Ask about everyone’s week, along with prayer requests for joys and sorrows.
Open with Prayer
Introduction to the “Tearing Down Fences in Baltimore” Video
Reverend Cynthia Moore-KoiKoi shares her experiences in the broader context of racial strife in the video “Tearing Down Fences in Baltimore.” She challenges viewers to reach out and build relationships in their respective communities through the lens of her service and experience in racially torn Baltimore. She prophetically calls to all of us in the church to be sources of hope and redemption to communities in conflict. We are all called to be a witness to the love and justice of God in the midst of civil unrest and protest in embattled places like Baltimore.
1. How can prayer walks be uplifting to those praying and those being prayed for in the community? How can we frame our prayers, including prayer walks, specifically for ethnic-specific and multicultural communities?
2. As a church, what are the barriers stopping us from moving forward in urban communities?
3. How has the” fence,” both figurative and literal, created barriers that led to and continues with civil unrest and protest against racism in Baltimore?
4. What are the fences of little or no socio-economic mobility for African Americans in the city? What barriers isolate us?
5. What role does the church play in erecting and supporting fences/barriers? How can we tear down those fences? What are the institutional fences in the United Methodist Church as a denomination?
6. How did fences come down when Christian leadership walked and prayed through Baltimore? How was community created? What was the importance of hope in one of the outcomes of prayer and community?
7. What are you prepared to do in response to racism in this nation and in our churches? How can we fully support urban ministries and the pastors in those ministries and by extension be a strong beacon for equality, identifying the fences?
Closing Prayer in Unison
Light a candle as a reminder of the Holy Spirit’s presence.
Creator God, our provider, we humbly seek you as we agree to continue to speak up and be active against the sin of racism. Help us to be strong in what is a difficult journey. Lift up everyone in this group as we continue to learn about and act against racism even as this group comes to a close. Amen.
The Rev. Cynthia Moore-Koikoi is the district superintendent for the Baltimore Metropolitan District in the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference. In her role as district superintendent she continually challenges churches to reach out and develop relationships with the surrounding community. Rev. Moore-Koikoi knows first hand how the Church can be a source of hope and redemption in communities embroiled in conflict. Most recently, she called upon the Church to step up and be a witness to the love and justice of God amidst protests and civil unrest that erupted in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray, an African American man who died in police custody.