Baptism and Membership

 

 

Baptism and Membership

conversations on theoretical and practical approaches to baptism for people with intellectual disabilities

illustration of a baptism in a river. The woman being baptized and the surrounding witnesses have visible signs of disabilities.

​Part 1: Becoming the Baptized Body

A conversation on Baptism and Church Membership for People with Intellectual Disabilities

Dr. Sarah Jean Barton and Jeanne Davies discuss baptism and church membership with particular attention to people with intellectual disabilities. Baptism is a practice of belonging that not only affects individuals but the entire church. How have people with intellectual disabilities been excluded and why? What must we know to be baptized? How do we offer the necessary preparation? How do we all participate in baptism? Is there belonging without baptism? They explore these questions and more. A question-and-answer time with Dr. Barton and Jeanne follows the conversation.

This webinar was recorded on October 26 at 1 pm ET and was hosted by Church of the Brethren Discipleship and Leadership Formation. A recording of the conversation can be viewed freely here.

Dr. Sarah Jean Barton is the Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy and Theological Ethics at Duke Divinity School and author of Becoming the Baptized Body: Disability and the Practice of Christian Community.


illustration of a baptism in a river. The woman being baptized and the surrounding witnesses have visible signs of disabilities.

Part 2: Believing and Belonging

Exploring Membership and Baptism

ADN field associates Bonnie Miller and Denise Reesor and executive director Jeanne Davies discuss exploring membership with people who have intellectual disabilities. Topics of discussion include inclusive classrooms and personal study with a pastor, mentor or parent; strategies for engaging and learning; and how to use ADN's new curriculum Believing and Belonging: An Accessible Anabaptist Membership Curriculum.

This webinar was recorded on November 9, 2023 at 7 pm ET and was hosted by Church of the Brethren Discipleship and Leadership Formation. A recording of the conversation can be viewed freely here.

About our panelists:

Bonnie Miller has 27 years of experience in elementary/early childhood education: 15 years in special education. She has been involved in IEP conferences as both a parent and a teacher. At both school and church, Bonnie works to make classrooms barrier-free for children with a variety of disabilities. Bonnie has advocated for disabled members in her congregation and enjoys brainstorming ways to help every child experience full inclusion with their peers.

Denise Reesor is a School Psychologist at Elkhart County Special Education Cooperative. She has a Master of Education Specialist degree from Valparaiso University. She is passionate about the inclusion and belonging of all peoples and families in the church.

Jeanne Davies serves as executive director for ADN. She has a Master of Divinity degree from Bethany Theological Seminary and a Graduate Certificate in Disability and Ministry from Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI. She is the author of the Believing and Belonging curriculum.

 Related topics

 Opening Doors

 Connections