Becoming Beloved Community Anti-Racism Process

Becoming Beloved Community is St. Martin’s formal effort to undo racism in our parish and community, by having honest, personal conversations about race and racism, placing racial reconciliation and healing in the context of our Episcopal tradition and changing structures in our parish and community that privilege white people over people of color.

The effort flows from St. Martin’s aspirational value to become a racism-free and diverse community that reflects the city where we worship. In 2015 we launched our first five-week class, Becoming Beloved Community: Sacred Conversations on Race, in which more than 40 parishioners engaged in this ongoing conversation on race.

This page is dedicated to keeping the sacred conversation going parish-wide with resources for deeper understanding and news of upcoming workshops and trainings in the wider community.

Upcoming Events

Mindfulness and White Privilege: An Anti-Racism Seminar for White People

Jan. 21 and April 1, 2018

The Zen Center of Philadelphia, 4904 Cedar Ave.
The seven-session course, which blends mindfulness meditation practices with an exploration of white privilege, was developed last year for Wellspring at the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. This year it is being offered through the Zen Center of Philadelphia and the Springboard Meditation Sangha. The course is open to a multi-faith audience and aims to engage white people in both a spiritually and historically informed practice of addressing racism, fostering the personal insight and self-understanding that is essential in building the trust and awareness needed for interracial work. For more information and a link to registration, visit:

Past Events

Learn how to take action against racism through these parish and community workshops and events.

Becoming Beloved Community: Sacred Conversations About Race
Wednesdays, October 12 - November 9, 2016, 7pm - 9pm

This fall, St. Martin’s will again offer Becoming Beloved Community: Sacred Conversations About Race, a 5-session class created by members of our congregation to train parishioners in the awareness and skills that help us identify and undo racism.  Last year more than 30 parishioners took the initial class.  Committee and ministry leaders are especially encouraged to attend. Building a racism-free community means nurturing a community of leaders with a high awareness of the issues and the skills to respond. The sessions will be Wednesdays from Oct. 12 through Nov. 9 from 7 to 9 p.m. Childcare is provided upon request.


Please contact Barb Ballenger at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 215.247.7466 x102 if you have questions.

Queering Racial Justice Institute
Saturday, September 10, 2016

If you feel passionate about ending racial injustice, please join us in Philadelphia September 10 for: a day of learning, storytelling and skill building for queer and ally people of color and white folks who want to build their anti-racist skills and explore applying these in the LGBTQ movement and beyond.

    Deepen your intersectional organizing skills
    Take part in workshops on: Islamophobia, economic justice, gun control, criminalization of poverty, social media and organizing, gender justice, being a better ally to transgender people, working through white privilege, and sustaining ourselves and each other.
    Bring your family, your faith community, your colleagues and classmates. This day of teaching and learning will enrich us and prepare us for more action towards justice.


Upcoming Events

Why, What to Do: Responding to Racism in America

Saturday, November 18, 2017

9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 5421 Germantown Ave.
These are often follow-up questions by those contemplating the history of race in America. Come and see how others have challenged themselves to respond and make a difference. Sponsored by the Anti-Racism Commission of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania.
Read more about the speakers for this event here.


Past Events

WPC logoWhite Privilege Conference
April 14-17, 2016
“Let Freedom Ring: Re-Imagining Equity and Justice in the United States” annual national conference that will be in Philadelphia in 2016. It examines challenging concepts of privilege and oppression, and offers solutions and team building strategies to work toward a more equitable world.
The conference itself is now full, but there is space in single-day institutes. Get more information here:
A list of institute descriptions can be found here:

Race Matters – Singing Across the Color Line
April 16, 2016 starting at 2 pm
Hosted by the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, the day includes a 2 pm panel discussion on racial issues, followed at 4 pm by a concert featuring members of the Lincoln University Choir and the Chamber Singers of Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges. Both programs are free and will be at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, 38th Street between Market and Chestnut. More information on the Cathedral website

Trinity Institute Follow Up Conversation
April 23, 2016, from 10 am to noon at St. Martin’s
As a follow up to the networking we began at January’s Trinity Institute Listen for a Change: Sacred Conversations for Racial Justice, St. Martin’s is hosting a conversation on how communities of faith can be Congregations of Resistance to Racism. We’ll discuss how we can educate our congregations, evaluate our own practices and speak out against racism in our community. We’d love to see you there. You can sign up online here.

Becoming Beloved Community Follow Up
May 4, 2016 from 7:30 pm to 9 pm
Follow up conversation for all who attended the parish Becoming Beloved Community workshop last fall.  We’ll check in on how we are doing in our individual and congregational work on racial competency, and discuss how to support the ongoing work.

AME Church Founding Bicentennial Celebration
April 7-10 and July 13, 2016
The Bicentennial Celebration of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church will be held in Philadelphia, where its keystone church, Mother Bethel was founded.
A description of April events can be found here, .
The official website is here

Anti-racism resources

Suggested Reading

Download the PDF 

Videos and Web-based resources

A Conversation About Growing Up Black – (5:11) part of NYT video conversation series on race.

A Conversation with White People About Race – (5:24) part of NYT video conversation series on race.

Take the Implicit Association Test which measures thoughts and feelings about race that are outside of conscious awareness and control.

Past Events

Ali MichaelParish Forum: Examining Privilege
January 10, 2016, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. at St. Martin’s in the Parish Hall.
During our regular Sunday morning Adult Formation hour, author and race researcher Dr. Ali Michael will invite us to explore both privilege and marginalization in our lives as a way to increase our competence in undoing racism.
No registration is required.

Ali MichaelParish Workshop: Seeing Whiteness
January 10, 2016, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at St. Martin’s.
A positive racial identity is necessary for anyone who wants to undo racism. But what does that mean for people who are white? In this Becoming Beloved Community mini-workshop, author and race researcher Ali Michael will help us explore the concept of whiteness, how it shapes what is normal in society, and how understanding it can help white people address racism more effectively. Ali is white and will be sharing stories related to her experiences of learning about race as a white person.

The workshop is free and open to all. Please register ahead. A light lunch is included.


TI2016 logoListen for a Change: Sacred Conversations for Racial Justice - TI2016Philly
January 21-23, 2016 at Lutheran Theological Seminary
Registration is Closed
St. Martin’s is a sponsor of this live webcast of Trinity Wall Street’s three-day institute featuring speakers like Bishop Michael Curry, Michele Alexander, and Nicholas Kristof. $20 gets you in to any part or all of this event, which will include table conversations on the issue in our own community. Or you can go to New York City and see it all live for about $500 - visit

Event Details

Between the World and Me Book Group
Wednesdays, February 17-March 16, 2016, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Library on the second floor of the Parish House at St. Martin’s
This Lenten season, join The Rev. Carol Duncan, St. Martin’s Deacon, in a weekly book discussion on Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Free and open to the public.


Diocesan Anti-Racism Training Workshop

April 9, 2016, 8:30 AM-4: 30 PM

Grace Epiphany Church, Ardleigh Street and Gowen Avenue in Mt Airy. Come prepared to begin a journey of self­awareness of race and the impact of the institutions in our society on our every thought and action. Sponsored by the Diocesan Anti-Racism Commission.
Registration Fee: $25
To register, contact Jane Cosby at 215.848.1760, or register at this link:­training­april­9­2015/

Regular Sunday Service Schedule

8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
9:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist with music
10:00 a.m. Parish Forum & Kairos
10:15 a.m. worship.together
Holy Eucharist for families with young children
11:15 a.m. Choral Eucharist

Other Days

Morning prayer is offered at 7:30 a.m. weekdays, in the Mary Chapel.

Silent morning meditation is offered at 8:15 a.m. weekdays, in the Mary Chapel.

Mid-week Eucharist is offered at 12:15 p.m. Wednesdays, in the Mary Chapel.

Compline is offered at 7:00 p.m. on 2nd & 4th Wednesdays, in the Church.

Choral Evensong is offered at 5:00 p.m. on 1st Sundays, in the Church.

We would love to have you join us.


This Episcopal church is located in the heart of the historic neighborhood of Chestnut Hill, five blocks west of Germantown Avenue at the corner of St. Martin’s Lane and West Willow Grove Avenue.

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