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From Religion to Healing

Formerly known as Religious Trauma, This will be a welcoming and understanding place to share an honest dialogue about our personal journey of growth and understanding through our journey to recovery from the matrix of a church or religion.  This group will help us move from shame, guilt, fear, condemnation, abuse, and internalized homophobia. Through the support of this group our goal is to improve our self-love, recognize we are not alone, and learn our own healthy spirituality. 

About Barb Little

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Barbara started the beginning of her 44+ year 

career in mental health nursing at Port Huron Hospital upon graduation from Kellogg Community college in Battle Creek, MI. Out as a lesbian only to her siblings she found her hometown stifling and moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to gain the comfort of being “out.’ She continued in administrative mental health positions and was afforded the

 opportunity to complete a bachelor's degree at Barry university in Miami, and then a masters degree at Florida international university. These degrees led to her accomplishing the national certification as an adult psych mental health nurse practitioner, , leading to private practice with Psychiatrists and Psychologists, contracts with various Juvenile Justice programs, and hospital psych units. Considered a community leader at that time, Barbara formed networks for Psych NPs in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Palm Beach nurses And was a state leader with the American Psychiatric Nurses Association.

After a successful 25 years in Florida she found a position in Yuma, Arizona for 11 years. She enjoyed riding her Harley and participating with Toys for Tots with the local Harley Davidson group.  She volunteered in Green Valley, Arizona with “the Samaritans” a group providing water, clothing, and sometimes rescue for individuals crossing the desert. Six months in Arizona and six months in Michigan brought her back to the Blue Water area and her family.  Missing the change in seasons, an opportunity in Willmar, Minnesota came through a random email. Spending the final 9 years of her career in a Community Mental Health setting in a town in the prairies was rewarding and life changing.

While in Willmar, Barbara became active in the local Presbyterian church.  Completing a Certificate in Ministry at the Austin Presbyterian Seminary this was paid for by her local church.  This offered Barbara the opportunity to be “out” in a Religious Community.  An active member, she became a Deacon, then an Elder.  Once the Certification was completed the role of “pulpit supply” pastor gave her the opportunity to fill in for vacationing pastors, leading the services including sermons at her home church and other churches in the Presbytery.  Recognized as a leader, she worked on the board of the city Human Rights Commission, a local homeless program and other church committees. 

 

Being fully out and honest about being Gay and Christian was a rewarding and life changing experience.  Through many years of hearing the damage done by family and religion, known as internalized homophobia, Barbara was also led to learning how to express this for interested churches and church leaders -  but mostly for the millions of LGBTQ individuals in need of emotional support to realize their innate goodness, worthiness, and self-love.  

Upon returning to her hometown, Barbara was introduced to the idea of an Ally Center at a drag show.  Following the meetings from the beginning of 2023, Barbara became a board member after a long career as a psychiatric Nurse.

Every 3rd Wednesday @ 5:30 - 6:30pm

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