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Lenten Movies: "A Time for Burning"

  • St. Barnabas Church 1280 Vine Street Denver, CO, 80206 United States (map)

Movies for Lent – A Time for Burning:  The Civil Rights Movement, The Nation, The Church
St. Barnabas, 1280 Vine Street, Denver, CO 80206
Tuesday Evening –  April 4
7:00 – 8:30 PM

Join us on thIs date for a documentary that shines a light on the history of race relations in our nation in the 20th century and provide perspective on these issues as they are manifesting in the 21st century.  Discussion will follow the film showings.  Race relations in the U.S. have often been violent and have aroused fierce responses on all sides.  Rarely does honest critique resonate across divides of race in the same way for everyone.  Documentaries offer a glimpse into truths which are often hard to see from the outside or in the heat of the moment, allowing an opportunity to better comprehend the experiences of others that may be light-years from our own. 

A Time for Burning documents the story of the 1966 collision between the white pastor of Omaha’s Augustana Lutheran Church and his all-white congregation when he attempts to persuade them to reach out to “negro” Lutherans just a mile away.

Commissioned by the Lutheran Church in America and shot in “cinema verite” style, the documentary tracks the fraught relationship between Rev. William Youngdahl, his white parishioners, the Lutheran pastors and parishioners in the African-American church, and members of the community surrounding them. At the heart of the film is a stunning encounter with Ernie Chambers, a barber and black community activist, as he tells Youngdahl that his Jesus is “contaminated.”  Ultimately, the inability of his congregation to face into their own intransigence and racism leads Youngdahl to resign. The film sheds a light on the continuing truth of Dr. Martin Luther King’s observation that “11 AM on a Sunday morning is the most racially segregated hour in America.” (56 Minutes)

Light refreshments will be served.