A Plan for Churches

Peter Jarrett-Schell, Foreword by Stephanie Spellers

Feb/2023, 224 Pages, PAPERBACK, 6 x 9

ISBN-13: 9781640656093



A clarion call and evidence-based reparations plan for churches engaged in dismantling racism.

Christian churches, schools, and organizations committed to a reparations plan can learn how to do it--including how to support local, Black-led organizations working on economic empowerment. This is a much needed resource as churches have acknowledged generations of participation in systemic and structural racism and are looking for specific ways to action responsibility. This engaging book show how these plans are being lived out in congregations across the country.

Written by a white priest called to pastor an historically Black congregation in Washington DC, Reparations: A Plan for Churches provides spiritual resources and practical tools for dioceses, and other institutions, who are poised to seize this crucial moment. By drawing from examples of steps being taken by congregations and others, this guide also centers the counsel, voices, and teaching of Black scholars, activists, and many denominations of Christians. From this vantage, the book shows Christians how to make the work of restitution a reality by honest fact-finding and truth-telling, substantive and sustained engagement with those to whom reparations are owed, clear statements about what reparations are, and focused action to begin the work.

All royalties go to Harriet's Wildest Dreams, a Black-led abolitionist community defense hub centering all Black lives most at risk for state-sanctioned violence in the Greater Washington area.

PETER JARRETT-SCHELL is Pastor of Calvary Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. A facilitator at the Kaleidoscope Institute, training competent leaders for culturally diverse communities. As the white pastor of a historically Black congregation, the husband of a Black woman, and the father of a bi‑racial son, he has wrestled with the question of Whiteness for many years. His first-hand account of a racially-motivated traffic stop was shared more than 30,000 times.

STEPHANIE SPELLERS serves as Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s Canon for Evangelism and Reconciliation. The author of The Church Cracked Open, and The Episcopal Way (with Eric Law), she has directed mission and evangelism work at General Theological Seminary and in the Diocese of Long Island. A native of Kentucky and a graduate of both Episcopal Divinity School and Harvard Divinity School, she lives in Harlem, New York.

"Imagine a future where reparations are no longer a should-we conversation, it’s about here’s-how-we’re-currently-approaching-it. Imagine the possibilities that become available when white energy transforms from the cruel and stubborn justification of resource hoarding and trauma denial to desiring well-being for all and having the vision and tools to realize it.”
—Debby Irving, author of Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race

“If you have ever wondered if reparations are one way to be forgiven for the sins of racism and white supremacy, Peter Jarrett-Schell’s Reparations: A Plan for Churches is what you’re looking for. This honest book shows us Peter’s suggested steps to reach reparations that he formulated with the help of nine mentors who have been doing the arduous work of social justice. This book is as uncomfortable as it is gripping.”
—Sandra Montes, Union Theological Seminary

Foreword by Stephanie Spellers

1. Dreaming Big Dreams
The Math of Reparations
2. A Process in Six Stages
3. Building Relationship
4. Truth-Finding
5. Truth-Telling
6. Repentance
7. Reparation
8. Evaluation
9. Forgiveness, Absolution?
10. Resources for Perseverance
11. A Principled Critique

The Necessity and Insufficiency of Financial Reparations

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  • Episcopal
  • anti-racism
  • economic justice

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