Dear Hope family,
Thought for the Week
Dealing with Prejudice
Matthew 5v14 “ You are the light of the world.”
It was 12 weeks ago this weekend that we last met in person on a Sunday morning!
The downright disgusting way in which George Floyd was treated has been towards the top of our headlines over the last two weeks. The response to it has also been tragic in some cases.
It is the responsibility of those in authority to ensure that systems and justice are not prejudiced in any way. It is also their responsibility to ensure that the perpetrators are subject to proper legal processes and judgements both to prevent further cases but the individuals, discourage further cases by others, and to help those concerned to reform. It is particularly concerning when those in positions of trust misuse that position – and, sadly, we as the church globally also have our own share of that.
We should also recognise that the fundamental problem comes back to the human heart and the culture we tend towards. We naturally tend towards developing “silos” in which we feel safe and superior. We then individually and collectively treat those outside the silo differently, often as a reinforcement of the silo itself. This applies to race, but also many other characteristics of the human being (size, background, eating habits, education, class, wealth, ability, viewpoints …).
We as Christians have a clear theology or worldview which fully exercised in our lives has huge repercussions.
- We believe that all human kind is made and loved by God.
- We believe we all came from the same parents in Adam and Eve and Noah and his wife.
- We believe that Jesus came to seek and to save the lost from all people groups.
- We believe that he has sent us to all people groups and that the Holy Spirit is for all people.
- We believe that he even reaches out to the perpetrators of terrible crimes.
- The early church had to grapple with what it meant to be beyond just one cultural background, and we do too.
- We believe that one day people from every tribe and nation will be together rejoicing in the presence of God.
Jesus’ teaching is consistently clear – “take the log out of your own eye before you take the speck out of someone else’s”; “in the way you judge, so you will be judged”; “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. This means that as believers, when we see sin in our world, the first point of call is to look at our own heart in the light of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word.
- Am I treating everyone as a full human being, created and loved by God?
- Are there subtle ways in which I show favouritism towards or look down on certain group?
- Are there ways that we as a church are a “silo” when we should not be?
- Are there places that I can have a positive influence in eliminating prejudice and encouraging inclusivity? (eg neighbourhood, workplace …)
“You are the Light of the World … Let them see your good deeds so that they may praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5v14-16)
With love and blessing,
- Hope Prayer Meetings – There will be a prayer meeting on Monday at 7.30pm on Zoom as well as on Wednesday at 8am this next week.
Revised Government Guidelines & a Walk – Now that 6 people from different households are able to meet up outside, we are looking at options with this. In particular, Helen & Cindy are arranging a walk on Sunday afternoon. Please message Helen is you would like to join.
Programme – please message Roland if you would like to join any of our meetings on Zoom. Sunday morning worship is live-streamed at 10.30am on: YouTube – in the Hope Community Church Admaston Songs channel; Facebook – On the Hope Community Church Admaston page.
Thu 04-Jun 9.45am Hope Assemblies on YouTube; 7.30pm St Cs Ladies’ Group – on Zoom
Fri 05-Jun 2.30pm Alpha on Zoom (20’s)
Sat 06-Jun 10.30-11.30am Crochet, Craft and Chat with Lisa on Zoom
Sun 07-Jun 10am Hope Kids on Zoom with Sue and Helen; 10.30am Hope Worship on YouTube and Facebook; 11am Hope Family Time on Zoom; Afternoon – contact Helen for up to 6 people to enjoy a socially distanced walk together; 7pm Roland & Sue’s Disciple Group on Zoom
Mon 08-Jun – 7.30pm Hope Community Prayer – on Zoom
Tue 09-Jun – 9.45am Hope Assemblies on YouTube; 11am-noon St Cs Pushchair People via Zoom; 7.30pm St Cs Men’s Group on Zoom
Wed 10-Jun – 8am Hope Community Prayer – on Zoom
Thu 11-Jun – 9.45am Hope Assemblies on YouTube; 7.30pm St Cs Ladies’ Group – on Zoom
Prayer – Give thanks:
- For the progress being made nationally and internationally in dealing with the Covid-19 virus.
- Those who are listening into our Sunday morning worship who would not normally be with us.
- For our church community at this time.
- Use your prayer diary to pray for each person in our church family.
- Pray for 5 people you connect with who are not yet believers each day this week.
- Pray for the 20’s Alpha courses currently running.
- Let’s pray for peace and love to reign in the UK and globally at this time of rising tensions at various levels.
Other general information
Pastoral Care – If you are in isolation and need support (eg shopping), please contact Natalie on firstname.lastname@example.org who will arrange with the team of helpers.