Two items to draw your attention to this week:
firstly, you will doubtless have been following the world-wide protests against racism that have followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. At our Consistory meeting on Monday evening we had a short discussion about how our church might respond: what is our calling in this situation? This is not made easy in our current condition of lockdown, but it was suggested that members of the congregation might like to contribute a prayer or a thought or a poem to our Facebook site. Please do if you feel so led, and one of our elders will be posting something this weekend. I will be addressing the issue in our service on Sunday, but meanwhile I thought I would include something written by a young woman associated with our congregation with a particular interest in this issue. She writes,
‘There are two distinct ways racism is expressed in today’s world.
Firstly, there’s overt or explicit racism. This is the racism that is unapologetic, visible and immediate. Hate crimes. Police brutality. Lynchings. Racial slurs. Most people will agree that they do not support this in any form – anyone who does is ‘a racist’. On the other hand, we have inferential or implicit racism (sometimes referred to as covert or aversive racism, in case you wanna type that into google). This kind of racism largely remains invisible, often happens unconsciously, and is not always noticed. It includes unconscious biases towards racial groups and exists on an individual level.
Pointing fingers or shaming other people when they say something “wrong” is not the way to go. Inferential racism can only be challenged by discussing it, even if those conversations are long, hard and painful. If we talk (and listen) about racial bias and prejudice, we make it visible. By making the implicit explicit, we can address the issues and deconstruct them for the better.
Remember: the situation in the US is immediate and deserves global attention. Keep showing solidarity to the #BLM movement, keep donating and/or protesting if you are able to do so. But please, please, educate yourself too. Be conscious of your own environment. Reflect on your own attitudes. Don’t just point fingers at the USA and call it a day. We need strong allies, allies who are equipped to actively challenge the racism, whether it be overt or inferential. Acknowledge your own responsibility to understand. 🖤’
We Also received this week notification by an organisation called Open Doors of a night of prayer om June 12th for Christians around the world who are being persecuted for their faith. It is likely too late for us to join in the night of prayer, but you might like to remember this topic in your prayers in the coming week.
Below is the programme of events THIS WEEK:
For anyone who wishes to consider the text for this Sunday in advance it is Genesis 6:9-22; 7:24; 8:14-9:1, the story of Noah and the flood.
Short evening prayers, Compline: Join us on
Monday, 14.00-16.00: Knitting Christmas angels. Contact Gillian Walker at email@example.com
Psalm Reciting (This week – Psalms 1-9).This week we will meet at the church again, though you are welcome, of course, to recite these psalms anywhere and any time.
Bible Study: looking at the Letter to the Galatians, chapters 1-2. Join us on ZOOM
Short evening prayers, Compline: You can join us on ZOOM
In a time like this there may be people who feel especially in need of prayer either for themselves or for someone else. There is a small group of people in the congregation who take it in turns on Sundays to be available after the service to pray for anyone in need – so, if you would like prayer or have a a particular prayer request please contact Margaret Richards on firstname.lastname@example.org and she and the others will pray accordingly.
A word about finance….
Please note that in this period when we are not meeting together there is a way of giving to the church on this website. Please use the PayPal donation button on the right.
God bless you all and keep us united as a church family – and safe and well.
Rev. Dr. Lance Stone