In the these days following the death of George Floyd, we would like to say that we stand with all those who have been the victims of racism, injustice or racial inequality. We pray for you, we bless you and we mourn for you. Here we want to offer a few thoughts as a guide as we seek to respond in prayer and action.
At St John’s we stand on the Word of God. We therefore recognise that racism, injustice and racial inequality are abhorrent to God, believing that God made humankind in his image – all of humankind. This belief confers incredible significance on all people. Jesus came to die for all, so that he might form a new humanity where both unity and diversity is celebrated: a people unified in his name, where diversity is welcome and celebrated.
‘…with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.’ Rev 5:9
Leicester as a city and our local community of Clarendon Park and Stoneygate have a wonderful racial and ethnic diversity and we believe this is something to celebrate and give thanks for. St John’s school and our own church family are diverse communities too which we greatly value. However, the death of George Floyd and the subsequent protests have placed the spotlight once again on the issues of racism and racial in equality. Although most of this has happened in America, it has been a reminder that the evil of racial inequality still exists in our society and has existed for far too long and that is not okay. For some of us, our experience of this issue of injustice and racial in-equality may well be a deeply personal one and the events in America may well have stirred up our pain. For others of us, it may not be so personal. Paul wrote,
‘If one part suffers, every part suffers with it…’ 1 Cor 12:26
Whatever our personal experience, we stand together on this as one.
And so at this time, we pray for all those who have been or are the victims of racial abuse, injustice or racial inequality and we reflect on how to respond. The issue of racial inequality is a question we need to talk about and consider and so it’s a conversation that will continue as a church and in St John’s School. As Christians, we are followers of Jesus, our teacher and Rabbi. In our response to all this, we come to him, the God of justice, the one who laid down his life for all and seek to follow his example. We must begin by examining our own hearts and asking for forgiveness for any ways through in which we have tolerated or not stood against this evil. And we pray with Jesus for the victims of injustice, praying that peace and justice would reign and rule in our society – and we commit ourselves to standing against racial inequality wherever we see it. We have several members of our church who are members of the Mother’s Union. The Mother’s Union have published this prayer which captures the essence of a Godly response to this issue really well, so we leave you with this for reflection and prayer.