“Eternity” was written in the sky above the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Friday morning. The cursive script used by Arthur Stace, who wrote it in chalk on pavements and building as a one word sermon half a million times, was once again seen by thousands.
In case any reader craned to read it while driving or had a bingle on the bridge, we hasten to say – it wasn’t us.
The sky writing was to promote a movie about Arthur Stace, which is produced and directed by Richard Attieh of the the Australian Television & Media Group.
Evangelist John Ridley’s words – “Eternity, Eternity, I wish that I could sound or shout that word to everyone in the streets of Sydney. You’ve got to meet it, where will you spend Eternity?” – propelled Arthur Stace out of the Burton Street Tabernacle, where he began to write “eternity” on the pavement outside.
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Stace wrote “Eternity” to encourage passersby to think about their eternal future and our Heavenly Father in 1932, the year the Bridge opened.
Eternity famously appeared on the bridge for New Year’s Eve 2000 and, as Attieh puts it, “has been part of Sydney’s DNA for almost 90 years.”
“The film will pay homage to Arthur Stace and his ministry throughout the 1900s, look at the impact this one-word sermon has had on individuals over the years, and celebrate the way ‘Eternity’ continues to be embraced in Sydney, Australia and around the world today,” says Attieh.
Attieh and his team are inviting the general public to share their Eternity Stories through the Eternity Film site and on social media – encouraging people to use the #eternity hashtag.
The film will draw on the book “Mr Eternity: The Story of Arthur Stace” written by Roy Williams with Elizabeth Meyers, (Acorn Press, 2017) which successfully combed through the myths and rumours that had cloaked the story, setting the record straight. As the book was written and launched, stories of people’s encounters with the shy man with a stick of chalk came to light. The movie will find even more.
Attieh’s film will feature interviews with Ruth Ridley – the daughter of John Ridley – who delivered the Echoes of Eternity sermon; Elizabeth Meyers, the daughter of Rev Lisle Thompson who discovered Arthur Stace as Mr Eternity; Christian author Roy Williams; Australian street artist and Christian minister Matthew ‘Mistery’ Peet; and representatives from the Baptist Church, and the broader church community. It will also feature music from Colin Buchanan and Nathan Tasker.
Eternity was written in the Sydney sky between 8.30-8.40am and was visible drifting to the north east towards the sea for about 20 minutes.