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The First Book to Explore the Faith of Frances Perkins is now available!

 The First Book to Explore the Faith of Frances Perkins is now available!

Tread the City’s Streets Again by Donn Mitchell has just been published!  Donn is a Frances Perkins Center board member and longtime Perkins scholar. His book allows Perkins, mostly in her own words, to set forth her theology and sense of vocation, for it draws substantially on three extensive unpublished lectures she gave in 1948 at St. Thomas Church in New York City.

The first and last chapters of Tread the City’s Streets Again present a biography of Perkins emphasizing how her Christian vocation developed throughout a life of public service.  Chapters 2, 3, and 4, which quote frequently from her St. Thomas lectures, deal respectively with “A Christian Order of Society,” ‘The Vocation of the Laity,” and “The Good Life, Community and Individual.”  These lectures were delivered in a conversational style and include responses to written questions from the audience.

The theology of Frances Perkins is based on the Incarnation of God in Jesus Christ and how the enjoyment of eternal life with God is the purpose of every human person.  Her lectures address social, political, and economic aspects of this theology, while providing insight into her practice of prayer.  Perkins is an outstanding representative of the Episcopal Church’s Anglo-Catholic tradition, which at its best promotes social and economic justice as essential dimensions of the Gospel.

Readers of Tread the City’s Streets Again will encounter many gems of practical wisdom from this public servant and prophetic witness whose significance is increasingly recognized in our time.  Here are some examples:

  • Those who want to promote social change on a national level would do well first to achieve successes on the local level before arriving in Washington to propose solutions.
  • On any public issue, it’s helpful to understand that the attitudes of your opponents are based on their experience of life, just as your attitudes reflect your experience, which may differ from theirs.
  • Periodic self-examination against an objective standard of moral theology such as the Seven Deadly Sins is vital for the Christian life; national behavior can be examined in the same way.
  • To be effective and happy, people must become reconciled to themselves, including their own characteristics and problems, and promote what assists humanity as a whole on its way to God.

Tread the City’s Streets Again contains illustrations of seven Episcopal parishes and one convent significant in the life of Frances Perkins.  The book’s title borrows a line from “Where cross the crowded ways of life,” a hymn written in 1905 by Frank Mason North, who (like Perkins) was well acquainted with the economic disparities of early twentieth century America.

This book will appeal to people interested in many areas, including  New Deal history, spiritual biography, servant ministry, and the struggle for economic reform in America.

Tread the City’s Streets Again is available from Anglican Examiner Publications, The Book Patch,

Charles Hoffacker


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April 2024 FPC E-Newsletter

To appreciate thoroughly the life and
accomplishments of Frances Perkins, a great agent
of social change who served as Secretary of Labor
throughout FDR’s tenure, requires recognizing that
faith was the foundation of who she was and all that
she did.