papa festival

We’ve been home from the PAPA Festival for a day now and while it’s nice to have that clean feeling that comes from daily showers, I have found myself missing the unique experience of this past weekend.

I’m going to blog a few times about the PAPA Festival over the next few days, mostly as a way to help me process the experience. Hopefully this self-serving blogging will also give you a window into this interesting collection of folks. I’ll write about the types of people who showed up to the Plow Creek farm outside of Princeton, IL as well as some thoughts about community after having conversations with people who are living out the community ideal as best they know how.

But for now, a few simple observations…

The festival participants were an eclectic bunch: hippies, anarchists, long-time household community folks, a few pastor theologian-types, pacifists, and people on pilgrimage. The Swanson-Davidson contingency definitely felt a little bland, relatively speaking.

There were plenty of college-age folks as expected, but also some young families (plenty of kids), middle-aged folks, and a few gray-haired sages who seemed to receive a lot of respect from the younger generation.

Most people seemed to assume that you were a part of some type of intentional community.

The sessions were all held outside around the farm. Rather than arrive early for the best seat in the auditorium, we arrived early for a spot in the shade.

During one session I laid in the grass and slept for a half hour. No one seemed to mind.

The music was interesting- lots of drumming and yelling (or so it seemed to me). Not really my style, but I was intrigued by the lament style of many of the songs.

At most Christian conferences I’ve been to there are often cringe-worthy moments where consumerism bumps into the way of Jesus. If there were any of those moments this past weekend I must of have been too sunburned to notice.

Some of the best moments of the weekend were conversations: with Bob or Anna (who invited us to the festival), our friend Weston who camped with us, the group camping next to us from Minneapolis, or the other folks we met from around the country.

My favorite session of the week is between Martin Luther King Jr’s Beloved Community and Bicycle Maintenance. That about describes the nature of the festival.

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