Church Resources

We thank God for your desire to create communities of belonging for persons of all abilities within your congregation! Wherever you are in your journey, we hope the following resources and next steps will help you build belonging with persons of all abilities in your church.

Core Values for Inclusive Community

As you consider receiving the gifts of persons with disabilities and implementing universal design concepts, we encourage you to reflect on our core values, which have strong biblical foundations.  This video reflects well how we value each one:

Beliefs, Facts & Figures

If you’re a numbers person or would appreciate quick references to some statistics, we’ve put together a two-sided page of data for you.

Best Practices for Building Belonging: Role-Based Tips

A photo of a variety of people holding hands with arms raised, all smiling. In between them are the words: "Who desires a place of belonging in your congregation?"

Free Download!

No matter what role you fulfill, you can be a part of creating a community of belonging in your congregation for persons of all abilities. To get started, look up your role in the congregation. As you read through the various roles, consider how the suggestions might benefit everyone in your community, regardless of ability, age, or stage of life. The list of ideas and tools is not intended to be exhaustive rather to start you thinking of additional ideas for your congregation and setting.

Also available in Spanish!

Samples: Orders of Worship & Visual Schedule

Many churches provide attendees with a printed and/or electronic bulletin or order of worship prior to the service. We have collected some sample orders of worship which include images and universal design elements.

Litany and Prayer

people with hands clasped in prayer

Free Download!

An Ecumenical Litany of Wholeness, and a Congregational Prayer to value the gifts of all. For use in a worship service or with a Bible study group, to reflect upon and pray through attitudes and worship practices to better build belonging.

Also available in Spanish!

Inclusive Language Guide

For some individuals, words can make the difference between partial participation and full inclusion in a worship service. Consider the provided phrases in this guide for including persons with a variety of abilities in your congregational gatherings. We know some people prefer different language, and believe as Kevin Timpe says, “Person first language is good. Person-first relationships are better!”

Free Download!

Also available in Spanish!

Church Welcome Story

A church welcome story uses personalized elements to create a story about what may happen when someone comes to your church. By showing examples and images customized for your ministry, people of all abilities can have a clear understanding of what to expect when attending your church program.


Videos that will increase awareness, spur conversation, and encourage movement toward a more inclusive community.

Resources Developed in Collaboration with Congregations

Mental Health Series

Engaging people with mental health challenges, expertise, or questions all comes together in this 7-week series. The guide is filled with ideas, links, information, prayers and Scripture!

Small Group Training Module

Becoming a group where each one belongs, considering physical safety for all, emotional safety for all, and understanding or adapting for specific needs make up the 4 parts of this training module.

“Inclusion can best be described as an atmosphere where all belong.”

-S.S. Taylor

Analysis Tool

How can we measure the inclusivity of our churches? Using the 3-part framework of Perspective, Participation and Personalization, this assessment tool can be used to guide you further along your journey toward inclusive community.

Worship Guide

See the Spotify list for songs used in this interactive, engaging, sensory-friendly worship session designed to demonstrate how a worship service or conference can be more inclusive with visuals, explanations, movement, activities, questions, object lessons, and more.

“I Corinthians 12 is not a suggestion; it’s a picture and command of how God expects us to live with others in the body of Christ… A church is to be His agent of healing in this world, and many persons with disabilities will testify to the hurt and pain they have experienced from exclusion. Exclusion does NOT bless God. Inclusion, and our obedience to His heart, will bless God.”

-Barbara Newman

Sermon Starters

Ideas for conducting a sermon series exploring the ten dimensions of belonging within a community: being present, invited, welcomed, known, accepted, supported, cared for, befriended, needed, and loved.

First Presbyterian Church in Aurora Illinois explored these 10 dimensions over 7 weeks. Their website features sermon videos and study guide materials created with universal design in mind. They included people with varied abilities in all aspects of the services (such as presenting, planning, and participating), and have a wonderful ministry going.

For an overview of the 10 dimensions of belonging, see Dr. Erik Carter’s presentations:

A Place of Belonging  (article on

Fostering Belonging  (webpage hosted by Boston College School of Theology and Ministry) with video clips, handouts, and more)

January Series at Calvin University, a 1-hour seminar given in 2019 that discusses the 10 Dimensions.

This document describes briefly each of the ten dimensions, including an icon and some Scriptures to consider with each one:

This reflection tool, created by Dr. Carter allows for deep thinking about your practices, places, and other aspects of community: