We need to talk about race
• Opening Prayer (3 to 5 minutes)
• Welcome (2 minutes)
• Reminder and recommit to the Group Covenant (2 minutes)
• Lectio Divina (10 minutes to do lectio)
• Biblical Reflection Video No. 3 – Psalm 33.1-22 (about 6 minutes)
• Moment of Silence
• Reactions to Biblical Reflection Video (5 minutes)
• ‘Welcome and Unwelcome?’ Exercise (15 minutes)
• ‘Lived Experiences: Neil Masih’ Video (about 7 minutes)
• Small group discussion followed by plenary (15 minutes)
• ‘How do you view God?’ Reflection PowerPoint (10 minutes)
• Questions about the Racial Diversity Audit (3 minutes)
• Close and Prayer (2 minutes)
What you will need:
• A candle (and matches)
• Bibles (or biblical verses printed to give participants) for Psalm 33.1-22
• The Collect for this week (the one from last Sunday)
• ‘The Prayer for Courage’ from the Corrymeela Community
• Biblical Reflection Video No.3 - Psalm 33.1-22 video (Download using link above)
• ‘Lived Experiences: Neil Masih’ video (Download using link above)
• ‘How do you view God?’ Reflection PowerPoint (Download using link above)
• A Franciscan Benediction (Download using link above)
Feel free to use this short liturgy or open with extemporary prayer - or a combination of both.
(Whatever works best for you and your tradition).
Light a candle in the centre of the group
Keep a moment of silence
Leader: Let us start by bringing our focus onto God and recognise God’s presence among us.
May the love and desire for justice of Jesus Christ be with you.
All: And also with you.
Leader: We put aside of stresses and preoccupations of the day, we acknowledge our hopes, fears,
and anxieties as we start this session.
We ask you to be with us, Lord.
Help us to be open and vulnerable to your presence and the learning you have for us today.
We pray in Jesus’ name.
Leader may read the collect for this week
Leader: We gather together our thoughts and prayers using the prayer that Jesus taught us:
All: Our Father…
All: All pray ‘The Prayer for Courage’ from the Corrymeela Community by Pádraig Ó Tuama to close.
Review the Principles of Learning Community:
• We’re here to learn
• No experts
• Be challenged by the gospel
• Be challenged by the stories and experiences of others
• Will prioritise the voices of UKME / Global Majority Christians
• We acknowledge the leading of the Holy Spirit
A reminder to:
• Be Present
• Be Open
• Be Truthful
• Be Gracious
• Be Kind
Explain the flow of this session (it would help to put this on PowerPoint or a White Board or A3 paper as well).
• Review your group covenant
• Ask that everyone agrees to those principles again for this session by raising their hands.
May we suggest people get into groups of 3 or 4 with those near them. Make sure everyone has a bible or a copy of the passage. There are many variations on how to do Lectio Divina. Here’s a variation that we will use today:
Listening for God in the Word:
How God speaks to ME and what I am invited to DO:
Please note that anyone may “pass” at any time. If a person prefers to pray silently instead of sharing with the group, then simply state this aloud and conclude your silent prayer with Amen.
We are blessed to have the Revd Canon Dr Rosalyn Murphy’s biblical reflections every week. These have been a core feature of both the online courses which ran in Coventry and Derby.
She is a biblical scholar, with masters and doctoral degrees from Durham. She is currently a vicar and Chair of the Racial Equality Action Group in the Diocese of Coventry.
Take a moment of silence to consider the Bible reflection
An opportunity to share observations or reflections in partners. If time, bring some of that back to the larger group.
At our first session we listened to the Revd Jacqueline Stober share her experiences. Today we will hear from an Asian British persective - Mr Neil Masih, who is the Intercultural Mission Enabler for the Diocese of Coventry and a Church Warden at his local parish.
In groups of 3 or 4, here are some questions to consider:
As you did last week, let the group know that you will email them with further material in the next couple of days to consider during the week.
We know people have varying degrees of time, so we will share everything from a book to read to short videos / articles and podcasts.
This is not intended to be a book group or to require you to do hours of homework between each session.
There is no guilt or pressure to engage with everything, but people are encouraged to engage with at least something (and all are invited to include this learning community in their prayers) before we meet again next week.
Say a short prayer to close, committing our actions to God, inviting the Holy Spirit to enable our continued learning with courage throughout the week.
As before, thank them for joining you on this Amazing Grace Learning Community journey and please be sure to encourage the group to pray for each other throughout the week.
For our next meeting, we recommend the excellent book ‘Black and British’ by David Olusoga. Alternatively, another great book to consider might be ‘Is God Colour Blind?’ (updated in 2020) by next week’s guest speaker, Anthony G Reddie.
Other Online Resources:
For those who want to dig deeper, below is a link to a longer podcast episode from the Nomad series. This includes some excellent poetry by a local Birmingham poet.
There is also a longer video about ‘Racism and the Bible’ from last week’s speaker, Jen Jenkins, excerpted from a longer talk. You can download that at www.amazing-grace.co.uk.
We will be joined next week by Professor Anthony G. Reddie. You can find more information about him and his work here: https://www.anthonyreddie.com/
Biblical Reflection on Psalm 33.1-22
Lived Experiences: Neil Masih