AAIDD Religion and Spirituality Division Business Meeting Notes June 6, 2013

Present:

  • Anne Masters, President
  • Don Healy, Recording Secretary and Treasurer
  • Sister Gabrielle Kowalski, Cardinal Strich University
  • Kimberly Bane, California Baptist University
  • David Morstad, Bethesda Institute
  • Shelly Christensen, Vice President
  • Tom Boehm, Vanderbilt University
  • Neil Cudney, Director Pastoral Ministries at Christian Horizons
  • Bill Gaventa (by telephone)

The meeting opened at 8:08 am with an opening prayer by Shelly.

Finance Report

Present:

  • Anne Masters, President
  • Don Healy, Recording Secretary and Treasurer
  • Sister Gabrielle Kowalski, Cardinal Strich University
  • Kimberly Bane, California Baptist University
  • David Morstad, Bethesda Institute
  • Shelly Christensen, Vice President
  • Tom Boehm, Vanderbilt University
  • Neil Cudney, Director Pastoral Ministries at Christian Horizons
  • Bill Gaventa (by telephone)

The meeting opened at 8:08 am with an opening prayer by Shelly.

Finance Report

  • Carry Over Funds $3502.94
  • Membership Rebate (88 members) $440.00
  • Assessment Project Printing/Mail -$68.40
  • COMMIS Membership -$454.00
  • Balance$3432.54

Action Plan Report

Anne reviewed the Action Plan submitted to AAIDD as part of her Divisional leadership duties and indicated that we had made good progress on all the proposed areas the division wished to address:

  • Identify and respond to membership needs to further develop in work fostering congregational participation and ongoing religious education, faith formation and spiritual support of individuals with I/DD. (Cited survey)
  • Provide resources for communication between service provider agencies and congregations to support the spiritual and religious needs of individuals with I/DD. (Cited newsletter, Facebook page, and Division website)
  • Provide standards for spiritual support professionals that reflect best practices of working with individual with I/DD. Provide validation for competency of spiritual support professionals. (Cited Certification process)
  • Providing forum for discussion and reflection in areas of theology, spirituality and religious participation for individuals with I/DD. (Cited today’s meeting)
  • Advance the inclusion of spiritual supports and religious participation
    in support plans developed for individuals with I/DD. (Cited Spiritual Supports project)

Spiritual Supports Certification Process

Dave Morstad gave a report in his capacity as the facilitator in the updating and revision of the Spiritual Supports Certification process. Bill Gaventa, Craig Modahl, Sarah Reed, and Kathryn Peterson are serving as reviewers of the two applications that have come in. The updated version reflects the move away from the chaplaincy based supports provided in large-scale institutions to one that is more community based and that includes both clergy and laypersons reaching out to provide spiritual supports to special populations.

Dave raised the point that perhaps we should expand the reviewer base. Ideas were shared on how to expedite the electronic transmission of the volume of materials that need to be shared and options such as an electronic drop box are being considered.

We also discussed marketing possibilities to “get the word out” as to the availability of this revised certification, including the conference coming up in Toronto in July.

  • Neil indicated that the disability ministry field is growing rapidly in Canada and that there may be Canadians who would see the “value added” aspect to this if it was clearly defined and well marketed through our division menus in place and to be developed.
  • Shelly offered that the providers of specific courses in disability ministry might be good audiences for dissemination of certification information.
  • Sister Gabrielle suggested that once the two candidates are approved perhaps they could give short first person testimonials as to how the process works and how it benefitted them.
  • The point was also raised as to the status of persons certified through the “old” process. Are they still certified? While there is no direct language addressing that, the consensus was that they should retain certification.
  • Dave will keep us posted as to progress.

Follow Up

  • Shelly will develop one slide promoting certification process, based on input she seeks from Bill and Dave. This will be ready for Toronto conference July 15th.
  • Bill and Shelly will work on generating a list of potential market audiences and how to promote the certification process.
  • Bill will contact Erik Carter to help develop connections through AUCD (Association of University Centers on Disabilities) channels.

Social Media Use

Improving our use of social media for networking via the internet was discussed. (Note: As of this submission, Dave Morstad has begun a secure LinkedIn site for the division. Thanks Dave!)

New AAIDD Website

When the new AAIDD webpage is launched (July 1st is the proposed launch date) members of the R&S Division will have access to the e-Journal of Religion, Disability, and Health right there, without having to login to Taylor & Francis website.

Sister Gabrielle raised question about division website within AAIDD website reflecting what is on the external page. That will be looked into when more is known about AAIDD ‘s new website. We will also seek additional division member involvement to work with Christopher.

Possible Webinar

We also discussed the possibility of the division sponsoring a webinar. Bill will contact Erik about possibilities for collaboration with AUCD. Additionally, Anne will seek input in newsletter.

The meeting adjourned at approximately 9 am. My apologies in advance for any
errors in transcription or interpretation. Respectfully submitted. Don Healy, Recording Secretary

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