FIND Symposium

Creating a Culture of Belonging


Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Temple Emanu-El

8500 Hillcrest Ave

Dallas, TX 75225


Click Here to Register


Faith Inclusion Network of Dallas (FIND) is a collaboration of faith communities from churches, temples, synagogues and mosques coming together to help identify exemplary programs and create awareness of the special needs community within all faith communities. The FIND Symposium will be an opportunity to share best practices and resources with the goal of providing a sense of belonging for all.


Tickets to the symposium are $65 and includes kosher lunch.
The Symposium will include three tracks with tailored content for Parents, Educators, and Faith Leaders in Dallas. Be sure to select the track you’re planning on attending when you register.


Parent Panel

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.

Educator Panel

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

9:00AM – 9:30AM |  Check-in, Breakfast and Coffee

9:30AM – 9:40AM

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)
11:45AM – 12:00PM | Break
12:00PM -1:00PM | Lunch and Learn with Afternoon Keynote Speaker Vance Gilmore, Highland Park United Methodist Church


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