Wednesday, August 30, 2006

greenbelt 06

Had a good time at Greenbelt. Was somewhat unsure about stuff before going really. I guess I hadn't given it a lot of thought, and all of a sudden it was there, and I was going.

Went to hear Shane Claiborne, who I had heard at Spring Harvest back at Easter, and whose book I finally finished reading at Taize. He was very good, though I have to admit most of the stories he told I had either heard before or had read in his book, "Irresistible Revolution", which is very good. You should read it.

Also went to hear Jim Wallis a couple of times as well, including his informative and thought provoking talk on terrorism. Music-wise I enjoyed Courtney Pine, Daniel Bedingfield, Verra Cruz and Brian Houston.

I have to admit that up until Sunday night I didn't really feel that anything had particularly challenged me. Then I went to the 'Ikon'-led service on the theme of Fundamentalism. (Jonny Baker has blogged briefly on this, a few people have added their comments, and it would be no surpise if others followed suit). There were various parts to this service, obviously designed to stimulate and provoke. It did that. Speaking to friends after the service, and the following day, there were a range of opinions. Some felt it was all a bit pretentious for the sake of it, and I can see their point. Some felt it needed a bit more explaining. I don't know.

I think it served a purpose in that it got people talking, but I'm not quite convinced exactly what people are going to be talking about - the service itself or the theme and the message presented throughout the service. We shall see.....Anyway, I liked the fact that I was challenged to reflect about the way I believe, and the way I might view others beliefs.

I also really enjoyed catching up with a few old friends from back in Birmingham. It was good to spend time, not just reminiscing for the sake of it, but catching up, hearing where people are up to now, and for me at least, reflecting on my journey over the past few years. One thought that has spanned the summer, from Taize to Greenbelt, has been this kind of 're-discovering who I am', being reminded of things which in the past I have said "this is important to me, and to who I am". This train of thought is one which I want to pursue a bit more, and may blog about in due course.

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