Originally posted February 2014

Note – there was a recording difficulty – sorry about that and thank you for patience as we continue to get better at this.

This episode Jonathan is joined by Kathryn Palen, who was a the time the pastor of Central Baptist Church in Jamestown, RI. Kathryn is no the Eldercare pastor for the American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island. The movies they discuss are:


Beasts of the Southern Wild



Enough Said




Blue is the Warmest Color

Silver Linings Playbook

Here is the argument: in the arts you can find an expression of humanity’s struggle with the divine, with understanding the role of God in one’s life, and/or with a struggle to exist or live to the fullest. As Kathryn says, it is the narrative aspect of film that connects with so many people at different levels. With good film it does not matter so much what the specifics of the movie might be, one will find a place to connect. We all know what it is to be separated from our family, to be pushed in our lives, to be stretched in our love, or the be challenged with our world-view. In watch movies we can find a deeper universality and sometimes a place where we can wrestle with the presence (or lack of) the divine.

Each of these films speak to living in one way or another and some speak to the presence of God in one way or another. This is contrary to the idea that anything that comes out of popular culture must be eschewed because it does not have a direct connection with a church sanctioned revelation. God is revealed in many ways and through many different mediums, including movies.

Obviously we have only listed a small number of films – what are some of your favorites?


Includes a rant against denominational pussy-footing and being nice to a fault. Stop trying to please everyone, stop trying to be super nice, and go ahead an upset folks. It will all be ok.

We also need to continue to mourn the life of Pete Seeger – he will be missed. Where are the folk singers who still believe that music can change the world?

Opening the word – Matthew 5:1-12 – the blessed people are not the ones we would expect and this is a good thing. It is a good thing that God is with those who are in the difficulties of life (which will be everyone at one time or another)

Watcha Into? – Jonathan is reading Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Kathryn is reading – The World’s Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne

Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Book Store by Robin Sloan

Undead by Clay Morgan