This retreat lesson plan invites Christian adults to view three classic films together and consider selected Biblical and theological texts to help the group think about, and experience, being a Christian community. The retreat experience especially engages participants to think about the role of table gathering and sharing of food in Christian tradition, theology and liturgy. What happens at the table when the group is gathered to eat?
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Try using this classic in the spring instead of at Christmas, and see it in a fresh way. Originally intended by Frank Capra to be a summer release for families, It’s a Wonderful Life only later became known as a Christmas story. In this lesson plan, participants reflect on what it means to be “rich” and study a variety of people and passages in Scripture such as Joseph of Arimathea, Boaz, Zacchaeus, Old Testament patriarchs, and the rich ruler in Luke 18. Participants are encouraged to expand and extend their concept of what it means to be rich. What do we learn from George Bailey, the “richest” man in town?
In this Woody Allen film, Gil makes midnight time-travel trips to the 1920’s where he meets his literary and artistic heroes–T.S. Eliot, Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Fitzgerald, Matisse and Dali, etc. What can these people, and these trips, teach him? What does his longing for the past say about his identity? Watch this movie and consider how one expert filmmaker explores the relationship between nostalgia and the romantic imagination.
This film depicts the life of Nelson Mandela and his work against injustice in South Africa. Mandela’s story and example encourages viewers to think beyond the context of South Africa to consider what it means and involves to work on behalf of oppressed people everywhere.
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Celebrate Black History month with a film festival for the church! This lesson plan offers film suggestions and discussion questions that could be used for a 4-week Wednesday evening series, a weekend retreat, or a Sunday evening series. What might the stories and characters of these films say to us today?
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