Ministering to Families
with Autism

Church should be a warm, welcoming, and safe space for everyone who is looking for community, worship, and spiritual growth. Meet Sarah Conway, North Way’s Autism Ministry Director and hear about how North Way is ministering to families with autism.

Come as you are ...

Maybe that sounds like a nice phrase to hang on the wall, but an impossible one to live by, especially if your family is made up of neurotypical and neurodiverse children. Maybe you’re thinking: You don’t know our family. We don’t look like everyone else here. If we come as we are, we might be loud. We probably won’t make it through the whole service. We might create a scene.

We know. And it is okay. Come as you are. We cannot wait to meet you.

Our mission is for families with a child (or children) on the autism spectrum to come as they are, so that together they can all know, experience, and follow Jesus.

Our goal is to provide a loving and welcoming environment for your whole family — a place where you all feel safe to come as you are. Every week, we seek to provide an engaging, inclusive place for your children to grow in a relationship with Jesus and with their same-aged peers. Your children, both neurotypical and neurodiverse, will be well taken care of as they experience the love of Jesus. At the same time, you will be able to participate in our worship gathering and experience much needed worship, teaching, prayer, and community.

We believe we are to reflect God’s Kingdom, as described in Revelation 7:9, here on Earth. “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.” There are no barriers in Heaven, so we believe there should not be barriers here on Earth. Our goal is creative an inclusive church environment, one without barriers.

All you have to do is come. You do not have to wait until you have “everything figured out.” You do not have to worry about being embarrassed. Just come and experience the hope of the Gospel: the good news that invites each one of us to come as we are and encounter the love of Jesus.

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Tour the space ...

Currently North Way’s Autism Ministry is available at the Sewickley Valley campus.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our vision is for all kids to know, experience, and follow Jesus. To pursue that vision, the Autism Ministry will be closely tied to Kids Church and will provide necessary accommodations and modifications as needed. We will also utilize fully equipped sensory rooms to provide children with special needs a personalized sensory input as needed.

We are counting down the days until we get to open our doors! Our current timeline is to launch this ministry in early 2022 once our volunteer team is fully staffed. If you would like more information, please fill out the contact form above.

Someone once said, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Our goal with this ministry is to go far, not fast. We want to provide the best Kids Church experience for neurotypical and neurodiverse children. To do so, we will need to build a ministry and team that can go far, together. At this time, we are equipped to provide an excellent, safe, and loving environment for children on the autism spectrum. As we learn and grow as a ministry, our dream is to be equipped for additional special needs and disabilities.

There are many ways to get involved and use your gifts to care for and disciple children. We will have a wide range of serving opportunities available for varied experience levels and will also provide training. If you are interested in joining this team, please fill out the form above for an application.

Since the Autism Ministry is closely aligned with Kids Church, it is designed for preschool and elementary age children (3 years old– 5th grade) who are on the autism spectrum. As we learn and grow as a ministry, our dream is to be equipped for additional ages.

Our Autism Ministry will be available during our Sunday morning worship gatherings at our Sewickley Valley location.

Yes! This ministry is open to all families. We love meeting new people and hope this ministry is a blessing to the community. If you know someone who would like more information, please fill out the form above or provide them with a link to this website: http://northway.org/autismminsitry

Yes! We want to help all of our children celebrate the diversity in the body of Christ. It is our goal to have an inclusive program, that includes all children in the Kids Church classrooms with their same-aged peers. This does mean that neurotypical kids will have the opportunity to be in Kids Church with neurodivergent kids. This will allow all children to learn more about their peers,

develop new social skills, and learn what it means to love everyone like Jesus.

Let's Connect

We would love to hear from you! Please use this form to reach out to our Autism Ministry Director and team. Someone will personally reach out to you whether you’re interested in more information and/or volunteering.

North Way Christian Community
12121 Perry Highway
Wexford, PA 15090
724.935.6800

Pittsburgh Streaming Church Services
Copyright 2022 © North Way Christian Community. All rights reserved.

Sarah Conway

Autism Ministry Director

  • Masters Degree in Special Education
  • Bachelors Degree in mathematics
  • Certified 7-12 math and 7-12 special education teacher
  • Has gained experience teaching in a learning support classroom and working as a paraprofessional
  • Nearly five years working in family ministry
  • Four year intern with North Way Student Ministry program at Sewickley Valley
  • Born and raised in Sewickley Valley
  • Has relatives who are speech delayed and on the spectrum providing her with one-on-one experience

STATIONERY

SEWICKLEY VALLEY