Archive for the Christianity Category

Another Conference…So What’s Different?

Posted in book, Christianity, Conference, Conspiracy, Creative, Description, Emerging Church, Imagination, Missional, MSA, Multicultural, New Monasticism, Tom Sine on February 5, 2008 by jnaegeli

In the last few weeks, several people have asked, “What’s different about The New Conspirators conference?” It is a fair question. One might be tempted to think it will be exactly like all the other emerging church conferences that are happening now. Let us try to explain some elements of our conference that we hope are not only new, but valued by those that come to this gathering on February 28, 29 and March 1 at Bethany Community Church here in Seattle.

Distinctive 1: Hearing From Four Streams Instead of One

In the last five years, there has been an array of conferences and “learning parties” on the emerging church. Since we at MSA believe that God is at work through the innovators and risk-takers of more movements than just the emerging church, we will bring together the leaders of four streams of renewal: Missional, Mosaic, Monastic and, of course, Emerging. To read about the streams, click here.

Distinctive 2: Bringing New Expressions and Established Congregations Together

At many emerging gatherings, a few older people are in attendance, but they often seem to be looking in from the outside, pressing their noses to the window, trying to make sense of the emerging edge. They rarely seem to be brought into the conversation as full participants. We want these more mature Christians to participate by sharing their experience and insights, and also by being open to learn from younger risk-takers.

Distinctive 3: Exploring Questions Important For the Entire Church

Younger leaders in all four streams are not only creating new models from which we can all learn, but they are also raising important questions that the entire church needs to re-examine. We hope to struggle with these two questions at our gathering:

1. What does authentic faith look like?

2. How can we make mission more central to our gathered lives?

Distinctive 4: Taking the Future of God Seriously

One of the major characteristics of young leaders in all four streams is that they tend to spend much more time discussing the kingdom of God and exploring how to fully embody it in their lives and communities. In the life, death and resurrection of Christ, another world has broken into this one! Justice is coming for the poor, the disabled are being healed, creation is being restored and shalom is coming to the nations! Throughout our time together, we hope and pray that you will hear the clear invitation to live into, serve and celebrate the new world that is breaking into this one.

Distinctive 5: Taking the Future of the World Seriously

Most of the conferences I have attended, and most of the leaders with whom I have worked, tend to unconsciously work from the unstated assumption that the future will pretty much be an extension of the present. In a world changing as rapidly as ours, it is absurd to operate as though the future is static–as though we are frozen in a time warp. At the beginning of this gathering, we will provide a brief outline of some of the new ways we can respond to the challenges likely to confront those in both established and experimental churches.

Distinctive 6: Taking Our Imagination Seriously

One of the most compelling characteristics of young leaders in all four streams is the unusual level of imagination, innovation and entrepreneurship that these young leaders demonstrate. In that spirit, we are calling our gathering “a festival of imagination.” Essentially, we want participants to imagine new forms of life, community, worship, advocacy, mission and celebration that 1) more fully give expression to that world that is already here, and 2) more effectively engage the new challenges of our increasingly uncertain future.

Distinctive 7: Taking Connections Seriously

We really want the conference space to be a place of learning, discussing and creating, but we hope it will also be a place of connecting, especially with other participants. To meet this end, we will have an informal hangout space with abundant coffee, wireless internet and places to meet up with new friends. Speakers will be available to chat in the gathering place after the Thursday evening session and throughout the conference.

We hope this will be a worthwhile gathering in which to communicate, create and connect. Consider joining us for “The New Conspirators: What in the World Is God Doing?” and let us know if we succeed in creating a different kind of gathering.

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The unexpected monks

Posted in Christianity, Conspiracy, Creative, New Monasticism on February 3, 2008 by Eliacín

The unexpected monks – The Boston Globe
New Monasticism is part of a broader movement stirring at the margins of American evangelicalism: Evangelicals disillusioned with a church they view as captive to consumerism, sectarian theological debates, and social conservatism. Calling themselves the “emerging church” or “post-evangelicals,” these Christians represent only a small proportion of the approximate 60 million evangelical Americans. Yet their criticisms may resonate with more mainstream believers. A recent study by Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois – one of the most influential megachurches in the nation – discovered that many churchgoers felt stalled in their faith, alienated by slick, program-driven pastors who focus more on niche marketing than cultivating contemplation. The study suggested that megachurch members know how to belt out jazzy pop hymns from their stadium seats, but they dont always know how to talk to God alone.Read more…

Our friend Mark Van Steenwyck from the Missio Dei community in Minneapolis, is quoted in the article. Mark will be one of the conspirators at The New Conspirators: Festival of the Imagination in Seattle, later this month. Check it out.

Course Credit for The New Conspirators

Posted in Christianity, Conference, Conspiracy, Description, Imagination, Links, MSA, Partners, registration on January 18, 2008 by jnaegeli

Several institutions of higher education are partnering with us to bring students to the conference. We at MSA feel that students will greatly benefit from meeting with creative innovators, practitioners of new forms of church and advocates of alternative lifestyles. Therefore, the following universities and seminaries are offering course credit for attendance:

1. Northwest University in Kirkland, WA–The School of Ministry is offering PMIN 3842: Emerging Models of Church Growth, which includes a pre-conference on Feb 21st. Attendance is also part of the PMIN 4303 21st Century Leadership course. Click here for more details.

2. George Fox Evangelical Seminary in Portland, OR–Contact information for conference credit coming soon.

3. Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, WA–The School of Theology is offering internship credit for undergraduate theology students. It is posted at the Career Development Center and the School of Theology internship page (which requires a login and password).

4. Mars Hill Graduate School is promoting the conference to its students as an important opportunity to rub elbows with church and community leaders doing new and imaginative things to make a difference in the world.

5. Fuller Seminary is offering independent study credit for DMin students. Click here for contact info.

Early Bird Extension!

Posted in Christianity, Conference, Conspiracy, Imagination, registration on January 2, 2008 by jnaegeli

The deadline for early registration has been extended to Monday, Jan. 14th! Don’t miss this opportunity to attend at a discounted rate!

Register here: thenewconspirators.eventbrite.com