I've recovered from my trip to the UK and have some highlights to share.
- Spending the night at Matt and Pippa and Lilly's house. These are great folks from the hOME community in Oxford.
- Driving to Greenbelt with Ian from MayBe in Oxford. These communities in Oxford are close to my heart. They both are in the nitty gritty of neo-monasticism and community based spiritual practices in the midst of "regular" life. For 2 1/2 years I've stayed in close contact with Matt and Ian - I can't exactly articulate why these relationships (as well as those with Ian Mobsby and Karen Ward and Kae Evenson and Mark Stenberg) are so important and life-giving to me, only that they are.
- walking the labyrinth in an 800 year old cathedral in Gloucester with others who all met up the night before Greenbelt.
- Spending time with Kae and Mark from Mercy Seat. They are about the funniest, smartest people I know.
- Being on an emerging church panel with Cheryl Lawrie, Laura from Sanctus 1, Karen Ward from COTA, Pete Rollins from Ikon, Ian Mobsby from Moot and Brian McLaren. (Spot the emerging church D-lister...that would be me) My favorite "take away" form the panel: Apparently Ikon runs an "Omega" course for those interested in exiting the church. For anyone familiar with the "Alpha" course, this is seriously funny.
- Meeting and spending as much time as possible with Sara Miles who I call "my new theological girlfriend". She is a force of nature.
- "Beer and Hymns" hymn sing at The Jesus Arms beer tent; 600 people crammed shoulder to shoulder beers in hand singing hymns at the top of their lungs.
- Spending a day in London with Karen Ward wellies shopping (here's a photo of us on the escalator in the tube station...she's trying to not have her picture taken)
- Dinner at Ian's
These really only scratch the surface. There is no way to really describe Greenbelt. It's a faith-based justice and arts festival with around 20,000 in attendance. But that doesn't really get at at. Just go if you can.