From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Lutherans focus on mental, physical disabilities in October

Date Wed, 20 Sep 2006 14:00:48 -0500

ELCA News Blog

September 20, 2006

Lutherans focus on mental, physical disabilities in October

by Melissa Ramirez Cooper, ELCA News Service

The All-Lutheran Candle Lighting for Mental Illness will be held during the month of October. On a Sunday of their choice, congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) are encouraged to light a candle and pray for people with mental illness and their families. The Lutheran Network on Mental Illness/Brain Disorders, a joint program of the ELCA and LCMS, sponsors the candle lighting and offers a downloadable (PDF format) bulletin insert for congregations which includes a litany prayer. The network addresses issues of mental illness and supports congregations in their efforts to be inclusive and supportive of families living with mental illness.

Applications for the 2006 ELCA Accessibility Award will be accepted until Oct. 20, 2006. The award is given annually to a congregation of the ELCA that displays commitment to providing care and concern among people who are living with disabilities. This year two awards will be given -- one to a church with 300 or less members, and another to a church with more than 300 members. Each winner will receive a grant of $1,000 from the ELCA Mission Investment Fund and the National Organization on Disability and a plaque from ELCA Disability Ministries, part of the Vocation and Education program unit of the ELCA. The winner of the 2005 Accessibility Award was First Lutheran Church, Topeka, Kan.

A guide designed to help plan meetings and conferences that are welcoming and accessible to people with disabilities and those who are deaf is available from ELCA Disability Ministries. The ELCA Accessibility Guide provides information on standards for mobility, currently preferred terminology, tips and suggestions for planning meetings that include all people, helpful Web sites and more. The guide can be ordered through Augsburg Fortress Publishers in Minneapolis, the publishing ministry of the ELCA, or downloaded free (PDF format) on the ELCA Web site. For information contact: John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or ELCA News Blog:

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