parish staff in their inclusion work, we have created a mentoring program. This program is voluntary but allows those with experience including people with disabilities in their Parish to share their gifts with those wishing to expand inclusion.
If you have experience or gifts to help others, please volunteer at the link below. If you wish to expand inclusion in your Parish and would like some insights or help please request a mentor at the link below:
More information on the Mentor Program (click here):
How we Unleash the Gospel:
As we see in Archbishop Vigneron’s pastoral letter “Unleash the Gospel,” there is a need for all of us to invite and accompany in order to evangelize in our world today. So, we need those who have already made strides in inclusion to invite others and then accompany them in this area. We have created a mentoring program to help with the “accompanying” portion. The mentoring program is beginning with our Directors of Religious Education (DRE’s) and catechists in the religious education programs with plans to expand in the future. If you would like to either volunteer to mentor others or if you would like to be a mentee, please visit our website: www.allbelongaod.org
It is our sincere hope that this video course and its resources will motivate us as members of the Body of Christ to welcome and include all as Christ has directed us. Let us not risk people walking away from the Church because they do not feel welcomed. Through the grace of the Holy Spirit, we can make sure that “All Belong”! For more information please visit our website:
If you have questions please click on “More Information” at top or bottom of our website main page.
May God bless this very important work!