Steve AND Shannon will be presenting at #GlobalAccess2015

ShannonThe Key Ministry contingent to the 2015 Global Access Conference presented by Joni and Friends continues to grow! We’re pleased to announce that in addition to Steve, Key will also be represented at the conference by Shannon Dingle.

Shannon will be leading a workshop on The Special Needs of Foster and Adoptive Families and leading a roundtable discussion on What are some practical implications of the verse “Blessed are the nations whose God is the Lord?”

Research shows that children who are or have been in foster care or an institutional setting like an orphanage have higher rates of disability, higher rates of fetal alcohol syndrome, higher rates of mental health disorders, higher rates of medication prescribed for ADHD and other neurological concerns, and greater possibilities for lasting changes to the brain due to prolonged exposure to stress than the other children in your church. Is your church ready to welcome them? In Shannon’s workshop, she’ll share five specific ways your church can make itself a safe place for these children and teens, drawing from her experience as a special educator, a disability ministry leader, a church consultant for Key Ministry, and a mom of six children, four of whom joined their family through special needs adoption.

Steve’s workshop is titled Including Kids and Teens With Mental Illness in the Church and Community. He’ll also be leading a roundtable discussion on the theme of Why ministry to kids with mental illness is necessary and biblical.

Shannon has been an enormous blessing to to thousands of families since joining our ministry. The response to the blog posts she’s written on adoption and foster care provide dramatic evidence of the level of interest that exists for churches to become better equipped to address the needs of foster and adoptive families raising children who have experienced trauma and/or manifest challenges related to a broad range of disabilities. As of this writing, her post from yesterday on interacting with adoptive and foster families had been viewed over 9,000 times in the sixteen hours since it was initially posted here, and was shared over 3,000 times prior to midnight yesterday on Facebook alone! No wonder she was added to the faculty at Global Access!

GA-blog-ad-1-200x200The purpose of the Global Access Conference is to bring together disability leaders, ministers, educators and practitioners from around the world. It’s an unprecedented opportunity to share experiences, forge strong working relationships, and learn how to practically and effectively promote disability ministry in the Christian community. Attendees will learn how to create and pursue advanced disability initiatives within church and cultural communities, and will build lasting networks of support and education throughout the international disability community.

Online registration for Global Access is easy and convenient. I’d encourage all of you to check out the fabulous website the team at Joni and Friends assembled for the conference.

For all of our West Coast friends, as well as any of our friends able to get to an airport to spend a few midwinter days in (presumably) sunny Southern California, the Global Access Conference provides a wonderful opportunity for all of you to listen to and meet Shannon in person, while connecting with Joni and many of her “Friends” who are passionate about disability ministry.

We’ve just provided another reason to see you all there from February 17th-20th at Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village, California!


2000x770 S DINGLE CHRCH4EVCHILD 2Check out Shannon Dingle’s blog series on adoption, disability and the church. In the series, Shannon looked at the four different kinds of special needs in adoptive and foster families and shared five ways churches can love their adoptive and foster families. Shannon’s series is a must-read for any church considering adoption or foster care initiatives. Shannon’s series is available 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, was ranked fourth among the top 100 children's ministry blogs in 2015 by Ministry to Children.
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