The day I visited Lucille to hear the story of how her church had closed, she started talking before I could even turn on my voice recorder. “We don’t know what all happened at the end,” she said. “We were never told where the stuff in the church went to—the pews and cross and things. Maybe they’re still in the building!” The not knowing had kept Lucille in a state of suspended grief—something like the way parents feel when they cannot locate the bodies of dead children. She refused to drive the main street through her hometown, where the church now stands empty. “I can’t go back there,” she said.
L. Gail Irwin is an interim minister in Wisconsin and the author of Toward the Better Country: Church Closure and Resurrection (Wipf & Stock). She blogs at From Death to Life, part of the CCblogs network.
Debra Bendis on a left-right ministerial group, Gail Irwin on church closures, Jesse James DeConto on homebrew at church.
Lord have mercy
Apr 09, 2015
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).