Racism feeds on denial. Lament moves us to tell the truth. And the truth can set us free.
Stories of racial injustice fill our news feeds. Yet for too long many in the church have been hesitant to speak up about racism in its many forms. We fear offending others, of using the wrong words, of not knowing what to say.
In Lamenting Racism, a team of leading pastors and theologians invite us into the transformative and motivating practice of biblical lament as a powerful way to confront racism. Through their conversations in six thought-provoking videos, they name that God’s people of every race are called to consider how we have been shaped and formed by race, and they guide us into experiencing lament as an anti-racism practice.
Encouraging congregations to reclaim the lost art of biblical lament, these pastors and theologians model a powerful way to pour out the fear, shame, grief, and rage of racism as we cry out to God in prayer. In the process, we will be transformed and motivated to reclaim hope and to act for a world shaped by God’s inclusive vision of love and blessing.
This six-session study invites church groups to engage in the practice of biblical lament as a powerful tool in the church’s struggle against racism.
Purchase of the Lamenting Racism Video Access includes licensing for group viewings of up to 50 people. If you wish to show the videos to groups larger than 50, please purchase according to the size of the group (example: a group of 200 should purchase a quantity of 4). The participant journals (in every format) are intended for individual use. The Lamenting Racism videos and books may not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in whole or in part, in any form, by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without prior permission.
Rob Muthiah teaches pastoral theology and Christian ethics at Azusa Pacific Seminary and is passionate about equipping local churches leaders to pursue God’s vision of justice and righteousness. He served as a pastor for nine years and is an active member of Pasadena Mennonite Church. He is the author of The Sabbath Experiment and The Priesthood of All Believers in the Twenty-First Century.
“With transparency and warmth, Lamenting Racism combines an uncomfortable practice with an uncomfortable subject. Working through this series is more than education: it impacts the heart and results in creativity to courageously move into next steps of racial healing. A powerful tool.”
~Jo Anne Lyon, ambassador of The Wesleyan Church
“Lamenting Racism calls us to sit in the dust and lament with those who are suffering the institutional sins of racism. This six-part series helps the faith community reclaim lament with the hope of turning tears of pain caused by racism into tears of joy for hearing each other.”
~Miguel de la Torre, professor of social ethics and Latinx studies at Iliff School of Theology
“Lamenting Racism offers a ‘how to’ for teaching and learning about racism. It pulls you right into the hard realities of racial bias in church history, biblical interpretation, mission, and life itself. A hopeful way forward through the emotion-laden, heart-rending gift of lament.”
~James E. Brenneman, president of American Baptist Seminary of the West
“Lamenting Racism a remarkable and helpful resource. It stands out for its invitational tone and personal approach to a difficult issue. This dynamic study places real-life stories alongside the often-overlooked resource of biblical lament, creating a relatable resource for small groups and congregations that is disarming, eye-opening, and powerfully prophetic.”
~Timothy R. Gaines, associate professor of religion at Trevecca Nazarene University
“Lamenting Racism is a relevant, powerful, and timely resource that will engage participants and inspire hope for all. This resource provides an invitation to join the fight for justice and equality in a way that is meaningful and collaborative.”
~Edgar Barron, chair and assistant professor of leadership and organizational psychology at Azusa Pacific University
“Lamenting Racism is a timely and accessible resource for congregations that see antiracism as a call to discipleship. Whether your eyes have just been opened to the urgency of antiracism work or you have been on the long and hard road for many years, Lamenting Racism offers a welcoming seat in the circle to cry out, repent, and let your voices be heard to the One who hears and acts with and for us.”
~Sue Park-Hur, denominational minister of transformative peacemaking for Mennonite Church USA
“Lament moves us in the direction of telling the truth. Lamenting Racism leads you into this powerful practice for the sake of justice. From the psalmist’s ‘Hear my cry’ to Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s goin’ on,’ lament is what we do when we believe that there is a God who hears us, sees us, and cares about us. All of us.”
~Reggie L. Williams, associate professor of Christian ethics at McCormick Theological Seminary
“The solid biblical and cultural perspectives presented by pastors and professors along with gripping real-life experiences combine to make Lamenting Racism a powerful teaching tool. This video resource is an excellent opportunity to see racism and lament as we may have never seen them before.”
~Matt Whitehead, bishop of the Free Methodist Church, USA
“Gleaning from their racial identity, lived experiences, and biblical research, Rob Muthiah and partnering pastors and theologians present lament as a sacred avenue to express authentic feelings of grief, anger, frustration, shame, and repentance to God in the face of racism. Compelling and timely, Lamenting Racism provides biblical wisdom, resources, and strategies to cultivate conversation, bolster engagement, and facilitate transformation.”
~Keith E. Hall, vice president and chief diversity officer at Azusa Pacific University