Drawing on her history as a survivor and her passion for scripture, Ruth’s new book, The #MeToo Reckoning: Facing the Church’s Complicity in Sexual Abuse and Misconduct, weaves together current stories of abuse with biblical narratives.
Ruth has been writing about sexual abuse and faith since 2012, when she began her memoir, Ruined, which tells her deeply personal story of being raped at gunpoint at age 20, and her decade-long journey to build a new faith. That memoir was named 2017 Book of the Year by Christianity Today Women. The stories that surfaced in response, along with the shifts in our culture as the #MeToo movement took hold, spurred her to continue writing. Now she calls faith communities to do better in responding to sexual abuse and misconduct in their midst.
In the past 18 months she has written two cover stories for Christian Century and an essay at Sojourners, all of which won awards from Associated Church Press. She also wrote an op-ed about sexual purity for The Washington Post in December 2016. Breitbart spoofed the article, making it go viral. Find links to these articles and more than a dozen others at the Articles tab.
Ruth’s first book was also a memoir, spanning a transformative two-weeks. Chasing the Divine in the Holy Land takes the reader along on her pilgrimage to Israel and Palestine — journeying through both outer terrain and inner questions.
A graduate of Calvin College and United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, Ruth has served Presbyterian (PCUSA) churches for more than 20 years, with stops in upstate New York, central Illinois, Maryland and Washington, DC. She now travels widely to speak at churches, conferences and retreats.
Ruth has been blogging since 2007, so this website contains some 2,000 blogposts. Recent entries cluster around the topics of her books (#MeToo #ChurchToo and Holy Land Pilgrimage) but older entries range widely — from more than 200 posts on Leading the Small Church, to a couple dozen on Uncluttering as a Spiritual Practice* to 4 posts on My Sister’s Kidney Donation. Over the years she posted 17 Conversations with Strangers, 5 rants about Mothers Day, and 47 entries tagged Why I Still Love My Husband. You’ll also find travel narratives about Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and the Dominican Republic, plus Washington, DC. (Use the dropdown Subject menu.)
*A person might ask: how uncluttered is it to have a website with 2,000 blogposts?
Ruth lives near Washington, DC with her husband, Doug, a sixth grade Science teacher. They have two daughters, Hannah and Clara. Besides writing and reading, her favorite things include walking in the woods and watching live performances of all kinds, mostly theater.