Saturday, July 07, 2007

Reflections on Cornerstone Festival 07 by Nancy Nethercott

Cornerstone is big, it is also eclectic, which makes it difficult to imagine it unless you experience it. There are a large number of venues/stages where all kinds of concerts, workshops and other events are taking place simultaneously, all day, and late into the night.
Two of those venues are called Flickerings (primarily a place to show movies) and Imaginarium (mostly for workshops). It was these two venues that featured Japanese pop culture.

Nancy’s Cornerstone Festival experience: I went into the week wondering what I would get out of an event like this and was thrilled with what I found there. For starters, Paul's workshops targeted American youth and adults who are fans of Japanese "anime." Paul did a great job of presenting on the relationship of anime and Japanese history, culture, and religion. Paul also presented a videotaped interview that he produced of a young man who had been "hikikomori" ("a modern, Japanese hermit”) and talked about pop culture in Japan.

I attended a seminar by a Wheaton professor analyzing the theological writings of N.T. Wright - helping people sort through what is theologically sound and what is questionable. I attended a workshop on creative use of the arts in worship, another on contextualization of the gospel for missions AND in the US.

I also attended a lovely evening worship service led by a group from a Lutheran church. I walked through a well-done and meaningful art gallery focused on Christ and His work in our world. I had great conversations with a Presbyterian pastor, another Wheaton professor, TEAM MKs, TEAM staff, Asbury seminary students, a Baptist church youth group, Christian punk rock band members, EV Free Church people, etc. Naomi (nine year old daughter) was happily engaged in two areas - one a typical VBS program and the other "Art Rageous" where kids could be creative and make a mess!

Anyway, while I may not have "liked" all the music that there was at Cornerstone, the atmosphere and direction/theological soundness of the conference was not a concern. It was a place where people of all kinds could come and explore their relationship with the Lord in a safe place without being the "weird" ones (like they might be in some church settings) but with plenty of godly people there to steer them in the right direction.

Information on Cornerstone: Wikipedia

Cornerstone Photos:

1. The Nethercotts in a golf cart we borrowed from Imaginarium/Flickerings.

2. Daughter Naomi in front of Imaginarium tent -- made up to look like a fall-out shelter.

3. Paul standing beside cut out of "Totoro" a character from the movie "My Neighbor Totoro." This movie was produced by Hayao Miyazaki -- on of the most well-known creaters of Japanese anime.