Hello! Welcome to my site. I’m Summer Kinard, a Greek Orthodox Christian, the mother of five autistic children, a tea lover, classically trained soprano, and author of inspiring novels and curricula for active learners. I received my Master of Divinity (summa cum laude, 2003) and Master of Theology (2005, early church history and theology) degrees from Duke University Divinity School, where I sat my Master of Theology exam in 2nd through 5th Century theological anthropologies. I’ve taught in churches for decades and currently spend most of my instruction time leading our therapeutic homeschool. My curriculum e-books (Creative Writing for Kids, Hands-On Sunday School Lessons, How to Tell Bedtime Stories) are based on my real life teaching from the time I was ringleader to dozens of cousins and three younger siblings to my years leading church school kids in learning games to my experience teaching and learning from my own five children.
I’m the author of three published novels, which have been praised as “beautifully iconic,” revealing “the close connection between spiritual and romantic ecstasy.” As author Deborah Hining puts it, “Summer shows us what it is to see through the thin places of the world, to the colorful, brilliant world of the spiritual that is always there if we only have the eyes to see.” Texas Tea & Travel magazine called my novel Tea & Crumples an “uplifting story that will warm your heart and renew your faith.” My recent novel, The Stone Pillow, explores love, grief, and mysticism in places worn thin by the footsteps of saints.
I write about the practicalities of autistic and spiritual life on my Facebook page and here on my site. Check out my free printable prayer aids for persons with special needs, such as the visual schedules for the Divine Liturgy and Roman Catholic Mass, which are my most popular downloads.
I have appeared as a guest on podcasts and radio shows and am scheduled to lead a workshop on the topic, “Concrete Thinking as a Model for Evangelism” at the third Ancient Faith Writing and Podcasting Conference in 2019. I’m currently writing, Of Such Is The Kingdom: A Practical Theology of Disability (under contract with Ancient Faith Publishing), which shows how welcoming families and persons with disabilities in the Orthodox Church is grounded in the heart of God.
More important than what I have done is what God has done. I’m grateful to be a witness to the transforming grace of God who brought me back from the dead after an emergency baptism and guided me through a childhood of abuse to bear witness to God’s healing presence and universal love. The first words I heard as I came back to life were, “In the Name of the Father and the Son the Holy Spirit,” and I strive to know and love the God who saved me.
I’m currently writing Of Such is the Kingdom: A Practical Theology of Disability that shows a way of welcoming persons and families with disabilities into the Orthodox Christian Church that is grounded in the heart of God. If you have a story about providing or receiving welcome into the liturgical, educational, or social life of the Orthodox Church, I’d love for you to share it with me in the contact form below. I’ll get in touch to see about sharing your story in the book or in a post.
Read a Short Summary of the Book Structure Here: SHORTOVERVIEWOfSuch
Here’s a Longer Summary: OVERVIEWOfSuchIsTheKingdom
You can catch up on my published works on my Amazon page. (Because I have since converted to the Orthodox Church, be aware that my publisher has put my first novel out of print at my request.) My latest novel is The Stone Pillow. I have a few long-term projects afoot: an autism-friendly Sunday school curriculum, a series of middle grade books with an autistic girl of faith as its protagonist, and an Orthodox romance novella series set on islands (The Stone Pillow is the first of these).
Where else do you post online?
You can also find me at Tea & Crumples, where I pair teas with books in simple book reviews and share faith you can touch in books, recipes, and teas.
Follow Me on Twitter where I mostly like things and retweet occasionally.
Like my Facebook Page where I share about faith you can touch in life and fiction.
My Instagram Feed is where I microblog about daily life.
Pinterest Boards I post inspiration boards for my novels, but there’s also homeschool, faith, household topics, food, and crochet/crafts.
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Contact Me Using The Form Below.