After a hard days work yesterday and a long drive back, today I'm back at my desk reflecting on what a fine festival it has been.
With my Traidcraft hat on, it was incredibly successful. Becoming an associate was a big risk but it paid off big time. Two Traidcraft highlights were the Saturday night Pub Quiz and the Sunday night Wine Tasting, both severely over subscribed. Personally speaking my bits seemed to go well; I ran a seminar called Beyond Ned Flanders, looking at ethical living as a new model for Christian discipleship, and that was fun and seemingly well received (except for one guy who wasn't best pleased that I gave a thumbs up to Body Shop).
When I wasn't working I was fortunate enough to get to most of the sessions I wanted to get to. Top highlights are as follows;
- David Batstone, talking about ethical living much more eloquently than myself!
- Paul Brannen, talking about effective campaigning and telling humorous stories about his more militant days
- Candi Staton- much, much fun!
- Michael Franti and Spearhead- wonderful, I'm a convert and will be investing before the end of the week
- Garden worship- nice to go to worship and it to stimulate my brain as well as my senses!
- Ikon- hmm, now here is the controversial one. Jonny and countless others are and will continue to be talking about the Ikon service and I can see why, it was challenging and really fresh in the alt worship conversation, but I don't know if it pushed me too far; I don't know if it was too dark, too controversial. Perhaps one example will help; at the end of the service people were invited to think of one fundamental of their faith, simultaneously rice paper was then distributed which, we were told, had 'I believe' written on it. Once we had thought of our fundamental we were encouraged to silently swap our rice paper with that of someone else before eating the paper (think Jeremiah and John on Patmos). All sounds good! The difficulty is as I swapped paper then I noticed the writing on the rice paper actually said 'I beLIEve'; what are you suggesting good people of East Belfast? That there is no such thing as fundamentals
, that in fact anything someone shares about their faith could be a lie?
Saying all that, the fact that I am thinking so much about it surely makes this a great service, so a big thanks. For those that were there your thoughts would be appreciated!