This year CTBI have produced a really helpful resource to encourage and enable churches to engage with Racial Justice Sunday entitled Racial Justice: What has it got to do with me? Racial Justice Sunday is on the 13 February 2022, so there is still time for people to engage with this resource as they prepare for their services over the coming days.
Racial Justice: What has it got to do with me? (pdf), brings together reflections, that can be used for individual and corporate contemplation, along with suggested prayers, liturgy, readings and a selection of traditional and modern worship songs. This resource seeks to give all churches the opportunity to focus on what the team at CTBI have called “the three ‘R’s of ‘Remembering’, ‘Reflecting’ and ‘Responding’:
- Remembering the importance of racial justice.
- Reflecting on human diversity and thanking God for it.
- Responding by working to end injustice, racism and ignorance through prayer and action”. (CTBI 2022)
In my dual role as a Licenced Lay Minister (Reader) in the Oxford Diocese of the Church of England and as Ecumenical Facilitator for Churches Together in Hertfordshire the content of this resource was both thought provoking and helpful.
In the first instance I used this resource to help plan an all-age service for our local village church. I found it particularly helpful as I wrote the order of service planning prayers, choosing readings and suitable music, and engaging with the different reflections while writing my own all-age talk. It not only made the planning easier, offering a broad palate to choose from, but it also broadened my perspective of what issues we could engage with together as a predominantly white congregation and increased my confidence in how to engage appropriately within this context. I particularly liked the inclusion of a prayer by Martin Luther King, who I know will be known to many children as well as adults in the congregation, as well as the broad selection of readings that enabled discussion of both inclusion and equality.
As a County Ecumenical Officer, I was quick to send this resource around to our mailing list of churches, church leaders, local Churches Together groups and ecumenical partnerships and organisations. The broad range of liturgy, prayers, readings and music that was suggested could be useful to all church traditions, and the reflections are both challenging and thought provoking.
I would encourage all those planning for Racial Justice Sunday this year to engage with this resource and I look forward to hearing from my ecumenical colleagues across Hertfordshire as to how the resource has been used and how Racial Justice Sunday has been marked in their towns and villages.