NYA2008 days 2 and 3

It all seems like a bit of a blur.  I feel as if I’ve been here forever and it’s only been 2 and a half days.  It’s not one of those ‘when will this end?’ kind of events, just one that has you up at 7am and not in bed until very late.  When you get to my age that starts to take its toll!


Saturday was a much better day than Friday.  As you would expect, people had some time to get to know each other a little better and so there was a much more settled feeling to the day.

Mark Yaconelli was first up with words which brought tears.  He spoke about Sabbath, about being loved and being free.  He told captivating and moving stories of forgiveness and wholeness and of brokenness.  How often do we stop?  Just stop to let God catch up with us and to love us?  How often do we look around?  Are we missing our lives as we race through them at break-neck speed, too busy or scared to stop and look around?

Follow that!

A two hour chat about social media seems strange and very inadequate but none the less it was productive and the people in our group this morning engaged with the topic with thoughts on creativity, collaboration and authenticity.  I’m glad I spent the time reorganising and the structure helped I think.

For me the rest of the day was one watching, talking and swimming.  It was good to meet some old friends, some new ones and to take some time out for a swim.  Good to stretch and work some joints and muscles after sitting on the floor for most of the day.

The evening was spent at a Burn’s Supper with haggis and poems and some brilliant speeches.  Star of the show was Ishbelle with a superb performance of Tam O’Shanter.  A ceilidh was to follow but not for us as lack of sleep caught up with us.


The sabbath day dawned far too early!  This was to be no day of rest with two debate sessions today.  Mark Yaconelli spoke on Peter and Cornelius and their battles to overcome their traditions and accept each other and to work out how the gospel was to work in a new world with new rules.  He also spoke of his surprise at how many people had told him that they managed to hold back their tears yesterday when he spoke.  His questions was ‘Why?’  Why would you want to hold them back?  Why are you scared of your emotions?  Why do you hide from your brokenness?  Isn’t that where we find healing and strength?  Isn’t that where we need God most and are most likely to meet him?

Again our session followed straight after but this time one of the event sponsors, The Scottish Bible Society, were to take the first hour to give their thoughts on Media and the Bible.

It was one of the most frustrating hours of my life.  Social media was compared to the Tower of Babel, a man made enterprise of arrogance and self-importance.  A place where man is more important than God.

I disagree completely, not just on this interpretation of social media but of our culture and the place we find ourselves in with God.  This is not the days of Babel.  We in a world that follows both Christ’s death and ressurrection and the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, both of which have changed the way we relate to God and to each other.  That’s how I began our half of the session and I went on to make the case for the benefits of sharing our creativity and collaborating on our journey of faith using tools like social media to help us on that road.

I’ll write more tomorrow as it’s far too late… so, to be continued…