Greenbelt 2014 Travelling Light.
Friday 22nd August.
Sitting in a loo (a very clean one with toilet paper I may add) I spy a poster stuck on the door. Join ‘a mission to end…injustice…’ it claimed boldly. A thought crossed my mind, nobody has ever ended injustice but some have acted justly and created a better world for some. We need to get real with our claims and aims.
Brian McLaren on the Bible 3.0. Most Christians will die today without holding a Bible. Position 1.0 Control of the Bible by the religious elite. 2.0 People empowered to read the Bible but still control over interpretation. 3.0 Bible is available instantly with it being subject to alternative interpretations. 1.0 Leader’s inerrant, 2.0 Bible inerrant, 3.0 Anything goes. Oral stories have a life of their own but once written down it freezes. The end of a story should always overturn the beginning.
Introduced to the beautiful tunes of Tiny Ruins, the amazing powerful voice of Beth Rowley and the talented, gifted and funny Ben Castle.
Saturday 23rd August.
‘I will awaken the dawning..’ shivering my timbers. Yet looking forward. Should we always look forward when there is so much to see now?
Abdul-Rehman Malik on Worshipping God as though you see God. God is closer to us than our jugular vein. As God breathes into us we breathe out something of Him. Abdul-Rehman is a Muslim and a beautiful human being.
Mpho Tutu on forgiveness. Starting place of forgiveness is always telling the story. The church is never comfortable with mess. You are the most perfect you you can be from moment to moment. You can only stand in your own skin. A teacher should not be there to tell you what they know but help you discover what you need to know. Mpho also has a mother.
Nadia Bolz-Weber on the authority of experience. God slipped into the vulnerability of skin.
Brian McLaren on what will religion become? When you try to form a new identity people of your own tribe get very suspicious of you.
Walking towards the light causes you to lose vision of the path ahead. You actually see clearer walking away from the light, the way the light is pointing.
Enjoyed the tunes today of Cathy Burton, Boo Hewerdine and the incredible Luke Sittal-Singh.
Sunday 24th August.
A Call to Worship…
Laying in my warm sleeping bag with full intention of missing the main communion gathering. Could think of nothing worse to rise for. Then I heard it. The sound of families getting ready, an all too familiar sound. Chaos, shouting, kids screaming, parents getting stressed. Conflict between kids and mothers. Yet out of this chaos and stress a worshipping community will gather and emerge. A call to worship grabbed my heart in a way that it had never done before. It did not come from God but from broken, stressed humanity. I had to rise and attend. Had an amazing time. Saw the dancing dragonflies who also joined in, and made new friends and met old ones. Beautiful.
John Francis, the question mark is my kind of punctuation, it is kind of curvy.
My music discovery of the festival, Emily and the Woods. Spellbinding. Also saw the vulnerable power that is Sinead O’Connor. An incredible performance.
Finished the day with Indian worship. Praise Him on the sitar…
Monday 25th August.
Abdul-Rehman Malik on the names of God. All in God’s tent are recipients of God’s mercy in whatever state they are in.
Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.
Panel of gay and lesbian ministers, poets, pastors. To deal with our own issues we often find an issue with someone else to deal with in the present. Making an issue is a sign of power. We need to undo power to stop validity. Institutional church and the Body of Christ are separate things. Boundary dwellers are scary for those in the middle. Living by love and not law is always scandalous. The church struggles with openness not gayness. Our addiction to power is the problem. Faith is not about doctrine or points of belief.
God is intertwined in the rhythms of everyday life.
Nadia Boltz-Weber and Sarah Miles on the inconvenience of others. If my worship depends on excluding somebody else then it is probably not Christian worship.You are only practising hospitality if you experience discomfort in some ways, if not you are only eating with friends. We need all voices and not just the best. We need people to mess things up to keep us Gospel focused.
Best T-shirt. Post Happy-Clappy.
Dan Bilbrough and Rory Butler, beautiful sounds.
Martyn Joseph. Perfect end to a soggy final day. Most amazing singer-songwriter.
Beautiful new site filled with trees and lakes and lush green landscape. A wonderful Greenbelt experience.
Left with a seed of a dream. Watch this space for The Traveller’s Rest going live ‘a Festival of Friends’ in 2015.