Wholy Holy Transformations

by Micky ScottBey Jones

We'll holler love love love across the nation...We proclaim love, our salvation.                                                            - Wholy Holy, Marvin Gaye

We are in a moment in time, a Kairos moment, where a proclamation of love is being delivered all across the nation. The call to value black lives is a call to love by eradicating racism. The call to pay fast food workers is a call to love by paying a fair wage for hard work. The call to reduce or eliminate mass incarceration is a call to love through radical grace and belief in redemption. There is a revolutionary love with the power to bring holistic salvation that transforms our minds, bodies, spirits, relationships and communities.

Love is powerful and overwhelming - in part because it is so complicated, deep and focused. We can feel it, but we can't quantify it. As Brother West says, love looks like justice when it unfolds in public but do we even know what justice actually looks like? Do we "holler love" like the unknown words of a favorite song on the radio, singing along but mumbling a little on the unknown parts?

It's time to pull out the lyric sheets, study the music and seek the master teacher. The time to proclaim love; our salvation is now.

What does this movement of love look like? It looks like the intersectional Moral Mondays movement led by Rev. Dr. William Barber that has united the people of North Carolina to confront issues of injustice and government corruption for the mutual liberation of all. Love is focused on everyone getting free. Love looks like the interfaith network created by Jennifer Bailey, an AME pastor determined to amplify the revolutionary love in the Southern US. Love connects us to others. It also looks like Lisa Sharon Harper and Alexia Salvatierra training hundreds of people in faith-rooted organizing and continuing to participate in actions - leading by example and yet still able to meet people where they are. Love is patient and dedicated.

At a time when public schools are slipping back into segregation, income gaps are widening, videos of black people killed by the state are no longer shocking, and a Facebook comment can end  friendships - we need to proclaim love. We need a love that says, “if my neighbor is hungry, I'm hungry.” We need a love that recognizes that when Jesus said he came to set the captives free, he meant those in any captivity - the mind, the spirit, and physical chains. This is revolutionary love, the love of my teacher Jesus refuses to leave the world, our communities, and each of us. When he found people hungry, he ate with them filling their stomachs and minds. When people were put before him as sinful, he offered forgiveness and truth for the accused and accusers. At a time when people were segregated into worthy and unworthy, rich exploited the poor, and the marginalized were brutally and publicly executed, Jesus brought love, a love which disturbed the empire, changed individual lives and caused revolution...revolutionary love.

So, this month I will gather with friends, with fellow neighborhood pursuers of the wholy holy, with reverends, activists, seminarians, artists and theologians. I will gather with mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, planners and dreamers who all want to join together to holler love, love, love across the nation. We won't just be another conference that hears inspiring speakers and innovative concepts then goes home. We will find ways to work together, help each other brainstorm for our home communities and we will keep singing together as the song spreads out across the nation. This gathering together is not the event; it is the pre-show for your song of love in your home community. The Transform Network produces national and regional gatherings where we learn that love from one another, where we begin to hear it rising, where we remember the sound if we've forgotten it. We gather together to explore this call of love but we do not leave it inside our souls. Through partnerships with others in Transform Network, through our conversations and co-learning, encouragement and lament, I begin to feel that holler-of-love rise up and the words become clearer and the proclamation grows louder.

Join us for an historic gathering at Wesley Seminary Downtown, April 23-25 for the Transform Network Gathering [transformnetwork.org]. It's not to late. We need your voice to join the proclamation of love, of our salvation.

Micky is a perpetual learner, communicator, facilitator, and contemplative activist living just south of Nashville, TN with her creative genius husband KC, their 3 creative and brilliant children, and an old lady dog. After 10 plus years as a mother-baby specialist, trainer and author, she decided to shift to earlier interests: theology and community development. She studies with the co-learning community of NAIITS (North American Institute of Indigenous Theological Studies) through George Fox Evangelical Seminary in Portland, Oregon with a dream to go on to doctoral studies.

 Micky hosts & facilitates conferences, and writes & speaks on a crazy variety of topics including burnout, race & justice, theology from the margins, and curates contemplative spaces/activities. Recently named one of the Black Christian leaders changing the world in Huffington Post, Micky serves on the leadership team of TransFORM Network as the Director of Training and Program Development and is involved with all kinds of projects and organizations that call upon her when needed - you’ll just have to ask!

Micky believes in revolutionary love, engages in authentic conversations, facilitates and participates in transformative experiences, and never passes up a dance floor.

She is a contributor at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/emergentvillage/ , https://medium.com/theology-of-ferguson,  http://homebrewedchristianity.com/ and http://www.redletterchristians.org/ and  tweets in fits and spurts here: @iammickyjones