Fantastic time at Greenbelt again this year. Fabulous friends to camp with and an awesome team of friends new and rediscovered at the Performance Cafe. Yet again I focussed on the things I could experience then and there which I couldn't anywhere else so I failed to get to any talks - thinking instead that I can download those later. Couldn't possibly get that experience of the witty and awesome Duke Special, the divine Edwina Hayes, the liltingly lovely Yvonne Lyon, the delightful Gentry Morris, the blissful Harry Bird and the Rubber Wellies, the hilarious Folk On... and so many more. So I spent a lot of time in the Performance Cafe or catching up with friends here and there. Apparently a new member of the team commented to another "Sarah knows a lot of people doesn't she?" and it was wonderful to meet and chat with so many people I do know and, as ever, chat to people I had never met in queues for loos, pies and gigs!
I spent a lot of time looking out at the gathered crowd either during worship, from inside the Performance Cafe tent, from the grandstand across the site or from the tented warmth of the tiny tea tent and thinking that Greenbelt really is a small taste of heaven. It is a foretaste of what the Kingdom could be like. It is the world if it were made up of people who follow the Way of Christ. Mark Thomas has tweeted that he was surprised by how much he liked Greenbelt (ranking it only behind Glastonbury as his favourite festival of the year) and I think those of all faiths and none can see that Greenbelt is a great place of loving community. A place of the Kingdom. A place of Love, Compassion, Justice, Freedom (as our diocesan 2020 Vision group has it).
So my spiritual tanks are re-fuelled by some awesome music, some experience of community, a LOT of laughter, some peaceful worship, some uplifting worship, takign part in The People's Bible, viewing some artwork (officially in the Methodist Art collection and unofficially in some glowing robot sculptures and painted feet).
I've returned home with a signed Dave Walker Tshirt, a few scrapes and bruises (and some welly rub!), three new CDs, a peace of heart, some deeper friends, a commitment to keeping in touch more with some of my once a year friends and a readiness for all which this term has to offer, with the beginning of my training for ordination, a new school year which will include the Worcester Diocese Clergy Conference, Gloucester's Rock the Cathedral, The schools weeks at Taize, The Midlands DYOs hosting the DYO conference and so many more unanticipated delights!
My favourite lyrics of the weekend from Harry Bird and the Rubber Wellies*
"they said Jesus shouldn’t heal a man on Sunday
he shouldn’t eat with sinners and he shouldn’t have fun
well some rules are just waiting to be broken I guess
so I think it’s time I started breaking some"
*unlike someone else who loved I feel like Popeye with a mouth full of spinach