Anyone seen an angel? Not the sort of angels who support Greenbelt all year round (though we love them too.)
No, we’re looking for the sort of angel that brings gifts from God; the sort of angel that comforts us when we are struggling, breathes life into us, inspires us and then kicks us into action. We’re looking for angels on Sunday morning … and we’re confident that they will be among us.
I sit and wait
Does an angel contemplate my fate?
This year, our Sunday morning communion gathering is divided into three acts: Thanks, Love and Gift.
ACT ONE — THANKS
Greenbelt has been a gift to many people over its 50 years. Our first priority, when we gather for our Act of Communion in 2023, will be to express our thanks for that gift; thanks to each other, thanks to the planetlife we share, thanks to God. We’re going to do that through a huge act of creativity, joining together to make a piece of art that brings together all of our thanks and prayers.
I look above
And I know I’ll always be blessed with love
ACT TWO — LOVE
50 years is the blink of an eye. Gathered in groups around the field we will do what Christians have done for thousands of years — breaking bread and sharing wine. Communion is one of the oldest and most inclusive acts of the Christian church. It’s a way of acknowledging that our roots are deep in Christian faith, and our hearts are large.
Cos I have been told
That salvation lets their wings unfold
ACT THREE — GIFT
We are meeting at a time when many people in the UK are feeling insecure and fearful about the future. We’re tempted to guard our borders, to look inwards, and to hedge against a scary future. But in God’s economy things work differently. It’s all gift. So what is Greenbelt’s gift to the world? What do we as a community want to give away?
We’re not just talking about money here, but hope, beauty, vision for the life of the world. And not just today at the festival either, but in the next 50 days, 50 months, 50 years?
And as the feeling grows
She breathes flesh to my bones
And when love is dead
I’m loving angels instead
This year we will create as much as possible of our communion content on site, at the festival. We want to take seriously the call to ‘sing a new song’ — quite literally. There were workshops in the Village Hall, where adults and children came together to create prayers and songs to bring on Sunday morning.