Initiatives by CMS-Africa Local Partners to alleviate the effects of the covid-19 pandemic on communities.
Background to the Local Partners
CMS-Africa has 17 Local Partners drawn from 8 African countries. They comprise 14 men and 3 women: two of them are a married couple. These beloved servants of God are indigenous, high-impact mission champions who are developing leaders, making disciples for Christ and engaged in efforts to holistically transform local communities. The tenure of a Local Partner is three years, with the possibility of renewing it once.
When the covid-19 crisis landed on the continent and began to be felt in every sector of society, vulnerable populations would of course be hardest hit. The Local Pastors approached CMS-Africa for whatever support could be garnered to help the most needy families. As friends and partners, staff and other stakeholders responded to the appeal, these funds were directed to the LPs.
We remain indebted in the enduring debt of love to you, brethren of St. James Church by the Park. We thank God for the opportunity to collaborate for the sake of expanding the Kingdom of God by doing the works of Christ.
Click here to read their stories, showing how they have responded to crises that occur in their local context.
Our Spring quiz is coming up on Saturday 27th Feb and you're invited!
If you would like to join then here are the joining instructions:
Don't forget on the day to ensure you have some snacks, cake and maybe a mocktail or two ready for the occasion!
See you then.
In February 2021, Dan started an occasional sermon series looking at Race, God and the Church. Here are the talks so far if you've missed them.
Here's a list of resources you might find useful to help you think about these issues further.
Feel free to add further recommendations or reviews in the comments section below!
You may find it helpful to look at the Church of England's "6 pastoral principles for living well together" (see this brief video introduction here). They were prepared in the context of contentious discussions around human sexuality, but are just as applicable in the context of difficult and painful discussions around race and racism.
What is unconscious bias? A 3 minute video explainer from the Royal Society, or a 3 minute video explainer from the Network for Inclusion and Equality.
How to out-smart your unconscious bias (a TED talk).
What does systemic racism look like in America? (We have a different context in the UK, but similar systems exist) An 18 minute video.
What is privilege? A 4 minute practical illustration.
A four-part series of articles by New York pastor and thinker Tim Keller, looking at the Bible, race, sin and justice. First article here.
Some articles by London-based Adrian Lock: Confessions of a racist and Why I’m no longer talking to Black people about race (the way I used to)* and The silence of the leaders.
How I've benefitted from white privilege. A brief article.
"11 charts that show the extent of racial inequality in the UK" from the Independent newspaper.
How can we talk to our children and teens about injustice? from Parenting for Faith
A guide from Tearfund: a guide to talking about Black Lives Matter including Bible studies and further links
Ben Lindsay's "We Need To Talk About Race: Understanding the Black Experience in White Majority Churches" - written from a Black British perspective.
Esau McCaulley "Reading while black" - an African American biblical scholar looks at biblical material to develop a theology of policing, anger, slavery, black identity and more.
Reni Eddo-Lodge "Why I'm no longer talking to white people about race" - a hugely influential UK book (not written by a Christian).
Films / TV
Selma - part of the story of Martin Luther King's work to overcome systemic racism in the USA.
12 years a slave - a free black man gets abducted and sold into slavery.
Small Axe - a series of films from the BBC charting UK racial discrimination.
Sermons / talks
"Reach the world: A church for all nations" - a sermon from Mohan Seevaratnam on Mark 11:12-19, preached at St James' by the Park in January 2018.
Ben Lindsay's talk "No justice, no peace" from New Wine 2020.
"Race, justice and the gospel" - a sermon from Tope Koledo, lead pastor of Jubilee Church, London
"Racial reconciliation" - a sermon from Andrew Wilson at King's Church, London
"Use your privilege" - a sermon from John Ortberg at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, California
Some seminars from New Wine 2020 on Race and Diversity.
Interviews and panel discussions
Dan's interview with Anna (17 minutes) - an edited version was shown on our Sunday service on 7/2/21.
Dan's interview with Josh (8 minutes) - shown at our Sunday service on 21/3/21.
ONE - a series of films including interviews with 2 black Church of England clergy and a panel discussion looking at race, the Bible and church.
Interview with Reni Eddo-Lodge (see above under books).
Check your blind spot - a UK Christian response to racial injustice.
Be the Bridge
Resources on race - a primer by UK church leader Andrew Wilson, highlighting lots of other good resources on the web.
You might also find this model of racism helpful, adapted by Streatham Baptist Church from Ben Lindsay's book:
What else have you found helpful? Add it in the comments section below!
It really isn't difficult. If you can knit or crochet a 6 inch square you can join in. People with other skills will be needed later for sewing squares together or building a frame to display our creation.
The idea is to create lots of squares in any colour and sew them together to make a big cross for Easter. How big depends on how many squares we can make between us.
This is an idea of what I had in mind; without the strawberry of course. However if you are really creative, we could have a dove or a heart at the centre of the cross. Is anyone up for that? Suggestions are very welcome & I will definitely need some help from people good at design when it comes to sorting out colours etc.
Neighbours, friends, family can all be invited to join in. Everyone is welcome. Between us we can share wool and needles with those who want to participate but don't have the necessary stuff.
You may be happy to quietly beaver away at home producing squares on your own. However it would be lovely if we can be in touch with each other on the phone, Whatsapp, zoom or similar as the project progresses. Maybe by Easter we will be able to meet for real. Who knows? We have got 3 months.
To participate - start knitting 6 inch squares in any colour wool you have. It would be great if you can give me a call on 07912 950283 or email email@example.com so I know you are joining in.
Finished squares can be popped through the letterbox of the parish office.
I look forward to hearing from you.
From January 2021, we're going to be looking at Paul's letter to the Christians in Rome on Sunday mornings and in our small groups. At times, it will feel like hard work, but the rewards will be more than worthwhile! Like mining for diamonds, what we discover is the jewel of the gospel message - the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes (1.16).
Here's some resources to help you dig deeper into this magnificent book!
The Bible project: introduction to Romans 1-4:
Kelvin referred to some statements about each one of us in his sermon on 31/01/2021; Significance, security and acceptance restored in Christ.
Here they are in full.
What else would you suggest to help us get stuck into Romans, and delight afresh at the glorious gospel message?