Message from the President, August 2013

Dear Friends,

I hope this letter finds you well and enjoying some summer moments. This newsletter will focus on highlights of the annual conference. As always, it was a great combination of learning, networking, rich discussion and fellowship. Dinner was fantastic and wonderful fun!

Next year’s annual conference will be June 23 – 26 in Orlando FL, a very fun place to be! I hope you can make it.

Dear Friends,

I hope this letter finds you well and enjoying some summer moments. This newsletter will focus on highlights of the annual conference. As always, it was a great combination of learning, networking, rich discussion and fellowship. Dinner was fantastic and wonderful fun!

Next year’s annual conference will be June 23 – 26 in Orlando FL, a very fun place to be! I hope you can make it.

Please see the Business Meeting Minute for all we discussed including: ways of engaging with each other via technology during the year, webinar ideas sponsored by the division, LinkedIn division group, and LOTS more. There will be more mention of these ideas, however, please feel free to reach out to me about any items of particular interest for you or to share other ideas.

Please see more about Sister Gabrielle Kowalski, this year’s Nouwen Award recipient here.

There are two areas of particular interest that your feedback is needed on: ways of remembering Nella Uitvlugt, a previous past president and Executive Director of Friendship Ministries, and work groups related to spirituality and congregational support assessment for individuals with I/DD. More below on these.

During the Forum we paused to remember Nella, a previous President of the division and a huge force in this ministry who died suddenly in March while recovering from foot surgery. We started a discussion of ways to remember her. Two possibilities discussed are to dedicate the work of the division to Nella this year and to award her the Nouwen Award posthumously next year. If you have feedback on either of these ways of remembering Nella or something else, please send me an email.

Do you have any other suggestions? If not, do you approve of these two ideas?

An area of interest to many of you is how to have spirituality and congregational participation supports included in individual support plans and how to engage with service providers on this subject. In fact, 25% of the 48 responses on our survey last summer voiced this. Over the past six months, a small committee has been grappling with this subject in preparation for the Forum discussion. Please see the section on Spirituality Support Plan for a summary of the discussion and preliminary plan to move this issue forward. Your input is needed on this important subject. Specifically, do you agree with the ideas presented? If not, what alternative ideas do you have and what work group(s) would you like to participate in.

Accessing the Journal of Religion, Disability and Health just got SUPER SIMPLE! The AAIDD website is updated with much more capabilities, among which for Religion & Spirituality Division members includes access to Journal of Religion, Disability and Health from our member page. Just login, select “Publications” and then “Journals.” You will see links for each AAIDD journal, as well as Journal of Religion, Disability and Health, which is available with division membership. Check it out!

Please note that I have a new email below.

Wishing you summer moments and God’s Peace,

Anne Masters

amasters@ccannj.org

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