Diversity and Inclusion

St. John's is committed to ending racial injustice in our community and the world. The Episcopal Church is committed to becoming an inclusive place for everyone, through community, teachings, and mission. Historical records and current events both emphasize a need as a community to address and explicitly state how we are committed to maintaining an inclusive space in each and every ministry we touch.

St. John's is called to do this work:

St. John’s mission is to love God (Worship), love our neighbor (Outreach), and make disciples (Nurture). As we recommit to upholding inclusion and justice in our community, we are living into our mission. By making it a priority to unlearn things which have made us complicit in injustice, hurt, and pain in the world, we then learn how to more deeply love God and our neighbor. When we welcome re-education, embrace hard discussions, and share resources, we grow into disciples who are more just, loving, and merciful. Fostering an inclusive community must be intersectional. We cannot love our neighbors if we do not love our LGBTQI+ neighbors. We cannot love our neighbors if we do not love our Black, Brown, and Indigenous neighbors. We cannot love our neighbors if we do not love our handiCapable and or neurodiverse neighbors. We will not have all the answers right away, and will not become the perfect example overnight. However, as we can be perfectly imperfect Christians and members of the Church, we can also be perfectly imperfect learners and followers of Christ.

We must remember as members of the Episcopal Church and St. John’s, the primary message will always be: all are welcome

What the Episcopal Church is doing:

The Episcopal Church has committed to Becoming Beloved Community, which is an intent to seek truth, justice, and healing in the Church and our world as it relates to racial injustice. This is a specific and intentional response to the need for more discussion and action surrounding inclusion in the Church.

What we are doing as a community at St. John's:

St. John’s stands with the Episcopal Church as a resource and leader in the discussion, service, and mission. At St. John’s, we commit to foster inclusive spaces and discussions in our community. We are committing to consume, utilize, and share resources for our members and neighbors. We are making an intentional decision to be mindful of the roles we play as a group and as individuals, and look forward to helping pave the way to truth,justice, and healing in our community, nation, and the world.

Sacred Ground | Every other Monday on Zoom from 7- 8:30 p.m.
This is a bi-weekly, 10 session online class, using materials developed by The Episcopal Church on race, grounded in faith. Our group will walk through chapters of America’s history of race and racism, while weaving in threads of family story, economic class, and political and regional identity. Contact Heidi Forgione or Renee Wendel for more information including Zoom call details.

"The Episcopal Church celebrates diversity. We are young, old, male, female, gay, straight, single, married, divorced widowed, Anglo, African-American, Latino, African, Asian, CEO and unemployed, student and teacher, rich and poor. We worship together, study, and ask questions as we move more deeply into the mystery of God. We honor tradition and strive to live by the example of Jesus Christ, welcoming the stranger and outcast, helping our neighbors, and offering love and forgiveness. We want our communities to be better because the Episcopal Church is here.”
Episcopal Diocese of Texas

Resources for Individuals and Families


Let Justice Roll Down by John M. Perkins

The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby

I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

White Fragility by Robin Diangelo

Divided by Faith by Michael Emerson

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

Children's Books

Anti-Racist Baby by Ibran Kendi (baby)

The Colors of Us by Karen Katz (pre-school)

A Kids Book About Racism by Jelani Memory (elementary)

Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March by Lynda Blackmon Lower (teen)

Stamped by Ibram by Jason Reynolds (young adult)

This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell (young adult)

Glossaries and Helpful Definitions for Navigating Unfamiliar Language & Conversations

Inclusive Language 


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Terms 

Provided by the National Multicultural Institute, University of California-Berkeley-Diversity Terms, National Conference for Community and Justice, Oregon State University, Texas A & M University, Arizona State University – Intergroup Relations Center, and The National Center for Transgender Equality, Cleveland State University, Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, Deardorff, Darla (2006) “The Identification and Assessment of Intercultural Competence as a Student Outcome of Internationalization at Institutions of Higher Education in the United States.” Journal of Studies in International Education 10:241-266, Adams, Bell and Griffin-Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice. 


Holy Post – Race in America

VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer clearly explains systemic racism, mostly for a white audience seeking to understand

Just Mercy (streaming for free on all platforms)


12 Years A Slave

“The danger of a one-sided story” – TED Talk (google other Ted Talks too)

“Systemic Racism Explained” 

TED Talks to help you understand racism in America



Racial Reconciliation | Episcopal Church with Bishop Michael Curry

African American History: From Emancipation to Present | Yale University Course, 

Lectures from Spring 2010 available via free video on this page. The purpose of this course is to examine the African American experience in the United States from 1863 to the present. Prominent themes include the end of the Civil War and the beginning of Reconstruction; African Americans’ urbanization experiences; the development of the modern civil rights movement and its aftermath.

Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, host: Emmanuel Acho

The Episcopal Church on Racial Reconciliation Ministry

The Forum: Dr. Catherine Meeks

From Racism to Racial Healing by Dr. Catherine Meeks

Educational Resources

Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing, training opportunity “Dismantling Racism”

  • Dismantling Racism training seeks to increase “racial understanding, healing and reconciliation.” It is offered several times throughout the year and is required for all parish clergy and all lay leaders, including vestry members.  Trainings are offered by the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing.
  • The training was adjusted in 2012 to “reflect the fruit of several conversations that the commission has conducted,” said Dr. Catherine Meeks of Riverdale, commission chair. “We have wanted to re-frame the training in a way that makes the experience a part of the ongoing spiritual formation of the participants,” she said.
  • Training for members of the Diocese of Atlanta runs for a single day from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Although there is no charge to take the training, pre-registration is required no later than one week in advance. Each class is limited to 25 people.
  • Reach out to emma@stjohnsnb.com with questions

    Absalom Jones Virtual Library

The virtual library is replete with resources to educate, inspire, and prepare you to advance racial healing. We have a high regard for each group listed and their particular strengths. Therefore, our tools and resources are organized in a manner to affirm, honor, and take care not to dilute their individual cultural distinctiveness and diversity.