This week: The New Conspirators

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : February 25, 2008

msa-08-blog.jpgI’ll do my best, but this could be a lean week for content on JM. On Wednesday, I fly to Seattle to be a part of the New Conspirators “Festival of the Imagination.” My goal is to post daily about the conference while I’m there. If you have some articles sitting around that you wanted to submit, now would be a good time to do so–I probably won’t be writing much myself this week.

I’m excited about this event, which gathers a diverse batch of presenters to address an important set of issues with a focus on praxis. It is, in my estimation, what every good Christian conference should be. I’m also excited to hang out with friends and make new friends. It is going to be amazing. I only wish my wife could be there with me. :(

As excited as I am, I’m also nervous. Speaking/presenting usually makes me a little nervous. But in this case my nervousness is enhanced by the quality of the other presenters. While few of the other presenters are “super-stars,” they are all heavy-weights to me. And being in their company makes me feel a little like a light-weight. I know I’m just being silly.

So, these are the workshops I’ll be leading:

Creating Support Groups For Jesus Radicals - Mark will share from his story about how he and his compatriots at Missio Dei in Minneapolis, MN are involved in simple and sustainable lifestyles, practice hospitality, care for the poor and support for one another as they seek to follow the radical Jesus. (They don’t mention it here, but the main thrust of this will be on how I am developing “Christarchy” as a means of helping regular people explore ways of following the radical praxis of Jesus. This session was birthed out of a conversation with Tom Sine where he lamented that New Monastic communities tend to neglect church planting/reproduction/multiplication. I agree. This hinges largely upon whether one understands these communities to be groups that supplement the church or churches in their own right. My hope is that Christarchy can be a simple, viral approach to radical Christianity–easily reproducible groups that could quite possibly spawn all sorts of communities–house churches, new monastic communities, etc.)

Embodying the Gospel in the Global Empire - This workshop will invite you to explore counter-cultural ways to authentically embody a Jesus, mustard seed faith in the global culture of consumption, extravagance and waste. (Consumerism is gnawing away our soul. Our consumption fuels injustice, all the while our own faith becomes commodfied and disposable. We must embody a radical counter-ethic in the midst of our global consumer empire.)

For more information about the conference, go here.

To read about the speakers and their sessions, go here.

for further reading . . .

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6 Responses to “This week: The New Conspirators”

  1. Michael Cline on February 25th, 2008 10:35 am

    You are in my prayer this week, my man-tine.

  2. Shawn on February 25th, 2008 2:54 pm

    I’m sure you’ll do a great job, Mark. I wish I could be there! The workshops sound great. I’ll catch it next time around, hopefully. We’ll be praying for you all! Have a great time!

  3. Mark Van Steenwyk on February 25th, 2008 10:49 pm

    Thank you, gentlemen.

  4. eliacin on February 25th, 2008 11:59 pm

    Somebody gotta pray for me, I’m putting up with Mark for the whole weekend.

    Mark - how’bout an urban hike thru downtown seattle on sunday?

  5. steve on February 26th, 2008 12:18 am

    Hey Mark,

    I’m looking forward to meeting you when you come to Seattle. If you’re not doing anything on Saturday night, after the conference is over, you’re happily invited over to The Purple Door, where we’re hosting a concert with The Cobalt Season and Mark Scandrette. Should be fun.

    Steve Lewis

  6. Michael Cline on February 26th, 2008 8:36 am

    Eliacin, your cry for mercy has been heard. I’ll add you to my prayer list as you lug Mark around the city. He can be a bit testy.

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