'Living From Here' LIVE in a field 2018
10th May 2018
On the bank holiday weekend of 4-7 May, as sunshine descended on the UK over 120 campers turned up to the South England Conferences campsite at Chapel Porth, Cornwall to experience Area 1's biggest event of the year 'LIVE in a field'. Excitement was in the air for both returning campers but also for those about to experience the weekend for the first time.
There are four components that make up LIVE in a field, the ability to learn, to pray, to worship, and to fellowship. What does this look like?
For learning we had Pastor Eddie Hypolite as our main speaker all the way from Australia to talk on the theme of 'Living from here' realising God in our stories. Eddie shared on how God has been a part of the human story ever since He created humankind, never once has He left the story. Eddie shared much of his own story including the topic of death and how God is even there which really spoke to many of the campers.
We also had Pastor Wayne Erasmus the SEC Church Growth director leading the morning devotions which really spiritually fed those who could get up before breakfast. Wayne took us on a journey through the world of exiled Israel finding application for the listener. Every morning it was a 'you had to be there' moment.
On the Sunday, singing group 'Daughters of Davis' gave the #notplayingthegame worship dealing with the pressures of society, social media, and peers and how our true identity is found in more than the pursuit of happiness.
For prayer sessions, we had Pastor Sam Gungaloo as 'The Prayer Guy' who facilitated the camp's interactions with the various creative prayer stations. This included a cross to pin prayers to, a small envelope to place a seed in and plant at home, a slate to write a prayer in chalk and wash away, a tree to hang prayers written on ribbons, and four frames with interwoven string to peg prayers on. In addition to this were two armchairs to sit in company and pray together. Every worship session had a space to interact with these stations and they were available to engage with throughout the day. Over 124 prayers were written down which the LIVE St Austell team will pray for over the next few weeks.
For worship we had the LIVE St Austell praise team with guests from Area 1, the SEC, Wales, and Denmark bringing song into the amazing dome tent we used as the camp's worship space. It was beautiful to see so many raising hands in worship and even turning up to sing along to the band practises. Evelina Costin brought us a beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace through voice and flute on the last worship of camp.
Having observed the increase in families with young children over the last two years we implemented a messy church aspect to the worship service this year run by Sue and Julia Hall where the children made sand art, decorated rocks, promise boxes, and bookmarks as Pastor Eddie spoke.
For fellowship we made sure there was plenty of free time to spend in conversation with each other in several available places such as in a caravan, the food hall, on the grass, the dome, at the beach, or in a café. Helena Haran, from 'Studio Haran' led a ceramics workshop on the Sunday taking bits of nature and allowing the participants to get creative with their clay while Jenn Cohen from the St Austell Baptist church ran a treasure hunt and an obstacle course for the children.
On the Saturday and Sunday nights we had concerts with an amazing line-up from all over the UK. Daniel Costin on his saxophone opened both nights followed by artists Lily-Jo, Speak Brother, Volney Morgan and New Ye, John Archer (a comedian), Daughters of Davis, and Philippa Hanna. Both nights ended with crowds around a bonfire late into the night talking and laughing. On the Saturday night Arianne Haran sang a number of her songs by the fire which set a beautiful atmosphere to end the night.
There were two highlights of the weekend, the first happened on both concert nights. The final bands were playing and the crowd was singing along in worship and then the electricity went off; this did not halt a thing and the worship continued and the lights and sound eventually came back on. What was funny was that on the Sunday night it was Philippa Hanna's set and we were singing at the top of our lungs 'I saw the light', a great moment.
The second and doubtlessly the most significant highlight was Mariam Haque being baptised on Chapel Porth beach on the Sabbath afternoon as we gathered and sung the song 'Oceans' by Hillsong. She is one of many, who, inspired by her experiences of Chapel Porth and all that happens wanted to give her life to Christ in the beautiful ocean.
LIVE in a field serves as an avenue for people to come together on their different spiritual journeys and to engage with God in so many ways. Nobody leaves on the bank holiday Monday the same as they arrived the Friday before. I, Steven Hulbert, wish this write-up could do the camp justice but alas just like Pastor Wayne's morning devotions to truly appreciate LIVE in a field 'you had to be there'. See you in 2019.