Just spent two days on the BUGB racial justice training course. It's important stuff and the content was good, if at times a little intense with inadequate time to reflect and a quite a lot of closing down issues if the temperature rose slightly. I came away not quite sure how to feel really - justice issues operate at so many levels and impact so many people. The danger is that they seem to set one group of 'victims' over against another as they vie for who has it worse. I think I'd have liked an extra day, some more time to reflect and smoe proper space for in depth conversations. But then someone else said it could all have been done in one day...
In the evening I was at GB finishing off a series of 'stories that Jesus told' and used the Good Samaritan and some of the ideas from the course. I was impressed by the natural sense of justice my girls expressed and the oh so open vulnerability of the one who gets bullied at school because she has incontinence problems. I hope they know we love them and value them in all their diversity. Most of these girls grow up in relative poverty on a sink estate where drugs, alcohol and incest are prevalent. Who will be their voice? At least we can welcome them and encourage them.
Courses are safe, hypothetical and clean; life is messy and dirty. So long as it feels like a battle to see who is more unjustly treated we are getting it wrong. Only when we all admit we get a lot of it wrong but that we are trying to get it right will any real progress be made.
It was good whilst at Hothorpe to catch up with a few readers/bloggers putting faces to names and sound to image. Now back to the mundane of everyday ministerial life.