just back a little bleary eyed from greenbelt festival, as ever a hopeful sign for the church. this year i wasn't co-ordinating worship - that was wonderfully done by ben, ruth and gayle with a brilliant programme. if you want to catch the edges of what is happening in creative worship greenbelt is a great place to go. we (grace) took a service lunch not included that was good fun - unpacking hospitality. the opening created an experience of being in/out when 'members' were taken out of the queue early and given privileged seats at the front in a members only enclosure. a very 'in' set of notices and utterly pretentious liturgy followed that only members were able to join in before a staged protest led to the barriers being pulled down. all good fun and it certainly was getting a few people irate up to that point! hopefully it will all get written up in the grace archive/smallfire at some point.
unusually for me i didn't take a camera. i decided that i had too much to do to be able to think about carrying a camera and taking photos - yes i know i have broken my golden rule to always carry one. but there are a ton of photos at the official gb flickr pages - too many in fact to digest! and if you follow the tags greenbelt or greenbelt2008 i'm sure you will trace plenty of peoples photos.
i ended up spinning three plates - the grace service (and spontaneous act of worship which i missed) both went well. we (proost) were running a stand, had two events, an ad on the big screen and beer mats in the organic beer tent. i loved the unusual suspects evening and the proost lounge which was a showcase of artists. hopefully we have let a few more people know about proost who will want to subscribe. and the third plate was cms where we had a dedicated blah... tent with discussions on mission, emerging culture and all that. pretty much every session was packed. i also took part in a discussion with my friend yemi on the difference in african and european takes on spirituality and faith which was pretty interesting.
so... although in theory it was a less busy greenbelt it ended up pretty packed. i got to two things - matthew herbert big band and jenny speaking on gender differences - she was brilliant of course. this may sound weird but the highlight was an evening on the thursday evening before the festival in gloucester cathedral hosted by feig with a meal, stations, and a candlelit labyrinth accompanied by the astonishing sound of two hang drums, the most gorgeous ambient instruments - see this video or this video to get the idea. about 80 people from various communities were there.
it always feels like summer is over once greenbelt is passed and a new season looms once september kicks in...