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Vaux | Writing in the dust | 09-2002

On the anniversary of 9/11, and as Bush and Blair talk of war on Iraq, a service against war and judgement. Above: While a woman draws in the dust like Jesus we hear the story of the woman taken in adultery cut with quotes from Bush and Blair on the 'War against terror'. Next, we watch sequences of dust and darkness from the Naudets' film '9/11', overlaid with captions detailing US military actions since WW2 - 'let him who is without sin cast the first stone'.

People write in the dust.

'Writing in the dust is not writing a theology, or a programme for action, but an attempt to find words of raw expression, of grief, hope, loss. Many commentators have conjectured about what Jesus might have been writing, but one possibility seems obvious: he hesitates. He does not draw a line, fix an interpretation, tell the woman who she is or what her fate should be. He allows a moment, a longish moment, in which people are given time to see themselves differently, precisely because he refuses to make the sense they want. He writes in the dust to hold back, to restrain judgement a little longer; long enough for some of our demons to walk away.''

The names of countries are projected up onto the writing surface of the desk.

Writing materials, sample letters, and lists of MPs' addresses are provided; the congregation spend time in the service writing letters to their representatives protesting against the move towards war.

Sample letter.

<< Life divided to life united 06-2002 | Embracing our finitude 21-2003 >>

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