Auburn Seminary: Resources for Talking About Ferguson

By Macky Alson, Auburn Seminary

I can imagine that you are preparing to preach and teach on the Ferguson verdict, so I have pulled together some resources linked and excerpted here that may be of help.


From PICO (read and download here):

As people of faith, we will work with this community and across America to change systems  and make sure that young Black and Latino men, women and children can live free from police terror and violence, mass criminalization, marginalization and murder by a corrupt system of injustice  that cripples the human right to live as valued children of God.

Stosh Cotler, Bend The Arc:

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who marched with Dr. King in Selma, reminds us that, "Morally speaking, there is no limit to the concern one must feel for the suffering of human beings... In a free society, some are guilty, but all are responsible..."  As Jews... we must ask ourselves: What am I doing to heal the wounds of racism our country still bears?  What am I doing to create the world we want? All of us must ask of ourselves what we can do, specifically, intentionally and immediately, to break the cycle that led us to Ferguson in the first place."

The Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, Trinity United Church of Christ:

We need a theology that changes our psychology that will shift our sociology.  Keep your hands up... God Bless.


The Rev. Dr. Susan Thistlethwaite, Chicago Theological Seminary:

What has to happen is for enough Americans of conscience to say "this is evil" and "we reject lethal racism" and "we demand police reform." It can be done. It has been done before.  God does act for justice and peace in human history through the united efforts of people of conscience.  Systemic good is just as much a reality as systemic evil. God in your mercy, hear our prayer.

The Rev. Dr. William Barber III, NC NAACP and the Forward Together/Moral Mondays Movement:

You must ensure that, as Jeremiah said, the cry of Rachel mourning over her children is heard throughout America. You must, like Jesus in the gospel of Luke, refuse to accept the untimely deaths and killing of our children.  Just as Jesus shook the casket, you must shake the conscience of this nation.

The Rev. Jim Wallis, Sojourners:

Jesus proclaimed, "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God" (Matthew 5:9).  The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us, "True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice."  These are not idealistic thoughts or nice sentiments to be dismissed when tensions and conflict arise. Rather, they are wise words of truth that should guide our thinking in moments of distress.

Thank you for your witness and please share it with us, whether it is from the pulpit or the press. We will push it out to the thousands who, like you, have worked with Auburn to speak with power through the press.

Grateful for you this Thanksgiving week,

Macky Alston

Vice President for Strategy, Engagement and Media

Auburn Seminary