Creating a Culture of Belonging
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
8500 Hillcrest Ave
Come explore the multitude of different ways you can encourage and empower your child or young adult with special needs to become involved in their faith community. Discover the importance of parent and guardians acting as advocates within the faith community to provide a true sense of belonging for ALL our children. Learn successful steps taken from other parents on the same path and create a community of caring with people you can reach out to with questions or concerns as you navigate this part of the journey.
Through a collaborative approach with clergy, parents and teachers, learn new skills to “reach and teach” all students, regardless of their special need or disability. Our focus for this track will be defining and understanding all barriers for our students with special needs and then creating alternative supportive paths to meaningful learning and self-expression, with buy-in and support from the entire team for maximum impact. Learn and share insights and strategies to motivate, involve and boost the engagement of all our students.
Faith Leader Panel
Share best practices with your colleagues and focus on building positive connections with all congregants. Our focus for this track will be new ways to provide meaningful opportunities for engagement and providing a true sense of belonging in your place of worship. The discussions will go beyond inclusion to true integration.
Schedule for Conference
9:30AM – 9:40AM | Welcome
9:40AM -10:30AM | Morning Keynote Address by Bill Gaventa
Bill Gaventa works as a national consultant, trainer, speaker and author. He has been Director of the Summer Institute on Theology and Disability, and Director of the Collaborative on Faith and Disability. His recent book from Baylor University Press is Disability and Spirituality: Recovering Wholeness. In his role at The Boggs Center, Bill worked on community supports, initiatives in cultural competence, aging/end of life issues, supervision of a program in Clinical Pastoral Education, faith community leadership, and inclusive congregational supports. He has been active in initiatives in workforce development, support of direct care staff, clergy and congregational training, self directed supports, and staff training. Before coming to New Jersey, he was Coordinator of Family Support for the Georgia Developmental Disabilities Council. He is a graduate of Stetson University in Florida and Union Theological Seminary, New York City. As writer and author, he served as Editor of the Journal of Religion Disability, and Health from 1996-2010.
10:30AM -10:45AM | Break
10:45AM -11:45AM | Breakout Session #1 – Panel Discussions (more details to come)
Vance Gilmore-Undergrad in Special Education from The University of Oklahoma, Masters degree in Therapeutic Recreation. Long time organized Camp Professional -eleven years at Camp Soroptimist, twenty-seven years at Camp John Marc. Currently the Director of belong disABILITY Ministry at Highland Park United Methodist Church. Vance is married to Karen and they have a daughter Allison Faith and a granddaughter Lucy Noel.
1:00PM -1:15PM | Break
1:15PM – 2:15PM | Breakout #2 – Panel Discussions (more details to come)
2:15PM – 2:30PM | Break
2:30PM -3:30PM | Table Talks led by FIND Advisory Council Members
3:30PM-4:00PM | Closing Remarks