The theme for the service on Sunday (maybe 10000 people – who’s counting?) was ‘Songs signs and stories from the Land long called Holy’ (this Year thank God it didn’t rain and we didn’t have to sing ‘here comes the sun’ like last year!)
This year we did not have communion (swine flu) and even shared a sign of peace in a WHO approved way by gently elbowing each other – ‘the elbow bump of peace’ they called it!
Using an Olive seed, we were encouraged to plant as a symbol of hope:
We thank you for the Olive seed with its promise of hope in the Long Now
For the olive Branch with its promise of peace and friendship
For Olive Oil to sustain us and anoint us as peacemakers
In the CMS tent Andrew Jones aka the tallskinnykiwi was sharing about his missional journey in a converted truck with his family around Europe - competing with Beer and Hymns form the Jesus Arms in the background He told lots of stories about people they met on the road (maybe subject of another blog later) He introduced a number of Poles form SLOT a Polish festival equivalent to Greenbelt
I liked the emphasis on mission as a family: ‘we have enough teachers in the church we need more parents – mothers and fathers, loving on people’ and the recognition that mission is shifting to the Global South that is touching Europe – bringing African new conservatism and lively colourful Brazilians . reaching the poor and disenfranchised.
Abdul Rehman Malik a Canadian born Pakistani Peace activist from the Radical Middle Way a Muslim Youth movement He spoke eloquently and humorously on ‘Muslim 2.0 - Globalised politicised spiritualised …..Radicalised’
Describing the Ummah not as a threat but as ‘a globalised spiritual community’ and a call to a radical spirituality ‘gong back to roots, the essence of things, setting things aright, where compassion, generosity, justice flow from God’s mercy’
Maybe I went to too many talks and not enough music just some great singers in the performance café during lunch, one lively RAP group Jehaziel on main stage plus some acoustic singers in the late night ‘Just Peace vigil’