By Tyler Sprouse, TWK Communications Specialist

“Spiritus,” an interfaith, ecumenical group of clergy and laity, is advancing the conversation about gun violence in America–and you are invited to add your voice. 

Initiated three years ago, the diverse group continues to meet regularly, discussing world news and raising concerns about the troubling patterns of violence, racism, antisemitism, and other issues plaguing the United States. In response to the wave of mass shootings that have decimated many families and communities throughout the country, the group knew it needed to act.

They decided to read a book by Washington Post journalist, John Woodrow Cox, called, Children Under Fire: An American Crisis. In this study, Cox explores the efficacy of gun safety measures and the success rates of managing the collateral damage experienced by survivors of mass shootings in K-12 classrooms and on college campuses. 

The book was so impactful that the group decided to invite Mr. Cox to Nashville to speak with concerned citizens and students.

Cox accepted the invitation, and came to Belmont University for a lecture and series of conversations on November 2, 2022. 

“He [John Woodrow Cox] spent part of the day with pastors and rabbis, and then he met with students and educators,” said Spiritus member, Rev. Jim Hughes. “It was greatly informative, and inspired us to continue raising awareness.”

The event catalyzed a new initiative designed to expand the radius of these important conversations. Spiritus reached out to the Nashville Metro Public Library, which agreed to add Cox’s book as a “community read.” Starting in January, members of Spiritus will guide discussions of the book at various branches of the Nashville Public Library.

All are invited to join the conversation! Please see below for complete details, contact information, and how to register.


Spiritus Book Discussions at Nashville Metro Public Library Information Sheet