On Ash Wednesday the team set up a temporary art installation on Falkirk High Street. Lily Cathcart painted the title of our Lent + Easter theme #URMoreThanDust on to canvas, the words emerging from a swirling galaxy of blue, black and purple flecked with a multitude of stars.
As she worked we handed out small cards and chatted to interested folk, unpacking this idea of being ‘more than dust’ or more than the sum of our parts. Apparently we are made up of something like 7 octillion atoms.That’s a 7 and then 27 zeros…There’s a dizzying amount of tiny fragments that all come together to make you.
We are also made up of less tangible things - such as the memories, longings and dreams that shape us. We are a bundle of dust, humility, arrogance, confidence and wonder… and the breath of God takes the dust of what we are - all our baggage and experience, the bones and the blood - and shapes it into something new. Something more than dust.
It was a busy street and we got a lot of interested looks from people walking back and forth. I could hear people muttering things like “Dust…? It says dust”, and “More than dust eh?”, or “It’s a hashtag.” Most people that were offered a card took one and, of the people we got talking to, several expressed an interest in Sanctuary First and in doing acts of kindness throughout Lent.
People were perplexed and amused, impressed and ambivalent, fascinated and skeptical… but we were hard to ignore. We were quirky, unexpected, present and active - perhaps not things your average person on the street often associates with ‘church’.
So some were curious and some wary. Some loved it when we said we were part of the Church of Scotland, some… didn’t. Conversation was not limited to the swirling constellation of Ash Wednesday, molecular physics and art. People also wanted to talk to us about church traditions, protests, homelessness, the plight of marginalised people such as Native Americans, and simply where they were off to next.
Thanks to everybody who stopped to talk to us, and thanks also to those who knew we were braving the streets and remembering us in their prayers. We look forward to featuring the artwork at future events.
If you are putting on any events or services over Lent and Easter and are looking for somewhere to start - take a look at our March and April #URMoreThanDust material - offering readings, weekly sub-themes and thought triggers throughout March and April with PDFs you can download. Our daily worship posts are tied into the theme so it is worth checking them out to see how our writers have been interpreting the theme. Feel free also to download and use the film clips uploaded on the theme page and use them at your own services or events. If you do use any of the material we would love to hear about it so feel free to get in touch by leaving a comment or sending an email or message.