“Community ministry cannot claim to be rooted in the Gospel if it does not engage with the ‘principalities and powers’ which are associated with earthly oppression.”
Black Lives Matter – Response from FCC
On behalf of the Fellowship of Churches of Christ in the UK, our Strategic Board, meeting this week, would like to convey our deepest sympathy and solidarity with all those who have or are suffering the injustice of racial prejudice and discrimination whether experienced in the past or today.
We want to make clear our belief that we are all made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26) and in the love of God for all people (John 3:16). We endorse the view: ‘black lives matter’. We are distressed with you over the pain and suffering experienced by our black and minority ethnic sisters and brothers historically and today.
Our vision is of a movement of people living in relationships marked by cultural and racial diversity, genuine love, and the deepest of friendships.
We in the UK profoundly regret the painful experiences so many have had as a result of institutional or systemic racism, government policy or personal racism.
We are committed to experiencing the full measure of unity that Christ prayed for us as recorded in the Gospel of John: that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me (John 17:21).
We believe that we who follow Jesus have been baptised into one body, and when one member suffers, we all suffer.
We already experience many blessings because of the inter-ethnic friendships we have at every level of the Fellowship but recognise we can do more.
We would like to hear from you if you are in need of support or have any recommendations for actions we can take to remove any barriers to our vision or to further that vision.
We recognise, of course, that everyone matters to God, and therefore to us. Many of every colour and culture have borne the weight of multiple forms of injustice, but at the moment it is our black and minority ethnic friends whose pain is in the spotlight and we want them to know we care and want to stand with them in the love of our mutual saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Please contact us through the link below or make considered comments on our social media platforms.
The statement above was agreed by the Strategic Board during their Zoom meeting a few days ago. We managed to capture a “screen shot” of the Board busy at work on screen.
The Board starting from the top left are: Iain MacRobert, Martin Robinson, Rehoboth Beyene, Leonard Lupiya, Roy Baylis, Catherine White, Tony Sands, Marion Kenyon, Hirpo Kumbi.
We have new web site!
It ought to be possible to locate the new FCC web site easily using Google or another similar search engine. However, if you need to use an actual address the one to use is: https://fcc-cio.org/
The previous web site served us well for a number of years and we are grateful to those who laboured hard with that one and to the developer of the present web site who has given their time and expertise as a gift to the Fellowship.
Hopefully you will find the site easy to use. If you visit the Support section you will see that all the copies of the FCC Connection newsletter are located there as a point of easy reference. Some of the videos that have been in the newsletter are also listed under the video resource section which can also be accessed through the support button. That makes the videos easier to locate and use – maybe even with your church or home group.
Disciples Fellowship Ministries (DFM) in Leicester
Last week we featured Dr Leonard Lupiya who is a member of the FCC Strategic Board and also leads DFM in Leicester. Leonard contacted me this week through social media to draw attention to the work that DFM does for the needy in their community.
As some of you will know, the congregation meets in a building that is owned by the Salvation Army, right in the very centre of the shopping area in Leicester. It’s an amazing location. The Salvation Army were struggling to maintain a worshipping community in Leicester City Centre but of course they had a vital role in helping the poor and needy which is what they are so well known for.
So, it is doubly significant that DFM have continued a ministry of social outreach in Leicester City Centre to continue what the Salvation Army is not easily able to do in that setting. Please pray for the work of DFM as they continue to develop the work in Leicester and elsewhere.
Introducing Catherine White
As our regular readers will be aware, we have been featuring members of the Strategic Board each week for a number of weeks. This week it’s the turn of Catherine White who is a member of the Rowheath Pavilion Church, Bournville, Birmingham. Catherine is the Executive Manager of the Community Centre that is operated by the church through a separate trust. It’s a challenging role with something like 2,500 people using the building every week (at least before lock-down happened). During lockdown the parkland (15 acres) and the playing fields have been a huge help to the local community as a place to walk and enjoy the beauty of nature.
Catherine loves sport which is a great help because there is a huge amount of sport based at the Pavilion with its 30 acres of sports fields. Her particular interest is in long distance running and she has run the London Marathon on one occasion and, she tells me, “umpteen half marathons”. Catherine has two daughters, one of whom is profoundly disabled with a rare genetic deficiency known as CDKL5. The challenge of full-time employment and caring for a disabled child has helped to shape Catherine’s character and understanding of the Christian life.
Till next week, Martin Robinson….