Disability & Special Needs Ministry

September 2020

All are gifted, needed, and treasured!


“Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”.”

Luke 14:12-14

“Welcome to the Fifteenth (15th) edition of the of Gulf States Conference (GSC) “Disability, Special Needs, & Possibilities Ministry Newsletter”. The format of remaining issues will focus not only on “secular” disability matters, but endeavor to provide “Spiritual” input to endure these turbulent times. Future editions will be published on a monthly basis.

Because the COVID-19 virus continues to ravage, I have been instructed to cover a variety of subjects of various lengths on how to cope with the stress and strain of self-quarantine mandates. If there is a specific topic you’d like to see addressed, please contact our office at your convenience.


“Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Isaiah 1:16-17 (KJV)



2020 Voting Ability

Everywhere Jesus went He saw spiritual possibilities; He saw potential candidates for the kingdom of God in the most unlikely circumstances. We call this ability “church growth eyes”. Church growth eyes are a cultivated sensitivity to see people as Jesus saw them, as winnable for the kingdom of God. This also involves “church growth ears”, which has to do with listening to the unspoken needs of those around us. It has to do with listening to their heart’s longing for something they do not have, even if they have not openly expressed it. (Lesson 3 July 11-17 / Seeing People Through Jesus’ Eyes / Wednesday, July 15, 2020)



COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period. Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. The droplets can also be inhaled into the lungs. Recent studies indicate that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay at least 6 feet away from others when possible, even if you—or they—do not have any symptoms. Social distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

If you are sick with COVID-19, have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, it is important to stay home and away from other people until it is safe to be around others.

COVID-19 can live for hours or days on a surface, depending on factors such as sunlight, humidity, and the type of surface. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. However, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Social distancing helps limit opportunities to come in contact with contaminated surfaces and infected people outside the home.

Although the risk of severe illness may be different for everyone, anyone can get and spread COVID-19. Everyone has a role to play in slowing the spread and protecting themselves, their family, and their community. In addition to practicing everyday steps to prevent COVID-19, keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to this virus and slowing its spread in communities.



When going out in public, it is important to stay at least 6 feet away from other people and wear a mask to slow the spread of COVID-19. Consider the following tips for practicing social distancing when you decide to go out.

• Know Before You Go: Before going out, know and follow the guidance from local public health authorities where you live.

• Prepare for Transportation: Consider social distancing options to travel safely when running errands or commuting to and from work, whether walking, bicycling, wheelchair rolling, or using public transit, rideshares, or taxis. When using public transit, try to keep at least 6 feet from other passengers or transit operators – for example, when you are waiting at a bus station or selecting seats on a bus or train. When using rideshares or taxis, avoid pooled rides where multiple passengers are picked up, and sit in the back seat in larger vehicles so you can remain at least 6 feet away from the driver. Follow these additional tips to protect yourself while using transportation.

• Limit Contact When Running Errands: Only visit stores selling household essentials in person when you absolutely need to, and stay at least 6 feet away from others who are not from your household while shopping and in lines. If possible, use drive-thru, curbside pick-up, or delivery services to limit face-to-face contact with others. Maintain physical distance between yourself and delivery service providers during exchanges and wear a mask.

• Choose Safe Social Activities: It is possible to stay socially connected with friends and family who don’t live in your home by calling, using video chat, or staying connected through social media. If meeting others in person (e.g., at small outdoor gatherings, yard or driveway gathering with a small group of friends or family members), stay at least 6 feet from others who are not from your household. Follow these steps to stay safe if you will be participating in personal and social activities outside of your home.

• Keep Distance at Events and Gatherings: It is safest to avoid crowded places and gatherings where it may be difficult to stay at least 6 feet away from others who are not from your household. If you are in a crowded space, try to keep 6 feet of space between yourself and others at all times, and wear a mask. Masks are especially important in times when physical distancing is difficult. Pay attention to any physical guides, such as tape markings on floors or signs on walls, directing attendees to remain at least 6 feet apart from each other in lines or at other times. Allow other people 6 feet of space when you pass by them in both indoor and outdoor settings.

• Stay Distanced While Being Active: Consider going for a walk, bike ride, or wheelchair roll in your neighborhood or in another safe location where you can maintain at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and other pedestrians and cyclists. If you decide to visit a nearby park, trail, or recreational facility, first check for closures or restrictions. If open, consider how many other people might be there and choose a location where it will be possible to keep at least 6 feet of space between yourself and other people who are not from your household.



Jimin Choi MLA, Doctoral student, Department of Urban and Regional Planning

To whom it may concern,

I hope this message finds you well. I am a research assistant at the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDEA Center), located at the University at Buffalo.

I’m writing to request your assistance with outreach for a survey on the impact of COVID-19 on travel behavior and daily activities. The IDEA Center is currently recruiting individuals who are aged 65 and older and/or adults with disabilities. We would greatly appreciate your assistance with outreach for this study. I have provided the recruitment material and flyer below.

Thank you in advance for your kind assistance. Please don’t hesitate to contact me (
jchoi32@buffalo.edu) if you have any questions.

Seeking Older adults and/or People with Disabilities for Survey on Changes in Travel Behavior During COVID-19

The Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access at the University at Buffalo is interested in learning about changes in your travel behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey is open to any individuals who are aged 65 and older and/or adults with disabilities. We encourage you to take the survey yourself and share it with your friends, family, and colleagues. The survey will be open until October 15, 2020. As an incentive for taking our survey, you can enter a drawing to win a $50 gift card.

To participate in this research, please click on the following link to access the survey:

If you have any questions regarding this research, please feel free to contact Jimin Choi at (716) 829-5712 or



Jimin Choi MLA

Doctoral student

Department of Urban and Regional Planning

University at Buffalo, State University of New York




Renee' Scruggs - Director, Diverse Strategic Solutions, LLC, Huntsville, Alabama, www.getdss.net

Jimin Choi MLA - Doctoral student, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, jchoi32@buffalo.edu

Center for Disease Control & Prevention - CDC 24/7 “Saving Lives, Protecting People


Published by

George Hamilton

Assistant Disability Ministry Director

Gulf States Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

H. 256-883-7751

C. 850-543-1398

E. gsc-disability@gscsda.org

Disabilities & Special Needs Ministry Goals

Support pastors and local church disabilities ministry coordinators in setting up programs to improve in the including people with disabilities in worship, work, service and leadership, and provide current information and resources on disability related issues for church leaders.
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