The Common Root 09: creating our future in the shadow of Empire

At the Common Root 2009, we'll explore ways of creatively embracing the in-breaking Kingdom of God in the shadow of Empire. We want to foster creative resistance as we seek community practices that bring shalom to a broken world.


Friday, February 13

1:00-4:00pm     Registration
4:00-4:20pm     Introduction
4:20-5:30pm     Main Session with Tom and Christine Sine (join the conspiracy…creating the future one mustard seed at a time)

Dinner Break

7:30-9:00pm      Workshops

  1. Christine Sine: creating spiritual practices for lives and communities at the margins of the empire
  2. Tom Sine: creating new communities of sustainability, subversion, and celebration in the shadow of the imperial mall
  3. Jeff Wright: Cultivating Urban Kingdom Communities, pt 1 (planter's track)
  4. Tanden and Erin Brekke: Resisting the Evil of Racism--Confronting Racism from a White Perspective

Saturday, February 14

9:00-10:30am    Workshops

  1. Greg Boyd: Jesus as Socio-Political Revolutionary
  2. Jeff Wright: Cultivating Urban Kingdom Communities, pt 2 (planter's track)
  3. TBA: Practicing Hospitality in an Inhospitable Land
  4. Brandon Rhodes: Seeking Shalom in the Rubble of Empire

10:30-11:45       Main Session with Greg Boyd (The Rise of a New Kingdom Movement)

Lunch Break

1:45-3:00pm: Main Session with Carol Rose (Jesus roots, Peace fruits or Kudzu for Christ)

3:00-4:30pm: Workshops

  1. Jin Kim: Christian Leadership in a Multicultural World
  2. Carol Rose: Peacemaker Communities in Practice
  3. Jeff Wright: Cultivating Urban Kingdom Communities, pt 3 (planter's track)
  4. Mark Van Steenwyk: Punks, New Monks, and Radicals--what we can learn from the "New Monasticism"

4:30-6:00pm: Main Session with Jin Kim (Revisioning the Beloved Community in the Age of Obama)

Closing and Dinner: We encourage folks to go out to dinner together in small groups to debrief and continue the conversation on their own.


Main presenters:

Christine Sine (executive director, liturgist, and chief gardener at the Mustard Seed Associates) was born in Sydney Australia but now lives in the Mustard Seed House with her husband Tom and their golden retriever Bonnie. She runs the small MSA office from her dining room table which has a great view of Greenlake. She is passionate about helping Christians to connect their faith to everyday life and writes and speaks on issues relating to changing our timestyle and lifestyle to develop a more spiritual rhythm for life.

Tom Sine is the "research guy" at Mustard Seed Associates, and the "hospitality guy" at Mustard Seed House. He is the author of a number of books (including the New Conspirators and Mustard Seed vs. McWorld), an adjunct at Fuller Theological Seminary, and a noted futurist. Tom and Christine try to help everyone from college students to mission executives get ready to serve God in our rapidly changing new global neighborhood. The way they do this is by enabling people to both identify some of the new challenges rushing at us from the future and imagine new ways to respond to these challenges.

Greg Boyd was a professor of theology for 16 years at Bethel University (where he still teaches from time to time) and is currently the senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. While often known for his dynamic and persuasive speaking style, Greg is also an internationally recognized theologian, an apologist and an author. Some of his beliefs have been highly controversial in traditional evangelical circles, but have had a transforming impact on many lives. He has authored or co-authored 18 books, as well as written many articles for academic books and journals. His books include the best selling and award winning Letters From a Skeptic and The Myth of a Christian Nation. Greg has also been featured on the front page of The New York Times, The Charlie Rose Show, CNN, National Public Radio, the BBC and other media venues.

Carol Rose is the Co-Director of the Christian Peacemaker Teams, a poet, and pastor. Carol was part of the formation of the Colombia project who regularly served on that project until becoming Co-Director. Since that time she has also served on site in Iraq , Palestine , Arizona and Kenora. She is the facilitator/presenter for the Biblical Non-violence portion of the CPT Core Training. An active peacemaker since the late 1970's. Carol worked with Mennonite Voluntary Service with refugees from Central America in Dallas , Texas in the early 1980's. During the mid 1980's she served with Brethren Voluntary Service and Mennonite Central Committee in Honduras on the border of El Salvador accompanying Salvadorans seeking refuge in a militarized zone of Honduras. During the late 1980's and early 1990's she continued with Mennonite Central Committee in northeastern Thailand (popular education and planting rice), Mindanao Philippines (formation of Base Christian Communities) and in Lancaster Pennsylvania (program director of pro-life organization serving single parents who were also students). She pastored Mennonite Church of the Servant in Wichita , Kansas from November 1997 through February 2004.

Jin Kim is the founding pastor and head staff of Church of All Nations (PCUSA) in Minneapolis. He holds degrees from Georgia Tech, Princeton Seminary, and Columbia Seminary (DMin). He is currently moderator-elect of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area and chair of the Advisory Board of Cross Cultural Alliance of Ministries, serves on the boards of Greater MN Association of Evangelicals and Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches, and as a PCUSA delegate to the National Council of Churches. He was formerly president of Presbyterians For Renewal. He was a preacher at the 2004 and 2008 General Assemblies of the PCUSA, and has spoken at numerous conferences, colleges, seminaries, presbyteries and churches, both in the US and abroad. Jin has a passion for multicultural ministry and a vision for the visible unity of the global church.


*We're offering a special planter's track for those interested in starting new communities: Jeff Wright (president of Shalom Ministries) will be leading a special track for those interested in forming new urban communities. This track will be running during workshop times, and those who sign up for the planter's track will have limited options for attending other tracks. This intensive is for those interested in being a part of the Common Root Planting Initiative.

Registration, Food, and Lodging

Registration is by donation (though if money isn't an issue, a $50 minimum is suggested).

Here are the nearest hotels:

  • Minneapolis Metrodome Holiday Inn
  • Sheraton Minneapolis Midtown
  • Radisson University Hotel

If you are unable to afford lodging, we have a network of folks willing to extend hospitality to those interested. Contact for more information.

There will be a list of local restaurants available at the gathering. There is also a cooperative grocery store a block away from Faith Mennonite Church, where the event is held.



Name Sales End Price
Conference Only Ended Free
Conference AND Planter's Track Ended Free

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