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On the passing of progressive Christian author Rachel Held Evans

Chelsen Vicari serves as the Evangelical Program Director for the Institute on Religion and Democracy.

You can have confidence in God and trust in His will, but still feel saddened by the outcome. Sincere sadness is how I am feeling after hearing the news that progressive Christian author Rachel Held Evans died early this morning after severe swelling of her brain after weeks in a medically induced coma. Briefly, I want to offer my condolences to the Evans family and express a simple reflection.

Obviously, Rachel and I disagreed on significant Christian teachings. But as she and I once acknowledged, there were likely many other areas in life that we had in common. For instance, we were both wives and mothers of small children, which is why my heart, prayers, and support go out especially to Rachel’s toddler son, baby daughter, and husband Dan. May God comfort their aching souls as they mourn the loss of Rachel–who no doubt loved her family dearly.

Such unexpected loss of such a vibrant young woman causes me to think that perhaps the Church would be better off if we called a moratorium on our inner debating, if only for a short while, to truly empathize with the grieving, hurting, doubting, and searching that our Christian neighbors across the theological aisle are facing right now. On this, I believe Rachel Held Evans and I would have agreed.

A GoFundMe page was started shortly after Rachel was hospitalized for her serious illness. Please visit to offer your support for Rachel’s family during this devastating time.

Originally posted at Juicy Ecumenism.

Chelsen Vicari serves as the Evangelical Program Director for the Institute on Religion and Democracy. She earned her Masters of Arts in Government from Regent University and frequently contributes to conservative outlets. Follow her on twitter @ChelsenVicari.

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