Wait - is this Racist? A Guide to Becoming an Anti-racist Church
by Kerry Connelly, with Bryana Clover and Josh Riddick
This is an important book primarily aimed at white church in America, but with much food for thought in the United Kingdom too. It is a workbook for church teams, supported by online materials for use in team meetings.
The idea is that predominantly white churches can be led into anti-racism by examining various aspects of church life, assessing where they are now and planning how to get to where they want to be.
Chapters cover leadership; preaching and liturgy; music; small groups; buildings and grounds; communications; missions and service; children and youth; pastoral care; interracial dialogue.
The chapter on preaching is poignant and challenging. It begins with a tale of a seriously misjudged sermon. The preachers talks about a poker player, a man who is clearly an example of ‘How Not to Be.’ Unfortunately, part of his behaviour is surrounding himself with bikini-clad women. Connelly speaks of hanging on the preacher’s every word, waiting for him to affirm the women’s humanity - her humanity. Instead, he uses the throw-away line ‘I could get used to that.’ Connelly is left feeling sick and angry. It is an example of the power of the pulpit being misused.
In the context of race, the chapter goes on to say that while not every sermon needs to be about race, every sermon can be anti-racist, not just those preached in Black History Month. Obvious examples are the ways in which darkness is associated with evil. But preachers should also be careful using language like ‘kingdom work,’ ‘spiritual warfare,’ or ‘reign’ for these are words situated in empire, and do not sound inviting to those who have suffered under white domination.
Questions to helps us assess our preaching in terms of who we consult, the language we use, who we portray as ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’ and which characters we identify with. All are excellent questions for preachers.
Save 10% on the RRP when you order this book from chbookshop.co.uk. Add the voucher code PREACHER22 at the basket to receive the discount:
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