After a manic flurry of activity following Greenbelt all is quiet on the West of Cambridge front, certainly in terms of adding anything to this bloggy jobbet. Interestingly it is only only New Kid that is doing this, a lot of the blogs I've visited have calmed down somewhat in the past few days.
Interesting, and encouraging that Greenbelt can inspire that kind of activity. I can't quite put my finger on why, I guess it is just the overwhelmingly creative atmosphere and the fact that people are encouraged to think holistically - so that faith is certainly not a 'one day a week' thing but a vibrant, living, challenging, inspiring, daily activity. Hopefully the thought, the creativity will keep going throughout the year.
One thing which made me think this year at Greenbelt was the comment that 'GB' helps some Christians 'survive' from year to year, and that going to Greenbelt is like a refill of the batteries (in fact i read that on a posting on the Greenbelt forum this morning). I find that both heartening, that a rather haphazared collection of Christians can inspire such good things, and disappointing, that the Church can so badly let down her members that they have to rely on a 'para-Church' event to keep them going.
I was on the panel for Holy Joe's debate on 'DIY Church' (which rather spiralled and nosedived, sadly) but was struck by the times it was said 'Church isn't what i want'. I have to say that even as a Church leader Church isn't always as i would want it to be, but i need the challenge of other Christians to keep my faith alive. I have two ways in which i have tried to address difficulties in Church over my time as a Christian - one is to try and change things from the inside, hence the dog-collar and the other is to allow Church to change me. I may not get what i want from the style of worship, I may disagree with the way things are done or with the people who make up a Church, but that doesn't make me walk away - i have to constantly encounter others so that i might encounter God in others.
There is more to it than this, and i am not for a moment suggesting that we stick with a particular fellowship and denomination as it seeks to suck the soul out of us. I am just aware that in a consumer culture many christians are prone to church shop in the same way they might shop for any other bit of entertainment. Surely there is more to it than that.
This may well become something that i think about on my other (mission and ministry) blog http://althevicar.blogspot.com - and i am well aware that i have only started to scrape the surface rather than plumb the depths of the issue.
I've wandered off a bit from Greenbelt, but goes to show how it keeps stimulating the mental juices (what a disgusting image there)
Roll on Greenbelt 06!