Ok, 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.