Monday, June 30, 2008

Summer Madness - always an opportunity for good worship and lousy weather

Summer Madness - main stage - Sunday 29 June 2008

I've blogged before about the annual pilgrimage to unfulfilled youthful opportunities!

Having never quite got around to going down to Castle Archdale and camping out as part of Summer Madness, I've known people connected with the event for nearly twenty years.

Since its move to the the Kings Hall/Balmoral Showgrounds, I've gone along on the Sunday morning as a day tripper - entrance on Sunday is free! - and joined the thousands of young and used-to-be-young for morning worship and communion, and often for lunch afterwards.

Summer Madness - some of the crowd in front of main stage - Sunday 29 June 2008

It's great to meet up with friends from school, folk from the church I grew up in as well as friends from those I've been part of since getting married and moved across to Belfast. And away from those who are recognised, there's a real encouragement about sharing communion with thousands of strangers who hold common beliefs and hopes.

Littl'un came along with me this year - she nearly knows more people at SM that I do ... and she's only three and a half! If the festival continues to thrive, I suspect one day she'll be setting off out the front door with a sleeping bag and a tent under her arm, and enough biscuits to survive the five days!

The weather was up to its usual standards. Driving showers as we departed for the four or five mile journey across town ... which stopped just before we arrived at the car park. And the rain came down as we started to walk back across the site to the car. Soggy tents all round.

I hope the event at Balmoral over this weekend will turn out to be the only madness in Ireland this summer. And I hope that God can use the thousands of folk at SM to put their faith into action in their communities - whether at home or abroad.

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