Some congregations have associate pastors who specialize in visiting people. Now that I'm in solo ministry, my church just has me.
A. J. is blond and energetic and has autism. His parents instructed me how to take his lead, touch his forearms, and appreciate his motions.
Part church, part support network for families, Salvage Garden strives to create a space where all are welcome.
"Progressive Christians do a good job with issues like LGBT rights," says Dennis Sanders of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Minneapolis. "But we're less good at helping people become disciples of Jesus."