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Does God go to the movies? (REPOST from Feb 2018)

Editor’s Note: Revisiting last year’s Oscar Sermon Series’ movies – with added links to listen to the sermons recorded for each of the 4 movies selected.  This year, we are starting our Oscar Sermon Series on Sunday February 17th at 10:30 am – Century Plaza Hotel (just across the alley from St. Andrew’s Wesley United), 2nd Floor Ballroom, and 4pm Jazz Vespers held at First Baptist Church across Nelson street from StAW.  

Here is the selection of movies for this year:

February 17th A Star is Born
withe Rev. Rhian Walker

Febryary 24th Green Book
With Rev. Dan Chambers and special guests musician Ada Lee and musical guest Canadian soul singer Dawn Pemberton

March 3rd Roma
With Rev. Lorraine Ashdown

March 10th Blackkklansman
With Rev. Dan Chambers

Revisit the sermons from last year and we look forward to seeing you in the next 4 Sundays, starting Feb 17th for our Oscar Sermon Series 2019.


Does God go to the movies?

Is there any relevance between faith and culture?

Or do faith and culture live in two separate realities – faith in one quiet, pietistic corner; culture kicking-up-its-heels in the more raucous corner – and never the twain shall meet?

Anyone who’s attended St. Andrew’s Wesley in the last decade knows the answer to this question (from our perspective):  Of course God goes to the movies!  Of course, faith and culture come out of their corners, shake hands and have even been seen dancing together.

The Holy is not a Sky-god, remote and removed from the theatres of life.  Though at times it may seem, in the words of Anne Lamott, that God is off in some distant galaxy  “doing Her nails,” the Infinite is threaded through the finite.  There is no place where God is not, so of course God shows up at the movies — even the bad ones.  

Not all movies address a theological theme, but all great films hit upon a deep question about life: identity, purpose, how to love, how to forgive… And some would say the deep questions are faith questions.  

This year, from February 11th – March 4th, in the morning service and at Jazz Vespers, Gary and I will explore these life questions as raised in four of the nine films nominated by the Academy for Best Picture in 2018.  

February 11th The Shape of Water *
*Listen to the sermon HERE
An adult fairy tale where love colours outside the lines 

February 18th  The Post *
*Listen to the sermon HERE
What do you do when you have a dangerous story in your hand?

February 25th  Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri*
Listen to the sermon HERE
“Hate never solves nothin’!”  The many faces of love and anger

March 4th  The Darkest Hour*
*Listen to the sermon HERE
What do you do when “your head is in the mouth of a tiger”?

If you’re able to go to a movie (or two), look closely; you might notice God there too, probably enjoying a bag of popcorn.  

Dan

PS  Seeing a film in advance is not a prerequisite to attending the Oscar Series.

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