Blogging from the New Conspirators (conclusion)

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : March 2, 2008

Ok. I failed in my efforts to blog daily from the New Conspirator’s Conference. What can I say?

My days were too full (and wireless access was limited).

I could tell you about the sessions, but the best part of the conference was meeting new people and connecting with old friends. Conversations were rich. Many of us younger creative radical types are dreaming together. We long for a new way–a way that isn’t so easily co-opted by the forces of Empire.

I loved making new friends like Tom Yaccino, Mark Pierson, David Zimmerman, David and Jen Laird, Brittain, Matt Shedden, Steve Lewis, Alex Seidel, Dave Stutzman, Shane Claiborne, Tom Balke, Kathy Escobar, Joel Shenk, Jess Walter, Ricci Kilmer, Gabriel, Katie, Roy Soto, Tom and Christine Sine and many others. I met so many wonderful people. I feel refreshed.

And I enjoyed my time with old(ish) friends: Eliacin Rosario-Cruz, Karen Ward, Jason Okrzynski, Mark and Lisa Scandrette, Efrem Smith, Ryan and Holly Sharp, and Adam Klein.

The sessions were good. Better were the number of conversations that hinged upon the words “what if.” This gathering fostered creativity and reimagination. This wasn’t a gathering of cynical hipsters or book-pushing celebrity authors (many of the speakers have books, but it felt like a gathering of diverse peers, rather than a gathering where the elite shared trademarked wisdom with the people).

The conference didn’t take itself too seriously. But it did take the place in which we find ourselves seriously–a time of ecclesial decline where new life can be unleashed if only we would fill our eyes with a Kingdom vision. I come away from the New Conspirators with something that I find in short supply: hope.

  • Hope that the new things God is doing today might be able to resist being co-opted by consumerism.
  • Hope that sparks of creativity emerging in the global south might ignite a fire that consumes the global north (I’m especially encouraged by the work of la Red del Camino).
  • Hope for my younger brothers and sisters as they benefit from trails blazed by my older brothers and sisters.
  • Hope that God is breathing through me to inspire others. I leave feeling more confident in my own call, and filled with dreams for my neighborhood, my city, and my world.

If you want a great overview of each day, check out Jonathan Brink’s excellent coverage.

Mark Van Steenwyk is the editor of He is a Mennonite pastor (Missio Dei in Minneapolis), writer, speaker, and grassroots educator. He lives in South Minneapolis with his wife (Amy), son (Jonas) and some of their friends.

Print This Article Print This Article

for further reading . . .

  • None Found


Viewing 1 Comment

    • ^
    • v
    hey mark it was really fun meeting you. now i can put you and the missio dei breviary together at last, i am glad i got the book. i loved what you shared, your heart, your passion for the kingdom. it is funny how in different ways we are doing the same kinds of things and have the same kinds of dreams. that is what i liked about the conference, too. hope to stay in touch in blog land and best to you & your wife & your baby-who's-going-to-get-a-really-great-name. kathy


close Reblog this comment
Powered by Disqus · Learn more
blog comments powered by Disqus