Photography on Display

Posted in Conspiracy, Creative, Imagination, MSA, Multicultural, Partners, Seattle on February 8, 2008 by jnaegeli

One of MSA team members, Eliacin Rosario-Cruz, is showing his photography at the Q Cafe through the end of February. Q Cafe is a ministry of Quest Church, pastored by Eugene Cho, one of our workshop speakers. If you have time before, during or after the conference, feel free to go down there and check it out!

Here’s the link to the Q Cafe Art Gallery:

Doors Mosaic-Eliacin


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.

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:

The New Conspirators!

Posted in Description on November 20, 2007 by Eliacín

The New Conspirators!

What in the World is God Doing?

What in the world is God doing? God is conspiring through a new generation to re-invent the church and make a little difference in the world…and those of us from all generations can be much more a part of this conspiracy of creativity.
Join us for this festival of imagination and spend some time with those on the innovative edge creating new forms of life, church, mission and celebration. We will bring together leaders from the emerging, missional, multicultural and monastic streams to explore new models, discuss tough questions and create new ways we can be a difference and make difference in our own congregations, communities and God’s world.

What in the world is God doing? Join us at Bethany Community Church in Seattle February 28, 29 and March 1, 2008 and find out

  • You can join Tim Morey, pastor of Life Covenant in Torrance California, and learn how and he and his friends have planted three missional churches in Southern California in the past three years that are already making a difference both locally and globally
  • Karen Ward will share what is happening in the Fremont Abbey here as they create new forms of ancient future faith here is Seattle

What is God doing? Clearly something new, experimental and often risky. You will have the opportunity to hear what God is doing through the emerging, missional, mosaic and monastic movements and actually create ways God might more fully use our mustard seeds to be more a part of this quiet conspiracy.

Practicing Our Values

Posted in Conference, Creative on October 1, 2007 by Christine Sine

Once again we are starting to discuss the kingdom values that we want to under gird the conference.  We are still grappling with the dilemmas this raises for us especially as it leads to difficult decisions at times – like choosing to shape the conference around our values rather than opting for what is the cheapest way to do things.  And with the tight budget we have that is not always an easy decision.  However it does encourage us all to use our creativity and imagination to consider new ways to do things.

First we want this conference to reflect our concerns for the marginalized. A number of the workshops should highlight this but we also want it to be reflected in other aspects of the conference – like serving fair trade tea and coffee.  Reflecting this value in how we provide meals is a little more challenging. We don’t want to do box lunches – that would create a mountain of waste for us to get rid of – not at all good for the environment (and environmental concern is another one of our strong values). We have thought of getting a group like Heroes (a program that helps people reclaim their lives by teaching them to be chefs) to do our lunches again but that does not seem to be practical this time.  So we are investigating other options.  If you have any ideas we would love to hear from you.

Second we want to raise concerns about environmental issues. We plan to use bags that are made from recycled materials again and will use the same recycled plastic mugs we used forte last conference.  The plan is that each person gets one mug to last them through the conference – no paper & certainly no styrofoam.  The idea is to cut down on the mountain of waste that normally occurs at an event like this.

However we would like to challenge participants to show concern for their environment in other ways too.  When Shane Claiborne travels he asks people at his destination to cut back on their driving in order to save the amount of fuel that would be required to jet him from home to that destination.  Maybe that is something that all of us should consider doing.  At the least we want to encourage participants to car pool, walk or bicycle or use public transport as much as possible.

Third we want to emphasize the concept of Biblical wholeness and the values of God’s shalom kingdom.  We want to enable participants to connect to resources that enable them to develop rhythms of wholeness for their lives and communities.  We also hope that participants will create their own models of life and ministry that reflect God’s rhythms of wholeness.  I teach a class on cross cultural adaptation and one of the questions I like to ask is – what will the culture of the kingdom of God look like? Most of us have no idea. We believe that at the centre will be the values of love and compassion, justice for the poor, concern for those at the margins and freedom from oppression. I think a lot of people will get a shock when they enter the kingdom of God because it will be a real cross cultural experience for them.

Examining our values and grappling with the implications for our lives is so important for all of us but it is never easy and has consequences for everything we do – even for our participation in conferences.  Would appreciate any comments you may have on what other values we should seek to represent and how we can represent these effectively during our conference.

Shalom – Christine