The Ohio Disability & Ministry Collaborative is delighted to report that they have completed their pilot grant project for the improvement of church accessibility. This project was made possible through the generosity of the West Ohio Conference Board of Trustees. The following churches were awarded grants of $5,000 each for a variety of projects:
- Pleasantville UMC will be installing a vertical platform lift to provide full accessibility to the upper floor of their church building, where the sanctuary and Sunday School rooms are located.
- Bethany UMC will be replacing the existing entry steps and doors with a more accessible entrance to their annex building used for the church office, Sunday School classes, and church and community meetings.
- Grace UMC in Springfield plans to install an automatic door opener and awning at their accessible entranceway.
- Staunton UMC in Washington Courthouse plans to build a fully accessible restroom inside their historic church building, where there are currently no restroom facilities.
- Rushsylvania UMC is replacing their pews with chairs to allow for more flexible and accessible seating arrangements that are ADA compliant.
“It is a joy to witness how these churches are making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world here within the West Ohio Conference,” says Mimi Luebbers, a member of the Collaborative. “We are literally opening our doors ever wider and making new places for new people, so that we can truly see all the people.”
If you have not yet had an opportunity to consider how your church can make accessibility improvements, be encouraged! The Board of Trustees has recently approved additional funding for a new grant cycle. Applications are being accepted August 1 – October 15, 2022.