Author Summer Kinard stands against a stacked stone wall.

Hello! Welcome to my site. I’m Summer Kinard, an Orthodox Christian, the mother of five autistic children, a tea lover, classically trained soprano, senior editor at Park End Books, 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 accessibility-focused curricula 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 going to be releasing some of my fiction works in the coming year in new editions under the pen name, Michelle Barnett, my real life middle names, in order to help people find my disability and theology resources more easily.

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 led a workshop on the topic, “Faith You Can Touch: Concrete Thinking as a Model for Evangelism” at the third Ancient Faith Writing and Podcasting Conference in June, 2019. Check out the outlines and resources I’ve posted from my recent workshops and talks HERE.

My book, Of Such Is The Kingdom: A Practical Theology of Disability (Amazon affiliate link), was published in October 2019 from Ancient Faith Publishing. It shows how welcoming families and persons with disabilities as full members of Christ’s Body that is the Orthodox Church is grounded in the heart of God and vital to our salvation.

book cover Down syndrome, father child, text theology of disability

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.

Current Works

I’m currently working on hands-on, accessible Sunday school curricula so that everyone can learn about the amazing love of God. I am available to lead workshops virtually or in-person (after the pandemic). Contact me through the form below for more information.

I couldn't get all this writing in without the support of my wonderful husband! I couldn’t get all this writing in without the support of my wonderful husband!

Follow Me on Twitter  

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 lots about tea, inspiration boards for my novels, homeschool, faith, household topics, food, and crochet/crafts. Please link the images of my posts to Pinterest to keep track of them!

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links to my book pages.*

Contact Me Using The Form Below.

9 thoughts on “About Me”

  1. Hey! Just ran in to your blog today and found it really cool! 🙂 That’s especially cool that your husband is an iconographer. So are you Orthodox then? Or Catholic?

    Hannah Paraskeve

    1. Hi Hannah, We’re Episcopalians with strong ties to Catholicism and Orthodoxy. We have been discerning for years about whether to convert to Orthodoxy, and that will likely be where we end up. But we’re so in love with our parish and with Western music, that conversion has not been practicable yet. My husband studies iconography with an Orthodox monk and priest, Fr. Mefodii. We have several lovely Orthodox friends in the area, too. I was baptized Catholic, but we are not comfortable with a few of the current Catholic doctrines — mainly, not communing children under 7 and the 19th C dogmas. We are slowly but surely learning about Orthodox prayer life and the calendar, and it has been an enriching journey, especially as we are in such a loving and God-filled Episcopal parish already. I’m glad you stopped by! My husband only has a bit more to write for his first icon of the Theotokos (“God-bearer”, aka Virgin Mary and Jesus), and I’ll post once it’s completed. There’s a post on here somewhere where I wrote about being an iconographer’s spouse. Good times! Are you Orthodox?

  2. Yes. I just joined the Orthodox Church last year. (After growing up Baptist-Protestant) I actually read a book this year called Girl Meets God, written by an Episcopalian girl from the East Coast who converted to Christianity from Judaism. It’s a really great book, and very well written. She’s a very educated person, and the book, which is a memoir she wrote while I think it was getting her Master’s, is great. I really enjoyed reading it, and it gave me more of an understanding of the Episcopal church. And I can definitely understand it more now than I could before i became Orthodox. I love Orthodoxy. And i feel like Catholics are part of our “extended family” too, but like you said, there are things that have changed from the original Holy and Catholic church. And those are the things that bother me. I think it’s super cool that your husband is an iconographer. I love icons now! 🙂 So, do they use icons much in the Episcopal Church? Blessings on your spiritual journey…no matter what church you end up in, may you end up closer to God than ever. 🙂

  3. What a wonderful blog! I just read a few entries and I am glad you told me about it via Elder Sophrony’s words of wisdom. And your husband and I look like we could be brothers! 🙂

  4. I’m Antiochian Orthodox. I really enjoyed reading your book and your blog as well. We need more Orthodox Disabled people writing about our experiences. Your blog opens up so much about accessibility to the public. Thanks for sharing your work.

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