In a sentence, reconciled community in a reconciled world. (But in case you need more…)
The 99 Collective is a young adult led movement of the Church that seeks to practice and struggle for radical hospitality for all people. We recognize the power inequities that exist in society between those who are seen as the norm and those who are marginalized by the norm. We recognize the need for radical leadership and action in order end these inequities. We recognize the value of young voices leading and mature voices providing wisdom. We recognize the need to be led by a group of diverse leaders who represent the margins, the norm, and those who find themselves in both.
Radical Hospitality demands that the implications of our theology be played out in society. It implies that God the Householder, God the Son, and God the Spirit calls us to distributive justice not only of resources, but also of respect, leadership, and dignity. The need then is to create a diverse movement in the Church who demand justice, reject privilege, and seek what is fair for all people.
While all are welcome in the movement, the leaders are recognizable. The leaders are committed to the values of equality, accountability, diversity, urgency and hilarity. They may have areas of interest that are especially important to them, but they do not compartmentalize issues of justice, rather they join every struggle for equity, peace, and justice. They are committed to the study of issues and exposure to new manifestations of God’s wisdom. They call for nothing less than revolution. They are grounded in contemplation. And finally, they are absolutely committed to the way of non-violence.
Well, now. The time is right to launch such a movement. The core has gathered as you read this. We know what hasn’t worked in the past. Namely, a compartmentalized effort in every direction by a collection of rather un-diverse people all trying to champion their area alone. We want to try something different. We want to galvanize around issues in order to learn, connect, practice, and find accountability. If such breadth frustrates you, then you are probably not ready for such a demanding collaboration. If, however, you can be moved to compassionate urgency on an issue that is not “yours” and find that it is in fact “ours,” then you are already a part of this movement.
The idea here is to move beyond rhetoric and toothless theology to Theological Consequentiality. It is the belief that our understanding of whom God is and what God desires for the earth is not a contract for good behavior now in exchange for heaven later. But rather, that there are deep and revolutionary implications in God’s dream for the earth and all its creatures. It is from this understanding that we envision a world in which the consequences of our theology make lasting and meaningful impacts in how we live in the world.
Implied in this call for Theological Consequentiality is the presumption that the way in which we usually respond to the message of Jesus Christ is somehow lacking or disingenuous. This presumption is made not as a judgment on the church but as recognition of how easy it is to be apathetic. Jesus himself talks of the eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear. Apathy is especially easy when the consequences of inequity are far from our own doors. We are in constant danger of believing that the empire of consumption has anything to do with the Kingdom of God.
The expectation here is that each of us who choose to be involved do so actively and not passively. We are not a place for liberal commiseration, but for revolutionary action. We will provide one another with accountability, resources, wisdom, prayer and presence whenever possible.