My church is currently doing a series called Gracism:The Art of inclusion (not to be confused with the gospel of inclusion) and this is based on the book below by David A. Anderson
When people deal with colour, class or culture in a negative way, that’s racism. But the answer is not to ignore differences as if they don’t matter. Instead, we can focus on diversity in a positive way. That’s gracism. Pastor David Anderson responds to prejudice and injustice with the principle of gracism: radical inclusion for the marginalized and excluded. Building on the apostle Paul’s exhortations in 1 Corinthians 12 to honour the weaker member, Anderson presents a biblical model for showing special grace to others on the basis of colour, class or culture. He offers seven sayings of the gracist with practical examples for building bridges and including others. A Christian alternative to secular models of affirmative action or colourblindness, gracism is an opportunity to extend God’s grace to people of all backgrounds.
This Sunday will be the 4th talk. I’ve missed the 1st and the 2nd so I have some catching up to do but what I have heard, so far so good. I havent read the book yet so cannot really give a proper review or comment on it but I love my small Group and I love the fact that our church, which is very multicultural, is tackling this issue head on as we cannot ignore the fact that there are prejudices in church and if we are honest, we all have some prejudices in us. Whether it be between black and white, black and black (eg Ghanaians and Nigerians), rich and poor, deaf and the hearing or the advantaged and the disadvantaged. My pastor has even been brave enough to hold a session next month called ‘My mistake as a white pastor’
We discussed a few things in our group today like what group of people are we really good with and what group of people do we seem to avoid or not really include then into our world? We also had a laugh about black people being late all the time and white people kicking their childs friend out their house because it was time for tea……..dont ask.
In any case, it was a very edifying meeting and it really made me think about any subconscious prejudices that I may have not realising they were there. I will have to ask God to bring that up to the surface. We also discussed moving out of our comfort zones and including people in our world who are not like us. We kept it real and that is the beauty of small groups. It is beautiful fellowship, you can take the mask off and be real knowing that at the end of the day, it is Christ that unites us all and helps us with any shortcomings that we may have.
You can read more about Gracism and how you can be a gracist here
If you want to download or podcast the series from my church, click here