Jewish Journal

Churches entering showbiz

by Brad A. Greenberg

March 15, 2011 | 1:08 pm

Religion & Ethics Newsweekly has a story about churches getting into showbiz. Sort of:

One is Friends Church here in Yorba Linda, a Quaker congregation with an evangelical megachurch worship style where members are finishing production on a film called Not Today.

“I still hear people say it in the church, ‘What are we doing? We’re making a movie? What are you talking about?”’ Jon Van Dyke, Friends Church’s media director, told the PBS show Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly. ...

Friends Church committed to help free Dalits who had been trafficked and to build 200 schools for Dalit children. And, because the congregation is in the backyard of Hollywood, members decided to make a movie as well.

“It wasn’t just to make a movie, because we’re not in the movie business; we’re a church,” said Matthew Cork, the congregation’s lead pastor. “But as a church, we do have an obligation and a responsibility to tell the message, and we believe that this was the best way for us.”

Let’s not kid ourselves: Yorba Linda has about as much in common with Hollywood as Yonkers, N.Y., does with Times Square. And these aren’t the type of movies you’re going to see at the Arclight, and this is obviously not another story about Hollywood catering to Christians.

But these church-made fiilms can be effective for the purposes of sharing a message. Whether they are a good use of church funds is another question.

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