Come Rain, Wind or Snow…

The Chichester Diocese May Festival was great fun at Plumpton Racecourse, but the weather was so changable, we didn’t know what was happening from one minute to the next: hot sunshine, pouring rain, enough wind to lift huge party tents and carry them across half the county.

The worship was okay, the Blessed multimedia mass went with few hitches (a radical one which involved the silent acting out of the institution narrative and the consecration of a whole bottle of wine in the bottle and a large loaf of bread) and some of the other worship hit the spot occasionally.

This is a short extract of a couple of the songs to give you an impression.

The video is now captured before we send it to the PC for overlaying with text. This means that what we capture is the event rather than the screens. Videos are shown from the PC so they will have to be post-edited in. Ed and I tended to use animated backdrops for most of the worship which kept the focus on the liturgical action rather than the ‘pop-star’ performance and I think this was better for this reason.

The speaker this weekend was one of those earnest evangelicals and annoyed me immensely as he was preoccupied with a) the incontrovertable facts that can only be found in the bible b) that you are all going to hell.

There was nothing about grace or redemption, nothing about love or forgiveness, nothing in fact about the Gospel which I preach. How can we come alongside young people and walk them in faith if we try to scare them into it – how medieval is that? The bible is a tool of revelation, not the be all and end all. God did not stop revealing himself in AD120 after the Revelation to St Johnb the Divine was completed, and he continues to work with us and through us through the Saints, the sacraments and through normal people like you and I.

Did a seminar on multisensory worship where I again promulgated my idea that a response to God is first and foremost an emotive response, and intellectualisation comes only later: the opposite idea to the Alpha course lectures written by posh barristers (…therefore, ladies and gentlemen of the Jury, I can prove that God exists…). We reach out to God first with our souls and our minds follow afterwards. Ran out of time on this, but overall didn’t think it was too bad. Perhaps I spent too much time on the Postmodern theory, but we don’t usually give it any consideration, so this was, I felt, necessary.

Key privileges was helping a wonderful young woman with her AS Theology revision (doing stuff half-forgotten from my theology degree) and talking about her vocation. God is moving within her, and she needs to be nurtured… must pray…

Low point was the first night when I wasn’t up to speed with the Easyworship, and felt paniced, then I lost it when Shortfall gave me names of songs which were different to the ones on easyworship. They never checked they were the right ones and I felt really really stupid. I had to talk a walk for a few moments and then come back and apologise to Ed. Not professional, but human.

Our young people really enjoyed the weekend: fun and fellowship first; a bit of religion thrown in on top. This is the way souls are won for Christ and it has precious little to do with hell and damnation…