The murder of George Floyd earlier this year has, once again, brought to the forefront of our minds the violence and racism inherent in our political, economic and social systems. As a leadership team, we have been deeply saddened by this. It has caused us to begin to reflect deeply on the issue of racial injustice in our own country and context. Gen 1:26 captures the Judeo-Christian conviction that we are all made in the image of God. There is no place for racism of any kind, at any time!
We recognise God’s Spirit is available to everyone, regardless of race. We feel a burden to listen and speak out. This issue must drive us deeper into the gospel of Jesus Christ and into the story of the one who died and rose again, in order to destroy the walls of hostility. Jesus ushers in a new era of peace and so we stand in solidarity with all people of colour as we join God in the renewal of all things.
We apologise for any hurt felt within our own community for our lack of attention to this issue in the past. We also recognise there are ways we need to learn how to lead our own community going forward by examining our biases and the ways we fail our black brothers and sisters and all people of colour. We are committed to playing our part in actively seeking radical change on this issue. Please join us in prayer and let’s contribute towards a different future in the power of God’s Spirit and in line with the way of Jesus.
– Stephen (on behalf of our Church Leadership)
Resources for the journey
As we take steps into exploring racial justice as a church family, we come in humility, acknowledging that there is much to learn. We want to be active in stepping into this space and commit to listening and learning from each other.
We want to celebrate the contributions of Black British and Black African children of God across the UK, sharing resources, reflecting and discussing on racial justice and equality and looking to God to help us see His love through our community.
Black is King – Black Berea podcast
A discussion about the recently released “Black Is King” visual album by Beyonce, offering thoughts on the themes in the musical film and how Christians should engage with the rise of African spiritually.
‘A response to the tragic death of George Floyd’ – Pastor Agu.
A helpful response from a significant leader in the UK church.
A discussion on Racism – Carl Lentz & Bishop T.D. Jakes
Pastor Carl Lentz and Bishop T.D. Jakes discuss racism in order to bring greater awareness to the very real problem and to help the Church see how we can all play a part in being the solution in this day and age.
Become The Bridge – Steven Furtick & John Gray
Two prominent church leaders in the US discussing why the church has been silent on racism and explain that honest conversation is crucial … even if it’s imperfect.
The Sam Sharpe Lecture
The annual Sam Sharpe lecture was given by Bishop Wilton Powell.
The recent film adaptation of the book.
Love: A response to Racism
Ten8 (a Christian student organisation in Scotland)
Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man
A series that has been useful to many to start conversations and widen their views on racial issues.
A Guide to Help you Respond to Racial Injustice
A helpful guide from Tearfund
Ayrshire minister reflects on Black History Month
A Church of Scotland
Be the bridge
A Christian discussion guide for racial reconciliation
We Need to Talk About Race – Ben Lindsay
Understanding the black experience in white-majority churches
Just Mercy – Bryan Stevenson
A Christian and a civil-rights lawyer and the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, a human-rights organization that challenges convictions, advocates for criminal-justice reform and racial justice
What is Justice? For kids!
How to talk to your children about race and racism
How can we talk to our children and teens about injustice?
Everyone a Child Should Know
An incredible book showing all different people whose faith drove them to do amazing things.
With only 7% of UK children’s books having characters from Black or other ethnic minority and only 4% having it as the ‘main’ character it is important to widen our children’s understanding of diversity and start being anti-racist with a diverse library.
We want to celebrate diversity in our lives and show it to our kids through books – here’s a few to get you started!
The Instagram account @amayahs_diversebooks is one of many working hard to shine a light on our growing collection of beautifully diverse children’s books.