People of the Books, February 2016: Ferguson and Faith: Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community

Welcome to People of the Books, February 2016! For this Black History Month we’re reading about history shortly after it has been made with Leah Gunning Francis’ recent book, Ferguson & Faith: Sparking Leadership & Awakening Community. We will meet on Saturday, February 20, at 10am at Kaldi’s Coffee in Kirkwood, MO.

Get Ferguson & Faith from a library, Chalice PressGoogle Books, Kobo, or Amazon.

Gunning Francis, Leah. Ferguson and Faith: Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2015.


“The shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, reignited a long-smoldering movement for justice, with many St. Louis-area clergy stepping up to support the emerging young leaders of today’s Civil Rights Movement. Seminary professor Leah Gunning Francis was among the activists, and her interviews with more than two dozen faith leaders and with the new movement’s organizers take us behind the scenes of the continuing protests. Ferguson and Faith demonstrates that being called to lead a faithful life can take us to places we never expected to go, with people who never expected us to join hands with them.” – From Chalice Press

Contextual supplemental reading:

Sociologists for Justice. “Ferguson Syllabus.” Sociologists for Justice. Accessed January 19, 2016.

StL Positive Change: The Ferguson Commission. “Forward Through Ferguson: A Path Toward Racial Equality.” St. Louis, MO: StL Positive Change: The Ferguson Commission, September 21, 2015.

Discussion questions:

  1. How does this book inform, add to, or otherwise develop faith in yourself and others?
  2. What are the ways in which this book may enhance intellectual understanding of faith in the broader theological world, your faith community, and your own life?
  3. Does this book inform your understanding of your call to do God’s work in the world in terms of activism, advocacy, and/or some other form of mission? If so, how?
  4. Where are the specific places in the book that you see the above things?
  5. Have the Ferguson and Black Lives Matter movements informed your faith? If so, how?
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Rebecca is a theological librarian (M.Div., Eden Theological Seminary; M.A., I.S.L.T., University of Missouri - Columbia) from St. Louis, MO with an interest in the intersection of theological and religious literacies and metaliteracy in the lives of all people, especially those of faith. Some of her Big Life Questions are "How do people of faith explore their faith questions; how can I support that exploration with proven and emerging educational strategies, research processes, and quality resources; and so informed, decisively act as disciples of Jesus in the real world in which we live?"