Thursday, September 16, 2010

Greenbelt's Worship Co-operative

photo by mr ush
The venue that I frequented the most at this year's Greenbelt was the Worship Co-operative. For many years now Greenbelt has been the home of new creative forms of worship that were pioneered in the 90s as alternative worship. This year instead of having individual sessions run by different alternative worship communities there were four all day worship sessions each one run by a few groups working together with a common theme.

One Friday the theme was peripheral visions and I dropped in and explored prayer stations looking at writing at unusual angles through mirrors, finding a sculpture of a cross that only made sense from one angle and listening to CD with a short talk on the paralysed man while lying on my back. An interesting thought from this was that often disabled people may not be given a choice about what they do or where they go so Jesus may have been the first person to give this man a choice when Jesus asked him to take up his bed and walk.

On Saturday the theme was ‘Here Comes Everybody’ based on Clay Shirky’s book that looks at the power of groups and communication and the Ubantu Theology of Desmond Tutu looking at the African ideas of relationship, community and hospitality. I weaved out names into a tapestry, wrote on a prayer wall and had my photo taken to go on another wall all while images played on screens around the room picking up on the this theme.

Sunday was ‘Life As Jazz’ and it was good to pop in with my little daughter Callie. There were four stations outlining four moods of Jazz: a strident/angry station where we hammered in a nail, a celebration station where we could have a drink of juice at the jazz party, a jazz/blues station where we could be sad or poignantly reflective or a cool jazz station where we could relax as if on a beach and Callie could draw on postcards. I came back in the evening the King/Cave Project was playing.

On Monday morning I found a very different musical style as Blackthorn Crescent were playing some rock songs as I explored the stations looking at the theme of ‘on the edge’. I found this deeply moving as I explored stations that looking out the idea of being an insider and an outsider based on the story of Legion and the story of Hagar. One activity involved writing two labels one with a name you had been called that labelled you an outsider and the other with a name you owned such as a profession or interest. You ripped up the first label and sprinkled it into a mush from which new paper could be made and you new label embedded.

I dropped in for about 45 minutes each time but this venue had me coming back each day to see what was happening each day. And I wasn’t disappointed.