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More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The pursuit of knowledge:a TIVO/VCR alert

Let me speak to those of you out there who, secretly, inwardly, feel inadequate when it comes to academic credentials, "book knowledge". Of course, I'm partially speaking to the inner me and those of us who - because of mental wiring, personality preferences, hard times or lack of certain opportunities - did not go on to the palaces of "higher learning". In other times we would be considered graduating from honors from the 'school of hard knocks/life'...... and my instincts tell me there are bunches of us out there.

This installment is particularly for those of us who learn of things through art and media rather than the realm of books..... the kind of person that learns a great deal from (perish the thought) television (collective gasp). And the zillions of you that do church via a string of books-- I'm glad you're out there and enriching us-- this may give you more of a handle on how sensory people take things in.

You know full well you can usually beam in on a clutch of programs on faith - in one form or another - from two of my favorite classics: A Charlie Brown Christmas (which celebrates its 40th - yep, fortieth - anniversary this year) and The Bishop's Wife with Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven. My sister Janet is more of a The Bells of St. Mary's girl.... and we are both fond of A Christmas Carol, specifically the Alistair Sim version.

OK.... what ever happens to faith, belief systems, the history of different religions, spirituality the rest of the year. It can be pretty hit-or-miss (except nearing Easter, of course!).

I wanted to clue you in on a few things that have come to my attention via the speed of the computer- this is NOT an exhaustive list.... but, hey! it's a start!

Often Oprah (whose name ORPAH- [name of a woman, who with Ruth were daughter-in-laws of Naomi in the Bible's book of Ruth] was erroniously transposed by someone in the hospital to end up with Oprah) has something about faith and compassion on her show- if you are looking for something mainstream and network, go to the computer to find out what her topics will be for the week or get info on a past show through: Next: guess who will be having a show on heaven?? Give up?? Weelwee? You bet! Barbara Walters will be having that special - find out more by going to:

Public Television is also a network possibility. Go to their website: Enter your zip code and the public station you usually watch and they'll show you upcoming programs... or enter a topic and you'll find it that way. There are often segments on religious topics on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Another overview regular is Religion and Ethics NewsWeekly every week! If you want to get past interviews, search religion on the PBS site. Specials that really enlightened me on PBS have included: Several 'Frontline' pieces- From Jesus to Christ, Muslims, and Bill Moyer's expansive, enlightening series The Power or Myth with Joseph Campbell or The Wisdom of Faith with Huston Smith; The Congregation (about a progressive United Methodist church outside of Philadelphia, and an upcoming (set your VCR's) Sisters: Portrait of a Benedictine Community. Many things are available on DVD or VHS. Such is the case with the 6-part series The Religions of the World.

Beyond PBS are several cable options. Check out the whole slew of options under the Discovery umbrella (Discovery, Travel, Animal Planet, Science Channel) under Another umbrella site is: This one includes: The Biography Channel, The History Channel, and A & E.

One in our area - and maybe yours - is Used to be called Faith and Values.... check out what they have to offer. I even found archive video clips of Barbara doing short segments for America at Worship!

No, this isn't an exhaustive list..... but it may give you some ideas, some supplementary forms of expanding your horizons, even getting a different point of view relatively painlessly.

If you have found this info helpful, please post a comment below. Via that path or by writing me @ also let me know if you'd like another installment - on Christmas music, maybe..... or film??? Give me a holler, eh? I often feel I'm sending things out into the abyss, but nothing comes back and I want to offer things that are relevant. Peace out! DJ


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