Four recipients were awarded the Bob and Joyce Dell Award (Mental Illness Ministry) and the Disabilities Ministries Award at General Synod in Hartford, 2007.
Two youths, sharing a contagious joy and enthusiasm for life, will join a pastor as recipients of the Disabilities Ministries Awards.
Tyler Greene, whose church home is the First Congregational United Church of Christ, Waterloo, Iowa, produced a training video titled “I’m Tyler.” The tool is being used nationally in faith communities, schools and organizations.
“Tyler encourages others not to label people in terms of their ‘disability,’ but to appreciate others in terms of their ability,” said the Rev. Timothy J. Ensworth, his pastor.
Joseph Maki is an eager volunteer at his church, Zion United Church of Christ, Le Sueur, in his community and at Pilgrim Point, the Minnesota Conference camp. “The United Church of Christ and its members have opened the doors for him,” his mother, Laura Maki, said. “He has accepted that invitation and is doing what he can to help others learn about our Lord through his service to others.”
The Reverend Dr. Robert Loesch
The Rev. Dr. Robert Loesch, now pastor of Taborton Zion United Church of Christ near Sand Lake, New York, was nominated by Foster Memorial Church United Church of Christ in Springfield, Massachusetts. “Bob has spent most of his life advocating for persons through church and community leadership in several human service agencies working to support adults with disabilities, especially those with mental illness and developmental disabilities,” said Karen Cardigan, Program Coordinator of the Western Massachusetts Training Consortium.
United Church of Christ Disabilities Ministries awards are given in appreciation for distinguished service to church and community in the interest of furthering the church’s mission to become Accessible to All.
The First Congregational United Church of Christ of Downer’s Grove, Illinois
The First Congregational Church United Church of Christ of Downer’s Grove will receive the Bob and Joyce Dell Award. Pastors are the Rev. Laura and the Rev. William Hoglund. The citation from the Mental Illness Network (MIN) recognizes a local UCC church or person who has done much to eliminate stigma, build a ministry, or advocate for legal protection for persons with serious mental illnesses.
“The church has been active in mental health ministry for many years with a comprehensive outreach to the community as well as to in-house services,” said the Rev. Robert Dell.