Greenbelt Festival 2008: Best Bets

Greenbelt is upon us again. 20,000 people all dressed for summer, shivering under unexpected showers and looking for shelter in the tents and stalls scattered around the Cheltenham Racecourse. Thats how I usually remember it. Although last year was really scorching.

HELP? I have my sleeping bag but not a tent this year. Got room for me in your tent? Let me know. Glamping sounds fun but i can also rough it.

I leave Belgium on Friday and go straight to Greenbelt Festival Unfortunately I will miss the emerging church roundtable on Friday at 3pm but I know many of you are attending. Try to get there early because it might take longer than you think to get in, and then find the tent. I am speaking here from experience, having organized the emerging church roundtable in 2004 and then arriving embarrassingly LATE for it.

My two teaching sessions at both at the CMS Small Tent Venue otherwise known as the Blah Tent.

Picture 6-2Saturday 4:30pm. The Emerging Church is like a Box of Chocolates, a historical sketch of the emerging church movement in the Western world from 1968 to 2008, a 40 year pilgrimage with some readings and references to books such as “The Emerging Church Vol I and II (1968) by Kalt and Wilkins, The Emerging Church (1970) by Bruce Larson and Ralph Osborne, The Emergent Church (1981) by Johann Baptist Metz, The Mowbray Emerging Church series including “The Scandal of Poverty: Priorities for the Emerging Church (1983) by John Atherton. Tracking the progress of the emerging church over the decades, we also look at some of the emerging models from the other continents and and books from 2008.

Monday 2:00pm Transcoding Mission for the 1024 window. We will look at what it takes to let Christ’s face play on ten thousand computer screens and how you can be one of those people that put him there. We will also discuss the shape of mission and church in a Wiki world. Geeks and non-geeks welcome. Dont leave Greenbelt too early – come and hear me speak.

MY BEST BETS FOR GREENBELT: (not a pun, even though Greenbelt meets at the racecourse)

Best food: I have food to eat that you do not know, because i keep it a secret, but now the mystery will be revealed. Go to the Organic Pork trailer and order the pork and apple burger and then smother it with their red onion chutney. Really! Honestly! You will thank me!

Best Other Stuff: Here are the people to meet and things to do besides my two wonderful life-changing sessions:

– I will be helping Shannon Hopkins with a really exciting stream inside Greenbelt called NET (Network for Entrepreneurial Talent) and I am speaking on one of the panels. Look out for it!

Ruth Valerio is worth hearing, as is Frank Schaeffer, Joel Edwards in a new role this year, Brian McLaren, fresh from addressing Lambeth, will be speaking 3 times but check out his “postmodern and postcolonial” talk on Sunday. Doug Gay had some coherent emerging church wisdom with a Scottish accent last year and is tackling political involvement this year. Barry Taylor and Fuzz Kitto are both living legends and larger than life and both will find a way to offend you in a new way. Gareth Higgins is a thoughtful fella also.

Farewell to Larry Norman

Aradhna are playing their blend of Indian worship music. Worth seeing. They rocked Greenbelt a few years ago. Read my thoughts on them here. Juliet Turner I met in Belfast and really liked. MxPx are well known in USA.

– Dave Walker has found himself in the middle of a huge lawsuit-blog controversy and has a hair-raising war story to tell. Find him at the Wibsite meeting at the beer tent, Saturday 4:30

– Having used Manga to teach missions in Japan, I am interested to hear from the guy who recently created a Manga Bible

Greenbelt Art School is new this year.

– Hymn singing at the organic beer tent, despite noise complaints from neighbours, is a regular big event but i cant find it on the schedule for this year. Anyone know?

Beyond that, pretty much everything going on at the CMS venues, in particular the CMS small tent venue where I and my scruffy friends are presenting, is worth keeping an eye and returning to. What would you suggest?

Related: Me at Greenbelt 2007, the skinny on Greenbelt 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 with our FreedUp worship, and our first visit to Greenbelt in 2003 with 45 of us tenting at the Boaz campsite.

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Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • becky says:

    Andrew – It must be the Baptist in you – Bishops are decked in purple. Wish I could be there. Maybe next year. Holler when you’re talk is posted and I’ll have folks buy it. Send you the URL containing my interview with Phyllis Tickle (Sojourners, 2008) and an excerpt from “The Great Emergence.”
    I’m aware that Church Publishing has a few other emerging offerings re: mainline EC but so far “Rising from the Ashes: Rethinking Church” is the only sucker that’s in print. Hoping that changes.

  • andrew says:

    thanks becky. i will refer to rising from the ashes and i am bringing my preview copy of The Great Emergence with me. I just emailed Phyllis to ask her for permission to quote from her book in my talk.
    and i will edit the men in black reference.

  • becky says:

    Just ragging on you bud – I like the “Men in Black” metaphor though I do think it applies more to the Evangelicals here as they are the ones who hold the real power here in the United States.

  • Mike Morrell says:

    Ah, Greenbelt 2003…that was your first? Really? You seemed like a seasoned old pro!

  • Hey dude, you know i’m praying for big blessings and new doors to open for ya! Got a good vibe on it… so if i get more – i’ll pass that along!
    Give Shannon a hug for me dude.

  • I would go hear (the Irish) Brian Houston if I was there 🙂

  • andrew says:

    saw brian last year but missed him this year.

  • becky says:

    so where can we buy the talk? I’m about to send a link as soon as Publishers Weekly publishes a piece on emerging church and would love to tell people how to buy your talk.

  • andrew says:

    dont know becky. keep checking the greenbelt website.

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