Friday, May 11, 2007

More Prism reflections

It seems like a good number of people enjoyed Prism - judging by the response I've had in various forms.

My mature reflections after a couple of days in rain-swept Devon relaxing with good friends are that I thought the Bible studies went well - the right mixture of input from the front (ten minutes of me - plenty for everyone!) and discussion with facilitators where people wrestled with how the text applies to some pressing issues facing us today; I thought the evening with the Newly accredited Ministers was just wonderful - it was great to see their faces as they came into applause and were sang over by our gospel singer; and the communion was pretty special - it was deeply moving to see friends and strangers offering each other bread and wine, sharing in the words of institution and in many locations, praying for one another.

The age mix was great. Lots of people see Prism as appealing to the under 40s (and I hope it does). But what we found was that at each session the retired and the student sat shoulder to shoulder. And a lot of the glowing comments I've had have come from people in their 50s and 60s for whom the format was a breath of fresh air. One such grabbed my hand at the end of one evening and thanked me, saying that it was the most 'authentic' thing he'd been to at the Assembly for years.

The two workshops we ran in the afternoons were also pretty special. The first was packed and full of ideas about how to do things more creatively in our churches; the second was more select and focused on the links between alt. worship and emerging church and asked really searching questions about where the church in the UK was going. They were supposed to be identical!

Over the next few weeks conversations will take place about whether and how it will happen when the Assembly caravan lands in Blackpool next year.

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