GOSHEN, IND. – Christy Weems has been named a Student Associate by Anabaptist Disabilities Network (ADNet) for the 2008-09 academic year.
Weems is a junior elementary education major at Bethel and a native of Topeka. She is carrying out a project in cooperation with the Conference Resource Library in North Newton to include, among the library’s resources, materials to aid in teaching Sunday school students with developmental disabilities. The library serves the Western District and South Central Conferences of Mennonite Church USA.
Weems’s project will also contribute to ADNet’s work in providing resources for families and churches throughout the country as they work to include persons with all types of disabilities in congregational and community life. ADNet, based in Goshen, Ind., is an advocacy and resource ministry for people with disabilities and mental illness in Mennonite and related churches throughout the United States.
Weems, who is looking toward a career in elementary education and special education, feels strongly that the faith development of children who have disabilities is very important. “Special needs children deserve the same opportunity to hear the Word just like everyone else,” she said.
Paul Leichty, ADNet executive director, commented, “Christy’s work will be very valuable as she finds and starts to evaluate a proliferation of new resources for persons with developmental disabilities.” Added Marlene Bogard, director of the Conference Resource Library, “I am happy for the opportunity to work with Christy as she evaluates, creates and promotes materials for disabled persons or developmentally challenged persons and their families and congregations.”
Anabaptist Disabilities Network was begun in 2003 to carry on previously started disabilities and mental health advocacy work among Mennonites. The Student Associate Program was created in 2008 to encourage college and seminary students across the country to pursue one-year projects that would be helpful to both the student's career path as well as ADNet. More information about the program can be found at www.adnetonline.org/Student_Associates.
Mennonite Church USA is the largest Mennonite denomination in North America. The Western District and South Central conferences, two of 21 area conferences throughout the country, include churches in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. South Central conference also includes some churches in Mexico.