Jeanne Tyler Honored at General Synod

We are so proud of Jeanne Tyler! She was honored by the Disabilities Ministries of the UCC at General Synod this past weekend. The text below is the speech given by Linda Zigler of the DMUCC Board during the award announcement. Please join us in congratulating Jeanne Tyler!

The next award has not been awarded since the 1980’s, so it is obvious that the recipient must be a very special person to receive it. Indeed this person IS special. This year that person completes her second term on UCCDM. Those years of service enabled her to focus her attention more closely on disability throughout the denomination and she has proved to be a force the denomination has had to reckon with. She has been constantly and consistently outspoken about how short local and national church falls when including people with disabilities. Thanks to her dedicated and passionate work for disability ministry, people with disabilities can now begin to feel the difference while sitting in the pews or sitting on a national board.

As a graduate of CTS and in working with one of our beloved members at Eden, her voice has begun to be heard in the seminaries. She has been advocating for T-coil systems since first experiencing the impact they have to enhance hearing while at an EDAN meeting in Denver in 2012.

Yes, she serves more than just the UCC. She has also been a part of the World Council of Church’s Ecumenical Disabilities Advocacy Network. Her favorite special seat, however, has been while serving on the National Council of Churches.  When the NCC decided to ‘retire’ the disability committee she sat on, she helped write a theological paper in protest, and was instrumental in creating a new group to continue the work the HCC had discarded.

Remembering her own struggles in seminary, listening to the rest of us tell our own sordid tales of disability and its hidden expenses in seminary education, Jeanne took it upon herself to help create the Virginia Kreyer Scholarship Fund for Theological Study. Her persistence in raising money for this fund has defied the odds. She found courage to ask for money from people and places when she didn’t think she had any. Her encouragement emboldened the DM Board to ask for one of the Synod offerings to go to the Kreyer Fund – a year ago. All these fundraising efforts means that today there is about $100,000 in the fund so far, and the first distributions can be made to students possibly as early as 2016.

It is with great honor, that I present the Virgina Kreyer Award to Jeanne Tyler.

 

Posted on June 30, 2015 at 9:16 am in Featured.

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