December 29, 2009
The Gritty Life of a Real Parish
Scenes from a Parish, airing on PBS tonight, grounded in everyday reality
Led by a Harvard-educated activist priest from an affluent family, the congregation—some members wholeheartedly, others grudgingly—reaches out to immigrants, to the hungry and the homeless, to “the least of these.” Over the course of several years, during which the parish raises money to build a center that provides free meals with no strings attached, the film’s director and producer, James Rutenbeck, tracks the lives of a handful of parishioners against the background of the larger story of the church’s calling.
We see people transformed by the love of Christ, and we see instances of failure, confusion, and disappointment. Many scenes in the sanctuary—including a beautifully simple foot-washing ceremony—remind us that there should be no disjunction between worship and service to the community.
Here's the trailer:
John Wilson is editor of Books & Culture, one of CT's sister publications