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Film and Faith: A Monthly Discussion Exploring Life’s Questions Through the Movies

Stories have power. They delight, enchant, touch, teach, recall, inspire, motivate, challenge. They help us understand. — Janet Litherland

Compelling stories engage our emotions, our reason, and our imagination. Stories give us metaphors to better understand our own life, the Divine, and the whole of creation. Today, film and television are America’s primary form of storytelling. And yet, people of faith are often counseled to avoid movie going or at least approach with great caution as movies are judged to be immoral or damaging to faith and values.

All of life, including the movies, can be an occasion of divine encounter.
— Catherine M. Barsotti and Robert K. Johnston

But what do we miss when we limit our expectations of where we will meet God? We miss the chance to be inspired, challenged, and motivated by stories of transformation, forgiveness, healing, reconciliation, faith and hope. We miss the opportunity to put our faith into dialogue with both the amazing and harsh realities of life. Most importantly, we miss the possibility of an encounter with the Divine as the Spirit speaks to us through a film.

In this monthly series, we’ll consider films that engage matters of faith as their raison d’etre and others that deal with faith in a more indirect or even obscure way. We’ll consider films from a variety of viewpoints and faith traditions but each film will give participants the opportunity to link their experience of the story on the screen with their experiences of life and their faith journey.

We’ll nosh and watch a movie—on DVD or at a theater—followed by 45 minutes of conversation and community. We’ll talk, we’ll laugh, and we’ll agree and we will disagree, but always in a respectful, non-judgmental environment. Ultimately, we will seek to come to a deeper understanding of our own stories, the stories of others, and our stories of the Divine.

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