Healing Religious Hurts

Stories & Tips to Find Love and Peace

Elizabeth Ann Atkins & Joanie Lindenmeyer

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Religion is supposed to provide the ultimate comfort, but sadly, it can sometimes inflict shame, guilt, pain and rejection, leaving people hungering for spiritual nourishment.

Healing Religious Hurts: Stories & Tips to Find Love and Peace by Elizabeth Ann Atkins & Joanie Lindenmeyer gently guides you on a journey toward healing, learning how to overcome religious trauma, and discovering love and peace within yourself.

Through poignant contributions from individuals who have navigated disappointment and scandal within the church and other religious communities, the book empowers readers to embark on their own journey toward inner peace and self-acceptance.

The book features contributions written by LGBTQ+ people about how they and allies can find spiritual peace as well as a faith community that embraces and celebrates who they are. 

Healing Religious Hurts will be published in hardcover, paperback and ebook on October 1, 2024. Pre-order your copies now!


Healing Religious Hurts: Stories & Tips to Find Love and Peace by Elizabeth Ann Atkins & Joanie Lindenmeyer offers a compassionate guide for those who have endured the pain of being shamed, guilted, rejected, or scorned by religion or its people. 

Delving into the complexities of spirituality and the quest for inner peace, the book courageously explores questions and past experiences surrounding the nature of religion, spirituality, and the pursuit of personal fulfillment. 

Elizabeth and Joanie are collaborating on this book because they’ve both individually chronicled their unique religious and spiritual journeys in their best-selling memoirs.

In God’s Answer Is Know: Lessons From a Spiritual Life, Elizabeth shares how her parents sparked a racial and religious scandal in turbulent 1966 after her father, a Roman Catholic Priest, made the radical move to leave the church and marry her mother, who was Black and 25 years younger. The Bishop damned them to hell, which Elizabeth rejected, so she embarked on her own spiritual journey to find tremendous peace with God and to share it as a certified meditation teacher and catalyst for human harmony.

Elizabeth’s mother tells her story in The Triumph of Rosemary: a Memoir by Judge Marylin E. Atkins, which is being developed into a screenplay that will be shopped to Hollywood as a feature film.

Likewise, Joanie is changing lives around the world through her memoir, Nun Better: An Amazing Love Story by Joanie Lindenmeyer with Carol Tierheimer. This unique book showcases the beautiful story of how love blossomed between two Catholic nuns and led to a 40-year romantic adventure for Joanie and Carol. Both ultimately left their religious vows and later the church. They provided a private, safe space for a small, mighty LGBTQ+ community during the 1980s when the HIV/AIDS epidemic was triggering hate and deadly violence against LGBTQ+ individuals and couples.  Today’s freedoms—including legalized, same-sex marriage—seemed an impossible far, far away fantasy.

Both Elizabeth and Joanie share extremely personal details in their memoirs. Their vulnerability, readers say, inspires people to find their own courage and confidence to embrace who they are and blaze their own trails of self-discovery, celebration of their truths, and spiritual empowerment. 

Healing Religious Hurts—with its focus on finding spiritual nourishment and embracing individuality—provides valuable insights on how to navigate the path to healing and self-acceptance. From understanding the difference between religion and spirituality, to finding a faith community that celebrates diversity and inclusivity, readers are equipped with the tools to forge their own spiritual journey and connect with others who share similar experiences.

Furthermore, Healing Religious Hurts features a special chapter dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community, highlighting stories of resilience and self-discovery as individuals reclaim their spirituality after facing rejection, heartache and disconnection from religious institutions. 

With contributions from people across America, the book serves as a beacon of hope and solidarity, offering a supportive space for readers to explore their spiritual beliefs and find solace in shared experiences.

Ultimately, Healing Religious Hurts is a testament to the transformative power of forgiveness, acceptance, and the pursuit of spiritual peace, providing readers with the guidance and inspiration they need to embark on a journey of healing and rediscovery.


eBook, Hardcover, Paperback

  • Excerpt
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  • Events
  • Brookings Pride + Book Launch
    Joanie will be autographing Healing Religious Hurts.
    10 AM – 5 PM on June 1, 2024
    Azalea Park, Brookings, Oregon

    Detroit Pride 2024
    Elizabeth and Joanie will be autographing Healing Religious Hurts.
    Hart Plaza, downtown Detroit, Michigan
    1 PM – 8 PM on Saturday, June 8, 2024
    12:30 PM – 6 PM on Sunday, June 9, 2024

    Stonewall Columbus Pride
    Joanie will be autographing Healing Religious Hurts.
    Goodale Park, Columbus, Ohio
    4 PM – 10 PM on Friday, June 13, 2024
    11 AM – 8 PM on Saturday, June 14, 2024

    San Diego SheFest
    Joanie will be autographing Healing Religious Hurts.
    10 AM – 6 PM on Saturday July 13, 2024
    Balboa Park, San Diego, California

    San Diego Pride
    Joanie will be autographing Healing Religious Hurts.
    11 AM -10 PM on Saturday July 20, 2024
    11 AM – 9 PM on Sunday July 21, 2024
    Ballast Point, Balboa Park, San Diego, California

    Medford Pride 2024
    Saturday, June 22, 2024
    Medford, Oregon
    Time TBA

    Healing Religious Hurts official book Launch
    October 1, 2024
    Wild River Pizza Restaurant
    16279 US Hwy 101
    Brookings, Oregon

    More events to come, including Ashland, Oregon, and Palm Springs, California.