The day was started by a contemplative and challenging morning prayers lead by Mark Pierson, with the theme of Conspiring in the City.
The first part of the day was divided between a short interview, Conspiracy Session 1 and a short panel discussion. In the morning Tom Sine interviewed Mark Scandrette, Tomas Yaccino, Kathy Escobar and Tim Morey. Each share some about their communities and experience. Kathy shared a bit of the horizontal structure of her church – The Refuge. She explained how the faith community is intentionally set up to be horizontal in which every person have a voice. One of the questions to her from one of the other participats was, how do you then keep orthodoxy in a place where everyone can speak with the same authority. Kathy gave a very good answer – if orthodoxy is about right teaching and if people experience Jesus is different ways, then there are different orthodoxies (at least that was my take on it). Mark shared about the way of living him and his wife Lisa have been practicing for the last 17 years. He shared how the Jesus Dojo, came a some sort of experimental school to learn the way of Jesus, but not in your traditional way, but in an incarnational way in their local community. Thomas shared about churches in the Dominican Republic in which members do not wait for the church to give the stamp of approval or to have lots of money and resources to start meeting the needs of others. Because the context of those churches is relational and communal, the problems of the community are the problems of the church, and it is there resposibility to meet needs and bring restoration. Tim gave us a brief profile of his church as a church of small groups in which 80 % of the people are involve in ministry in their community with a 1/3 of the budget going outside building for ministry in the community.
Roy Soto from La Red del Camino is here beside me skyping his wife in Costa Rica. The man is crazy and I’m loving hanging out with him and Tomas Yaccino. It was a must for me to participate in their workshop about missional church in Latin America. As a frustrated church planter in Puerto Rico, I wished I’ve known of the network earlier. Their approach to the mission of the church is about justice, restoration, love in the context of the local neighborhood and barrios. Because of the cultural and political history of colonialism in Latin America, christians are used to a very patriarchal and imperial model of church. La Red is challenging that paradigm with a horizontal and relational one.
During lunch I joined part of the Submergent conversation. The group is exploring the emerging church conversation in the context of non-violence and peace in the anabaptist tradition.
In the afternoon Ricci and I lead our creative session about radical living in the heart of the home. The conversation went well, people got the chance to create new rhythms and celebrations for the family.
It is 4:32 p.m. and most of the people are exploring the city – the group self-organized into 4 groups to visit 4 different neighborhood in Seattle. They will be engaging with the people of those neighbors and exploring what it means to conspire in the city.
In the afternoon I had a blast with Roy and Tomas – again the locos from La Red del Camino . Roy was in the mood to eat rice and beans and meat, so I took them to La Casa del Mojito. The guys there are just amazing. The place is small, the salsa and merengue music was blasting and they really know how to make you feel welcome. After a delicious meal and a couple mojitos, we were given a a flan on the house. After a couple bites, Roy asked for another one which was given to us on the house. And then before we left our friend at the restaurant once again came with a small box with yet another flan for Roy.
In the evening Shane Claiborne shared stories about Philadelphia. Christine then led us in evening prayers.
Now I am at home sharing some of our Mustard Seed House homebrew with Mark Pierson and Mark Van Steenwyk. Just unwiding before heading out to bed.
There are another folks blogging, doing a great job reporting from the conference, check them out.
Also check out the photos from the conference at Flickr.