I finally finished my copy of The New Conspirators by Tom Sine last night and I was deeply moved by the book which is a little weird to write as not a lot of books affect me like that. Tom is articulating I am coming to see more and more as my own theology and that is one of the Mustard Seed and also living and working in some of the forgotten parts of the Empire.
It’s an odd space I find myself in. I partner with the Government of Saskatchewan on several fronts working in a shelter that gets a lot of our funding from the government. I am also on a local advisory committee for the Homelessness Partnering Initiative which helps decide where federal government funds are distributed in the city. At both levels of government, I work with some amazing people who care as much or more about poverty, homelessness, and the people who call Saskatoon home as I do. They have totally changed my perception of the people behind the system in a very good way.
At the same time the system can only do so much. As I fear even the United States government will find out, one can only live with a deficit for so long before it all comes falling down on you again. I get several e-mail and letters a week from local groups and people who are calling on the governments for more money to “deal with this crisis” and I agree that the government has a role to play. At the same time I find myself also seeing the important role that “mustard seeds” have to play in changing cities, partly because there are forgotten people and as I found out yesterday (a long story that will never be published here), it is hard to get the funding and permission in many places to do anything else other than start small.
I’ll get into the book more in the next couple of weeks but The New Conspirators tells many stories of Christian communities who are taking a big idea (changing the world) but starting small local expressions of faith as a ways to see it come true. The cool part of the book is that it is working.