I’m disappointed #BlackLivesMatter

Whatever happened to the God who is against injustice?

Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield, Sunday 7th June 2020

P1010050

I love my church.

My inner SJW (Social Justice Warrior) is disappointed. I think there was an opportunity missed this week. So I have waited for two hours between the end of the service to pray and let things sink in, why am I feeling disappointed? Hardly a mention of the worldwide protests against institutional racism around the world. I waited to see others would react to the service. The reaction was positive.

One said on Facebook:

Fantastic service this morning, from Holy Trinity Huddersfield – thank you all so much. I had to listen to Val/Joe/Woody’s song again after the service as it was so beautiful.”

So just me then. Or is it? This is from a prayer request I received in the week from a black member of the congregation:

Am feeling a bit rubbish today also, hurt and unmotivated due to all the raciscts issues that are surfacing world wide, it’s getting to me.

But what I noticed was not the content of the service which was good as usual, but what was missing. We are a social justice church, contributing to and helping at the food bank, involved with Christians against Poverty, so why when no mention of the demonstrations against racism except for a short bit in the middle of the intercessions? At least George Floyd’s name was mentioned. His death is the catalyst for demonstrations from Miniapolis, to America and to the ends of the world. People in the congregation are hurting, that is why the omission is bad.

The sermon series is on “Stand.” Yet the idea of standing against injustice was missing from this service, or the series so far. The context of coronavirus was the link to living now and it was about us standing firm and being positive. I am trying to be positive here. the service was good, but inappropriate given what had happened these last two weeks.

Our citizenship is in heaven. we were told. I remembered that the kingdom of God is for all and deduced there is no racism in heaven. We were referred to the Bible verse, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things,” Philippians 4:8. OK. Standing up to injustice is all of these things, pure,  lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy, so that is what I shall be concentrating on this week. It isn’t nice, but the verse says nothing about nice.

But to be positive, one service today got it dead right. BBC local radio stations broadcast a service at 8 am this morning paying tribute to the last official day in office of Archbishop of York John Sentamu. His daughter Grace, herself a priest in the Church of England, straight away after the opening hymn had finished mentioned racism, George Floyd and the demonstrations then prayed a prayer asking for justice and truth. It felt like I was listening to a prophet.

That is how it is done.

As I said at the beginning, I love my church, but I think they got it wrong this time.

3 thoughts on “I’m disappointed #BlackLivesMatter

  1. Our new Vicar attended a protest meeting, fortunately it was a peaceful one with social distancing observed. And it was spoken about in his video address and yes we prayed. I think, if I think anything worthwhile at all, that the grace of God leads us all to repentance however else can we truthfully pray unless we put God in the driving seat and on the Throne.

    1. Thanks whisperingleaves.

      I have spoken to John, the preacher, this evening. The leadership of the church have decided to make good quality services so segments of the services have to be prepared well in advance. The Sermon had to be written and recorded before Tuesday evening. Unfortunately, this takes away the ability to react to events in the world.

      We live in interesting times.

  2. I have had this reply on Facebook from Karen Julien:


    thank you for your blog. It is a tough one when the messages have to be pre recorded, but I totally get where you are coming from. If we don’t speak out now whilst things are raw, then when?
    I was talking to a friend this evening about this very topic of the church, injustice and racism. Her church is in Hereford. Sometimes you just have to take the bull by the horns. Of course there will be those who are offended, not every one will agree, but it’s a discussion that needs to be had.
    I’ve found myself over the past couple of weeks trying to process what’s been going on. It’s taken the death of George Lloyd to stir the pot so to speak. No one deserves to die in the manner that he did, irrespective of his background. His death has highlighted something far bigger going on in society. Something within myself. I’ve had to repent at being apathetic to what has has been going on around me. For not calling a spade a spade, for not challenging language in regards to race like it’s someone else’s issue. Of course I know that God is fully in control and He sees the beginning from the end, but the in between, we have a work to do. We have to do it with the wisdom and discernment of the Spirit. I’ve cried, I’ve been frustrated and yes even angry, but I cannot stay that way. I will not stay that way. I will not allow the enemy to distract me of God’s presence. I take it all to the foot of the cross. I take it to the ONE who can in prayer. The changes in all of us starts from the inside out. Our mindset must change, our hearts must change. Love is the answer and that has to start with the individual.
    Let us cease every opportunity, whether that be from the pulpit or in these times from our devices. Let us with one voice say no to injustice, no to racism. Black lives DO matter. Yes all lives matter, but at this moment in time, let’s challenge what we hear and see. No matter what colour we are, let’s no longer be silent.

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