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Ferguson and Faith: Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community Paperback – August 4, 2015

4.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Leah Gunning Francis s conversations with both the clergy and the young activists show how important it is for communities of faith to reach out to a new generation of young leaders and help elevate and nurture their gifts. What many of the clergy interviewed in this book realized in the course of the Ferguson protests was that rather than sitting back in their sanctuaries and waiting for the young people to seek out the church for guidance or leadership, it was the church that needed to go out and meet the young people where they were, joining them shoulder to shoulder, on the streets, in the struggle for justice." --From the foreword by Jim Wallis, Sojourners

"This is a very important book. Leah Gunning Francis has penned a theological memoir of a movement. It is an invitation to see the spirituality at the heart of this movement. And it is an invitation to get into the streets ... since we don't just change the world with our heads, but with our hands and feet and sweat and tears. One of the most important things this book does is celebrate a new generation of activists and faith-rooted organizers, without forgetting the freedom-fighters of old. This is not your granny's revolution. A fresh, new, holy uprising is happening if we will only have eyes to see and ears to hear and the courage to join them in the streets." --Shane Claiborne, author, activist, speaker

"Their work was a work of justice. This volume is a work of justice too, as it allows us to hear the voices of both the young activists and the clergy who were on the streets of Ferguson during those stressful weeks and months. The ecclesiology that emerges from these testimonies is compelling. This is a must-read for all leaders of faith communities. In addition, this is a model for the power of qualitative research to change the narrative. Because Leah Gunning Francis has allowed the voices of these leaders to speak through her pages, we have a completely different picture of what was happening in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014. Her work allows us to hear and see the vocation of the church, of the clergy, and of all children on God." --Margaret Ann Crain, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

About the Author

Leah Gunning Francis is Assistant Professor of Christian Education and Associate Dean of Contextual Education at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, where she has taught since 2008. She earned her Ph.D from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in 2009 and her M.Div. from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in 2001.

As a frequent lecturer and preacher for local, regional, and national audiences, Dr. Gunning Francis teaches and preaches for many groups including colleges, churches, and denominational events. She has provided pastoral leadership for congregations in Georgia, Illinois, and Ohio.

Dr. Gunning Francis is married to Rev. Rodney Francis. They live with their children in St. Louis.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Chalice Press (August 4, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0827211058
  • ISBN-13: 978-0827211056
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.5 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #199,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read it through completely and believed that it deserved so much more thought and reflection. Our local multi-congregational group was restarting its book club, and I was thrilled that this was the book we selected. Most of us read it and came to discuss and, after that initial discussion, we all decided it warranted more. We're now reading it aloud at each meeting, stopping whenever someone had a thought, reflection or question. We know it will take a long time to finish it, but that's appropriate as we all ponder where we can best fit in the issues confronting Ferguson and all faith communities.
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There shouldn't be, but just in case there is any doubt about the Black Church and it's role in the 21st century, let this book by Leah Gunning Francis clear up any doubt. The recent string of police shootings--- especially since 2013---placed the Black Church in the very precarious position of mitigating an increasingly angry Black community with, what appeared to many, as the militarized hard-line stance of the various police departments throughout the United States. Leah Gunning Francis' book, FERGUSON AND FAITH, is both a day by day account of community protests and personal interviews with the myriad of Clergy that came to Ferguson, Missouri---all of this following the police shooting of Michael Brown. So where is the Black Church, now? In Ferguson, Missouri: they're right in the middle of things---literally. Black and white clergy have consistently placed themselves between Ferguson protestors and local and regional law-enforcing personnel. The Fredrick Douglass quote that she opens Chapter Two, with, pretty much summarizes the spirit and intent of her book: "I prayed for 20 years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs." This book is uplifting. This book is important. It reminds me of King's, "Strength to Love," that was published 52 years ago.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An amazing book about our community and the incredible, brave young leaders and clergy that taught us so much. This book will help you understand "Ferguson" and what a those who are the conscience of this movement.
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Format: Paperback
I really loved how Dr. Francis let the people who were in the streets talk about how they saw the intersection of their theologies and their activism. She sets up the book with themes but then lets the various ministers and activists explain how they saw the role of the Church in the movement following Michael Brown's tragic death. Dr. Francis was kind enough to discuss the book with the Ferguson Readings on Race Book Club held at the Ferguson Library. Easy read but gives much insight.
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Format: Paperback
This was an excellent read! If there is a book that is accessible and available to readers on Ferguson from the perspective of faith, let this book be it. As Dr. Leah Gunning Francis says at the beginning of her book, "This book is not a historical account of Ferguson events in the wake of Michael Brown's death, nor is it a "tell-all" about the "inner workings" of a movement." This book shared what I would call intimate moments of the movement over the course of this past year. They were moments of deep sadness, frustration, hope, resilience, compassion, and love. These moments were shared through the lived experience of a diverse group of both faith leaders and young leaders. I believe she did exactly what this book aimed to do, which is, look for evidence of God's tenets of love, justice, faithfulness, and hope. If we are going to create Christian leaders who are going to engage in ministries of social action in creative and responsible ways, then this book is part of the required curriculum.
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I really enjoyed the fellowship and meeting new people. The book I found a bit difficult to finish. Thanks to Cathy for organizing it. I would definitely like to participate in another book study.
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My book group found this to be a compelling retelling of many Ferguson stories and a good springboard for discussion.
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