The Access Leadership Network seeks to discover, develop, and deploy leaders working to build communities of belonging for those with and without disabilities in parishes across the ACNA.
AcLN comes alongside individuals and churches within the ACNA to help overcome obstacles with thoughtful creativity and engage those with disabilities as valued and indispensable members of their congregations.
The Advocacy Team
• supports parishes in their efforts to bring about genuine belonging in the life of the church for all affected by disability.
• seeks to walk alongside people with disabilities to empower them to become their own best advocates.
The Research Team
researches biblically sound perspectives on disability ministry and what it means to be a valued member of the Body of Christ to help guide and inform the advocacy, training, and resources of Access Leadership Network and ministry in local churches.
The Resource Team
connects people and shares resources to support the church’s ministry with and by people with disabilities to facilitate Christian community among the body of believers, growing and serving together.
The Training Team
• provides training resources for churches to build communities of belonging and make accommodations for individuals with and without disabilities.
• believes that belonging involves reciprocal relationships of growing together and mutually serving to build up the local body of believers.
OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM
Deacon Kathy Ayres, Director
Kathy Ayres is the Director for Access Leadership Network and heads up the Resource Team. After a 35-year career in Occupational Therapy and volunteer in ministry with hearing and deaf youth, Kathy sensed a call to ordained ministry as a vocational deacon and attends seminary part-time. Kathy has a passion to help churches create communities of belonging for growth and service together, developing leaders with and without disabilities to build God’s kingdom.
Jennifer Feldman oversees the AcLN Research Team and is an active member of Holy Spirit Anglican Church in Akron, Ohio. She is passionate about intercession, intimacy with God, worship, belonging ministry, and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. Outside of AcLN, Jennifer is employed as a clinical medical librarian at a local hospital. As a self-advocate, she seeks to bring a Biblical and Spirit-Led, scientific perspective to creating a fulfilling experience in the church for all impacted by disabilities.
Beth Kirby heads up the AcLN Advocacy team. She is a founding member of Servants of Christ Anglican Church in Gainesville, Florida, and is active in ministry there and in the Gulf Atlantic Diocese with the summer camp program. She is a teacher and mother of three: a son and a daughter in college and a teenaged son with autism. When her youngest son Aidan was diagnosed, and as he grew older, church involvement became a challenge. The way the SOC church community has supported Aidan and the Kirby family inspires Beth to bring awareness to other churches of the value of acceptance and inclusion for people with disabilities and their families.