Watching movies can certainly provide entertainment, socializing and even an escape from the world outside. But for a group of residents at Clark, viewing films offers an even greater purpose – social justice. Facilitated by the Pastoral Care Team, the movie discussion program at Clark brings residents together (virtually) to view films and discuss issues of social justice and spirituality.
“People think that when people retire they lose their intellectual abilities, but they are very sharp. In ancient civilizations, older people are viewed as the wisest. In our culture, older people often aren’t taken into consideration. It’s important to keep engaging and learning from them and their experiences and views.” said Chaplain Leaondro Robles who leads the film discussion program.
The films the residents watch have deep spiritual and social justice components. Some of the movies focus on complex issues such as racial injustice. Residents at Clark are well aware of the many things going on in the world and crave intellectual discussions and expanding their knowledge even more.
Some of the films the group has viewed and discussed:
After viewing each film, the Pastoral Care Team facilitates a dialogue. Residents talk about current events, inequalities and injustices that still exist, and the message of God in the midst of it all. What can be learned to apply to the local community? To impact the wider world? The program has even inspired action. Some group members have been writing letters to leaders in government to address specific issues.
Since COVID-19 started, the film discussion program has shifted a little. Instead of watching the film together followed by an in-person discussion, residents watch the movies individually on Clark’s internal TV station and then log onto Zoom for an online group discussion at a later date.
For their part, the residents love an opportunity to engage with each other in these discussions. As the saying goes “iron sharpens iron” and the film discussions definitely give residents a chance to do so – sharing their thoughtful insights with each other.
Spirituality at Clark
Clark is an ecumenical community that provides a welcoming space for people of all walks of life and faith backgrounds. As people from different perspectives come together it provides opportunity for everyone to learn. The Pastoral Care Team represents a variety of faith perspectives so that everyone can find the discipleship they are looking for in their lives.
Facilitating movie discussions on social justice is just one of the many components of Pastoral Care at Clark. As COVID-19 has shifted how some of these services are delivered, the Pastoral Care Team has been creative in the ways they are meeting residents’ needs. Currently the team is providing:
- Online worship services
- Meditation on Clark TV Channel 15
- Safe window visits
- Regular phone calls to residents to check in and see how they are doing
- Zoom coffee with the Chaplain
- Physically distanced personal visits