George Floyd - 01


Invitation to reflection. Invitation to prayer. Invitation to a challenge.

A symbol and a pledge

Many of us have been saddened and angered by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week and the events that have followed.

These events highlight the fact that we live in a world where racism, prejudice and bigotry remain. Around the world people have been gathering to protest against this continuing injustice in a number of ways.

It was 21:25 (Minneapolis time) on Monday 25 May, when George Floyd was pronounced dead. At 21:25 (UK time) this coming Monday 08 June we are inviting people from across Nottingham and beyond, whilst we remain physically distanced from one another, to gather in a moment of reflection, solidarity and unity.

In this moment, we invite you in your home to light a candle and place it in your window as a symbol and a pledge.

As a public mark of your pledge, please feel free to post a photo of your candle on social media with the hashtag #nottschurchespledge

A symbol

As a symbol of:

Grief as we think first of the family and friends of George Floyd and as we reflect on continuing injustice in our world; and

Hope for a future – a future where the evil of racism is banished from our society and our streets.

A pledge

As a pledge to:

Examine our own hearts and reflect on our own attitudes and indifference;

Listen to and to love our neighbours of all races and all cultures; and

Speak out against injustice where we see it and choose to be the community that we long for.

Invitation to reflection

In this time and in the coming days, you may want to reflect on what this symbol and pledge means for you and you may find some of these words helpful:

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character."

Dr Martin Luther King Jr. (August 28 1963)

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

Dr Martin Luther King Jr. (10 December 1964)

‘The plague of racism is insidious, entering into our minds as smoothly and quietly and invisibly as floating airborne microbes enter into our bodies to find lifelong purchase in our bloodstreams.’

Maya Angelou

“We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”

Mahatma Gandhi

“Finally, I've come to believe that the true measure of our commitment to justice, the character of our society, our commitment to the rule of law, fairness, and equality cannot be measured by how we treat the rich, the powerful, the privileged, and the respected among us. The true measure of our character is how we treat the poor, the disfavored, the accused, the incarcerated, and the condemned. We are all implicated when we allow other people to be mistreated.”

Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

1 Corinthians 13: 1-8

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Invitation to prayer

If you consider yourself a person of faith, you may also choose at this time to pray and here are some words that you may find helpful taken from a prayer written by Alan Paton (South African author of Cry, the Beloved Country):

O Lord, open my eyes that I may see the needs of others
Open my ears that I may hear their cries;
Open my heart so that they need not be without succor;

Let me not be afraid to defend the weak because of the anger of the strong,
Nor afraid to defend the poor because of the anger of the rich.
Show me where love and hope and faith are needed,

And use me to bring them to those places.
And so open my eyes and my ears
That I may this coming day be able to do some work of peace for thee.


Invitation to a challenge

There will be a time in the near future when the name of George Floyd will not be the first thing we read about on mainstream or social media but the grief of George Floyd’s family and all victims of injustice around our world will continue long after the headlines have disappeared.

And so there is an invitation to a challenge - to continue the conversation - to continue to engage with issues of injustice and each play our small part to challenge and stand against injustice in our city, our country and our world.

We invite you in your own time to watch this TED talk by Bryan Stevenson: We need to talk about injustice.

Bryan Stevenson: We need to talk about an injustice | TED Talk