The delay to me blogging about this year's Greenbelt is because I'm been at a Baptist theology conference (more on that in another post). My initial reaction to Greenbelt was a slight disappointment. Walter Wink was unable to be there due to illness. Some of the venues for some of the talks were too small so I for example I only caught the end of Pete Rollins. Having said that, as Hannah and I were talking to her sister Naomi about the festival I found myself talking a lot (which is a usual occurence). This is the thing about Greenbelt it gets you thinking. I said to someone there, I partly go to get a load of ideas to try out and adapt for when I'm back home. So, John Bell was excellent, I'd heard him on mp3 before, but was good hearing him live. Jim Wallis was entertaining and thought-provoking, but I'm not sure I'm completely on the same page as him (I still trying to work out how he is similar/different to Hauerwas). The end of Pete Rollins talk was good, and I'll get the mp3 and also his book How (not) to speak of God. The Ikon service was brilliant, but I wonder if it was too intellectual and high-brow. I am going to check out their website, etc. Alistair McIntosh (standing in for Walter Wink) speaking on 'non-violence for the violent' was interesting. The Taize service was something different. I thought the communion was again good, very different from last year, but it worked well. The words to one hymn were brilliant. Hannah and I also attended a session on 'godly play', which we've been dabbling in, but I think will get more serious about now. I also enjoyed Maggi on the rhythm of the saints, but like Pete Rollins was also in too small a venue. Her comment about how the different church seasons do not always seem to join up with our own spiritual lives and how the church calendar teaches us there are times of waiting and being were poignant for me currently.
Next year, Greenbelt have got N T Wright and Ched Myers, already booked.