Forget fantasy: imagine being marginalised and forgotten

Many of us fantasise about being someone else: someone richer,more attractive, or more famous. But a new book is challengingpeople to imagine being someone less glamorous: disadvantaged,marginalised and forgotten.

People Like Us is a new resource designed to help people exploreracial justice issues. It presents the stories of Biblicalcharacters, asking what it must feel like to live as adisadvantaged vineyard worker or a rich Ethiopian.

It considers the nature of different groups and how they interact,asking how these differences affect our understanding of theworld.

Covering topics ranging from asylum and politics to faith andpolitical correctness, the resource is flexible enough to adapt tothe needs of the groups or individuals using it. It asks people toread familiar texts with new perspectives, allowing Gospel valuesto influence an understanding of contemporary issues.

Structured for discussion, each section of the book offers a Biblereading, followed by questions and points for thought. It askspeople to interact with the text, assuming a particular characterfrom the story and sharing their feelings and reactions. In thisway, it asks us to consider our roles models, the values we holdand the ways in which the world is divided. The final chapter ofthe pack encourages Christians to get involved in public andpolitical affairs, showing that faith and politics can and shouldmix.

Naboth Muchopa, Methodist Secretary for Racial Justice, commented;'We find the issues addressed in these familiar stories manifestedin our everyday lives. This resource encourages us to look afreshat these texts, helping us to use shared experience as a basis fortalking openly about the issues that affect us and our brothers andsisters in Christ. It often seems that our society will never befree from discrimination, judgement or favour, but with God thereis no discrimination: we are all equal in His eyes'.

People Like Us is just one of a number of resources addressingracial justice issues produced by the Methodist Church as part ofits commitment to supporting community development and action forjustice both in the UK and worldwide.