Thursday, September 03, 2009
So I went to Greenbelt. http://www.greenbelt.org.ukAll my vaguely Christian friends have been telling me to go to Greenbelt over the last few years. They told me that I'd love it, that it was very me, that it was wonderful.And I did. The validation of being with thousands of other liberal Christians of all different traditions was enormous. The art, the talks, the communal singing. All fantastic.I went to standup comedy, to a talk on Obama and the Two State Solution in the Middle East by Jeff Halper, to a talk by John Bell on Paul, to hear Gene Robinson speak on the texts of terror for homosexuals, to a panel on How Not to Believe with Atheists, Religious Agnostics and Christians, to a service with at least 5000 other people, to a tango workshop and to traditional Anglican evening prayer. I had a massage, ate with friends and sang hymns with hundreds of people in a beer tent.I caught snippets of hugely in depth political and religious conversations in queues and as I walked around. I sang socialist songs with the national SCM in the evenings back at camp.But among all this I queued for hours, and walked for miles. The place was huge. Really huge. I felt small and alone in the sea of the crowd! But on the whole happily so.The only things I really didn't like was the choice of worship band at the service who weren't very good at timing and not having a partner at the Tango workshop. I'd gone along alone, with all the Greenbelt regulars saying that it'd wouldn't matter.Greenbelt's very friendly someone would dance with you. But there wasn't any one, so I left a bit forlorn.Over all positive and thought provoking. Tom and I are committing to try and use the car less, buy secondhand or recycled first and to find ways to step out of our comfort zone. One thing for me will be radical giving in all areas of my life. My God is a God of Love above all. So to try and bring more of that in my life, I'm going to sit down and be friendlier to the people who irritate me, give more away and do more for my local community. Let's see how it goes!