Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category


The unexpected monks

In alternative,christianity,Community,monasticism,new monasticism,Religion,Revolution,Spirituality 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…

My friend Mark Van Steenwyck 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.



Making It Real, Sojourners Magazine/January 2008

In alternative,articles,authors,celebration,christianity,church,Community,creativity,emerging church,friends,Gospel,hospitality,incarnational,kingdom,life,monasticism,mustard seed associates,mustard seed house,Religion,Social Justice,Spirituality,Tom Sine on December 13, 2007 by Eliacín

Making It Real, Sojourners Magazine/January 2008

by Tom Sine

If we are serious about finding a way to embody more authentically the aspirations and values of our faith instead of those of the culture, we need to start where many of these new conspirators do.  We need to rediscover the kingdom of God as not only a theology we affirm on Sunday but a reason to get out of bed on Monday.  This calls for new language and images to express God’s new order.  Too many of us have settled for eschatological imagery that is divorced from both the urgent issues that fill our world and the important decisions of our daily lives.  Of course many social justice Christians tease out some kingdom imagery to support their political advocacy.  But often they aren’t any better than the rest of us at embodying these images and values in their daily lives.

Read more…


The New Conspirators – a more complete profile

In alternative,Art,christianity,Community,diversity,Emergent,Emerging,emerging church,friends,global christianity,Gospel,Green,incarnational,kingdom,life,monasticism,MSA,multicultural,mustard seed associates,new monasticism,Religion,Seattle,solidarity,Spirituality,worship on November 29, 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-imagine and create new expressions of discipleship, community, church and mission to make a little difference in our rapidly changing world. While God is indeed conspiring through a new generation this gathering is an invitation for those from all generations to become much more a part of God’s conspiracy of compassion and creativity.

We are racing into an increasingly uncertain global future in which we in the middle class, our poorest neighbors and our planet will face daunting new challenges. In this festival of imagination we will invite you to create innovative ways to engage these challenges that reflect something of God’s new order….with the new conspirators.

Join us for this festival of imagination and spend 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. Preview what God is doing through these four streams at:

As far as we know this is the first time that such a broad range of new conspirators including those from these four streams have come together to communicate, connect and create with one another and with the friends who join us.

We have three very clear goals for this festival of imagination to communicate, connect and create:

1. to communicate creative new models of what is happening through the new conspirators to address the new challenges;

2. to connect leaders from all four streams with one another and all the rest of us to share our lives, stories and concerns;

3. to create new ways to advance God’s new order in our world in our lives, churches and in response to the growing challenges facing the poor and the planet.

The intent of this festival of imagination is to learn from what God is doing and join a new generation by imaging ways God can more fully use our mustard seeds to make a difference in changing times.

This event is sponsored by Mustard Seed Associates. Our partners include: The Emergent Village, Mars Hill Graduate School, Hot House and Trinity Lutheran Church. Course credit is available through George Fox Seminary and Northwest University.

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. REGISTER online at

Join us in imagining new ways to give expression to God’s kingdom in a changing world… Come:

· Experience the creativity of Shane Claiborne and his companions at the Simple Way as they help their Philly community rebuild after a destructive fire…author of The Irresistible Revolution & Jesus for President

· Join Karen Ward and her friends as they celebrate their faith in the Fremont Abbey here in Seattle

· Learn how Efrem Smith’s multicultural congregation, Sanctuary Covenant, is making a difference in Minneapolis… co-author of The Hip Hop Church

· Join Mark Scandrette in re-imagining what it means to be a disciple of Jesus in San Francisco… author of Soul Grafitti

· Discover with Julie Clawson how God is raising up emerging women to re-invent the church

· Celebrate with Tomas Yaccino what God is doing through a new generation of missional leaders in Latin America

· Learn how to create more missional churches with Tim Morey from Life Covenant in Torrance California

· Imagine with Mark Pierson from New Zealand how to create ancient/future forms of celebrations and worship for both traditional churches and new expressions… co-author of The Prodigal Project

· Imagine new forms of social entrepreneurship like Pura Vida Coffee with Devin Erhardt

· Meet with Dwight Friesen, from Mars Hill Graduate School, those who are fashioning emerging expressions of the church

· Travel with Romanita Harriston, from World Vision, to visit urban churches that are finding a way to make a difference in tough places

· Join Mark Van Steenwyck in creating a monastic community of Jesus Radicals in Minneapolis

· Learn with pastor Eugene Cho about the flourishing of Quest here in Seattle

· Discover with Andrew McLoud how to create economic coops in uncertain times

· Explore with Lisa Domke how to make choices as we race into the 2008 US presidential election

· Learn with Eileen Hansen how to grow new mustard expressions in a traditional Church

· Learn how to find resources to fund creative new ventures with Tom Balke

· Imagine how to be friars in the 21st century with Mike Morris from Britain

· Create spiritual practices for those in emerging and traditional churches with Bruce Bishop

· Imagine with Melanie and Jonathan Neufeld innovative ways churches can provide leadership in urban transformation

· Join Ricci and Eliacin Rosario in discovering the revolution begins at home

· Discover with Christine Sine how to create a liturgy of life… author of GodSpace and Living On Purpose

· Imagine with Tom Sine how to create missional whole life faith and whole life communities for uncertain times…The New Conspirators: Creating the Future One Mustard Seed at a Time

Join new friends at this festival imagination to communicate, connect and create to what God is doing through this quiet conspiracy. REGISTER TODAY!!! LIMITED SPACE


San Diego fires + harassment

In alternative,christianity,Community,diversity,friends,hispanic,immigration,incarnational,Politics,Race,racial relationships,racism,Religion on October 25, 2007 by Eliacín

From Jason Evans at The Ecclesia Collective

As many of you know, many of us in our community have been feeding the volunteers collecting donations at the Chicano Park donation drop point.

Yesterday, our group of primarily gringos experienced some resistance to serving the primarily Latino volunteers. We came to find out that earlier in the day, they were harassed by the Minutemen and some people came to take away donations, which the volunteers at this station allowed. Why did this happen? Because this drop point is trying help undocumented, non-English speaking people as well as others directly effected by the fires.

Because of this, the volunteers were hesitant to trust. Were we spying, trying to hurt them somehow? We talked with the organizers and some of the tension was relieved. Trust can be hard to come by sometimes.

This morning, Brooke, my kids and others from our community went to the donation drop point again. Our group was delivering breakfast to the volunteers. Four police cars arrived aggressively questioning the intent of the people working this drop point. It was an ugly scene. Seeing only kindness and generosity expressed by these volunteers, my children drove away now afraid of the police because of how they treated the volunteers.

I was planning on sending out a hopeful note this morning. I wanted to share with you about how beautiful it has been to see San Diego’s often divided groups come together and work together peacefully in such a dark hour. But instead I feel I need to get the word out on this.

This is not the time to put citizenship or skin color over humanity. Some of you may not agree with my ‘political leanings’ and that is okay. I will be honest with you, this is not political for me. I don’t want to sound pious, I say this with the utmost sincerity, I am compelled to stand with these people because I am a follower of Jesus.

Please get out the word about this. If you are in the area, go to Chicano Park and use your presence to provide protection to these people. Yes, I am asking you to trust me that the intentions of this group are for good. You are going to hear otherwise. Be prepared. But please act, pray and publicize this.

As a last note, SD IndyMedia may be the best place to find out about this stuff.


the monastic orders of the white men

In altermundismo,alternative,America,christianity,church,diversity,Emergent,emerging church,Emerging World,gender inclusive,global christianity,horizontalism,inclusivity,kingdom,language,missional church,missional monastic orders,monasticism,monastics orders,multi-cultural,north american christianity,Privilege,racial relationships,reconciliation,relationships,Religion,Social Justice,solidarity,Spirituality,white privilege on October 19, 2007 by Eliacín

As Andrew Jones mentioned on one of his recent posts on his blog, us here in the Mustard Seed House are in conversations about monastic orders and what/how that would look in our urban context here in Seattle and on what will be in the future a Celtic flavored new monastic retreat/intentional rural community in Camano Island, WA.

My involvement and interest on monastic orders comes from a practitioners point of view, as someone who’ve been involve in different ways community living most of his life. This conversation about “new, missional” monastic orders is not new. A simple google search will provide plentiful of links regarding the subject. What is interesting to me is that it is happening mostly among white, middle age men.

In case some of you might have not notice, our Emerging World is multi-cultural. By retaining the euro-centric, enlightenment view of privilege discourse western Christians show not only their disconnection with reality but also their blindness and arrogance toward a fully expression of the Communitas of God.

If we really believe in a movement toward a whole life expression of discipleship and faith, we should embrace the gifts of diverse voices and praxis coming from many worlds and cultures, as the Zapatistas say “a world where many worlds are possible.”
The rumble of the drums and the joyful voices of our brothers and sisters from the Emerging World are getting louder and louder each minute. With all due respect, dear brothers and sisters from the west and north, you’ve been speaking for quite awhile. Now it is your time to show some humility and listen.


Listening to the Emerging World

In altermundismo,alternative,America,America Latina,anti-globalization,articles,celebration,Community,cooperatives,creativity,diversity,eco,economy,education,Emerging,emerging church,Emerging World,Empire,environment,gender inclusive,globalization,Green,horizontalism,incarnational,inclusivity,Independence,liberation,missions,multicultural,Politics,protest,reconciliation,Religion,Revolution,Social Justice,socialism,solidarity,World Social Forum on October 18, 2007 by Eliacín

Instead of playing the wink’em game and doing another book report (oh… you know what I’m talking about), why not pay attention to what the Emerging World has to tell us?

World Social Forum

More news of hope and transformation from the past US Social Forum – This is what happens when people in the USA listen to the voices from Emerging World.


House Concert with Tracy Howe of the Restoration Village

In christianity,church,Community,emerging church,friends,MSA,Music,mustard seed associates,neighborhood,popular culture,Prayer,Religion,Social Justice,Spirituality on October 18, 2007 by Eliacín

House Concert with Tracy Howe of the Restoration Village

Host: Mustard Seed Associates
When? Saturday, November 3, 2007 – 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Where? Shafer-Baillie Mansion 907 14th Ave E Seattle, WA


Come for a concert at the Shafer Baillie Mansion in Capitol Hill to benefit Mustard Seed Associates and the Restoration Village.

Suggested donation: $10

About Tracy Howe and the Restoration Project: is the home to Tracy Howe, The Restoration Project, and the individuals and communities knit together around them. The Restoration Project is a vision of musical and artistic partnership. It is founded upon the eternal hope of a loving creator and a belief that artists able to express anything about this hope and creator become a vehicle for spiritual and relational restoration.

Tracy Howe, visionary and lead artist of the group, was born in Boulder, CO and now live in a small mountain town called Woodland Park, CO. She was classically trained on the piano from the age of five and began writing music by the time she was 12. Her first two albums were recorded during her college years in a basement studio. Aaron Strumpel, native of rural Iowa and currently residing in Boulder, CO, traveled with Tracy from 2002-2006. Aaron is now an accomplished solo artist and worship leader, and remains an important foundational part of The Restoration Project.

Tracy began traveling full time in 2000. It was not so much her ambition or desire for rock stardom that led her to book her first tour, but a desire to connect with people. Three years and 400 shows later, her vision was refined and she was more focused than ever on bringing hope to broken people through music and relationship. Because of her desire to serve people and communities in the margins, The Restoration Project became a 501 (c ) 3 nonprofit in 2003 and “Restoration Village” was launched as a platform to share the resources and relationships gained through years of partenrship and touring.

The Restoration Project traveled under the radar of industry and pop culture. Without the attention of media the group played on nearly 100 university campuses in 40 different states relying on relationships and new listeners to keep them moving forward. In 2005 the band was selected out of thousands of artists for the national NACA showcase (National Association for Colleges and Activities), the largest college booking showcase in the nation. Touring was focused on college and university campuses, but The Restoration Project has also visited prisons, drug rehab centers, inner city shelters and continues to visit communities throughout Latin America and the world.

International Work
The Restoration Project maintains an active tour schedule in general market venues but in her current season, Tracy has been focused on deepening relationships with a handful of communities in the US and South America, developing and sharing international resources (she speaks and sings in Spanish and Portuguese as well) and exploring alternative and sustainable models of touring and artistry (like HOUSE CONCERTS) that release people into their work, regardless of socio–economic situations or community size. Desiring deeply to help pioneers all over the world in bringing the presence of Jesus to their communities…and nations, Tracy is leading combined efforts to build helping networks in North, Central and South America.