Augsburg Fortress

Be the Brave One: Living Your Spiritual Values Out Loud and Other Life Lessons

Be the Brave One: Living Your Spiritual Values Out Loud and Other Life Lessons

On September 11, 2001, Ann Kansfield, a successful Wall Street broker who had spent years laying a path of achievements, stood on the doorstep of profound change. The city she loved was in turmoil, and a calling to help others was emerging from deep within her.

Part memoir and part spiritual formation guide, Kansfield's Be the Brave One relays her stunning transformation from a "run-of-the-mill capitalist jerk" into a wife, mother, and pastor committed to feeding the poor at her church in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

The first female and openly gay chaplain at the New York Fire Department, and voted the inaugural New York Times New Yorker of the Year, Kansfield uses her characteristic wit and knack for accessible storytelling to reveal how an adventurous faith rooted in living out your convictions can bring about radical change in the world. From authenticity and courage, to perseverance and gratitude, in Kansfield's journey you will find the insight and tools to name and claim your own core spiritual values.

Ultimately, Kansfield's story will leave readers both comforted and challenged to discover and live out their own faith rooted in open-hearted conviction.

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  • Publisher Broadleaf Books
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781506463735
  • eBook ISBN 9781506463742
  • Age/Grade Range Adult
  • Dimensions 5.75 x 8.75
  • Pages 182
  • Publication Date December 14, 2021


"Inviting, lively, accessible, provocative, and--dare I say--fun, Ann Kansfield's book is like sitting with your best friend, if your best friend is a faith-filled person who tells terrific stories and gives life-changing advice."

James Martin, SJ, author of Learning to Pray

"Amazing, refreshing, candid, heart-opening, inspirational--Ann Kansfield guides you on a journey toward authentically living out your convictions, toward being the brave one, like her."

The Rev. Jacqueline J. Lewis, PhD, senior minister, Middle Collegiate Church

"The values, the ethics that Ann Kansfield brings in this book are the same ones she brings to her care for firefighters as an FDNY chaplain. As she shares stories of the city and of her role--stories of being the brave one--you'll discover insights so true, so down-to-earth, and so clear in their care for human lives, human spirits, that you'll be inspired to be the brave one too."

Chief Vincent Dunn, former FDNY firefighter and author

"Ann Kansfield's story is the story of faith in action--of change and challenge as she follows Jesus on the streets and in the communities of her complicated home: New York, the 'City of God.'"

Sara Miles, author of Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion and City of God: Faith in the Streets

"Ann Kansfield's unforgettable stories never disappoint, helping us learn courage, honesty, and faith from her without even realizing that we're learning. She is both completely unique and completely relatable. By the end of this book, she will feel like a wise and dear friend."

Trisha Taylor and Jim Herrington, authors and cohosts of The Leader's Journey podcast

"Be the Brave One is a rollicking romp through the wondrous calling of an urban pastor who navigates poop on the stoop, Hollywood stars in the sanctuary, and a couple thousand years of the heresy of homophobia in the church with equal parts hilarity and courage. Find yourself anchored by Ann Kansfield's faith and buoyed by her irreverence in this riveting read."

Molly Baskette, senior minister of First Church Berkeley, UCC

"The insistent honesty of this book brings down barriers, helps us to listen, and in the end elicits something so sorely needed today: empathic imagination. I couldn't put this book down."

Fred Harrell, founder and senior pastor of City Church San Francisco

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