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Faith-Family Film Review: This Is It

October 31, 2009 --

Faith-Family Film Review: This Is It
By Catholic Office of Film and Broadcasting

This Is It: Posthumous documentary capturing the planning and rehearsals for the titular series of comeback concerts by the controversial “king of pop,” scheduled to begin in London in July, but forestalled by Jackson’s untimely death at age 50 the previous month. Using footage originally intended for other purposes, director Kenny Ortega, who was one of the singer’s principal collaborators in crafting the ill-fated live show, creates an energetic, largely unobjectionable tribute that, while casting little light on the eccentric — if not inscrutable — personality of an iconic entertainer, does provide insight into the talent, vision and discipline that lay behind his global professional success. Some skimpy costuming and suggestive dancing, and at least one vaguely crass term. A-II — adults and adolescents. (PG) 2009.  Full Review:

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Faith-Family Review: Paranormal Activity

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Faith-Family Review: Paranormal Activity
By Catholic Office of Film and Broadcasting

Paranormal Activity— Cohabiting San Diego yuppies (Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat) use a video camera to record disturbing phenomena they fear are being caused by a demonic spirit that has pursued the young woman since childhood. Writer-director Oren Peli’s ostensibly fact-based feature debut is mostly gore-free, playing instead — subtly and quite effectively — on viewers’ primal fears of the unseen, but his script fails to show the same restraint with regard to language and sexual topics. Some sexual content, including a premarital situation, an off-screen encounter and a few jokes and references, a half-dozen uses of profanity, pervasive rough and crude terms, and at least two obscene gestures. L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. (R) 2009.  Full Review

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Faith films dare to end poor-quality curse

October 30, 2009 --

Growing quantity of `Christian’ films now focus on quality
By Adelle M. Banks
Religion News Service,

(RNS) Director Brian Baugh’s upcoming teen film “To Save a Life” may be many things, but one thing it’s not, he says, is a “Christian” movie.  The upcoming film about a star basketball player who copes with a friend’s death is edgier than others—with violence, marijuana and a brief sex scene. Conservative friends who’ve screened the movie worry it doesn’t have enough faith in it, while others think it may have a bit too much. “That’s what makes it fun,” said Baugh, a film photography director whose new movie will be distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films. “Can we walk that line? It’s a great challenge.”

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Adoption story: Everything I ever wanted

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A graduating college student and aspiring journalist credits her parents for her accomplishments in life
by Kristin Sherrard
Holt International, Oregon

…My story begins on March 23, 1988, not on the date of my birth, but the start of my life. At eight months and ten days, I was still new to this world and didn’t know much. But from the moment I was held in the arms of Gene and Pat Sherrard, I knew I was home.  My parents have always played an important role in my life. Birthdays and vacations, sporting events and school projects, they were there for every one. It is with their love and guidance that I have become the person I am today.

Throughout my life, people have asked me if I ever wanted to try to track down my “real parents,” and every time I respond in the same way: I already know who my parents are and have no interest in finding my birth parents. While I would love to travel to South Korea one day as a tourist to see what it is like, I have everything I need and could ever want here in Kentucky.

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Top Court enters Washington marriage petition debate

October 29, 2009 --

By Oregon Faith Report,

The U.S. Supreme Court blocked Washington state officials from releasing the names and addresses of those who signed a petition referring gay rights legislation to the November ballot.   The ruling temporarily blocks a federal appeals court ruling that had ordered the release of the names.  The Supreme Court order will remain in effect while it considers whether to involve itself in the matter.

The Washington state legislature passed a domestic partnership law for same-sex couples during its last session.  A group called Protect Marriage Washington circulated a petition, Referendum 71, which would repeal that law.  The group has been fighting the state to keep the names of the petitioners confidential, asserting that signers have a constitutional right to partake in politics privately if they face a threat of harassment from political opponents.

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Luis Palau rallies 55,000 in Arkansas for SOS project

October 28, 2009 --

Central Arkansas CityFest: Tremendous Success
Excerpts from Luis Palau Press Release;
Beaverton, Oregon

(North Little Rock, AR) Global evangelist Luis Palau wrapped up his Central Arkansas CityFest campaign this past weekend with local leaders expressing amazement over the unprecedented cooperation among churches, businesses, and government…The CityFest project began 15 months ago when area pastors committed to bringing their congregations and resources to the effort. Of particular appeal to the churches, businesses, and civic leaders was a new component of Palau festivals called the Season of Service…

By festival weekend on October 24-25, more than 4,500 volunteers had served in the Season of Service at more than 175 projects. The concept of combining acts of service with an evangelistic festival has drawn the attention of cities across North and South America, Europe and Asia. Dozens of delegates from potential future cities came to Little Rock to observe and learn from CityFest. Pastors said the Season of Service effort revolutionized their congregations and they look forward to sustaining the effort into the future.The festival itself drew a crowd of 55,000 over two days to the North Shore Riverwalk in North Little Rock.

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Pope visits Africa. Idea stirs of future African Pope.

Islam tops Oregonians' curiousity

October 27, 2009 --

Oregon Faith Report Survey,

If you received a research grant to study a different religion, which would you be most interested in learning more about?

Highlights of comments

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This week is anti-pornography week

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This year, the annual White Ribbon Against Pornography (WRAP) Week runs Sunday, Oct. 25, through Sunday, Nov. 1. WRAP Week is intended to inform the public and public officials about the harms of pornography and the need to enforce obscenity and related laws.  Resources for individuals and groups are available at www.moralityinmedia.org (“WRAP Campaign”). These include information about ordering white ribbons and a sheet describing what citizens can do during WRAP Week and throughout the year, sample letter to U.S. Attorney General Holder, sample letter to state prosecutors, sample Proclamation, and sample prayers and sermons.

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Portland genocide survivor retells story in new book

October 26, 2009 --

By Traci Scott,
Oregon faith Reporter,

As conveyed in his recent book, “Golden Leaf:  a Khmer Rouge Genocide Survivor”, Kilong Ung was a “golden leaf” propelled by the wind that blew him from one terrifying part of the world to the next.  Through adverse weather, turmoil and calamity, he was subjected to a barrage of horrors. While two million other leaves disintegrated along the way, Ung persevered against all odds, rose above the devastation, and landed safely here in Oregon.  His legacy is the tree that took root and the many branches he has utilized to reach out to others who have experienced a similar plight.

For more than 30 years, Kilong Ung, currently a Portland software engineer, struggled with nightmares, insomnia, paranoia and haunting memories of nearly starving to death in a slave labor camp where his parents and other family members perished before his very eyes.

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