Friday, 30 August 2013

Reflections on day 4

This last post is long overdue. I was supposed to write on the train back to London or on the plain on the way plane on the way home. But I'm home already. The last day of Greenbelt was a full one. I started the day at a lecture by Peter Rollins. I'll post a video later.he is a radical theologian. I'd never heard of him or radical theology before. When I asked who Peter Rollins was a friend says, "he takes you to the cliff and pushes you off." Now it wasn't that radical. It was a different way of talking of God and faith. He starts from the place that we are all broken and we keep ourselves busy to escape that feeling of brokenness.  He talks of the death of the "God Product" that guarantees our place in the heavenly realm if only we believe enough. The role of the church is to provide a place where people can work through their inner brokenness and this is done through liturgy, community and prayer. We need the community because we are the body of Christ.  

Peter Rollins also spoke on death and decay and the importance of memory and mourning. While he was speaking I remember being at the funeral home at the first viewing of family embers and over the years I've often heard people say "doesn't she just look look like herself." The first time I heard it I was stuck by how strange it was. The person is dead so the most important parts of the self have already left us. Yet it seemed to bring comfort to the family to have one last look and memory before the process of telling stories, celebrating their lives and finally saying goodbye. It made me think about The United Church which is struggling in places all across Canada. There are parts of our tradition that no longer work for us a church but we hang I to them saying, "doesn't the church look like itself" even though it no longer has life in it. I wonder what parts of this church of ours we need to let go of, tell stories about, celebrate and say goodbye too. I'm not sure what the answer is. 

The next talk was Steve Chaulk who talked about the importance of the church engaging on the community. His church has purchased community libraries, and runs schools. He talked about the importance of loving God and neighbour. I'm not sure we will go down the road of runIng schools and libraries but I do that we are called to. Engaged in the community outside the walls of our church buildings and finding ways to ensure the well being of our neighbour.

My next stop was Forest Church in a place called the Grove 
 The forest church mixes Druidic/ Celtic practices with Christian Faith. I attended the festival of the first fruits it was a new experience for me. I appreciated the time to consider the blessings if this year, what I needed to let go of, and what I am looking toward in the next year.

The next event was called Beer and Hymns. The name says it all. People had a beer and we sings ton of hymns. It was a crowded event you couldn't even get in the tent.  Amazing to hear so many people singing hymns.

Then I went to hear Hip Hop Shakespeare. It was Shakespeare re-imagined. It was great. I love the diversity of the day. I closed the day by gathering with my fellow pilgrims and talking about the highlights of the event. 

I even got my picture taken with the moderator. Before I left Will gave me his hat so I wouldn't miss him. I took pictures if I everywhere I went and sent them home with him. Thanks to our moderator for putting on Wills hat! A great way to end Greenbelt. 

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