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From the Editor – I’ve Been Thinking About…Healing and Wholeness

Submitted by on July 3, 2010 – 12:46 amNo Comment

From the Editor

This issue of The Living Pulpit is focused on healing and wholeness.  This theme was chosen sometime ago, long before the unexpected death on June 1, 2010, of our colleague, the Rev. Dr. Eugenia Lee Hancock, Professor of Urban Studies and Spirituality and Director of the Center for the Study of Urban Religion (CSPUR) at New York Theological Seminary.  Lee, as she was affectionately known, was an apostle of health and wholeness.  In honor of her ministry of healing, we dedicate this issue of The Living Pulpit in Lee’s memory as a way of both recognizing and honoring her impact and witness.

Lee had a presence, a disarming smile and intense eyes which communicated a sense of engagement with everyone she encountered.  Much of her adult life she dealt with her own fragile health by focusing not on it but on the nature of wholeness in life itself.  Whether as a minister at Judson Memorial Church creating a cancer care project, a seminary pastor at Union Seminary working on self-care for students, staff, and faculty, a PHD student at Drew University where she did a dissertation on “an ethnographic study of the “infested and affected” by HIV/AIDS in Newark, NJ, as Dean at Auburn Seminary where she developed the New York Sabbatical Program for 60 working pastors focused on pastoral excellence and self-care, or as a faculty member at New York Theological leading students in a focus on health and wholeness, Lee focused on what made life whole, what made the spirit sing.

In the midst of several on-going physical struggles, Lee’s life did sing and soar.  She was an apostle of wholeness, a ministry often neglected in this work-driven, profit-driven culture in both the church and the world.  This issue of our journal remembers Lee and hope that her life might be a source of encouragement for all of us to appropriate more deeply “the things that make for life” and to work against “the things that make for death.”

A more detailed description of Lee’s life and ministry can be found at www.nyts.edu.

It is our hope that you will find this issue helpful.  We always welcome your feedback.


Keith A.Russell


About the author

Keith Russell wrote 31 articles for this publication.

The Rev. Dr. Keith A. Russell, an American Baptist minister, is The Distinguished Senior Professor of Ministry Studies at New York Theological Seminary in New York City. He has served both as an urban pastor and a seminary president.

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