Rev. Anna Gordy

Exploring the Intersection of Autism and Faith: A Spectrum of Understanding

Thank you for pointing us toward, what I think, is a pathway for us as a church from deficit to diversity and opening up that understanding.”

David Morstad, 

In a world where diversity is celebrated and individuality is cherished, it’s crucial to recognize that human experiences, beliefs, and identities are not confined to rigid categories. Both Autism and Faith are multifaceted; they intersect in unique and profound ways, shaping the lives of individuals and communities alike. In a recent Faith-Filled Explorations Webinar, Rev. Anna Gordy presented some fascinating insights and experiences between Autism and Faith to deepen our understanding of both.

Rev. Anna Gordy, a distinguished figure known for her roles as an artist, writer, theologian, and parent to 5, brings a wealth of experience and compassion to this discussion. As a mission developer for the ELCA, Anna is deeply attuned to the diverse needs and spiritual journeys of individuals within her community. Her role as a spiritual director for underserved communities has given her a unique perspective on the intersectionality of various identities.

A surprise visit from author David Moristad, Whole Community: Introducing Communities of Faith to People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, brought even greater depth to the conversation and elevated the need for more conversations like this in our congregations and schools.

One of the key insights from Rev. Anna’s webinar is recognizing every individual’s inherent value and dignity, regardless of their neurodiversity or the place on their journey of faith. Anna believes that each person is created in the image of the Divine, bearing a unique spark of God’s light within them. This understanding forms the foundation of her approach to supporting individuals in discovering their creative place in the world and nurturing their spiritual growth.

“There is nothing more appealing to my autistic brain than when someone says ‘I don’t know but let’s find out’ that’s just that’s amazing.”

Rev. Anna Gordy

The intersection of Autism and Faith also invites us to explore questions of inclusivity, accessibility, and belonging within religious communities. How can churches and faith-based organizations create spaces that are welcoming and supportive of individuals with Autism? How can we ensure that everyone, regardless of their neurodiversity, feels valued and included in the communal life of faith? These are essential questions that require ongoing dialogue and action within our communities.

“RIC is also commited to learning and welcoming people with differing abilities.”

Rev. Anna Gordy

You are invited to view the recording of Rev. Anna Gordy’s webinar, Faith-Filled Explorations: Serving Students and Caregivers with Autism, which offers a valuable opportunity for individuals, communities, and religious leaders to deepen their understanding of the intersection between Autism and Faith. It challenges us to embrace the complexity and diversity of human experience, recognizing the sacredness inherent in each individual’s journey. By engaging in this conversation with openness and humility, we can create communities that are truly inclusive, affirming, and supportive of all God’s children.

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