- Janyne McConnaughey, PhD
How to Be a Healing Church: A Very Human Webinar
Updated: Jan 6, 2021
(The great thing about our current situation is no one expects things to go perfectly. Behind the scenes of this webinar, my note pages were in the wrong order and my husband rescued me. Then one human forgot to click record and the other one forgot to click on the next slide. And thus, this comedy of human errors begins the Webinar linked below in a perfect humorous moment--but first the whole story, the part that didn't record.)
I would like to thank the Church of the Nazarene for this opportunity—and thank all those who have chosen to listen. The topic of trauma is compelling during this difficult time in our nation’s history. It is my hope that this presentation will provide insights into the important ways our churches can be a place of healing for those who have experienced childhood trauma in their lives.
I will be wearing a few different hats during this presentation, the first being my heritage within the Church of the Nazarene. My father served as an elder in the church for over sixty years and I followed in my parent’s steps by attending Pasadena College and moved with the college to San Diego my Junior year and graduated from Pt. Loma and eventually retired from the faculty at Nazarene Bible College. I was a teacher and teacher educator for 40 years--until my mental health tsunami which precipitated retirement at the age of 62.
Thus, my second hat as a survivor of childhood trauma. I have published three books that provide a glimpse into my own experiences and detail what I will be discussing today. No matter how effective I am in doing this today, the books will always be a better way to fully understand the experiences and healing process required for a survivor of childhood trauma.
My third hat is as a trauma-related Mental Health Advocate and to that end, I am serving on the board for the Attachment and Trauma Network—an organization that specifically addresses the need for trauma-informed practices in adoptive and foster families, schools, and communities.
My fourth hat is theology. Why Theology? The answer to that question began during my doctoral studies at the University of Colorado when presenting my research plan to my committee. The question I asked was if a teacher’s theology concerning the innocence or non-innocence of the child correlated with their teaching methods. A committee member asked, “Won’t you need to address original sin?” I said yes. They were fascinated. What I learned is that, as Wesleyans, our view of Imago Dei, the image of God, should affect every area of our lives—especially how we minister to those in our congregations and communities who exhibit mental health issues that may be trauma-related. With an understanding of the effects of trauma, the church has unlimited potential for being a healing church.
And now you are ready to click on the picture below and watch the webinar!