Loving the Hell Out of Your Neighborhood
A 6-week course introducing trauma-informed ministry in the neighborhood


How do we truly love God and our neighbor as ourselves, when so many of us bear trauma?


This six week introduction to trauma-informed ministry helps participants understand the nature and some common consequences of trauma, so as to be able to offer an empathetic and compassionate ministry of presence with neighbors and neighborhoods experiencing trauma. 


This course, taught by Elaine Heath and Jeanine Heath-McGlinn--a theologian and a therapist—is based on six themes in their 2021 memoir, Loving the Hell Out of Ourselves (and Others).  Topics include:

  • Ditching the labels

  • Opening ourselves to love

  • From violence to vulnerability

  • Seeing the divine image in everyone

  • Asking a new set of questions

  • Living a life of grace

"Like a birch tree shedding its bark as it grows, I was shedding the skin of compliance. The more I lived into my worth, the less I listened to shame and the better I became at asking the right set of questions. Those questions were important for my relationships with others, but especially for my relationship with myself. Each morning I greeted the day sitting in my living room, cup of coffee in hand, giving space for prayer and stillness. The white birch trees outside my window became icons of God’s steadfastness through different seasons. I gazed upon them noticing every detail, their branches, the scars in the bark from growth, and the beauty of their leafless branches against a winter sky. They seemed dead but they were actually resting. In time new leaves would spring forth, providing oxygen and shade for the world. But for now it was time for tree sabbath. One morning during prayer when it was still dark outside with a full moon reflecting on the snow, I noticed that by moving my head slightly, the full moon disappeared behind a single birch tree. The moon was still there, yet with a small change of perspective it seemed to be gone. If a full moon could be hidden behind a single tree, what else was I missing? What were the shifts in perspective that I might need in order to see what was hidden in plain sight? Did I have the courage that would be required to see new perspectives and expand my world? How would those changes in perspective affect my relationships?"

Heath, Elaine; Heath-McGlinn, Jeanine.

Loving the Hell Out of Ourselves: (and Others) (p. 196). Birch & Alder Press. Kindle Edition.

Jeanine Heath-McGlinn is a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice and a retired High School Counselor. As a therapist she works with couples, adults, and older teens. She is well known for her leadership, consultation, and professional development in crisis intervention, crisis response in schools, and suicide prevention. It is a sacred honor for her to travel with people on their journey from mental health struggles, trauma, loss, and pain to a place of resilient healing and hope. She has done the hard work that she asks of her clients, having overcome an impoverished and violent childhood. As a life-long Alaskan, Jeanine lives at the base of the Chugach Mountains in Anchorage, with her wife, Jackie. They enjoy family gatherings with their four children and spouses, and ten grandchildren. Camping, walking, skiing, reading a good book, and drinking strong coffee are some of her favorite things.

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  • ​Six Tuesdays beginning September 7 through October 12, 2021

  • Virtual Class via ZOOM, 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. ET

  • ZOOM link, class schedule and outline will be provided with registration confirmation

  • Please read the book in its entirety prior to the first class on September 7

  • 1.5 Clergy/Ministerial Professional CEU's available

  • Six weekly sessions of 90-minutes include 

    • Opening Scripture and Prayer

    • A Presentation About the Focus Chapter for Each Session

    • Small Group Conversations on Focus Questions in Breakout Rooms

    • Large Group Gathering for Closing Reflection and Prayer

This offering is currently in session.

If you have any questions, please contact Dina Helderman.


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Elaine Heath is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and has served as the McCreless Professor of Evangelism at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, and as Dean and Professor of Missional and Pastoral Theology at Duke Divinity School, Duke University. She co-founded and now serves as president of Neighborhood Seminary. She is the author of eleven books. Elaine lives at Spring Forest, a small farm and intentional community near Hillsborough, North Carolina, with her husband Randall. They enjoy kayaking, hiking, camping, movies, and campfires, and spending time with their family and friends.