Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Heaven on Film

I've had several days to reflect on my experience at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress and I'm so excited to be able to share with you what I took from the weekend.
So let's begin at the beginning: my first workshop of the day.  I will admit this wasn't my first choice of session to attend and if I had know I could try to get into the session I had as my first choice I probably would have done that. But I believe in following the guidance of the Holy Spirit and since I wasn't told about the ability to switch until after, God must have wanted me in that session. The workshop was entitled Faith, Film and the Last Things. The speaker was Fr. Richard Leonard who had written a book I currently own and use often in ministry titled Movies that Matter.

photo credit:

The "Last Things" refers to heaven so getting a chance to see how a film depicts heaven was interesting. He showed us a clip from the movie Babette's Feast, a Danish film from 1987. I don't want to give to much away but this scene of the spectacular feast is the best, most actual interpretation of what we will experience in heaven. If you don't mind subtitles I suggest you watch this film. I only had the chance to see 20 minutes of it and I enjoyed it very much. I'm hoping to find a copy soon so I can watch the entire movie.

Fr. Leonard shared some very interesting thoughts:
"Humanity is judged on the sincerity of heart."
"The action of who gets saved and how is God's concern not ours. It is an act of pure love."
"God wants us, he doesn't need us"
and my favorite quote.......
"The church has never declared anyone in hell."

For a workshop that was not my first choice I was really glad I ended up going. Fr. Leonard currently has a new book out called "Where the Hell is God?" I purchased it in audio format on my iPod while I was at his session. It's now next on my reading/listening list. 

In the end I actually took quite a lot from this workshop that will help me with my Jr. High Youth Group. They seem to be always full of questions and worry every time the topic of heaven and hell come up. Hopefully he's quotes can put them at ease.

I will be posting my Congress reflections every few days so please check back often. I went to some amazing speakers over the weekend that are worth sharing.

Until next time,

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