Antiracism Ministry


The  St. John’s Antiracism Ministry was formed in 2020 as a reading group focused on topics about racism. Needing more focus, we followed the Sacred Ground curriculum offered by the National Episcopal Church. At the conclusion of the Sacred Ground program the group moved from study toward action, and the MA Diocese document “A Process Toward Reparations: A Template” served as a good guide. Our study, discussions, and activities have been wide-ranging ever since.


The mission of the St. John’s Antiracism Ministry is to learn about past and present racial injustices and privilege in ourselves, in the Episcopal Church, and in society. We will discern and acknowledge the injustices and privileges that have affected our Beloved Community, and we will strive to repair those breaches in justice. We are guided by our Baptismal Covenant:

“Will you persevere in resisting evil and when you fall into sin repent and return to the Lord? Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself? Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?

Recent Activities

  • Monthly discussion of current events relevant to antiracism
  • Completed genealogical and historical research and published the genealogy and report.
  • Prepared and displayed educational poster boards about the Antiracism Ministry’s activities from the past two years and reparations around the world
  • Field trip to the Royall House and Slave Quarters in Medford
  • Hosted visitors from the Episcopal City Mission (ECM) at 2 meetings
  • Participated in two “Bridging the Racial Wealth Gap” seminars by Episcopal City Mission, and active in the Season of Advocacy, and attended the ECM Annual meeting.
  • Attended a pilgrimage to Pocasset Wampanoag Reservation
  • Individuals visited museum exhibits about Black culture, history, and art.
  • Field trip to the Museum of African American History (Boston)


Books of Interest
  • Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving
  • Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman
  • How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
  • Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
  • The Warmth of Other Sons by Isabel Wilkerson
  • America’s Original Sin by Jim Wallis
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • White Fragility: Why It’s so Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin D’Angelo
St. John’s Episcopal Church
Massachusetts Episcopal Diocese
National Episcopal Church
  • Sacred Ground. The Sacred Ground curriculum is part of the Episcopal Church’s program, “Becoming Beloved Community” (BBC). It is a 11-part series of videos and readings to explore racism in the US. The focus is on Indigenous, Black, Latino, and Asian/Pacific histories. The initial program was designed for groups of white people talking with each other to peel back the many ways whites have harmed people of color. A parallel program for congregations primarily of people of color or interracial congregations has been developed. “Becoming Beloved Community” is “a set of interrelated commitments around which Episcopalians may organize our many efforts to respond to racial injustice and grow a community of reconcilers, justice-makers, and healers.”
  • Racial Reconciliation
  • Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries
  • Episcopal City Mission

Traces of the Trade
One of past rectors of St. John’s Episcopal Church was The Rev. DeWolf Perry. Rev. Perry donated the Parish House to the church. It was later sold. His ancestors were the DeWolf family, based in Bristol, Rhode Island. The family was revered for their philanthropy. But much of the money came from sugar and other holdings in the Caribbean that were worked by enslaved people, and the family in its early history was the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. Several years ago, as part of a diocesan initiative on slavery and Episcopalians, St. John’s had an evening showing of “Traces of the Trade”, an award winning film about the DeWolf family, followed by a discussion.