In the consciousness of the I AM, we are committed to raising the consciousness around Inclusion and Accessibility issues within our community of worship, education and social expression by developing and demonstrating protocols of response through communication with the Director of Sacred Services and other ministries as identified.
All who encounter Unity Christ Church through worship, education, or social expression experience an inclusive accessibility, feel limitless in their ability to participate at the level of their choice thereby reaching their greatest and highest potential.
What is the I & A M about?
- The Inclusion & Accessibility Ministry, or IAM, was born out the Accessibility Committee. It was their desire to have more information and direction available to other ministries and to the congregation as a whole with regard to people with disabilities and proper etiquette around them.
- IAM’s goal has more to do with increasing one’s awareness and one’s comfort zone around the subjects of disability and inclusivity.
- People are people first, regardless of any impairment that may have the appearance of limitations for them. There is no ONE way to act or interact with another just as there is no ONE way of describing a condition or person who deals with conditions that may impair their mobility, cognition, sight, hearing, etc.
- What we have done is review the information available to develop some tips that may help us all become more aware of barriers in our attitudes or actions; in our home or place of worship; in our work-place or in our community. We do not want to impose a specific way of addressing others or interacting, but rather want to help people open up to what they already know within them.
- We are here to dialogue with you. We are here to listen to your questions and, hopefully, have some delightful answers for you. We encourage feedback from people’s personal experiences that can assist us in our mission.
- As the need arises, we are here to develop more specific trainings for other ministries.
Team Lead – Jan Vandermey
Initially introduced to Unity Christ Church in the late 1970’s, Jan came back in 2008 after much discernment and answering the call from Spirit to return. She became a member of Unity Christ Church the spring of 2009. She comes from a family where several members have used wheelchairs and walkers and was caregiver to many in her family as well as through her work history in health care. Having overcome her own social anxieties, she understands what others experience around not feeling included.
When the IAM team was forming, she jumped at the chance to be a part. “Being a part of a process that is increasing awareness around inclusion and accessibility is a powerful experience. We are pioneering a higher consciousness and growing a model for others to follow.” Jan believes in the IAM Vision and holds to the truth that one day “All who encounter Unity Christ Church … [will ] feel limitless in their ability to participate at the level of their choice thereby reaching their greatest and highest potential.”
The IAM team has answered a call that is raising the bar around inclusivity and developing a space where people of all types of abilities will feel welcome and open to participate. It is Jan’s wish that others hold the vision with this team for excellence, grace and Truth.
Assistant Lead – Levi Dokken
When Unity Christ Church hired our current music director Lori Dokken we were blessed to have her nephew Levi join our community at the same time. Levi has been attending Unity Christ Church for approximately three years. Levi has been a Youth Education volunteer and a member of the choir. Levi was unable, do to a scheduling conflict, to be part of the original accessibility committee. When Levi was told the committee’s work was finished but that a new accessibility ministry was forming he jumped at the chance to be included in the new ministry.
IAM Ministry & Unity Christ Church
The mission of Unity Christ Church is that “we are an inclusive and welcoming spiritual community, transforming lives as we celebrate, honor, and affirm the divine presence in every person.” The sign greeting visitors to our spiritual community lets people know that where ever they are on their spiritual journey they are welcome here. To truly be welcome the facilities and activities of the church must be easily accessible to all. Levi believes in the mission and vision and through his leadership and the activities of the IAM ministry “is excited to make our spiritual home inclusive to all, a place where all feel welcome.”