January: Steve met for the first time in person with Jeremy Collins from Pajama Media. Jeremy was instrumental in helping us launch our video training initiatives, inviting us to participate in the Children’s Ministry Websummit, and partnering with us to develop Inclusion Fusion. Katie Wetherbee was hard at work in developing our Key Ring Binder, a resource kit for church staff and volunteers seeking to launch an inclusive ministry for families of kids with special needs.
February: Our team provides training for Directors of Religious Education from Catholic churches located in the southeast region of the Cleveland Diocese. We filmed our first video training, to be presented at the Children’s Ministry Websummit.
March: Vineyard Community Church in Cincinnati hosted our first ever JAM (Jumpstarting All-Inclusive Ministry) Session on March 18. We hosted ministry leaders from churches in four states (Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, North Carolina), including our new friend Angie, who drove 11 hours one way for the training.
April: Our team was very busy in April. During the first ten days of the month, Harmony Hensley and Libby Peterson presented at the McLean Bible Church Accessibility Summit, Katie, Harmony and myself presented for the Children’s Ministry Telesummit and I had an opportunity to preach on the topic “Blessed by Brokenness” at Martindale Christian Fellowship in Canton, Ohio.
Later in April, Harmony had the opportunity to present two breakout sessions (How to Pan Special Needs Space and How to Recruit Special Needs Volunteers) at the Orange Conference in Atlanta. She was also interviewed for CMConnect Radio on the topics she presented at the Orange Conference in April and in May.
May: Our team began the process of training leaders interested in providing church-based free respite in Northwest Pennsylvania. Steve was interviewed by Mike Woods on Blog Talk Radio on the topic of Family-Focused Special Needs Ministry. Katie and Steve helped launch a new web site for leaders in the field of special needs ministry.
June: Rebecca Hamilton, Jolene Philo and Katie presented our second JAM Session in Des Moines, Iowa. We trained twelve leaders from eight churches located throughout Iowa, including a representative of the Catholic Diocese of Des Moines, representing 68 parishes.
September: First free church-based respite offered in Northwest Pennsylvania. Training offered to expand Northeast Ohio respite network. Steve, Katie, Rebecca and Cara Daily presented training at Cedarville University as a part of the Bioethics Conference and Through The Roof Summit, sponsored by Joni and Friends, featuring Joni Earickson Tada as the Keynote Speaker.
October: Largest JAM Session to date held in suburban Cleveland. Rebecca, Katie and Amanda Mooney trained over twenty leaders from ten different churches in Northeast Ohio. Katie and Steve traveled to Insight for Living to film interviews with Chuck Swindoll and his family for Inclusion Fusion.
Steve begins to serve as a contributing author to the children’s ministry website Kidmin Leaders.
November: Inclusion Fusion attracted over 1,000 pastors, ministry leaders, volunteers and family members for our first Annual Special Needs Ministry Web Summit. Steve, Katie, Rebecca, Harmony, Libby, Amanda and Rhonda Martin from our ministry were among the 25 presenters offering training during the conference.
Harmony Hensley accepts a newly created position of Director of Ministry Advancement. Harmony is charged with the task of building an organization to deliver personalized consultation and support to church staff and volunteers in dozens of major cities to accompany our rapidly expanding training resources.
December: Key Ministry announces plans to develop a permanent, free special needs ministry training library that will reflect best practices for churches seeking to minister with children and adults with a broad range of special needs and their families.
Here’s Chuck’s Keynote Address from the Special Needs Ministry Web Summit:
Please consider including Key Ministry in your year-end giving plans. Your gifts to our Annual Fund Campaign make possible the provision of all the training, consultation, resources and support at no charge to the churches we serve. Online contributions can be made through our ministry website. We are also seeking friends to serve as advocates for Key Ministry with the Missions Board or Stewardship Committee of their local churches. Please contact Rebecca Hamilton at email@example.com for more information.