We Need To Talk About Race – by Ben Lindsay

8 02 2022

This was definitely a challenging read, but it felt important to read it.

The book is aimed at all Christians, black and white, congregation member and leader. Each chapter has a question for reflection for each perspective, which helps process what you’ve just read.

It also has two interludes, one of which was women of colour sharing their stories of what they’ve experienced in church, the real-life examples were pretty hard hitting.

As he acknowledges in the book, a lot of white people, myself included, are scared of talking about race for fear of saying the wrong thing, so really what I’ve put below is just a few bits from pages where I turned the corner down, it doesn’t flow, but I think that reflects that I’m still processing what I’ve read. Even now, I’m scared I’ve said something wrong somewhere in this post, my sincere apologies if this is the case.

  • The black majority church has been growing, partly because people of colour have not felt included in white churches, and so we’ve become a much more segregated church overall, which is not how it was meant to be.
  • Early on he listed a load of privileges white people have that they don’t even realise, which was helpful to give something practical to think about.
  • He talks about the differences between churches being diverse, and churches being inclusive – so often the focus is diversity, but this reminded us that this isn’t the ultimate aim.
  • The importance of acknowledging the churches part in the start of the slave trade, and not just the abolitionists.
  • Is the churches approach to social action more about pulling people from the river than seeing why they’re falling in in the first place?
  • Distinguishing between Social Welfare – serving practical needs of the community, and Social Justice – campaigning and advocacy, addressing what left the community in that state to start with.

And then a line that just stood out to me as something to apply far more widely in life: “Forgiveness without progress is hard. This is not to say we should not forgive.”

I definitely feel this book increased my awareness, and I’ll be recommending it to my Pastor. I want to dig out an article it recommends called “100 ways white people can make life less frustrating for people of colour” by Kesiena Boom, as I’m a person who works well off specific examples. As a Christian in a very white church, and has always attended very white churches, I would recommend this to other white Christians too.





Votewise 2015

9 04 2015

I’m one of those people that doesn’t have an allegiance to a particular political party, and so with the election coming up, and trying to read and compare all I can to form an opinion on who I’d like to vote for this time around.

This book is excellent for an unbiased overview of various policy issues with a biblical perspective, and hearing from Christian members and MPs of the five major parties.

It starts with a general intro to why we should be more involved in politics as Christians, not just at an election, it says in fact that voting should be the last thing we do! Then we cover various topics from the deficit, to Europe, to the NHS and many more and look at what the bible might have to say in each vein. The book finishes off with a couple of pages each from Christians who are either MPs for their party or members of their party, each explaining why, as a Christian, they have chosen to be a part of the party that they have.

I’d say it’s a great piece to help with your research if, like me, you haven’t settled on who to vote for in 4 weeks time. At just over 100 pages it’s not too heavy, and comes in decent size chunks to digest as well.

votewise 2015





Uganda – shop names!

28 10 2013

Uganda is an amazing place, but one thing of many that was so different to the UK was the pattern of so many shops that had Christian names! There were also some pretty good general ones too. Here’s some of the ones I spotted from the bus window!

Jesus Saves Newsagent

Praise Supermarket

Hosanna Restaurant

Grace of God Milk Centre

God is Good Mini Mart
IMGP0764

Divine Brothers Defensive Driving (and that’s what you need on the roads of Kampala!)
driving

Merry Supermarket

Cinderella Supermarket

Lucky Supermarket

I feel like Chicken Tonight
IMGP0196

In the UK you tend to get 7/11s, not in Uganda!
seventen

Nile Water!
nilewater

Teletubbies Daycare
daycare





Wisdom from Angie on Worship

13 07 2013

I was chatting with a wonderful friend of mine this week when I realised what wise things I’ve been told over the years. Time to share them wider! There’ll be at least one more of these anecdotes coming soon…

I grew up in a lovely Baptist church which while not a traditional or formal church, is not overly charismatic. On a Sunday you’d see a handful of hands up in the air, always the same few. It wasn’t un-normal, but not something I ever did.

When I was 17 I went to Spring Harvest, and in the youth venue, arms were up everywhere, I wasn’t quite used to it! I found myself wanting to too, but I was worried. As a 17 year old I was still really quite concerned about what the people around me, my friends, people I’d known my whole life, thought of me.

I freaked out a bit.

The wonderful thing about going to Spring Harvest with a big church group though, is there’s all sorts of people you can sit down and talk with, and fortunately, Angie, my Sunday School teacher from when I was 10, who was also my Saturday job boss at Oasis Christian Centre was hanging around the Skyline watching a stall during the session, and I went to find her.

She was fantastic. Here’s what she shared with me: Worship isn’t about other people, it’s about you and God. Who care’s what’s going on around you. When she sings, she shuts her eyes, because then she doesn’t see what others are doing, doesn’t worry about what others are seeing her doing, and it’s just about her and God, whether her arms are up, down, other, or whatever she does!

And so that’s what I do so often now. I’m so easily distracted, not just by other people’s worship styles (we all worship differently, that’s a great thing!), but by toddlers running around, all sorts! If I shut my eyes, then it’s just me worshipping my Creator, Saviour and Sustainer, it’s personal 🙂