First Parish became an “AIM Certified Congregation” and was honored by the Unitarian Universalist Association during General Assembly in New Orleans recently. Pictured (l-r) Ted Carlson, Senior Minister John Gibbons, Joanne Glover, Parish Minister Megan Lynes, Marie Ryder, and Bill Ryder. Courtesy image (c) 2017 all rights reserved – Click to view larger image

Submitted by First Parish, Unitarian Universalist Church in Bedford

Marie Ryder (c) accepted the AIM certificate on behalf of First Parish – Courtesy image (c) 2017 all rights reserved

First Parish in Bedford recently became the second Unitarian Universalist congregation in the country to be named an “AIM-certified congregation.” AIM (Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry) is a joint program of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and EqUUal Access, an organization whose mission is to enable the full engagement of people with disabilities.  Marie Ryder, a member of First Parish’s Access for ALL team, accepted the award on the behalf of the congregation at General Assembly, the UUA’s recent national meeting in New Orleans.

The pioneering efforts of the UUA and the United Church of Christ are unique among faith communities, offering programs specifically designed to promote greater welcoming and inclusion of people with disabilities and their families.

First Parish has been an AIM pilot congregation for the last five years. The congregation’s Access for ALL team has evaluated UUA-developed materials and processes; the team has also developed plans for improved access and inclusion, both in the congregation and in Bedford

You can learn more about the AIM program at  For more information about specifics at First Parish, or to talk with us about access/inclusion projects your congregation might want to undertake, please get in touch with Lee Vorderer, at

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