Friday, September 23, 2005

refreshing the not so new

a post greenbelt post. i've been involed in the alterantive worship scene now for 15 years. helped start two groups and been a participant in a third. i still think there is loads in here, indeed much of what has most inspired me has come from this approach to faith. yet i find myself getting weary sometimes. of finding much of what 'we' do rather lifeless over time. yet at GB this year amd last found really refreshing stuff comming from places abroad where 15 year ago little was going on. my highlight last year was Ikon from Belfast, real grit and engagement. this year may highlight was COTA from Seattle. groups like this have a frshness i find most Uk groups lack these days. this may jst be me! but i feel someting freash is abroad and that is deeply needed.


James said...

I got a lot from the IKON service and this alternative worship thing is completely new to me. Did you catch the German guys(and gals) that came over and did the Esperanto service?

malcolm said...

I think when you have been trying to be creative in a particular line for 15 years, it is bound to become familiar rather than exciting, predictable rather than fresh, mature rather than raw. Think of any artist developing their technique over that time - they will have gained a style that is instantly recognisable as theirs. It won't be new or surprising. But will it perhaps achieve a consistent quality? Less experimental, but a better guarantee of producing the desired result? However, without the edge, the frisson of not knowing where it will end up.

Steve said...

some good comments, thanks. James i was running a nightclub sadly when Kubiks where on but would liked to ahve been there i hear good things and enjoyed sopending time talking to mark from kubiks at GB last year.

Malcolm, with you in trying to be ther 15 years down the road. i realise that this thought about the new folks on the block isn't fully formed but simply something that struck me. part of this i think is about maturing. i also think it may be about the way the world is moving on. this will sound very nebulous but i think the 'space' in which alrt worship happens is changing and the rules are changing. i do think some of the old hands have got a bit tired, and are having to look at what they are doing , this is all part of maturing but i think also leads to a sense of uncerntainty in the 'movement' as it is. the folks from aborad are brinign a useful freshnes. but i think this opens up a dialogue that refeshes both ways. i was aware when in the States earlier this year of who potentially US groups are strating to expereince some of the pitfalls we've encountered. well i may be baised here but was one of those who embarked on alt worship as a creative engagement with culture but found it became a hiospital for wounded christians. needed, but also sometimes frustrating. the US scene is starting to find this too. i think we can give a lot to each other here. we can tell our stories which i think will be very helpful to those from the 'new alt world' at the same time i find there worship explorations refreshing in ways i think we in the Uk are sometimes struggling. for all this is a moving on and good for that.

Kathryn said...

otoh, there are huge swathes of people (admittedly not at Greenbelt)for whom anything alternative is still completely extraordinary.
Just back from diocesan conference, where I was part of the team running informal (alternative) morning worship. It was one option among many, but we had a significant attendance, and some very positive feedback, from those who'd never thought to experience God in this way before. The whole thing made me realise where my own journey has taken me in 6 years from the first conference, but that's by the way. I think all I'm saying is that if the church were a kite, it would have a very long tail.