As a church we want to take seriously the calls to examine our structures and practices to ensure they are both not racist and enable all to feel welcome. This requires those who lead to develop our own understanding of the issues involved and be prepared to go on a journey we perhaps didn’t realise we needed to take.
NT Wright wrote to the Spectator recently to outline the position of the church in relation to issues of race and diversity. His inspiring and challenging words can be seen here.
The church still has a long way to go in demonstrating the radical hospitality of God to all nations. A special event in collaboration with Ascend and Dr Krish Kandiah will explore further how the church has to deal with its past and push on towards its future as the multicultural people of God. Dr Kandiah will explore ten ways that churches can pursue racial justice and radical hospitality on Monday 7 June 1300. Free tickets are available here.
SPCK have developed some new small group resources on racism. There are two sets of material, with engaging video content, all free to use Ben Lindsay’s sessions ‘Let’s talk about race’ give rich educational input and therefore are the best place to start. We do wish to provide more information related to Scottish society to accompany these studies and so will be adding to this section in the coming weeks. Please do get in touch with Ascend if you are ready to use the SPCK resources and are not yet able to access the additional Scottish information.
As we grow in our understanding of the challenge facing the church to become once more the place of radical diversity and inclusion, these words help us to examine our everyday practices…
Diversity asks, “Who’s in the room?”
Equity responds: “Who is trying to get in the room but can’t? Whose presence in the room is under constant threat of erasure?”
Inclusion asks, “Has everyone’s ideas been heard?”
Justice responds, “Whose ideas won’t be taken as seriously because they aren’t in the majority?”
Diversity asks, “How many more of [pick any minoritized identity] group do we have this year than last?”
Equity responds, “What conditions have we created that maintain certain groups as the perpetual majority here?”
We have recently enjoyed reading ‘The Secret Lives of Church Ladies’ by Deesha Philyaw. Check out the review here.
We are all learners in this season. The important thing is that we continue to engage with these issues to bring the deep, transformative change required.