[The Episcopal News] Congregations across the Diocese of Los Angeles are invited to rally around the Jan. 23 release of “A Case for Love” – a feature-film documentary inspired by the teachings of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and produced by Grace-Based Films, a company formed by parishioners of All Saints Episcopal Church, Beverly Hills.

The film is slated for a one-day release in selected AMC/Regal/Century theaters on Jan. 23 (see schedule here). Note: A previous version of this article inaccurately stated that the documentary would be available for screening in congregations. Future screening information is pending, and will be announced as soon as it is available.

Free resources – including discussion guides for adult education and youth groups, communications tools, social media files and posters – can be downloaded here.

An Episcopal News Service story about the film and its production team is here.

As producer Brian Ide notes, “This film was built to hopefully be more than just something that someone watches for two hours and then goes back to daily life. We wanted it to stir things in people so that they actually change their behavior and also go to churches like ours and dive deeper into these questions.

“We are also launching a Month of Unselfish Love on Jan. 23 during which people are tasked to take 30 days to be intentional about leaning into this type of action,” Ide added. “The discussion guides were built to provide an easy tool for midweek or Sunday morning programming, either as a single event or over several weeks.”

Among participating parishes, San Gabriel’s Church of Our Saviour has advised Ide of this program plan:

  • “We’ll organize two groups to see the movie, one at 4 pm. and one at 7 p.m.
  • The following Sunday, we’ll start our “Month of Unselfish Love” with a meeting between services to kick off everyone’s journaling.
  • We will set up a group blog to allow everyone participating to share experiences.
  • We’ll probably do at least one other meeting at the 30-day mark.
  • As this will overlap with Lent, we will continue after the 30 days, through Lent, with a study of Bishop Curry’s book. Again, on Sundays between services, we will find someone from our neighboring congregation to co-lead the effort.
  • Our priest plans to send a letter to the parish at the beginning of January regarding the entire project.”

“We would love other congregations in our diocese to join in rallying their church communities,” Ide said. “This is also a really easy way for the church to invite non-churchgoers. All can have a shared experience and then dive more deeply into what it means for them.

“This event is a rare opportunity for the progressive church to introduce itself to the wider world through film. Hollywood doesn’t usually create opportunities for denominations like ours. The more robust the turnout is nationwide on Jan. 23, the more our kinds of messages will be invited to participate in this industry.”