Steve Knight and I taught together for the first time at TransFORM last year in Fort Worth. The workshop was called Challenging White Supremacy. We’re doing it again this year with a few tweaks. We want to make anti-oppression training for white folks in the emergent church really accessible.
We want this to happen so that we can be ready to encounter other movements for change and be ready to work with them in a movement of movements for personal and social transformation.
In order to do this white people need to understand privilege. This workshop will be a safe place to ask questions, express doubts, and be as vulnerable or guarded as you need in facing personal privilege and systemic oppression. If you haven’t gotten down with your social location, this is the one for you.
There are at least two other workshops dealing with race, class and power, at TransFORM.
Marie Onwubuariri is leading a conversation about racial/ethnic self (RES) Awareness as spiritual discipline for missional leadership. This talk is most suited to people already engaged in an awareness of their social location and focuses on how we engage that awareness for spiritual and social transformation.
Kathryn Eckert and Elsie Dennis are going to present an Episopalian view of the doctrine of discovery. The presenters will share their experiences of the Episcopal Church’s process of responding to genocide, white privilege, and cultural/historical ignorance through historical education, spiritual formation, worship, and community development.
This year I am helping to curate the speakers and workshops at the annual Transform Network gathering. As an secular activist from a mainline tradition I have a hard time talking about the missional church to my secular movement friends. In fact the only way I know how to talk about it without invoking oppression born from colonization, is to talk about missional in terms of what it is not. But you can only define things in terms of what they’re not for so long.
The theme that emerged this year is around translating the missional church, (our language, practices and culture) in ways that are accessible, relevant and of service to broader movements for change.
To do this we need to thoughtfully consider and be able to acknowledge the legacy of oppression and Empire that modern day Christians inherit. We want to ask ourselves how we and our institutions are still steeped in empire. How do we disentangle our ministries and faith communities from the tendrils of empire and oppression? What strengths do we have to share with and serve other movements? What do we need to be thinking about in connecting with broader movements for change like Climate Change and Equality movements. Can we become part of a movement of movements and how do we prepare for that kind of intersectional and pluralistic movement engagement as communities of faith? In short, how do we become the church the world needs us to be?”
To guide us we’ve enlisted some pretty smart people of diverse bacgrounds, theologian Joerg Rieger, faith based organizers Alexia Salvatierra and Paul Engler, activists Celia Alario and Gareth Higgins, contemplatives Teresa Pasquale and Rebekah Berndt, radical pastors Peter Matthews and Anthony Smith, community missions leaders Rachel Goble, Dee Yaccino and Kathy Escobar, activist and author Mark VanSteenwyck facilitating an interactive weekend of keynotes and workshops. Not to mention a book party with InterVarsity Press and a Homebrewed Live 3D Podcast with Melvin Bray of the WIld Goose Festival gourmet pizza and beer! Which reminds me of my motto borrowed from anarchist Emma Goldman “If I can’t dance, I don’t wanna be part of your revolution!
Keynotes: —Joerg Rieger – Taking the Church Beyond Empire: Toward Deep Solidarity — Alexia Salvatierra – Faith-Rooted Organizing: Mobilizing the Church in Service to the World — Pamela Wilhelms – Living Systems for Change — Paul Engler – Social Justice Organizing Models — Celia Alario – Spiritual Activism: Uniting a Movements of Movements — Gareth Higgins – A New Story Makes A New World
Workshops: — Urban Street Angels Service Outing with Eric Lovett — Sacred Wounds & Healing Spiritual Woundedness with Teresa Pasquale — Privilege Power Shuffle led by Holly Roach and Steve Knight — Contemplative Sex: Learning to let go of judgement, live in the present, and awaken to our god-given desire led by Rebekah Berndt — Contemplative Prayer for the Justice Seeker led by Teresa Pasquale — Christian Responses to Genocide: An Episcopal Perspective led by Kathryn Rickert and Elsie Dennis — Relationships: Cultivating Kingdom Connections for Transformation led by Dee Yaccino — Paradigm Conversion: Nutrition & Wellness in a Corporatocracy led by Allegro Hopkins — SoulEmergence with Anthony Smith & Peter Edward Matthews — The Revolutionary Table of Jesus led by Mark Van Steenwyck — Media Spokesperson Training taught by Celia Alario — Incarnational Communities: Strength & Hope for the Long Haul led by Kathy Escobar — RSM: Racial/Ethnic Self-Awareness as Spiritual Discipline for Missional leadership offered by Marie Onwubuariri — Preventing Human Trafficking / Sex Slavery led by Rachel Goble — Recovering the Missional Human: 12 Steps to Missional Living with Teresa & Chris Pasquale —Exegeting the Community: The Intersection of Theological Education and Social Justice with Tavonda Hudson, Leigh Finnegan, Elizabeth Mathis, and Scott Bostic
Panel Discussions: —How the Missional Church Needs to Change with Rich McCullen (Missiongathering), Jon Huckins and Christiana Rice (NieuCommunities), and Bret Wells (Missional Wisdom Foundation)
—De / Constructing Youth Ministry with Melvin Bray, Tripp Fuller, Micky Jones, Gregory Stevens, and moderated by Kristen Perkins
—Queermergent MultiFaith Panel with Jason Frye and others, moderated by Adele Sakler —Emergent Village Conversation with Mike Clawson and others —SoulEmergence Conversation with Anthony Smith and Peter Matthews —Skeptimergent Conversation with Kile Jones
—False Self Anonymous 12 Step Meeting for Everyone with Paul Engler