DEINSTITUTIONALIZING GOD chronicles the author’s journey from early religious exposure to full faith formation and pursuing ministry as a vocation. This tell-all memoir is laced with humor, applied psychology, and theological reflection to produce a compelling account of maintaining faith when all around you contradicts it. Her first-hand account of experiencing sexual harassment, denial of ordination, and apathy in the church is cast against the backdrop of the universal story of striving for a relationship with the divine.
All she wanted to do was preach. All the church wanted to do was stop her. Pursuing that goal should have been a lot easier. Church is supposed to be safe space, but quite often is not. Spiritual trauma occurs because evil likes to cloak itself in benevolence. People are often not as guarded in religious settings as they would be in the world and thus become more vulnerable to invisible injury. It goes unaccounted for and is seldom addressed. Therefore, the most self-preserving thing to do at times is to leave. And that, she did.
Being a management consultant by profession enabled Dionne to examine the church organically beyond its spiritual persona. The same dynamics occur in secular settings, but are tolerated in sacred space in full view of people who would like to think their hands are clean. This book is a stinging indictment of the church—consistent with the #ChurchToo and #MeToo movements—but one with a path to restoration.