Fleming Rutledge is a preacher and teacher known throughout the US, Canada, and parts of the UK. She is the author of eight books, all from Eerdmans Publishing. Her most recent book, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ, is the product of the work of a lifetime and is being described as a new classic on the subject.
One of the first women to be ordained to the priesthood of the Episcopal Church, she served for fourteen years on the clergy staff at Grace Church on Lower Broadway at Tenth Street, New York City.
Fleming and her husband celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2009 and have two daughters and two grandchildren. She is a native of Franklin, Virginia.
Discerning God's Work In The World: Tips From The Times For Preachers: November 2010
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
The offense of "closure"The wrenching triple-murder and rape case in Cheshire, Connecticut has riveted attention in this area, and probably the whole country. One of the two perpetrators received a death sentence yesterday. Christians, I believe, should oppose the death penalty in all cases, period--but as one of the jurors said, if there was ever a clear-cut case where it should be used, this was it.
Dr. William Petit, the sole survivor of the horror that killed his wife and two children, spoke before the TV cameras after the verdict. I wrote down some of what he said:
"People who talk about 'closure' are idiots...I was offended when someone asked me if the death sentence had given me 'closure.' There is no 'closure'...[he then evoked the living images of his two daughters, burned to death in their beds, ages 11 and 15]....there will never be 'closure.' It's a hole in your heart, a hole surrounded by jagged edges. Maybe over time the jagged edges will smooth over a little bit, but the hole is still there and will always be there."
Cokie Roberts, who lost her beloved sister to cancer, said the same thing some years back--she also was offended by the idea of closure and spoke energetically against it. Wouldn't it be a good thing if the clergy and others who are involved with pastoral care led the way in rejecting this misbegotten term?
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Monday, November 08, 2010
Challenging issue for upscale mainline congregationsThere have been a number of articles and analyses recently about the exponential growth of the gap between the super-rich in America and everybody else. This is surely an ethical challenge for Christians. A good column on the subject is Nicholas Kristof's today:
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