Well, I had a blast at Black Stump this year. Didn’t see half of what I originally intended to see on Saturday as I kept getting immersed in spirited conversations and lost track of time.
Actually, in retrospect that’s probably a big reason why I enjoyed it. Good conversations are always a highlight for me.
Here’s a synopsis of my experience anyway:
Joined the Pendle Hill Baptist youth team for worship down at the Big Top on Saturday morning. Now I must mention the liturgical acrobatics which consisted of two chicks sliding up and down silken sheet thingies in mid air during one of the songs. Creative and skillful for sure, death defying even, but to me it invokes the whole entertainment driven church critique and doesn’t exactly help me to focus on God. I took a video but didn’t turn out well enough to warrant posting it here. Mental note: must speak to Michelle again about introducing liturgical pole dancing into the worship out our way. If done subversively this could wake a few people up, prophetically speaking. Even more so with the black leather CFM boots.
Tim Costello spoke well as you’d expect from a communicator of his caliber.
Heard Bishop Riah speak on Psalm 122 and the Good Samaritan. Bishop Riah leads the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem, which encompasses Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palastine. Had a very interesting perspective as a Christian who was both an Arab (in terms of ethnicity) and an Israeli (in terms of nationality). I must mention an interfaith school project he is championing which brings together Christians, Jews and Muslims. Read here for more on his recent movements.
Caught up with Darren Wright at Sacred Space where he was giving a talk on contemplative practice in youth ministry. Had a long chat with him and Andy afterwards at Mars Hill Cafe. It was a bit surreal to finally meet Darren face to face having known / not known him through his blog for some time now. I did spend some time going through the installations at the Sacred Space too by the way but I left that for after dark. For me alt worship of this type works best at night.
Picked up a copy of ‘Exiles‘ by Mike Frost and ‘How (Not) To Speak Of God‘ by Pete Rollins at the Kentigern Bookshop stall while I was at it. Finally found someone who stocked it! More on that later. Missed hearing Mike Frost talk. Simply ran out of / lost track of time. Had a quick chat to Ben Thurly at the TEAR refugee camp simulation. Slum Survivor I think it was called. Also bumped into other bloggers (such as Dean Tregenza) and Converse people throughout the day. Also had great talks with some of the youth back at the camp and at other events but that’s all stuff I’ll leave in house.
And you know, I even saw a little bit of the music.