Thanks to Max Brumberg-Kraus of the United Theological Seminary community for creating this Great Idea!

Share some joy and levity with your community (broaden and deepen the scope by inviting the broader community to participate!) by developing a series of blog posts around favorite holiday movies and their theological implications / reflections. You can get inspired by United Theological Seminary’s faculty and staff reflections.

Invite individuals or families to name a favorite movie about or often shown during the Holidays. It could be about Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, or Diwali, Kwanza, Hanukkah, etc. It does NOT have to be explicitly “Christian”, i.e., a retelling of the Christmas Story: Elf, Home Alone, Miracle on 34th Street – anything is a possibility!

Ask them to write a one or two paragraph “reflection” (encourage brevity with a 250 word limit) about what is spiritually, ethically or culturally significant about their movie suggestion.

Encourage them to conclude their reflection with a one-sentence theological question, benediction, or prayer based on the film.

Empower an English teacher, movie critic or producer, or other gifted person to compile the paragraphs into a daily or weekly blog post for your online platform(s).

Take the whole thing a step further by creating a movie-watching night each week: choose one suggested film for each week, watch it “together”, and discuss in small [intergenerational!!] groups. Use the reflections, questions, prayers and/or blessings provided by the movie’s “nominator/sponsor” to shape and inform the discussion and close the evening.

Again, inviting community members from beyond the congregation makes this a great outreach tool as well as a great way to get to know one another within the congregation!