Responses to the killing of George Floyd

Responses to the killing of George Floyd
October 13, 2020

“The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright days of justice emerge.” – Martin Luther King, 1963 (‘I have a dream’ Speech)

For us, Luther King House is more than just the name of our college. It is also a daily reminder of values that we honour, and by which we seek to live. From time to time those values become particularly pertinent. Events in the USA since the killing of George Floyd make this such a time.

As a staff team we want to add our voice to the cry for justice so powerfully articulated by the Black Lives Matter movement. We have sought to do this in a number of ways.

Some of us have been involved in helping to shape responses from our own denominations. Here are links to statements from Baptists Together and the United Reformed Church. One of our number who is inclined to hymnody wrote the following timely piece for Pentecost.

Clearly there are voices that speak more powerfully than ours and with far greater authority. Nonetheless, we offer our own small contributions in the hope that the lament of our sisters and brothers and their cry for justice will at last be heard.

Language of the stranger – a Pentecost hymn

God, pouring out your spirit on your daughters
and on your sons, on all flesh young and old,
you spark in us the dream to keep on dreaming;
help us desire a future yet more bold:

Where even now black people must seek justice
while white men scorn the cries of ‘I can’t breathe’,
when, faced with systems, men and women protest,
teach us to dream: let everyone be free!

God, breezing through the gaps in our security,
shaking foundations keeping us apart,
you spark in us a whirlwind of awareness;
help us pursue the future which you start:

Where people suffer prejudice and hatred
and old suspicions damage our goodwill,
where others’ needs are minimised or twisted,
teach us to dream that life shall be fulfilled!

God, burning bright in faith that calls us outwards
led by your spirit’s empathetic ways,
help us to hear, in language of the stranger,
dreams that combine to shape the coming days.

© Graham Adams
Tune: Lord for the years
June 2020

Helpful documents

The Revd Dr Graham Adams

PGT Programme Lead & Tutor in Mission Studies, World Christianity and Religious Diversity