December 2012 Message from the President

Dear Friends,

I hope this edition of the Religion and Spirituality Division newsletter finds you well. Some among us may still be coping with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. For my own part, I am still catching up from the loss of power for a week, which is why this newsletter is delayed (sorry). However, my experience was nothing near what many had or are still dealing with.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond to our survey! There were 48 of you who did so, approximately 39% of our membership. There is a brief summary of it in this edition of the newsletter. The results are consistent with conversations I have had with many of you:

  • A desire for increased opportunities for networking, education and sharing of resources via internet-based platforms,
  • Interest in ways of engaging within the division beyond the annual conference due to budget constraints,
  • Raising awareness with service providers of the validity of spirituality and congregational participation for individuals with I/DD and
  • Guidelines/suggestions for how to do this.

Your responses will really help to guide the work of the executive committee. A few of you expressed interest in helping. Thank you, we will be in touch!

Dear Friends,

I hope this edition of the Religion and Spirituality Division newsletter finds you well. Some among us may still be coping with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. For my own part, I am still catching up from the loss of power for a week, which is why this newsletter is delayed (sorry). However, my experience was nothing near what many had or are still dealing with.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond to our survey! There were 48 of you who did so, approximately 39% of our membership. There is a brief summary of it in this edition of the newsletter. The results are consistent with conversations I have had with many of you:

  • A desire for increased opportunities for networking, education and sharing of resources via internet-based platforms,
  • Interest in ways of engaging within the division beyond the annual conference due to budget constraints,
  • Raising awareness with service providers of the validity of spirituality and congregational participation for individuals with I/DD and
  • Guidelines/suggestions for how to do this.

Your responses will really help to guide the work of the executive committee. A few of you expressed interest in helping. Thank you, we will be in touch!

Access to the Journal of Religion, Disability & Health is a valued part of division membership. The last edition is no exception and has great articles and reviews from familiar and new voices. It provides a nice balance of academic and practical perspectives within a theological framework, challenging all of us to grow, as well as provide food for thought on new possibilities in our work to affirm the importance of spirituality and congregational connection/participation for individuals with I/DD. I download all the PDF’s into my Kindle library, which allows me to read from any device with the Kindle reader, though my Kindle is my preferred platform. What is yours, how do you access the journal?

New members will be happy to hear that they should be able to login on the Taylor and Francis website within a month of joining the division. In the past, membership was updated with Taylor & Francis quarterly, so depending on when you joined, it could take up to three months to access your subscription. Also, work is underway to be able to access the journal on the division webpage. This should make access even faster for new members, as well as simplify access for all of us; one less webpage to remember. If you have any problems accessing your online subscription to the journal, contact: 
onlineaccesshelp@taylorandfrancis.com and state your problem, someone will reply to you within a day.

Now that our Certification Process has been finalized, a review committee is in development. David Morstad is the coordinator, 
david.morstad@mailblc.org. Thank you for your patience to all folks interested in certification. I want to add that you should not be concerned about ongoing division attention to certification in light of the survey results. It makes sense that this is a renewed area of interest and therefore of interest to a smaller number of people currently. However, I expect interest to grow and the division should be leading the way on it.

The Henry Nouwen Award is a wonderful way to honor the good work of individuals affirming and supporting the spirituality and active participation of individuals with I/DD in faith communities. Nominations go to Jeff McNair as past president, jmcnair@calbaptist.edu. See this page on the site for more information.

Remember the annual conference in Pittsburgh PA, June 3-6, 2013? The Religion and Spirituality Division Forum will be Thursday June 6, 9 AM to 12 PM, and the division dinner, always an enjoyable and tasty event, will be Wednesday night, June 5. Stay tuned for more on these events. Registration for them will be part of conference registration. I hope you can join us!

Do you have an article you would like to share with the division in the newsletter? Send it to Christopher Phillips, our awesome webmaster and newsletter editor, 
PhillipsCJ@ldschurch.org. Do you have a resource to share to share with the division? Send it to our discerning reviewer, Don Healy, 
DE-Healy@wiu.edu.

I hope you experience joy during the upcoming season celebrating the light of God’s presence in our midst, in whatever way you do this.

God’s Peace,

Anne Masters

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