Racism in Church
What you will need:
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.
We were very blessed to have Fr Azariah France-Williams, Priest, writer and podcaster based in Manchester, join us for the Amazing Grace sessions in both Coventry and Derby.
Azariah is Pioneer priest at the Ascension Hulme, a member of the HeartEdge church network. He has been a priest with the Church of England for 10 years and he is a visiting scholar in Bible for Sarum College based in Salisbury.
His first book ‘Ghost Ship’ was published in July 2020 and charts institutional racism and the Church of England. This extract is the first half of a live zoom sessio for the Diocese of Derby.
In groups of 3 or 4, here are some questions to consider:
This extract is the first hald of a live zoom session for the Diocese of Derby.
Hand out copies of the ‘Personal Reflection Wrap Up Tool’ and the ‘Personal Reflection Wrap Up Tool Instructions’. Talk the group through the instructions so that everyone understands.
Remind the group to bring their copies of the ‘Racial Diversity Audit’ and their final reflections for next week.
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.
Of course, 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.
Encourage them to spend time reflecting about their time in the course with the reflection tool – and to revisit the Racial Diversity Audit. ‘Personal Reflection Wrap Up Tool’ ‘Personal Reflection Wrap Up Tool Instructions’.
Biblical Reflection on Psalm 147:13-21
Journey: Azariah France-Williams
Institutional Racism: Azariah France-Williams