Reckoning and Reconciliation with our Indigenous Neighbors

A reading list

Recommended reading and resources for parish study groups and book clubs from the Peace & Justice Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago

Art by Rose Teyuthahukwa Malanik

The Red Nation: Indigenous Action to Save Our Earth (2021)

Notable Native People: 50 Indigenous leaders, Dreamers and Changemakers from the Past and Present by Adrienne Keene (2021)

Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance (2nd edition) by Edgar Villanueva (2021)

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer 2013 (Study Guide available)

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (2014)

The Four Vision Quests of Jesus by Steven Charleston (2015)

Neither Wolf Nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder by Kent Nerburn

The Night Watchman a novel by Louise Erdrich (2020)

Seeing Red: Indigenous Land, American Expansion, and the Political Economy of Plunder North America by Micahel Johnson Witgen

Videos available from “Indigenous Ministries” on The Episcopal Church website: 1. “Native Voices: Speaking to the Church and the World” (37 min.) 2.“Doctrine of Discovery” (14 min.) 3. “Native Voices: A Response to the Episcopal Church’s History with Indian Boarding Schools” (1 hr. 33 min.)

National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition  

Article from Sojourners: “Will Christians atone for church boarding schools?”

Bexley-Seabury Course by Mary Crist:

Report calls church to address harms of white supremacy, colonial and imperial legacies; create $2 million healing coalition by David Paulsen

EVENT CANCELLED: Mock United Nations Meeting on Climate Change Game

Chicago Fair Trade plans to reschedule this event for February 2023.

Mock United Nations Meeting on Climate Change Game
Sunday, July 24
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church
Free for all St. John’s members since St. John’s is a member of Chicago Fair Trade. RSVP here by July 20. Join Chicago Fair Trade for an innovative game to explore what combination of policies may have the greatest impact on climate change. Chicago Fair Trade Board member Professor Jocelyn Leitzinger will facilitate this interactive event featuring En-ROADS Climate Solutions Simulator. Developed by MIT’s Sloan Sustainability Initiative and Climate Interactive, this interactive event helps foster a deeper understanding of the complexities involved in tackling one of the biggest challenges in our lifetime.

Fair Trade Day at St. John’s!

Saturday, May 14 between 11 am and 4 pm

Join us in the garden (rain location: Parish Hall)

Visit St. John’s during the 2022 Open House Celebration of World Fair Trade Day with Chicago Fair Trade on Sat. May 14 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Jerome McDonnel, former host of Worldview on National Public Radio and fair trade supporter, will be doing a bike ride to 3 of these fair trade stops on the north side of Chicago – one of them being St. John’s! 
St. John’s open house stop will feature 

– Indigenous Columbian art from Tulia’s Artisan Gallery
– Land Acknowledgment (2:15 pm)
– Conversation between Jerome McDonnel and Karen Torres, CEO of Tulia’s Gallery (2:30 pm)
– Clothing Swap – bring an item – take an item
– Fair Trade Trivia Prize Wheel
– Eco Tours of our campus
– Fair trade coffee and tea

More about Open House Chicago around Chicago and suburbs…

Each May, World Fair Trade Day is celebrated by tens of thousands of people in dozens of countries. For fifteen years, Chicago Fair Trade has organized the largest World Fair Trade Day in the U.S.

On Saturday, May 14, Chicago Fair Trade’s member businesses, organizations and allies are hosting multiple events throughout the city to showcase how they support economic and environmental justice.  As an attendee you will receive a virtual passport to use when checking in at different sites and if you check in at three or more, you’ll be entered to win a fair trade raffle (over $200 in value!).  Proposed itineraries will be neighborhood-based for easy access and an interactive map listing all participating locales will be available on our website.

Here is a sneak peak of some of the day’s activities: 

Join our growing network of conscious consumers and show your commitment to building a better, more just and equitable world.  We hope you are able to join us on this celebratory day!

Preparing for Lent

Have you decided how you will observe the season of Lent? You may choose to give something up; this can be something you want to let go of forever, a habit you want to break, or a way to change your relationship with someone or something. You may choose to add a practice; a time of meditation, a new prayer practice, reading, exercising, or composting. The goal is not self-improvement or punishment, but to clear space for a deeper and more meaningful relationship with God. 

Have you decided how you will observe the season of Lent? You may choose to give something up; this can be something you want to let go of forever, a habit you want to break, or a way to change your relationship with someone or something. You may choose to add a practice; a time of meditation, a new prayer practice, reading, exercising, or composting. The goal is not self-improvement or punishment, but to clear space for a deeper and more meaningful relationship with God. 

In her latest blog The Rev. Heidi Haverkamp, author of Holy Solitude: Lenten Reflections with Saints, Hermits, Prophets, and Rebelsshared some good advice for choosing a Lenten discipline:

“It becomes more important to have a daily routine that is in synch with our God-given nature than to have a rule that impresses all who read it … but which is impossible for us to keep without a major ‘makeover’ of our true selves.” Fredette, Karen and Paul. Consider the Ravens. (iUniverse, 2009).

“Keep the schedule immovable enough to keep your natural habit restrained, and flexible enough to enable you to be led.” Jones, W. Paul. Teaching the Dead Bird to Sing. (Paraclete, 2002).

“I abandoned discipline. I became erratic in my daily practices. I looked at each day individually, and listened within to see what was needed to relate to this silence within me. Slowly, new patterns have emerged.” Taylor, Barbara Erakko. Silent Dwellers. (Continuum, 1999).

Articles to read

Barb Cohn recommends this New Yorker article: How I Proposed to My Girlfriend (appropriate for Ash Wednesday) 

Lenten Devotionals

Low- and no-cost Lenten devotions, reflections, journals, and curricula for individuals and congregations:

Leanne recommends this Lenten devotional with poetry by Mary Oliver.
Brother, Give Us a Word: A daily monastic practice from the Society for St. John the Evangelist
d365: Journey to the Cross starting March 2
Episcopal Charities 2022 Lenten Reader and bulletin inserts available for download
Episcopal Relief & Development Lenten Devotions (downloadable PDF or daily emails) in English and Spanish
Lenten Virtual Borderlands Experience: a free, five-week virtual experience for individuals and groups from Episcopal Migration Ministries and The Office of Latino/Hispanic Ministries
Life Transformed: The Way of Love in Lent from The Episcopal Church
Living Well Through Lent from Living Compass
United Thank Offering “40 Days of Gratitude” Journal

Lenten Retreats

Living into Silence Contemplative Practices for Lent from Holy Wisdom Monastery

March 9, March 16, March 23. March 30
From 6:30-7:15 pm via Zoom

New to Lent or contemplative practices? All are welcome to learn the basics of spiritual practices in this virtual series. Together, let’s lean away from the stress of life, focus on your personal needs so you can be present to yourself and others, nurture your spirit and learn how to use silence.

  • Guidance from Benedictine sisters and an oblate – simple practices in a low-stress environment
  • Being with others as you seek renewal in your spiritual journey 
  • A variety of practices to choose from so you can choose one that suits you
  • Answers to questions like What do I do on a retreat? What practices can I do on my own at home?

Series cost is $25/computer. After registration, you will be sent a private Zoom link via email. Register Today

Cultivating and Letting Go: A Lenten Retreat
March 5 at St. Luke’s, Evanston

On March 5 from 9 am to noon, St. Luke’s, Evanston will host Cultivating and Letting Go: A Lenten Retreat. Participants are invited to set the tone for the start of Lent through a combination of worship, reflection activities, and self-directed time. Register here. Contact Denise Steinhauser for more information.

You are invited to walk a special Lenten journey with immigrant sojourners and advocates.

Join us for a free, five-week Lenten Virtual Borderlands Experience
Thursdays: March 10, 17, 24, 31, and April 7
7 to 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time

• Hear stories from our immigrant siblings  
• Learn from those involved in migration ministry
• Follow the steps of those who have crossed borders in search of a better way of life

This series can be done individually or as part of a congregational study group.


La Sagrada Familia by Kelly Latimore

Darwin Day!

Saturday, February 12 from 4-6 pm

Together we will watch the award-winning film Hilleman: A Perilous Quest to save the World’s Children. This documentary tells the inspiring story of Dr. Maurice Hilleman, a man with a singular, unwavering focus: to eliminate the diseases of children. From his poverty-stricken youth on the plains of Montana, he came to prevent pandemic flu, invent the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, and develop the first-ever vaccine against human cancer. Responsible for more than half of the vaccines children receive today, he is credited with saving more than eight million lives every year.

Stay on zoom afterwards for a discussion! 

Join us via Zoom (Meeting ID: 874 7249 6852 Passcode: 3857) or Facebook Live.

Evening Bible Study

The Evening Bible Study meets on the second Wednesday of the month from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. Please email for the Zoom link.

April and May 2022: The Acts of the Apostles

March 2022: The Wisdom of Solemn

January and February 2022: Discussion Questions for II Kings

November and December 2021: Discussion Questions for I Kings

October 2021: The book of James Reflection Questions

February-May: The Gospel of John Discussion Questions

October – January: Romans

September 2020: Four Prophets: Joel, Amos, Obediah and Jonah

July and August 2020: The book of Exodus.

May and June 2020: Reflection on the book of Genesis, Part I and Genesis Part II

April 2020: Reflection on the book of Job. Reflection Questions on the book of Job

March 2020: Reflection on the book of Esther.

February 2020: Reflection Guide for I Corinthians.

January 2020: Reflection Guide for the Book of the Prophet Isaiah.

November 2019: Reflection Guide for the Gospel of Matthew

Critical Race Theory Conversation Follow up

Dear Friends:

Dr. Cooke (on-line), Dr. Westbrook, Ms. Yutzy, Mr. Moore

Thank you for attending our event held on Tuesday November 9th, titled “Critical Race Theory: How it Affects Me and Why it Matters. A conversation with three educators”.  

We are tremendously grateful to our panelists for sharing their expertise, passion, and experiences. They exceeded our expectations and provided us all a truly educational and enlightening 90 minutes. We have compiled a list of resources provided from the panelists and moderator to deepen our understanding of the topic Critical Race Theory.  Those resources are listed below and can also easily be accessed on our webpage: St. John’s Anti-racism Resource .

Thank you to our co-sponsors for their collaboration and commitment to learning.

All Saints:, Church of the Ascension:, and Church of the Atonement:


The St. John’s Antiracism Team

Co-Chairs: Anna Ware and Laura Singer 

The Rev. Kara Wagner Sherer, Rector

Resources for further reading and discovery

Recommendations from Blanche B. Cook:

CAUGHT: Calculating the Moves of Power in our Midst, A TEDx talk at Wayne State University

Critical Race Theory: An Introduction, Second Edition by: Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic (2012)

Forward: The Jurisprudence of Reconstruction (California Law Review, Vol 82, No. 4 July 1994), by Angela Harris

Looking to the Bottom: Critical Legal Studies and Reparations, by Mari J. Matsuda

Handbook of Critical Race Theory in Education, by Marvin Lynn and Adrienne D. Dixson (2021)Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color, by Kimberle Crenshaw

Recommendations from Kyle Westbrook:

Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own, by Eddie S. Glaude Jr. (2020)

No Name in the Street, by James Baldwin

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, by Richard Rothstein

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander

A Nation by Design: Immigration Policy in the Fashioning of America, by Aristide Zolberg

Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s South Side, by Eve L. Ewing

Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow, by Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Black Reconstruction in America 1860-1880, by W.E.B. Du Bois

Making the Second Ghetto: Race and Housing in Chicago 1940-1960, by Arnold R. Hirsch

A Political Education: Black Politics and Education Reform in Chicago Since the 1960s, by Elizabeth Todd-Breland

Recommendations from Heather Yutzy:

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, by Robin DiAngelo (2018)

Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson  (2020)

You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience, by Tarana Burke and Brene Brown (2021)

The Cross and the Lynching Tree, by James H. Cone (2011)

Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation, by Kristin Kobes Du Mez  (2020) 

Code Switch Podcast From NPR

Recommendations from Duncan Moore:

The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson (2010)

Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates (2015)

How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi (2019)

Recommendations from St. John’s members

An article from the New Republic about the November 2021 Virginia governor race

From the New Yorker The Void that Critical Race Theory was Created to Fill

From the New Yorker podcast The New Culture Wars over American History

An article about the slave auction controversy in Traverse City, Michigan

An article about the founder of Critical Race Theory, Derrick Bell

An article about how CRT became weaponized as a public issue

From The Episcopal Church Office of Racial Reconciliation

Let’s Talk CRT: Christian Race Theory By Stephanie Spellers

From the Chicago Public Library:

A reading list from Ibram X. Kendi from the Chicago Public Library

From the St. John’s Antiracism Team:

A video on why we do antiracism work: Can I get a Witness?

Our Antiracism Team Page:

A reading list of books by African-American writers: Reading to End Racism

A reading list of books on white supremacy:  Wrestling with White Supremacy

A reading list of books by Hispanic and Latinx authors:  Latinx Book Group