Part of my role as Missioner is to promote the Elemental Tent as a way of doing mission and evangelism. Promoting something that is essentially a fluid idea is difficult to say the least. The Elemental Tent is about a handful of core concepts that can be dressed to match the environment in which you are using it. But people want to see the dressing.
God provides though. This August’s outing for the tent and its volunteers was cancelled because of Covid 19 health concerns and shortly after the festival at Wickham was cancelled too.
It occurred to me that we could take certain elements on line to share them with a much wider audience of people who might be able to make use of it in their own locales. I needed straight forward and easy but adult friendly crafts to video and mix in with a raft of Celtic Christianity and open spirituality to give a feel for the core of the tent.
The tent is built around 4 pillars, hospitality, delivered through free drinks and cakes and sofas and conversation, crafts, craft sessions offering a variety of family friendly but not kiddy things to do, Open spirituality, demonstrated through a willingness to find a connexion with everyone and the use of Celtic Christianity and Ignation meditation techniques and acceptance that we are all created in God’s image, no matter what we may believe.
Beyond that, the tent is dressed in a manner appropriate to where it is. It’s at a music festival so the tent is decorated with wall hangings with Celtic crosses, labyrinths, and images reflecting the elements. If you were to take it to a library festival you would dress the tent differently. If you took it out to a car festival or a steam rally you would dress the tent appropriately.
The tent works best as almost guerilla evangelism. People can’t tell what you are but are drawn in by the offer of free crafts or sofas or a cup of coffee and then in conversation you learn more about each other. Where those conversations lead can be a wild journey, a heart breaking story or a restoration of faith
Visit the tent on Facebook, just search for @ElementalTent.
Please check out the 40 or so posts and videos that make up 4 days of living on-line in a virtual tent. If you think it is something your church might be able to take to a big event near you and you want to chat, I’m here and available.