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Mailbag

Letters from our readers

Issue: "Flame-outs," May 8, 2010

Willing hands

I was thrilled to see your article on Detroit and particularly my neighborhood, Brightmoor ("Beyond 'ruin porn,'" March 27). We in Detroit regularly are lambasted because of our high crime rates and devastated landscape, but many miss how Christians are moving in as others move out. Detroit is a city ready to demonstrate what God's grace can accomplish where His people are willing to be the hands and feet of Christ.
-Tim Miller; Detroit, Mich.

Thank you for a touch of Savannah and a glimpse of her rich history ("In the beginning," March 27). I have been there several times and am always enriched both historically and spiritually. You brought those historical and spiritual qualities home in a way that makes them spring to life.
-Elayne Barnett; Valencia, Calif.

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Thanks for an excellent summation of the situation with Christ Church in Savannah. As a member of the other downtown Episcopal Church (St. John's), which is also orthodox in its doctrine, I was encouraged to read such a clearly written and interesting piece.
-Rich Mays; Savannah, Ga.

The lesson from Jane Jacobs' story ("Cities up close," March 27) is not that everyone should embrace her vision of urban life ("density, diversity and dynamism") but, rather, that no one else should from a distance tell you how to live. I, for one, am happy to reside in my well-planned suburban community, filled with grass and trees, two-car garages, and large amounts of free parking. I would not care to live in an urban center designed by either Robert Moses or Jacobs.
-Bill Hensley; Sugar Land, Texas

I've seen firsthand "urban renewal" destroy whole sections of my hometown of Buffalo, N.Y., leaving huge areas looking like East Berlin used to. I even saw an exhibit in a history museum in Cleveland that publicly decried the ravages of this misguided policy on urban America and its neighborhoods and buildings. Who's been in charge? It's awful.
-Gary F. Albon; Kansas City, Mo.

Refreshing change

It is refreshing to read an article that deals with the reality in which most of us live. "A church too far" (March 27) honestly and openly deals with perceived failure. What a wonderful change of pace to read an open and transparent article about a "failed" church plant and the struggle experienced by that church planter and his family. God's hand of grace and blessing comes in many forms.
-Larry Edison; Sarasota, Fla.

Just a tool?

As a physician, I have used the electronic medical record for 11 years, and I strongly disagree with Matt Anderson's analysis of the EMR ("Broken record," March 27). The flaws he describes in pre-formatted templates are not universal. Regarding handwriting, give me a legible and available record any day. Finally, if physicians choose to bill fraudulently, it is not the software's fault. EMRs are servants, and when used wisely they can be marvelous servants indeed.
-David Reagan; Johnson City, Tenn.

As a registered nurse of 40 years who has worked both at the bedside and in hospital middle management, I agree wholeheartedly with Matt Anderson regarding the EMR. I helped implement an EMR and in that process saw more frightening potential for medical errors than I ever saw for cost savings. Hospital administrators under the gun to control costs use such technology as an excuse to slash and burn when it comes to providing adequate staffing. This results in frustrated, harried, and mistake-prone caregivers.
-Joy McArtor; Hot Springs, Ark.

Short on experience

I completely agree with Andrée Seu ("Joy from above," March 27). I have long thought that pastors in America and probably much of the West are too long on education and too short on experience. Those who aspire to be pastors should live a Christian life in the real world before becoming pastors.
-Frank Husker; Hanover, Pa.

I appreciate Seu's passion for powerful preaching and agree that a preacher's personal experience of what he is preaching can add passion to the message and make the hearers more inclined to listen. But if he is faithfully preaching the Word of God, that is what the Spirit uses powerfully. The voice of God commands obedience, not the story of the preacher.
-Tim Miskimen; Chiang Mia, Thailand

I disagree with Andrée Seu ("What's in a name?" March 13). Yes, the name of Jesus is first in importance for all Christians. However, it is not a matter of fearing other doctrines but of wanting people to hear the truth of the Bible. Within our own congregations, it is proper to want teaching that agrees with our denominational positions.
-Gloria Chaves; Lancaster, N.Y.

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