In the Spring of 2010, Transform Network held its first gathering — hosted by Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. We were graced by amazing keynote speakers Kathy Escobar (who has a new book out this month!), Peter Rollins, Anthony Smith, and Brian McLaren. As I reflect on the evolving mission and purpose of Transform, Brian’s words to us on the closing night still resonate with me today. Watch this clip:
Five years later, we’re doing it again! We’re going back to D.C. and, again in partnership with Wesley Theological Seminary, we are hosting Transform 2015: Conference on Urban Transformation, our next national gathering.
As Holly Roach and I describe the vision of Transform today, our goal is to bring people of faith and communities of faith together with broader movements for social change. We desire to see the gifts of social justice Christians be brought into contact with the gifts of activists and movement builders for mutual encouragement and, as we say in religious language, edification. We believe both groups have so much to offer to each other, and when we talk with spiritual activists, like Celia Alario and Adam Bucko, there is palpable excitement to see these groups brought together and just let the sparks fly!
Missional church networks primarily focus on the two greatest commandments: love God and love your neighbor. And yes, there is much work to be done in those two areas. But Transform desires to take this one step further: love God, love your neighbor, take collective action. It’s in taking that next step that our collective action — our individual efforts and our faith communities’ efforts, in solidarity and in sync with broader movements for social change — that we will see some amazing impact in the coming months and years. An incredible shift is taking place, and we’re excited to be part of making the world a better place.