Discussion questions available on the Ferguson decision

November 28, 2014

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[Episcopal News Service] As congregations plan to meet for Sunday worship for the first time since this week’s grand jury decision in Ferguson, Missouri, a new Episcopal Church resource aims to equip congregational leaders to engage discussion about the events of Ferguson with a variety of different age groups.

Prepared by the Missionary Society, Talking about Ferguson in our Congregations is grounded in Advent and includes biblical citations as well as conversation starters for children, youth, and adults.  It is available at here.

“The dean of the Episcopal cathedral in the Diocese of Missouri, the Very Rev. Mike Kinman, has challenged Episcopal congregations to engage a discussion of the issues raised by Ferguson on any of the four Sundays of Advent,” said Alexander D. Baumgarten, director of public engagement and mission communication for The Episcopal Church.  “The Missionary Society prepared this resource in order to give congregations the flexibility to engage this conversation at a variety of times and from a variety of different perspectives.”

A full release from The Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs follows.


With a focus on Advent, The Episcopal Church has prepared a series of resources as well as discussion questions for adult forums and youth gatherings to provide for understanding, reflecting and praying following the recent announcement of the grand jury decision in Ferguson, MO,

Prepared by the Missionary Society, Talking about Ferguson in our Congregationsis available here.

As noted in Talking about Ferguson in our Congregations, “Many congregations will host conversations about Ferguson this Advent season. Advent is a good time to take up the deep work of encountering racism and other issues that divide us.”

Included are a series of Bible citations; Conversation Starters for elementary school children; Conversation Starters for youth; Conversation Starters for adults; and resources such as Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s statement on Ferguson.

The document states: “Advent is a time for waiting with hope…As your congregations talk about the events in the news, we invite you to use these resources and conversation starters.”

Additional resources
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s statement here.

A Way Forward: Reflections, Resources & Stories Concerning Ferguson, Racial Justice & Reconciliation here.

Episcopal Diocese of Missouri Bishop Wayne Smith’s statement here.

Episcopal Diocese of Missouri here.

Christ Church Cathedral, St. Louis, MO here.

Share Your Story here. Share and post personal stories of experiences with racism, structures of inequality, and racial reconciliation.

Reflections from Episcopalians here. Among those presenting reflections are: Annette Buchanan, National President for the Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE); Dr. Anita Parrott George, Executive Council Member, and Vice Chair of the Advisory Board of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, University of Mississippi; the Very Rev. Mike Kinman, dean of Christ Church Cathedral in downtown St. Louis.

Practices for racial reconciliation here.

Statements here.

Blogs here on Social Justice and Advocacy Engagement by Charles Wynder, Jr., Episcopal Church Missioner for Social Equality, Advocacy Engagement

Many dioceses, cathedrals and churches have slated prayer services and vigils; check local websites for more information.