Resurrection Season: Life Anew!

Written by Michelle Higgins

Written by Michelle Higgins

“I have seen the Lord” Mary Magdalene

In all of the Gospels, God’s good news comes first to those who are the furthest removed from the powers of the day. The Spirit of God embraces a young woman preparing for arranged marriage, the risen Christ and angels speak and prove the resurrection to women.

Mary mother of Jesus gave birth to the last and perfect sacrifice.

Mary Magdalene’s words gave birth to the message that generations have carried since.

The women who tarried and mourned, dared to follow Jesus and draw near to him in defiance of social structure, theirs is the great witness to humanity: “I have seen the Lord”.

Women Bearing Witness

This is the theme of our National Conference this year. Look for our #WomenBearingWitness highlights each week leading up to the gathering.

During Labor Day Weekend, we will spend a few days in St. Louis engaging the past, present and future of the Church from the perspectives of womanism and anti-misogyny in the Black Diaspora. Registration opens May 15th and the conference is open to everyone.

Tickets range from $40 to $75, which covers meals and childcare in addition to conference registration. Special guests for our plenary sessions are

Lisa Sharon Harper, August 30th

Reverend Starsky D. Wilson, August 31st

Truth’s Table, August 31st

Music from SeauxChill

So it’s not a women’s conference? Naw, fam. As our executive leadership is Black women who disappear to recharge from the mess of the anti-woman world, we know well the need for those spaces. The Anew Conference is an intentionally open gender space precisely because of the theme. Women so often feel most safe and empowered in women only events. There are certain faith spaces where we feel most alien and maligned. This should not be. When people misunderstand each other, the correct response is wonderment, not assumption. The correct response is humility, not hate. Black women know the social and political space of being counted on but not counted, feared but not loved, assumed but not acknowledged.

We’ve identified our invitees as everyone who has ever been tempted or tricked into dishonoring Black women. So people of all genders are encouraged to attend.

Is this conference for Black people only? Nope. We hope that you will contact us about our Black only and POC healing spaces. St. Louis friends, our local partners are thriving in this area and we would love to connect you!

At the Anew Conference, there’s one breakout session that will be BIPOC only. Faith for Justice was planted with the clear vision of learning Black liberation as a church-wide ethic.

If you are white and you ain’t shook by the fact that Jesus wasn’t, congratulations! Come thru.

We believe that Black only space is necessary for organizing, healing, rest and recovery. Our public meetings are focused on learning and action, and they serve to protest the Evangelical pretense of power. White men will be asked to engage Womanist anti-misogyny, white attendees will be asked to attend anti-racism workshops. Often evangelicals strategize about how Black people can change racist institutions, then do nothing to call out racism itself.

This is a waste of the Hush Harbor space. Hush harbors are often places that give birth to beauty: we can speak in our languages without explanation, we make plans to escape from chains. But when we use hush harbors as an excuse to call white normalcy crazy while refusing to protest it directly, then we are only in a hush harbor because we live and work on plantations. I shudder at the legacy of Nicodemus’s children.

I don’t know about you, but as for me and my house, we free. I believe that white power culture is totally depraved, but I ain’t scared of white people. Faith for Justice conferences are built by Black people and our communication is to Black people. Our speakers will not code switch for white comfort. And we will not whisper the good news of the gospel after our foremothers risked so much to carry it. The truth is public. It sets everybody free.

Resurrection is a new life, not just a new day

We know that education and personal growth through attending conferences is only one tool in the pursuit of transformative change. We will offer resources for anti-racism, empowering children with the Black liberation ethic and other action steps. Our goal is to commit or recommit to a new way of living out the biblical story: to see the story of the Resurrection anew, to hear women’s voices anew. There are ancient truths in the gospel story, but nobody is too old or too late for catching a new vision.

Women have borne witness for centuries. By the Almighty Unbothered God of Grace, the daughters of Zion haven’t let nobody turn us around.

We are thankful that this ain’t nothin new.