We’ve lived through some difficult days with the challenge of Coronavirus, but events took place in the USA last week, which for many have overshadowed them all: the murder of a black man called George Floyd by four white police officers on the streets of Minneapolis.
Protests, some of them violent, have erupted across the USA. Even in the UK there have been protests and anger. This event has become a tipping point, pushing people to speak out and take action.
Racism is not unique to the USA of course; it happens in the UK too and many here feel angry; many experience racism on a daily basis. I believe we can and must do better than that within the church; I believe we can be a shining beacon in our town and our world.
So this Sunday at Welcome Church Online at 9am and 11am, I’m going to talk about how we can build a community together where everyone can be included, regardless of their ethnicity or the colour of their skin, and where Jesus’ Kingdom values can shine through. Everyone is invited to join us online on Sunday to hear more.
There are also two important events happening for us as a church on Sunday evening:
First: online communion online
We will be holding our next online communion on Sunday 7th June at 6.30pm, for about 45 minutes. This is a great chance for us to build community together and will be on the same Zoom code as the prayer meetings, so do join us.
It will be a ‘Come as you are communion’, so do log on as a family and bring your own bread and wine (or Ribena or whatever). Please put it in your diary now.
Second: “Listening Together”, a chance to talk about race and the experiences of people in our church
We celebrate and praise God for the diversity of cultures and heritages that make up Welcome Church. We are one in Christ Jesus. As a leadership team we’re very aware that we’re not a perfect church, and as we reflect on the shocking events and the damaging history of racism and prejudice in our world, it’s important that we make space to reflect on how these issues are relevant within our own church family.
This Sunday evening from 8pm to 9pm one of our elders Christopher Hawes, alongside one of our other leaders Nnamdi Anyaegbunam, will be hosting a conversation, which is open to anyone, with an emphasis on listening to those most affected by these issues. It’s an opportunity for us to grow and learn to love each other better, and to grow in our unity as a church family.
You are invited to join us on the usual Zoom codes. I’ll be there, and I look forward to seeing you.
In the mean time
I have resisted writing a blog about racism and our response, because other people have said it so well already. If you want some excellent reading about this, please check out these links:
- Racism is more than murder – written by my friend Chris Kimbangi, a black pastor who leads Hope Church in Guildford.
- Responding to a traumatic week – written by my friend Andrew Wilson, Teaching Pastor at Kings Church London
- Riots. Race. Response – written by P. J Smyth from Monument Church in Washington DC
And finally this video response from my friend Tope Koleoso who leads Jubilee Church in London: