A small group of St. Philippians met together weekly during fall through spring 2012–2013, to participate in the JustFaith program. JustFaith is a small faith-sharing experience that empowers participants to develop passion, compassion, and patience and prepares them for the work of social ministry. Meeting weekly for 30 sessions, small groups of 8–15 people employ intriguing reading, captivating videos, engaging discussion, prayer, retreats, and hands-on experiences. The intent is to provide a tapestry of learning opportunities that emphasize and enliven the healing work of God’s compassion found in scripture, church history and teaching, and faithful witnesses. “Graduates” of the program emerge with a new level of understanding of the systemic issues of poverty, see the faces of those families living in poverty, and have a discerned compassionate response to the world around them. The JustFaith program inspired and energized the participants to further their commitment to relieve human suffering. The group grew together and became more prepared and inspired to go out into the world to be the hands and feet of God.

After the program was completed, these varied, challenging, and inspiring DVDs were donated to the Renouf/Nelson Library, courtesy of the Border & Immigration Ministry and the Outreach Commission. All of them are available for check-out.

Gospel Without Borders (EthicsDaily.com Production) brings more light and less heat to the issue of immigration. It separates myth from fact, examines what the Bible says about treatment of the “stranger,” shows the experiences of documented and undocumented immigrants, and provides handles for Christians to advance the common good. This documentary highlights stories from Arizona (featuring local clergy), Arkansas, North Carolina, and Iowa. Some stories break the heart, others inspire the spirit, and still others challenge the mind. All come together and show that the Christian gospel is indeed without borders.

Come Walk in my Shoes (Video Action Production) is an award-winning documentary that follows the Honorable John Lewis on an emotional pilgrimage to the churches, parks, and bridges where young people played a pivotal role in the struggle for equality and voting rights. At each location, Lewis reflects on his experiences and provides a forum for others—the “unsung heroes who cared deeply, sacrificed much, and fought hard for a better America”—to help us understand what happened, and why it happened. This award-winning documentary provides a fresh, first-person perspective on the non-violent protests that challenged segregation laws in the South and led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965.

A Force More Powerful (Yorkzim Productions), explores one of the 20th century’s most important but least understood stories: how nonviolent power has overcome oppression and authoritarian rule all over the world: South Africa, Poland, and Chile. Narrated by Ben Kingsley, and nominated for an Emmy, A Force More Powerful premiered on PBS in September 2000.

Holding Ground: The Rebirth of Dudley Street  (New Day Films) is at once a cautionary tale of urban policies gone wrong and a message of hope for all American cities. In 1985, African-American, Latino, Cape Verdean, and European-American residents in Roxbury, MA, united to revitalize their community. The Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative went on to gain national recognition as residents fought to close down illegal dumps, gain unprecedented control of land from City Hall, and create a comprehensive plan to rebuild the fabric of their community. Through the voices of committed residents, activists, and city officials, this moving documentary shows how a Boston neighborhood was able to create and carry out its own agenda for change.

When Did I See You Hungry (San Damiano Foundation): The faces of the poor and hungry from San Francisco to Nairobi will be forever etched in your mind after you view this powerful film narrated by Martin Sheen. Following the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi, Gerard Thomas Straub spent months living among homeless and poor families around the world to capture more than 250 black-and-white images. Straub and other writers talk about the challenges of solving the worldwide epidemic.

Dust ( Zondervan) “What does God see in us? Believing in God is important, but what about God believing in us? Believing that we can actually be the kind of people we were meant to be. People of love, compassion, peace, forgiveness, and hope. People who try to do the right thing all of the time. Who act on the endless opportunities around us every day for good, beauty, and truth. It’s easy for us to sometimes get down on ourselves. To feel “not good enough” or feel like we don’t have what it takes. But maybe if we had more insight into the culture that Jesus grew up in and some of the radical things he did, we’d understand the faith that God has in all of us.”

Portrait of a Radical: The Jesus Movement (Center for Action and Contemplation): Three provocative theologians (Richard Rohr, Huston Smith, and Allen Dwight Callahan) explore the truly radical, dynamic, and passionate message of Jesus. From the first note of the seductive soundtrack, which serves as a hypnotic backdrop for the beautifully woven visuals, the video instils within viewers a sense that they are experiencing some of the spirit of the Jesus Movement itself.

Keeping the Earth: Religious and Scientific Perspective on the Environment (Union of Concerned Scientists Publication) is a thought-provoking documentary produced by the Union of Concerned Scientists and the National Religious Partnership for the Environment. In this 27-minute film, prominent scientists and religious leaders struggle to decipher the mysteries of the universe and share their perspectives on the need to protect our environment and the diverse species that share it. While science and religion have traditionally pursued parallel paths, in this film they converge and inspire.

Another World is Possible (The Simple Way Production): Shane Claiborne and The Simple Way community takes us on a journey through our world of economic extremes, from the poverty of Philly’s inner city to the clamor of Wall Street. Beginning in an abandoned house, they drive us through the industrial wasteland of Kensington, and they invite us to the New York Stock Exchange for the infamous Jubilee Money Drop. Multimedia clips included are designed for educational purposes and biblical study. A beautiful harmony of songs and images, teaching and storytelling unveil the tragic realities of our fragile world and incredible hope that “another world is possible.” Here we are all invited to reimagine the communality of the early Christian Church and to discover fresh ways of living it out today.

The Man Who Planted Trees (Frédéric Back; CBC/Radio Canada) tells the story of a solitary shepherd who patiently plants and nurtures a forest of thousands of trees, single-handedly transforming his arid surroundings into a thriving oasis. Undeterred by two World Wars, and without any thought of personal reward, the shepherd tirelessly sows his seeds and acorns with the greatest care. As if by magic, a landscape that seemed condemned grows green again. A film of great beauty and hope, this story is a remarkable parable for all ages and an inspiring testament to the power of one person.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s