Greenbelt 2011 #gb11 reflections – Monday – Nadia Bolz-Weber, Grill the Twitterati, Operation Greenfield, Mavis Staples

Ok, this is the last of my posts about Greenbelt 2011! So, last day:  Monday!

Nadia Bolz-Weber – Preacher Girl

After her blistering sermon on Sunday I had to go and hear what Nadia had to say about the art of preaching. This was very timely for me as I am preaching my first sermon in a couple of weeks’ time (eek!) She took us through a week in the life of her preparing a sermon recently, preached the sermon she wrote and then took questions. There was a lot for me to take home. I asked her to elaborate on a comment she made about the difference between teaching and preaching. She said that she wouldn’t want people to walk away from her sermons saying ‘I learnt something’ – that’s kind of like a ‘so what?’ thing. I think she has a point although we do learn from sermons what you really need is for your heart to change. She also said that having deep knowledge of scripture and the historical context etc is a bit like pastors’ underwear – you want to know that they’re wearing it but you don’t want to see it! Her talk can be purchased here and if you’re interested in preaching I’d heartily recommend it.

Grill the twitterati

I was privileged to have been invited to be ‘grilled’ on a panel in the G Source tent on Monday afternoon. We had a really interesting discussion and debate about faith and social media and we were delighted that twitter was used throughout the talk showing what can happen.

You can just see me sitting next to Vicky Beeching!

I also really enjoyed taking part in the Social Media Surgeries at Greenbelt helping people to get to grips with Twitter and blogging!

Operation Greenfield

I went to see this play in the big top in the afternoon. I was very tired having gone to bed very late the night before so I think I might have enjoyed it more had I been more awake! It was quite an odd play and sometimes felt a bit like a student project rather than a professional production. It had some interesting insights into adolescence.

Mavis Staples

Mavis Staples of the Staples Singers headlined on Monday night. She is such a legend – her family have been in the music business for 61 years! It was very moving hearing her speak about the songs written by her father that were sung at the civil rights marches in the 60s. Here’s a little extract I recorded from her final song ‘I’ll take you there’ – listen to her mimicking the bass line – so cool!


  1. I skipped the “grill the twitterati” for two reasons:
    1) It used the term twitterati.
    2) One of the people on the panel follows over 11,000 people which instantly disqualifies them from saying anything useful about twitter, how to use it effectively etc.


    • There are plenty of cringeworthy words that are used in relation to Twitter. My husband nearly deleted his account when he heard the term ‘tweeple’! I’m not keen on the word ‘twitterati’ either but I guess it was trying to attract people to come along (obviously that didn’t work in your case!). I’m not sure how following so many people can disqualify someone from saying anything useful about Twitter – that’s your opinion but part of the discussion was about how to manage your twitter feed and whether there is an optimum number of people to follow etc. Shame you missed it, we had a good debate!


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