Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Sleep walking our way to segregation.....

Tonight house group, cell church whatever... read more (here) I guess 'cell connoisseurs' would critically evaluate as "could have gone better" .

It was one of those nights when we should've just sat and drunk tea together! One of those nights when the ice-breakers... well ... didn't break much ice. One of those nights when worship felt a bit of an exercise. One of those nights when no one was really that bothered about Jonah.

But that's fine...

House group, cell church whatever... happened for us by just turning up. Tonight only four different nationalities! Our Sierra Leonian, Zambian, Zimbabweans, Botswanean, Congolese, Ghanian didn't make it! House group, cell church whatever happens for us because we making a conscious decision together not to sleepwalk our way to segregation.

Trevor Phillips - The Chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality warns that:-
"we are sleepwalking our way to segregation. We are becoming strangers to each other and leaving communities to be marooned outside the mainstream."’
(Nick over at not that stratford makes more salient points here)

'Variegated Church' has much to say to society that is content to accept what Zygmunt Bauman calls '‘mixophobia' which he says manifests itself in the drive towards islands of similarity and sameness admidst the sea of variety and difference. I guess the challenge for us all is to maintain values of 'congregation' as opposed 'segregation' - not only in terms of ethnicity, but also age, gender and socio-economic status - and be a church for everyone and not just for faces and talents that fit.

More blogs about multi-cultural church; segregation; Urban ministry.


Bill said...

the more things change the more they stay the same.

The same is true over here as well.

rochelle said...

Well said. I think segregating ourselves into "us" and "them" is part of human nature, and something we don't even notice consciously (like sleepwalking). I don't think it has anything to do with the Kingdom of God, however. I always pray that "they" will become "us." Heaven's going to be so awesome - people of every tribe and nation worshipping together. What a calling for our dear Church - to create that on earth!

Rob said...

I know what Trevor Philips is saying, and I agree - but isn't true segregation consciously enforced?

Isn't this choice, a choice to worship appropriatly and in our own culture; the oppsite being trying to enforce a one size fits all model?

Just a thought...

Gordon said...

A good thought Rob. I have been observing how within diversity together a new culture develops that works out together what it means to worship appropriately.

It has been interesting hearing the reaction to Phillips observations - people don't seem to like the concept of segregation and ghetto?!

Rob said...

i wonder if people would be less concerned if we changed the language:

for ghetto read community
for segregation read emerging