Faces of the Movement…Jim Hukill

Jim Hukill has been a leader in the disability ministry movement before I became aware that there was a disability ministry movement…a true “founding father.” For the past fifteen years Jim has served as Executive Director of Lift Disability Network, the successor organization to the Christian Council on Persons With Disabilities. He was one of the first speakers to sign on for our inaugural Inclusion Fusion.  He’s back this year to speak on the topic Exchange of Presence.

Before the age of two, Jim was diagnosed with a neuro-muscular disease, a form of Muscular Dystrophy, a disease that has steadily weakened the muscles of his body and has left him dependent on the use of a wheelchair. However, the limitation of Jim’s physical body has not dictated the limits of his life. Jim says, “If you dream big dreams, you will live bigger realities”. With a life expectancy of less than ten years and a diagnosis of life-long respiratory problems, Jim has experienced living well beyond this early prognosis. Today he celebrates more than five decades of “life-miracles” and bigger realities.

What does it mean for Jesus to have come and dwelt among us? What does abide have to do with His physical presence in the human experience? Does Christ’s example of being present in the world set a precedent for us as his followers in regards to how important presence is as an exchange of life with each other? In this discussion on the Exchange of Presence, Jim will discuss the importance of presence in each other’s lives and, in particular, the ministry of presence within the disability communities’ exchange of life with the church. Finally, he will look briefly at a practical example of what an exchange of presence looks like in the inclusive church.

Here’s a video from Jim in which he shares his take on “Why” it’s so important for churches to be intentional about welcoming persons with disabilities and their families…


ONE WEEK TO GO! Join Jim and over 30 leaders from children’s, family, youth and disability ministry serving as faculty for Inclusion Fusion, Key Ministry’s second annual Special Needs Ministry Web Summit. Inclusion Fusion is made available FREE OF CHARGE to pastors, church staff, volunteers and families everywhere from November 12th-16th, 2012. For an up to date list of speakers, topics, links to speaker blogs and a link for free registration, click here.

About Dr. G

Dr. Stephen Grcevich serves as President and Founder of Key Ministry, a non-profit organization providing free training, consultation, resources and support to help churches serve families of children with disabilities. Dr. Grcevich is a graduate of Northeastern Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), trained in General Psychiatry at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve University. He is a faculty member in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at two medical schools, leads a group practice in suburban Cleveland (Family Center by the Falls), and continues to be involved in research evaluating the safety and effectiveness of medications prescribed to children for ADHD, anxiety and depression. He is a past recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Dr. Grcevich was recently recognized by Sharecare as one of the top ten online influencers in children’s mental health. His blog for Key Ministry, www.church4everychild.org was ranked fourth among the top 100 children's ministry blogs in 2015 by Ministry to Children.
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