Deep Roots Podcast
The world is a tempest of injustice, threatening to tear our communities apart. But our resistance has deep, deep roots. Listen to stories of prophets, sages, revolutionaries, and mystics–those whose lives reach down deep to the source of life, to find power for resistance.
Nurturing Prophetic Imagination Retreats
We offer three day retreats to help participants break free from the dominant scripts of our imperial culture and begin to find a more faithful, life-giving way of following the way of Jesus in the midst of empire.
Workshops and Webinars
Every month, we offer workshops, training events, or webinars on a variety of topics to “help people turn from the false promises of Empire and embrace God’s vision for the world.”
Liturgical Direct Action
Drawing upon the tradition of the Catholic Worker and Ploughshares Movements, and inspired by the insights of movement-scholar Bill Wylie-Kellerman, we plan creative direct actions that are acts of worship.
Prophetic Immersion is a year-long initiation into the life and ministry of Jesus. Through five intensives, participants re-enact key experiences in Jesus’ life within our own social, environmental, and political contexts. Think of it as a school for prophets.
Fall 2018 Conference
Coming September 21-23, our conference asks: “What is the prophetic vocation today?” Drawing upon the deep spiritual roots of resistance, and embracing the divine pathos of lament, how do we raise a hopeful prophetic voice that challenges empire?
Why we exist
OUR 7 CORE PRINCIPLES
1 Jesus Christ is our center and example for life.
2 By encountering the living presence of God in prayer and contemplation, we begin to experience the world prophetically, as Jesus does.
3 The prophetic imagination cannot be understood apart from the lived experiences of marginalized and oppressed people—including but not limited to those who are people of color, queer, trans, femmes, gender nonconforming, Muslim, formerly and currently incarcerated, cash poor and working class, disabled, undocumented, and immigrant.
4 Imperial structures and myths seek to alienate us from one another, from the rest of creation, and from our Creator.
5 Therefore, empowered by the Spirit, we will actively resist forces of alienation.
6 As we encounter God in the midst of this struggle, we find new ways of human flourishing, for deep praxis deepens our prophetic imagination and shows us that a new world is possible.
7 We become most like Jesus when we bring our full selves and deepening creative capacity into the task of co-creating the new world.
The Center for Prophetic Imagination integrates spiritual formation, creative political action, and experimental education to nurture and guide leaders that call people out of empire to embrace God's vision for the world. We exist to cultivate prophetic witness.
We are working to live in a world where all walls of alienation are torn down and all people live justly with each other, with the land, and with the Spirit of Life.
Formed in autumn 2016, the Center for Prophetic Imagination grew out of the Mennonite Worker, an urban intentional community and congregation founded in 2004 by Mark and Amy Van Steenwyk. The Mennonite Worker is committed to Jesus' way of hospitality, simplicity, prayer, peacemaking, and resistance.
Who we are
Mark Van Steenwyk
This episode remembers the beguines–a medieval lay women’s movement that that stressed imitation of Christ’s life through simplicity, care of the poor and sick, and religious devotion. By being a movement of women apart from men, they challenged the established order. Many of their leading figures were accused of heresy, and scores were murdered during[…]
In this episode, we examine Ernesto Cardenal. Cardenal is a liberation theologian who refuses to be contained by a lectern. A priest who refused to be restrained by the pulpit. He is a poet that refuses to let words be his only medium. For him, revolution isn’t a metaphor, it is a painful act that brought[…]
In this episode we remember Simone Weil. She was a philosopher, mystic, political theorist, and revolutionary. She wasn’t well known in her lifetime and is scarcely known today. Her life was short—she died at the age of 34 from tuberculosis, which was brought on by weakness from severe fasting. Most of her writings were published[…]
Digital Outreach Specialist The Center for Prophetic Imagination (CPI) has an opening for a Digital Outreach Specialist to join our small two-staff team. This is a quarter time (10 hours a week) position for 6 months with the opportunity for extension and/or more hours pending additional funding. Job Function: Activities and responsibilities include maintaining and extending[…]
Today is Martin Luther King Jr Day in the United States. It is not only a day where we honor the man, but also the movement of which he was a part. King has become such a dominant symbol of the Civil Rights Movements that we forget other important figures in the movement. Today we[…]
Within Christianity there is a strange subset of the prophet called the “Holy Fool.” Holy Fools defy social convention in both word and action–sometimes in bizarre ways–out of their religious devotion. One such fool is the 13th century Italian, Brother Juniper, listen in for his absurd and provocative tale. Written and produced by Mark Van[…]
Sunday was Pentecost, that ancient day when the Holy Spirit spilled from the heavens and danced as tongues of fire upon the disciples. It is a bizarre holiday, one that confounds modern sensibilities. We are more comfortable reading about divine encounters than experiencing them. To deduce doctrine rather than allowing spiritual subjectivity loose in our[…]
Today, millions of US citizens gather to remember those soldiers who died to while serving in the armed forces. More broadly, today is a day when we celebrate our freedoms. When we express thanks about our national greatness. And this idea of American greatness has become a centerpiece of Trump’s vision for this country as[…]
Today, we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus. In Acts 1:6-10, we read: So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority.But[…]
The way of Jesus is the way of compassion. It involves sharing life with those around us and suffering with them. I want to be careful here; embracing the suffering of others doesn’t require that we treat suffering like a holy fetish. There is a danger in this, particularly for Christians. We worship the One[…]