Black & White – One in Christ

Below if the transcript of the service.

Black and White – One in Christ

Wednesday 22nd July 2020

Hoe Peace Garden: noon – 1pm

 

The Wrongs of the Past:

  • HISTORY – Chris Clewer (CTiP)
  • SCRIPTURE READING – Luke Mansfield (Hope Baptist)
  • PRAYER OF REPENTANCE – Roy Beaumont (Street Pastors) / Gareth Higgs M.C.Hall

 

The Injustices of the Present:

  • INJUSTICES – Chris Clewer (CTiP)
  • SCRIPTURE READING – Mark Lawrence (Dep.Superintendent Methodist)
  • PRAYER OF TRANSFORMATION – Carl Smethurst (SW Baptists)

 

Trust for the Future:

  • HOPES FOR THE FUTURE – Chris Clewer (CTiP)
  • SCRIPTURE READING – Arthur Goode (Vineyard)
  • BISHOPS’ DECLARATION – Joe Dent (St Andrew’s Minster)
  • PRAYER OF HOPE FOR THE FUTURE – Joe Dent / Abs Fayose (RCCG)

The Service will close with sharing blessing and peace with one another

 

This event has been organised by Churches Together in Plymouth following the huge and worldwide movement of Black Lives Matter resulting from the death of George Floyd. We were particularly inspired by the Houston expression called ‘PRAYtest’ as opposed to PROtest in which church leaders confessed the sin of their fathers and sought forgiveness and re-connection with their black brothers and sisters in Christ.

It has been vital to recognise the historical wrongs that have been done by European nations against the African peoples. Then to recognise the ongoing and present day ramifications of injustice that are still endured by these precious children of God. We also seek to build trust for the future. Thus,  the service is divided between these three areas of focus.

In Deuteronomy 28v13, God challenges his people to be ‘the Head and not the Tail…’ We as Churches of Plymouth seek to declare our oneness uniting us all, loved by God, created as equals and to do all we can to influence the pressing need of justice for all.

Black and White – One in Christ –

Wednesday 22nd July 2020

Hoe Peace Garden: noon – 1pm

The Wrongs of the Past:

HISTORY

  • Slavery of the African peoples was started in 1460 by the Portuguese.
  • Between 1562 and 1567 John Hawkins of Plymouth carries out 3 slave trading voyages from Plymouth, establishing the Slave Atlantic Triangle with three voyages capturing about 1220 slaves.
  • Whilst the Portuguese and Dutch then developed Slave trade, Britain and France took over as the largest traders through the 1700’s and early 1800s.
  • Bristol, Liverpool and London became the UK slave trading cities.
  • 6 million Africans were transported to the Americas from the West Coast African nations (3.1 million by British ships).
  • A further 7.5 million were taken to the Indias from the East coast.
  • The need for massive labour was the suitability for the Caribbean to grow sugar for the sweet tooth of Europe, plus to a lesser extent, tobacco, cotton and coffee.
  • Sweet drinks, biscuits, cakes, ice cream and everything on our Western dessert menu that we enjoy today is as a result of the Slave trade.
  • To avoid the dangers and time taken to capture slaves, we paid and armed African Warlords to capture them for us in time for the ship’s arrival – creating danger and lawlessness in Africa.
  • Warlords invaded up to 300 miles inland, taking the young, fit and able. 10% died on the chained route march to the coast. A further 25% died in the Atlantic crossing. Then once in the Americas, many died within a year due to Malaria and Yellow fever etc.
  • Their homelands were left with the elderly and disabled to manage everything, population losses from which they have never recovered.
  • Slaves were possessions with no rights. They were branded, punished, tortured, raped and worked to death with no recourse.
  • The labour need peaked in 1787 with 20,000 slaves taken in a single year.
  • Freedom was won through slave rebellions and uprisings destroying plantations and settlements. Outnumbered White owners lived in a cauldron of fear.
  • In 1807, trading in slaves was banned – but Slavery itself was only banned in 1833.
  • Abolition slogan, ‘Am I not a man and a brother?’
  • Compensation was paid to 46,000 UK slave owners (for their loss) – raising a debt so large it was finally paid off in 2015.
  • The African slaves or nations received no compensation.
  • Haiti gained independence from the French after the 1791-1804 rebellion and became the first Black Republic, having defeated the armies of Napoleon at a cost of 200,000 Black lives. However, they along with other following Caribbean islands were left in economic ruins, from which they have never recovered and remain desperately poor to this day.
  • Britain’s Colonial expansion and Empire meant rulership and down-treading the native people’s of many nations. Some have only gained independence in our life-time.

 

SCRIPTURE READING – Daniel 9:4-19 (Abbreviated) 

4  I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, “O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, 5  we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments. 6  Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land…

8  O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. 9  To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him. 10  We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets…

The Lord our God is righteous in all the works which He does, though we have not obeyed His voice. 15  And now, O Lord our God – we have sinned, we have done wickedly – for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers.17  Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord’s sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate… we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies. 19  O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act!

 

PRAYER OF REPENTANCE 

Father, you are the Father of all – and all mankind is created equal in your sight – male or female, Jew or Gentile, Black or White; and we repent of all the evil that was done to our brothers and sisters in Christ from Black churches and peoples. We pray for the forgiveness of God for the actions of our fathers and the ongoing prejudice of our people. We humble ourselves and seek the forgiveness of the African people as represented here. In Jesus name we pray. Amen

 

The Injustices of the Present:

INJUSTICES – Systemic racism exists in every strata of society:

An unconscious bias of White supremacy.

  • Black Africans from the Caribbean fought for Britain in two world wars.
  • When Britain was left bereft of workers following WW2, we invited the ‘Windrush generation’ to come and take the lowest paid jobs, to live in the lowest value housing – and they came…
  • Blacks were therefore gathered in ghettoed communities which receive less funding, resourcing and poorer education than white areas.
  • Due to the induced poverty of Black peoples of the West, for every £100 inheritance received by a White, £5 is received by a Black.
  • There is lower attainment in education, often masked by BAME including all ethnic minorities, others of whom (e.g. Asians) do very well.
  • Lower numbers in Higher education / Universities.
  • Even with the same qualifications, White sounding CVs attract 10 times the attention of Black sounding CVs.
  • At job interviews, Blacks are much less likely to be offered employment or promotion than Whites.
  • 25% of Professional Football squads are Black – 0.5% of the 92 Clubs have had a Black Manager.
  • There are 1,500 Black Police officers – only ever One Chief Constable.
  • Just One Black CEO of a FTSE 100 Company.
  • For every White ‘Stop & search’ by Police, there are 4 Blacks (including the recent stop, search and handcuffing of Olympic GB sprinter Bianca Williams with her partner and 3 month old baby).
  • When Black and White’s are arrested for the same crime (eg Carrying cannabis), the black receives the harsher court judgement and longer prison sentence.

However innocent we personally and individually feel of any racial prejudice, it is yet riven in our society on our watch!

SCRIPTURE READING 

Isaiah58:6  “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?

Jeremiah22:13  “Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, making people work for nothing, not paying them for their labour.

Proverbs22:8  Whoever sows injustice reaps calamity, and the rod they wield in fury will be broken.

Isaiah61:8 “For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing. In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them.

Amos 5:12-15  For I know your manifold transgressions… Diverting the poor from justice at the gate. The prudent keep silent, for it is an evil time.
Therefore, Hate evil, love good; Establish justice in the gate – So the LORD God of hosts will be with you.

 

PRAYER OF TRANSFORMATION

Father, we thank you for the transforming power of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus we pray, not to be conformed to this world regarding the injustices suffered by the people of colour, but to be transformed into a place of love and honour of one another. To seek that the Church of Christ in Plymouth is devoid of racial injustice – and that we seek to confront systemic, institutional prejudice where ever it occurs in our city and nation. Amen

 

Trust for the Future:

 

HOPES FOR THE FUTURE

There have been many injustices wrought upon our Black brethren, but certain moments stand out in their struggle for racial equality.

1955 – The Rosa Parks Bus Boycott 1955

1963 – The speech of Martin Luther King Jn – and assassination in 1968.

1984 – Rev Jesse Jackson leads PUSH (People United to Serve Humanity).

2008 – Barack Obama becomes the 44th President. In 2015 – Singing Amazing Grace as he leads the Eulogy following the murder of 9 Black Christians in the Charlestown Church massacre.

2020 – Black Lives Matter worldwide movement following the killing of George Floyd.

This once again is a MOMENT in history, that needs to be grasped and made into a MOVEMENT

A solid appreciation, that we are all One in Christ and One in Creation. That there is no division in all humanity. That we all gathered here seek to build trust and cooperation in our desire to bring the Kingdom of God to the city of Plymouth.

We recognise also that we have sleep walked into another human tragedy of Slavery. That Modern Day Slavery has claimed more lives in our time and generation that at anytime in history. Right here, right now, thousands endure conditions of servitude, compulsion and degradation, being locked without chains and unseen in plain sight.

For racial justice and Slavery abolition, God’s people must once again rise in battle for equality in humanity as God desires.

SCRIPTURE READING

Ephesians 2:13-22

13  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ 14  For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15  having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16  and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17  And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18  For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. 19  Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20  having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone, 21  in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22  in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

BISHOPS’ DECLARATION – Exeter Diocese C of E

The Diocese of Exeter stands against racism in all its forms. We are shocked and saddened by the events in USA and support the joint statement from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. We believe that God created us all equal and are disturbed at the disproportionately high number of people from ethnic minorities who are dying from Covid-19 in our own country.

We want our churches to be at the forefront of creating a more just society, working with local government, charities and community groups to tackle socio-economic inequalities both at home and abroad.

We pray that our leaders will make wise decisions that build social cohesion. We pray that our eyes may be open to the inequalities around us so that together we can each play our part in transforming the unjust structure of society and bringing God’s Kingdom here on earth.

Bishops Robert, +Nick, +Jackie, The Reverend Tanya Hockley-Still (BAME Advisor for the Diocese of Exeter)

 

PRAYER OF HOPE FOR THE FUTURE

Gracious God and Father of human kind, we pray for future union in your sight. For equality of opportunity for all. For freedom for the captives, whether to poverty and deprivation, or to Modern slavery and tyranny. Join us we pray in a union stronger than our diversity, knowing that all will ultimately stand before you to answer for our thoughts and our words, our motives and our actions. We pray for a harmony in purpose, an understanding in cultures, a graciousness in communications and a shared trust in our futures together – In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

 

Attending this event: (limited to under 30 due to Covid 19 restrictions)

BLACK CHURCH LEADERS

House of Prayer Ministries –

Pastor Charly Ongolo, Mama Joelle, Valentina Grace

RCCG Overcomers –

Pastor Abs, Kemi, Demilade

Goshen Tabernacle –

Pastor Gari and Bridget Bimha

Overcomers Fellowship International –

Pastor Ona, Evangelist Ayo, Michael Joshua

Living Stones,

Brother Christian

All Nations –

WHITE CHURCH LEADERS

Churches Together – Chris Clewer

CTiP Chaplain – Jackie Yates

St Andrew’s Minster – Joe Dent

Methodist Central Hall – Gareth Higgs

Vineyard Fellowship – Arthur Goode

Hope Baptist – Luke Mansfield

SW Baptists – Carl Smethurst

RC Dean of Plymouth – Petroc Cobb

Sep Methodist Superintendent – Mark Lawrence

Street Pastor Coordinator – Roy Beaumont

Cornerstone / Cross Rhythms – Dave Simpson

Transforming Plymouth – Chris Forster

St Paul’s – Leon Sim