"Seeking intimations of grace at the movies can be hit-and-miss. ... Four recent movies touch on aspects of grace: three are explicitly Christian in perspective, while the fourth is implicitly grounded in faith. The best of the quartet is 'Paul, Apostle of Christ'." Paul's [James Faulkner] "strength and Luke's [Jim Caviezel] gentleness are admirable without seeming artificial. Solid performances, and a message that feels unforced, combine to pleasing result". "In 'God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness' a historic church situated on a secular university campus in no longer welcome. .... It suggests that organized religion is under attack by secular foes; but, so far (in the West, at least) that's a hyperbolic premise. .... The writing and cast are uneven ..". "'I Can Only Imagine' is based on the true story of the lead singer for MercyMe, a Christian music band that struck a chord with the song that gives the film its title. It's well-intentioned stuff -- about turning pain to inspiration. But its protagonist (J. Michael Finley's Bart Millard) is dull". "'A Wrinkle in Time', which sends children on a trans-dimensional journey to find their missing father, is a disappointment. .... authenticity is missing here, in a film hampered by inconsistent casting ... an overreliance on effects and a misreading of the story as an action piece, when it is actually anchored in relationships ... It inflates the potency of evil ... And the heart of the story, which is about grace, is neglected ..".
"We, the Anglican Communion across Africa, pledge ourselves to promise that future generations will be born and live free from AIDS". "Over 35 leaders, among them Provincial Secretaries and AIDS Co-ordinators from all the 12 African Provinces and the Diocese of Egypt, attended the weeklong workshop at the Ankrah Foundation in Mukono [from 26 January to 1 February 2003]."
"The theme of this year's International AIDS Conference was `Access for All'. Special attention was being given to the role of communities in combating the AIDS epidemic. A significant dimension of community response was found in the work of faith-based organizations and the growing forms of collaboration among them". Prior to the International AIDS Conference, "the Christians, Muslims and Buddhists organized separate pre-Conference meetings for their own communities. The Pre-Conference meetings focused on workshops, sharing and discussions in the light of their particular religious teachings, principles and experiences." "The presence and involvement of faith-based actors at this particular Conference was the largest and most active to date."
Author is Manager of St. John's Cathedral HIV Education Centre in Hong Kong.