North Carolina

Holy Troublemakers & Unconventional Saints - Online Story Time: Florence Nightingale




The interactive transcript could not be loaded.


Rating is available when the video has been rented.
This feature is not available right now. Please try again later.
Published on Mar 28, 2020


Daneen Akers (author) reads Florence Nightingale's profile from her new book, "Holy Troublemakers & Unconventional Saints", an illustrated children's anthology about people of diverse faiths who have worked for love and justice, even when that rocked the religious boat.

In this moment of shelter-in-place orders amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Florence Nightingale is a holy troublemaker whose story has much to teach us. Besides her heroics during the Crimean War when she became the mother of modern nursing, Florence was a radical theologian who was accused of "unconventional" beliefs. Her unwavering belief in a loving God made her question the concept of hell, and she had little time for the all-male authority figures in the church. Florence was also an accomplished mathematician who invented a more complex version of the pie graph that we still use today to report on data. She also essentially invented modern public health and used her influence to help major public health reforms become the law. She'd be very proud of everyone washing hands diligently and complying with public health directions to stay home if at all possible right now.

In this first online story time from Daneen Akers, author of "Holy Troublemakers & Unconventional Saints", she invites those listening to brainstorm about ways we can love our neighbors when we have to keep our distance. She ends by sharing a simple prayer that her older daughter (11) wrote for her younger daughter (4) to help with bedtime anxieties.

These "Holy Troublemakers & Unconventional Saints" online story times will drop every Friday evening at 7 PM EST here on this YouTube channel.


“We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers.” —Bayard Rustin

"Holy Troublemakers & Unconventional Saints" tells the stories of people of faith working for more love and justice in their corners of the world, even when that means rocking the religious boat. With original portraits from more than two dozen artists and engaging profiles of people from different faiths and different eras, these are stories that inspire, educate, challenge, and encourage.

Some of the people featured in this book are well known, like the beloved St. Francis of Assisi (a favorite of Hufflepuffs everywhere for his love of animals), who gave up a wealthy inheritance to serve the poor. Some are well known, but their deep faith motivating their work is lesser-known, such as Harriet Tubman, Florence Nightingale, and Mr. Rogers. Others are less known such as Bayard Rustin, an American Quaker whose role in the civil rights movement of the 1960s is often downplayed because he was gay; Maryam Molkara, an Iranian Muslim transgender rights advocate; and Regina Jonas, the first female rabbi to be ordained whose story was almost lost to history.

In particular, "Holy Troublemakers & Unconventional Saints" emphasizes the stories of women, LGBTQ people, people of color, Indigenous people, and others who are too often written out of religious narratives. These stories move us towards more love and a faith that works for the common good of us all.


Daneen Akers is a writer, producer, teacher, and mother who believes deeply in the power of stories. Her past projects have explored faith, identity, and belonging. She is the mother of two girls, Lily and Lucy, who are the true inspiration for this book.


"Holy Troublemakers & Unconventional Saints" is published by Watchfire Media, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charity. Watchfire Media produces educational books and films that provide needed resources and fosters community for the spiritually unconventional. They are a resource for progressive, “cautiously Christian”, seeker parents and others who have children in their lives who want to raise kids who are comfortable with the big questions, awed by the beauty of the world and her people, and ultimately committed to love, kindness, courage, and justice.

Learn more, buy the book, or email the author with questions or requests at:


Comments are turned off. Learn more

to add this to Watch Later

Add to

Loading playlists...