On Saturday morning, delegates overwhelmingly approved a recommendation to more deliberately support ministry to children with disabilities.

The work will be folded into Transformed and Transforming, the 15-year goal of the Reformed Church in America.

Mark Mast, a delegate from the Regional Synod of New York, spoke to the recommendation’s origin as an overture from his classis, Mid-Hudson. Mast’s congregation includes many people with disabilities. “We met and I asked, ‘What was it like growing up in the church?’ They spent 20 to 30 minutes talking about how awful it was growing up in the church. I asked, ‘What would you do with young people today?’ They got so excited.” The overture and subsequent recommendation was built around their ideas.

“I have two children with disabilities,” Mast said. “And unfortunately, we have not done a good job in our denomination keeping our covenant vows to children with special needs.”

He said the recommendation was a way to “really put ourselves behind something that is very, very, very much a need.”