Monthly Archives: November 2013

On Coming Out …. Or Not

This is a big decision.  What would it mean to let people know that I am an autistic minister?  Other autistic people might appreciate knowing a minister on the spectrum.  However, neuro-typicals might feel that they could not trust me anymore.  I could lose a job that I love very much.  Or I could lose the confidence of some of the people I minister to.   Probably my ministry would be re-shaped in ways that I can’t now imagine.  Some of the changes would probably make me happy; others of them perhaps would make me sad.

I’ve been writing some things about mental illness and spirituality, and have been in conversation with a publisher who might be interested in publishing it.  When they requested some additional material, I threw in a chapter about my own journey with autism. I think I was hoping they would say that the material about my autism doesn’t really fit in this prospective book.  But, instead, they especially like that chapter!  What do I do now?  Do I leave it in?  Do I give them more of my writing on the subject?  Do I forget the whole thing and walk away?

Continuing this conversation with the publisher could change my life in some dramatic ways.  As an Aspie,  I do not like change.  I especially don’t like it if I don’t know in advance exactly what lies down the road!

As with all major decisions, I know that it is not ultimately a matter of avoiding my fears of the unknown.  It really comes down to my relationship with God.  What does God have in mind here for my life and for my ministry?

 

 

 

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Autism Is the Calling

In my twenty-five years as an ordained clergy woman, I have often felt that there was something terribly wrong with me; something that kept getting in the way of my fully responding to God’s calling me to ministry. Recently, I went for a diagnosis with a neuro-psychologist and learned that I have Asperger’s Syndrome [Autism Spectrum Disorder in the DSM V]. Now I understand what I’ve believed was getting in the way of fulfilling God’s call to me: it is my autism. Yet, in my prayers, I feel that God is saying to me that autism is not a barrier to my calling; autism IS my calling!
Being an autistic minister means ministering with and through my autism; not in spite of it.
I’m not totally certain what that means, but I hope to explore it in this blog. What does it mean to be an autistic minister? What added gifts does it bring to serving God? How do I fully be my autistic self, and minister through my full being?
I hope to find some answers through blogging – and hopefully getting some input from readers along the way.

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Filed under Autism and Ministry