WE’RE developing a movie blog website that you might find helpful in reflecting on movies for spiritual growth with your group.
Movies speak the universal language of story, a basic human need. Spiritually speaking, films incarnationally mediate the truth that our groaning creation yearns for God’s glory. It’s also been noted that sitting in a darkened theatre, together with a community of strangers, is strikingly similar to a medieval village gathered at the local cathedral, waiting for a self-transcendent experience.
Clearly, many movies are deeply evocative -- emotionally, mentally and spiritually -- and not merely entertainment. But what do we take from them amidst the rush of modern life? How can we who identify ourselves within the Christian Story be encouraged in our discipleship by reflecting on movies? How does this reflection come about?
Our Winnipeg house church, Watershed Community, has been gathering monthly since 1994 to watch and discuss movies hoping to hear words of insight and hope. Individually and together, we’ve been fortunate to learn something about culture, ourselves and how Spirit can speak compelling words of life into our everyday struggles. The group process we’ve adopted has had an evolution that’s included a few twists and turns. Recently, we decided we wanted to share our current ‘movie group’ model so that others can possibly benefit in their own contexts.
WHAT is being proposed?
A flexible context, hinged on a movie blog website, by which faith-oriented groups who meet in person or anonymously online, can be spiritually encouraged by sharing insights evoked by watching movies. Why not learn from each other in how to approach movies more fruitfully?
WHO can be involved?
WHICH kind of movies are suitable?
HOW does it work?
First, ask your group whether watching movies more intentionally
is what you want to do next. Then consider using our movie
blog as a way of organizing your movie group’s reflections. This includes
WHY are we proposing this? What’s the cost?
Watershed Community has found that reflecting on movies together has deepened our particular Christian spirituality. Movies have challenged us to examine our lives, to ask tough questions like whether we are truly listening to the Spirit’s call. We’ve grown to appreciate what a trusting faith can look like in various situations in our world. We are learning to see ourselves in both ‘villains’ and so-called ‘heroes’. Bringing the text of Scripture and the Spirit to our reflections, we have been challenged to see how the love of Christ is infused in the stories we watch.
With interest growing among faith groups to use film for ministry and spiritual encouragement, we felt a call to share our process with others, readily acknowledging that other groups will likely tailor our model to fit their needs. We also acknowledge our desire to network with others in terms of mutually encouraging each other on the spiritual path.
The cost is free. We feel this attempt at offering a service is part of our vocation, and so the sharing is its own reward.
What is the BACKGROUND of Watershed Movie Nights?
Although our community has been watching
movies together since 1994, recently we’ve been inspired by the Ignatian
approach as offered in Finding God In the Dark by John Pugente
and Monty Williams. The movie resource book was suggested to one of our
members, Linda Tiessen Wiebe, by Gordon
There is much more to be said about how the powerful medium of movies can spark intelligent discussion and the spiritual formation of our character! We’d like to learn how you’ve been touched by these mythic tales and so enter into a mutually-encouraging dialogue. We look forward to hearing from you. Pass this on to whomever you think might be interested.