With Ministries Quarterly Update
Flourish – Winter 2024
A Letter From Rebecca
Happy New Year! The turning of the calendar brings excitement, hope, and a time for reflecting and refocusing. Our team has spent time doing the latter and completely stands in awe of God and His plans as we celebrate our first year as With Ministries (previously Friendship Ministries and All Belong’s Church Division). God has moved, guided, and provided for us in ways that would overwhelm this entire update! Simply put, we are humbled and amazed by the kindness of God and the steadfast commitment from the With Ministries community and donors like you.
We remain committed to our mission of seeing people with and without disability growing deeper in their relationship with God and with each other in community.
God has opened the doors wide for our team to expand our ministry! We are reconnecting with Friendship Groups across the country, establishing partnerships
Heritage Story with new churches, and building out our suite of resources and offerings that will equip church leaders. We’re partnering with Baylor Center for Developmental Disabilities in our Lilly Endowment Inc. funded project, Worship As One: Learning with Children with Disabilities about Worship and Prayer. The project will equip churches to be communities in which believing and belonging abound together. Additionally, we continue to see our webinars reach leaders in the US and Latin America and continue to hear incredible stories of impact and change in communities coming from these learning opportunities.
We excitedly anticipate 2024 as a year of catalyzing churches to move toward one another in a posture of withness. You are a vital and important part of this profound work through your generosity, prayers, and participation. Thank you, and we cannot wait to keep you apprised of what God does in and through With Ministries!
With Hosts Gathering for Leaders
In October, With Ministries and the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship hosted 29 members of the Disability Ministry Network for two days of collaboration, networking, and dreaming about partnership opportunities to further impact churches together. We gathered parachurch organizations, denominational offices, consultants, representatives from seminaries and academia, and service providers from 13 states.
As we shared about our work, it was repeatedly armed by our partners that our approach of withness and equipping church leadership is necessary and needed to build congregations that create belonging for people of all abilities. What an honor it was for our team to host and participate in this gathering of disability leaders!
Our group reflects what it means to minister with, not to people with incredible abilities. We are all richer because of these relationships and so grateful to work together to make the world a better place.– Diane Sturmer, Heritage Christian Services
A Weekly Friendship Group in New York
Friendship Groups have been happening in 24 countries over the last 40 years. These groups embody our belief that mutual and meaningful friendships last and spark congregations toward belonging for all people.
In New York, a Friendship group gathers weekly to build Christ-centered relationships as well as deepen the participants’ relationship with God. Their group uses With’s Bible study curriculum, Together, to learn from God’s word about courage, prayer, spiritual gifts, and more. Over time, members from the church continue to attend this Friendship Group as they have learned much from one another, and we celebrate all that God is doing in and through this Friendship Group and others around the world!