Blackstump, McLaren and the Sines

Blackstump-genesisloungeOk, so I am finally sitting down to write about Blackstump 2009, or at least my experience of it. For those of you who don’t live in Australia, Blackstump is the down under equivalent of Greenbelt, a four day festival of Christian music, art and teaching.

I wasn’t there for four days though, just last Saturday, but what a packed Saturday it was. In the morning it was a Bible study with Brian McLaren. McLaren spoke on the barriers that divide us and had some interesting insights into the gospel of Matthew that I hadn’t picked up on before. He explored the confronting encounter between Jesus and the Syro-Phoenician woman, but then linked this to the second feeding incident and Deuteronomy 7. His synopsis? If we resist the temptation to water down the text, we can see how, in overcoming his own barriers, Jesus models this for us. My synopsis? I give a thumbs up to anyone who can surprise me and get me wrestling with scripture in new ways.

After this I caught up with friends, Lucy and Andrew (HT for photo), who had organized a small, informal gathering over at the Genesis Lounge for people interested in missional arts and dancing. Good conversation.

After this, I caught some electives, the most inspiring of which was a talk by Andy Flannagan on Just Worship. Andy affirmed poets and artists as worship leaders, encouraged us to explore all of God’s character in worship, and inspired me to delve deeper into how I can lead others into poetic worship through my own.

Then some dinner with Simeon and Rosemary, friends from my Mind Body Spirit Festival days, and down to Mars Hill Café, where I joined a conversation with Tom and Christine Sine, Dean Tregenza, Ben Weatley, and a few others. Four or five hours later … after the lights were turned out on us … I turned into a pumpkin.

In the process though, I accepted an invite from Dean to be on the Sacred Space team next year. Keep posted.

Keep posted also because one of the things I haven’t mentioned previously, but may as well now, is that Tom and Christine Sine will be joining us for dinner in Pendle Hill towards the end of October before returning to America. One of the things I appreciate about Tom and Christine is that they seem to have more appreciation than most for the diversity in the emerging / missional conversation. I’ll be keen to see how their experiences here shapes that.

5 thoughts on “Blackstump, McLaren and the Sines

  1. It was good to chat, so good I repeated it the next night with Dean and others. I commented to Dean that Sacred Space for me was about having a conversation and that this year that conversation was literally just people talking.


  2. It was indeed a good Stump from a conversational perspective. And, it was great catching up with you Matt (and others).
    It was a very re-creative Stump for me this year. It gave me some space to re-think and re-engage… remember and imagine.
    The conversation about Sacred Space, Black Stump, and the future of it all is being tossed about in my head. We have a directors meeting on 19/Oct in which all sorts of stuff will be discussed.
    What I have discovered a bigger number of people than I expected that have held the Sacred Space as an important part of Black Stump… and their general spiritual expression generally. So it is important to me to ensure that we open the conversation to the Sacred Space community about the future.
    At the moment, I think that we need to some how work towards the contribution of all of the Sacred Space community… so that the Space doesn’t end up being another ‘product’ for consumption. This is an growing issue for Black Stump in general. But, perhaps Sacred Space needs to almost lead the way.
    I am dreaming of three ‘spaces’… a meditative/reflective space, a community/monastic space (somewhere in tent city), and an activist/service spaced (for engaging in ideas about church, justice, mission, service and worship.) These spaces ought not necessarily be physical locations, they could be virtualised, and impact on the rest of the festival in some way. In the end, what is needed to be developed is a Sacred Space community/network that gathers at Black Stump to worship and to serve the wider church found at Black Stump in order that it might better serve the kingdom.


  3. Ben, Sacred Space as a conversation … indeed, I was so busy having conversations I missed the bands almost completely. Only saw one hard rock act, and only 2 songs at that! Missed the metal altogether. I must have been engrossed. 🙂


  4. Dean, if you are not “overstaffed” for this space/spaces, let me know, because Andrew and I could probably be involved for some of the time in any of the 3 areas you mentioned 🙂


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