Greenbelt reflections- 1

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We got back from Greenbelt Festival last night, after the long drive up north- which was mercifully free of bank holiday traffic problems.

We had a great time- and I am still processing some of the things that happened, so as ever, I will write some of my thoughts down here, which always kinds of help to congeal my fluid thought processes. I have some cool photos too that I will sprinkle around over the next few days…

Initial thoughts-

It was so good to be there with my friends- to share an experience, and to create something together. There was a wonderful moment when we were all together after our various journeys and I felt heart-full. It would have been even better if a few others could have made it- Janet, Lindsay, Sharon, Pauline, Dot, Aileen- you were missed!

I feel like I went to so little of the seminars/gigs/events this year. This was because we were busy, and because it was just so great to hang with my friends, and to have conversations with other people- some I met for the first time, others from the Tautoko network. This year, as ‘contributors’ we had a pass into the hospitality area for artists and speakers, with constantly available tea, and chances to sit and talk. I was able to spend time with Jonny Baker, Cheryl Lawrie (check out her lovely book on Proost!) , the Guys from Sanctus 1, Ambient Wonder, and Lisa and Julian from the network. The feeling of being part of a larger family is growing…

I also had a great chat in the ‘Jesus Arms’ with Alistair Duncan from The Garden in Brighton– they do some really interesting stuff down there!

Our worship event was packed, and lovely, and well received (more later!) My poetry reading did not seem to go so well- but then I would always feel this anyway!

I did get to some things- highlights were listening to Bishop Gene Robinson, Duke Special on mainstage, and of course, Rob Bell– who managed to exceed his reputation! I suppose the comic lowlight would be trying to sing hymns along with the Agents of the Future as part of the Sunday service- with different lengths of inteval between each line and verse as if to deliberately confuse! The ‘sharing of the peace’ by banking elbows so as not to give swine flu was very difficult to take seriously also.

Bishop Gene Robinson

Bishop Gene Robinson

We had three kids with us- Emily, Cara and Caleb. They had a great time- there is something safe about Greenbelt that allowed them all to expand and take some strides towards adulthood (adulthood laced with a lot of giddyness that is!) They all worked hard to help with the worship event.

On the way back up north, we met several times at service stations, and finally on the ferry. We seemed to go from a general discussion about whether we could justify the time and expense and distraction of going again next year, to a very specific chat about WHAT we would do next year…

I think it was a time of blessing for all of us.

Here is a bit of the Duke-