This week Churches Together in Britain and Ireland are holding “Racial Justice” Sunday’s as a church we will be using the resources and educating ourselves. One of the problems we face in Britain is education. Many will ask why we are holding a “racial justice” Sunday well it is so that we can spotlight the biblical importance of such issues. The bible has been used throughout history to oppress and put down. Yet, when I read the gospel’s I read a gospel of love. When I read the writings of Paul I read the letters of a man who cared about justice and wanted to encourage others to follow the cross of Christ. As we are challenged this Sunday. As we become uncomfortable with what is said and the prayers we pray we need to see that as a good thing. We need to become uncomfortable so that we can enact change. This weeks blog suggests some of the things you could read/listen too if you feel uncomfortable and want to know more. These recourses will help you move from conversation to action.
Something to read
There are so many good books that you could read. These books will make most of us become uncomfortable but they have changed my perspectives. More than changing my perspectives however they also gave me the resources to speak out. They showed my “blind” sides and helped me become familiar with the problems our society faced.
Reni Edo-Lodge, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race . This is a real uncomfortable read for a white person as it challenges our unconscious bias and makes us think more deeply about the things we say and actions we take.
James Cone, The Cross and the Lynching Tree. This book explores the spiritual world of African Americans in 20th century America. Drawing on some of the most violent acts of racism Cone is able to tie together both hope and terror through the lens of the Cross. This is a powerful read especially as we move through lent towards the cross.
Something to Listen too
This week I am going to once again recommend a podcast. Podcast’s are some of the easiest ways to educate yourselves on specific issues, especially now that we have time on our hands. In the Unlocking Us Series by Brene Brown Brene has a conversation with Emmanuel Acho. Emmanuel talks about his experiences as a black person and explains why he wrote the book “Uncomfortable conversations with a Black Man”. One thing that struck me in the conversation was when Emmanuel said that “true allyship moves from conversation to action.” As we pray and worship this week why not ask God to help move us from conversation to action this week.
I also took time to watch the BBC programme Anthony. The story of Anthony Walker, who was killed by two white men in 2005, demonstrates that racism is not some distant issue but that it is closer than we think and has an affect on all of our communities.
An important idea
In here podcast Brene Brown says that there can be “no courage without vulnerability.” Racism can be a difficult issue to speak out against as white people because we can fear that we say the wrong thing, or that can be seen to not have compassion. That attitude however is just as bad as racism for it silences the conversation. As Norbury Church prays and worships this week we will ask God to come and change the narrative. We will ask God to come and transform our community by His grace so that justice will roar through this land. Sometimes it can feel like our voices are not loud enough, or not bold enough. Yet, as we learn, speak and act, we can have a great influence on our friends, our families, and our communities. If we join our voices together we will be able to affect more change than we ever could alone. If we partner with God we can do the impossible. We can see God’s kingdom come and change the earth. That is why we join with God this Sunday and ask that God’s love overpower all the earth and we proclaim together that all lives are important. That black lives matter to us!