Developing leaders, worship, and missions that are with, for, and by the Deaf, hard of hearing and Deafblind.
Describe the need affecting community
Various estimates of between 92% and 98% have been used to describe the percentages of Deaf people who are unchurched in the USA. ( Estimates are assumed to be even higher in countries where deafness is socially and religiously stigmatized) Barriers of communication, education, employment and income are challenges that all societies face when trying to include Deaf persons. These barriers exist within the Church, with some exceptions, as Deaf people often experience church as inaccessible in communication and misunderstanding of Deaf people’s abilities and experience. Deaf people are also called by God to witness, to serve, and to lead, yet often find the Church ill-equipped to respond to the Holy Spirit’s leading.
How will this Advance project help to address the need?
Established By General Conference in 2000 and renewed in 2012, the United Methodist Committee on Deaf and Hard of Hearing Ministries provides resources for local churches and conferences to build Christian communities that are of, by, with and for those who are Deaf, hard of hearing, late deafened and DeafBlind. The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advance Special allows our committee to respond to unique initiatives that invites the United Methodist Church to a more effective Christian witness with the Deaf community in the USA and globally.
Describe the primary goal of the project
1. Developing and expanding resources for churches to use in reaching out to those who are Deaf, hard of hearing, late deafened and DeafBlind. 2. Mentoring for churches in identifying and developing Deaf Christian leaders. 3. Building capacity and networking among annual conferences, church and other groups to engage in ministries with the Deaf.