» Dismantling Racism at St. John’s

Posted on: June 17, 2020

In our city and around the country, we are seeing the dismantling of the old to make way for the new, echoing Mary’s words in the Magnificat. At Saint John the Evangelist, we are beginning our work anew in the fight against institutional racism.

This will be uncomfortable work for many of us, particularly those of us who are white—to have the sin of systemic racism and white privilege exposed so clearly, and to hear how we have been at times complicit in our silence and beneficiaries of the systems our ancestors built. But, our discomfort is far less than the pain and grief, the death and loss being experienced by so many as a result of these systems. I urge you to join with us in one of the three ways below and help us be a part of what is being made new, in Jesus’ name.


Click here to read the Rector’s letter in full

  1. Through our parish Facebook page we will be offering a steady drip of opportunities for you, in your home and in your life, to do the work of becoming antiracist.
  2. The parish Thursday Book Group (See below) will be reading two books over the next few months – White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, and How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi.
  3. You are invited to one of two antiracism courses being offered concurrently over 6 weeks beginning on Juneteenth (June 19th) the day marking the formal end of slavery in every state in the union.

Dismantling Racism and Building Beloved Community

Fridays from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM; June 19 to July 31

In response to the call of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, the Diocese of Atlanta in collaboration with the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing created this six-week program designed to initiate white members of the church into the difficult work of “Dismantling Racism”. We will dive deep into this work, taking a hard look at the systems around us, our privilege and our need to repent and reconcile with our brothers and sisters. Jesus’s work on Earth was centered around challenging the structures that divide people and tending to those who had been pushed to the margins. The purpose of this program is to continue that work, but we must first understand the systems of injustice that divide us.

Register Here

Living Human Documents: Finding Hope, Courage, and Healing in Black Lives

Fridays from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM; June 19 to July 31

This six-week course is for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) at St. John’s. We will co-create safe and sacred space to heal spiritually. We will do this by witnessing the ways our own stories intersect with the life narratives of Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Bayard Rustin, Toni Morrison, and Howard Thurman. Structured around five acclaimed documentary films about these black saints, our conversations will be grounded in the spiritual discipline of discerning the presence of God in those holy places where our narratives intersect and the truths of our lives speak. We enter into this work as members of Christ’s Church whose mission is “to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.”

Register Here

Anti-Racism Book Group

St. John’s Thursday Book Group will be studying Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist. Join us on the following Thursdays from 10:00-11:30 a.m. on Zoom to discuss this “essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society.”

June 25: Introduction, Chapters 1 through 4
July 9: Chapters 5 through 8
July 23: Chapters 9 through 12
August 6: Chapters 13 through 18

E-books are available through the Hennepin and Ramsey Public Libraries. Hard copies should become available at The Red Balloon Bookshop sometime next week. Join us! All are welcome.

These two books are in such high demand that printed copies are no longer readily available. We will decide on which title we will be studying based on the one that becomes available first at The Red Balloon. For those who use e-readers, both titles are available as e-books through Hennepin County Library and Ramsey County Library. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for an announcement of which book we will be reading first!

Join the Zoom Call Here

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