This blog is a little late going up because we've been focussing on launching an exciting new initiative - our very own printed Advent Calendar based on last years Beach Hut event. The calendar is available through our website or in various Brighton shops such as Borders, Wesley Owen, Malarkey and Eikonoklast as well as in some churches and at Church House in Hove. They're only £5 and any profits from the sales will go towards funding future BEYOND activities.
The night after 'white night' here in Brighton, we chose to focus on Dark in a beautiful studio space called The Basement. The great thing about this venue was it is underground and so could be absolutely blacked out.
As is so often the case with themes that we pick months in advance, something came along on this same theme just the week before our event. Tate Modern launched 'How It Is' by Miroslaw Balka which is all about exploring the dark, they've created an interesting web experience around it which you can see here.
The Tate exhibition is interesting because at first it is a bit scary as you enter the dark but you very quickly become used to it and in fact it's quite light inside because one whole wall of the box is still open to the the light. In The Basement we were able to create total darkness and while at first this made everyone a little afraid and quiet, we very quickly began talking and laughing in the dark and moving around quite freely.
Through readings, discussion and a re-creation of the tearing of the veil of the temple in two at the same time as the world went dark and Jesus cried out on the cross, we came to realise that we are not alone in the dark, but that God shares in that darkness with us. The moment when Jesus cries 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' is what Pete Rollins calls Divine Dereliction and is the very essence of Christianity. That we believe in a God who experienced the fullness of darkness should help us to embrace this, not necessarily expecting to see the light, but being able to experience the holy in this void.
The next event is 29th November about Rhythms of Life.