Welcome to my site! I’m Summer Kinard, a Greek Orthodox Christian who homeschools her five children (at least four of whom are autistic), sings opera, loves tea, and writes inspiring novels and curricula for active learners. I hold an M.Div. (2003) and Th.M. (early church history and theology, 2005) from Duke University Divinity School. I’m the author of Of Such Is The Kingdom: A Practical Theology of Disability (under contract with Ancient Faith Publishing), which shows that welcoming families and persons with disabilities in the Orthodox Church is grounded in the heart of God. (More on that below!)
Things that would be important for you to know about me:
- I’m a mother to four (maybe five) autistic children, and I homeschool them with my husband. We call ourselves the Headmistress and Deputy Headmaster on our homeschool registration forms. Our therapeutic homeschool is called St. Nektarios Academy.
- I have a Bachelor’s in Religious Studies (Southwestern University, 2000), an M.Div. (2003, Duke University Divinity School), and a Th.M. in early church history and theology (2005, Duke University Divinity School). I love to learn, and I love the living tradition of the ancient Christian faith.
- I was a teaching assistant for 4 years at Duke Divinity School, where I led discussion groups for future clergy in different areas of church history. I have led small groups in churches and among peers since I was a teen. It’s one of my favorite ways to work together and form leaders.
- I’m a teacher who is good at synthesizing and leading others through critical thinking. I’ve led workshops, and I have been on radio shows and interview panels on spiritual writing and spiritual gifts. It’s a great joy to me to co-teach the preschool Sunday school class at church.
- I produce and share aids for Christian worship and prayer for concrete thinkers and persons with special needs.
- I have a strong gift of faith in God’s love for everyone, in God’s goodness, and in the goodness of each person. This trust in the goodness of God and people isn’t based on naivete, but on my experience of God’s healing and empowering presence. My ACES (adverse childhood experiences score) is 9, and I survived a lot. The great gift I learned was that God loves us all impartially and fully. How amazing is that?!
- I believe that it’s better together.
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.
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). I also write Jane Austen Fan Fiction under the pen name Jolene St. John.
Will you pay attention if I comment?
Yes! I’m Southern. This is my welcome mat. Set a spell, drink tea, let’s visit (electronically). I love to talk about living faith you can touch in writing and reading and theology and autism and singing and children and gardening, so please jump right in with thoughts and questions. Make sure to link to your blog if you comment so I can go read your thoughts, too!
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. Invite me to your chats, and I’ll amplify you as I am able.
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.