New Sacred Ground Circle

There’s still time to join a Sacred Ground Circle. Sacred Ground is a film- and readings-based discussion group intended to help folks like us understand the deep roots of racism in our communities. Sacred Ground takes place over ten sessions with each session about two weeks apart to allow everyone time to go over the material. This new circle will be starting soon with a Harvard Divinity School graduate and member of St. John’s, Williamstown facilitating the circle. The circle will meet at a time and frequency that best suits the participants. For more information about Sacred Ground, please visit the Sacred Ground website by clicking here. If you are interested or have questions, please email Jim Kolesar,

Our Current Adult Study

Sermon on the Mount: A Beginner’s Guide to the Kingdom of Heaven
Continuing this Tuesday, 7:00-8:30 pm, on Zoom
or call in: 646-558-8656
Meeting ID: 826 0996 0553
Passcode: 446609
Please read chapter 4 in preparation for the next session.

Dr. Amy Jill Levine, Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University, has built her career on helping Christians understand the Jewish context of Jesus’ life and ministry. Her newest book, Sermon on the Mount, is a readable and thought-provoking look at these fundamental teachings from Matthew’s gospel. Father Sam will use this book (available in paperback or for the Kindle) as the guide to our six-week study, in partnership with the folks of Grace Church of Great Barrington and Christ Trinity Church of Sheffield. Continuing this Tuesday, we will gather on the Zoom platform, 7:00-8:30 pm. Questions? Ask Father Sam.

Friday Lectionary Study Group – 12:00 p.m.
Led by the members of St. John’s Williamstown
Get more out of Sunday morning by getting a sneak peek at the upcoming readings. Every Friday, we read through the upcoming readings and reflect on how God is speaking to us today. Please contact Mary Lovvorn to receive an invitation.

Stay Tuned for Our Next Racial Justice Reading Circle

Friday, August 21, 6:30-8:00 pm
Our first gathering to discuss issues of race and our congregation’s response was such a success that the group in attendance decided to gather again. We will do so on the parish house playground (less noisy than the church yard!), with a rain date of Saturday, August 22. We will begin with a discussion of the article “I Wanted to Know What White Men Thought About Their Privilege. So I Asked,” from the New York Times Sunday Magazine (access it at, or download a PDF of the article here), which we ask you to read beforehand.

To facilitate our safe gathering, please follow the protocols provided here, with the exception that, instead of a prayer book or a leaflet, you should bring pen and paper to take notes as desired and whatever beverage and snack you’d like (sorry, we can’t share these items just now). As with services, we will let you know through email and our website if we need to move the gathering to the rain date.

Questions? Ask Father Sam (

Racial Justice Reading Lists

A word from the librarian (Patty Melville)…
At the moment, reading list after list is popping up on-line.  These are just a few of what have been coming up.  The lists are well done, provide a wide variety of material, have many cross-overs, and are annotated.  There IS something for everyone.  If you find something off the list?  Go for it and share… I’m about to finish Beloved, by Toni Morrison (may be one of the toughest books I’ve tackled in isolation),  want to delve into Ta-Nehisi Coates’ work, am intrigued by Ibram X. Kendi’s  writings and influence on the genre, and plan on icing it all with some Langston Hughes poetry.

A Selection of Basic Books on Race & Being White in America for Episcopalians June 2020

Marguerite Ward. “18 books on race and white privilege that will show you what’s really happening in America right now.” Business Insider, June 11, 2020,

Elizabeth A. Harris. “People Are Marching Against Racism. They’re Also Reading About It.” The New York Times, June 10, 2020,

Isabella Rosario. “This List Of Books, Films And Podcasts About Racism Is A Start, Not A Panacea“. NPR, June 6, 2020,

“Anti-Racist Reading List from Ibram X. Kendi.” Chicago Public Library,

Ibram X. Kendi. “An Antiracist Reading List.” The New York Times, May 29, 2019,