easter saturday debrief


[i’m still waiting on photos from easter saturday. when i finally found my camera, i realised that i’d taken about three photos, and two of those were terrible. i’m waiting on a couple of other sources.]

it was a good night. If it matters, we had a lot of people come through – somewhere between 70 and 100… no-one was really counting. the place always seemed comfortably full, with a steady stream of people. We had a few random people wander down the laneway to see what was happening, and they ended up staying quite a while.

There was much to learn – as always. In particular, it was a new experience to work in such a cavernous space – i’ve always used spaces that are set up for people – and, to some extent, equipment. A basement carpark isn’t. There were three single powerpoints in the space. We ended up using 18 things that required power – spotlights, data projectors, dvd players, cd players, tv’s, etc. We had to dash out and pick up more extra long extension leads – just hadn’t taken into account just how vast the space was.

The space being open between 4 and 7 in the afternoon meant that it was very light at the beginning with late afternoon sun coming through the entry, and completely dark by the end. That changed the amount of light we needed to make the place safe, particularly at the entry. We ended up having to have candles in the piles of ashes – i had to let go of the idea of the brokenness at the entry being… well… completely broken.

Reactions afterwards were diverse. Some people were quite overwhelmed [i think we needed more of a regrouping, re-entry point]. others were intrigued. others told us we were very creative [i’m always a bit disappointed when i get that as feedback! i always feel like we’ve not quite done what we set out to do… if sacred space is transformative, people don’t notice the creativity… kind of like lou rhodes and her singing]. A friend told me yesterday that he wished there was more of a community feel about it. another told me how wonderful it was not to have to be near anyone else. hmm.


i think one of my favourite moments was this: we had a blank canvas stuck onto the wall at the entry. throughout the time, michelle was painting the words ‘my god, my god why have you forsaken me’ onto it over and over with black paint [an idea stolen from ikon]. i took over from michelle a couple of times – it’s quite a powerful set of words to paint, over and over. a few people came and asked whether they could have a go. one stayed for a long time, just painting the words. and then came back again later for another go. i like it best when something takes on a layer we hadn’t planned.

next year… food, i think. late at night on maundy thursday. that would be great. i’ve had the idea for that an hour ago and my head’s spinning with possibilities already. it’s logistically tricky, in terms of getting access to the space early enough, but nonetheless worth trying. and at least now we know how to get the screens up first go…


  1. We had six evenings of contemplation and meditation, thanks in part to your genosity here. Thank you, again.

    On Maundy Thursday our meditation space was at a table set with a dark cloth, lots of candles, and the only middle-eastern food I could get in my town on short notice… flat bread and hummus. We ate together, and thought and prayed… about what transpired when Jesus shared a meal with Judas, knowing what was to come. It was a powerful time.

  2. Kel

    hey erin, fancy meeting you here 😉
    i was lucky enough to be in melb and meet cheryl and the crew that pulled the ‘break of day’ installation together – maybe next easter we can do the canadian thing and join you for flat bread and hommous on a dark cloth

    cheryl, one of the most exciting things about creating experiential multi-sensory worship experiences is that you never quite know what’s going to happen in that space – sometimes the creators have an idea of a response that might be generated from participating – and more often than not the actual response is quite different

    guess it goes to show we really are all created with our own x facta 🙂

  3. steve collins

    i’m still bemused that you used that carpark 😉

    seeing the captcha that i have to enter to submit this, and the ‘my god, my god…’ painting above, makes me wonder – the painting looks like a captcha. i wonder what one can do with that thought?

  4. Cheryl

    nice link, steve. i did keep thinking ‘what would steve do’ when we were thinking about how to use the space… it was great. next year we’re going to do an urban garden of gethsemane on easter thursday.

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