A Statement from the Southampton Christian Network Steering team
As a network of churches and Christian organisations across Southampton, we want to join together and say that we stand against racism, bullying and prejudice in all its forms.
As the appalling events around the brutal killing of George Floyd have reverberated around the world, we join our prayers and our energy to ask God to bring an end to racial injustice. Racial justice is not just a black or white issue; it is a Kingdom of God issue. Jesus came to destroy every dividing wall of hostility to make one new humanity in Christ!
As church leaders from both white and BAME backgrounds we stand together in love and humility as brothers and sisters in the church and as members of the wider community of the city. We love and appreciate one another, and thank God for one another.
The Church was born into a racially divided world but quickly became a counter-cultural outpost of hope where both Jew and Gentile worshipped together. Only the power of the cross can bring this about. Our prayer is that every church in Southampton shines brightly in this moment as an outpost of hope and love for every victim of racial injustice.
There are many ways we can each respond and many ways we must. We can engage with the issues to the point that we have empathy with those who suffer oppression. We can listen to the stories of those who have suffered racial injustice first-hand. We can learn from those who have been fighting this battle for a long time. We can speak up to defend those whom God loves. We can repent from our own unconscious racism where God reveals our hearts. And ultimately, we can pray. Pray to the God, whose Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom where there is no more weeping or mourning; to a God who is compassionate and abounding in steadfast love.
Friends, let’s pray and call on God for His Kingdom to come on the earth. It’s time for the Church to arise.
With this in mind we would urge you to join us at 7.30pm on Sunday 28th June on Zoom as hundreds of Christians from across the city pray together for this vitally important and urgent issue.
The Steering Team consists of:
Paul Finn (chair)
Billy Kennedy (New Community)
Chris Kilby (Life Church)
John Risbridger (Above Bar Church)
John Paul Oddoye (Covenant Church)
Nicky Porter (City Life)
John Ayrton (Portswood Church)
Erica Roberts (Highfield)
Dan Clark (St James by the Park)
Simon Orton (King’s Church Lordshill)
Theo Amer (New Community)