• Movie Reviews 18 hours ago

    McFarland, USA

    McFarland, USA

    by Ronald P. Salfen
    Director Niki Caro (“Whale Rider”) is already adept at feel-good films, and star Kevin Costner (“Bull Durham,” “Field of Dreams,” “For Love Of The Game,” “Tin Cup,” “Draft Day”) certainly has done his share of sports movies. And who doesn’t love to root for the underdog? But “McFarland USA,” though swimming in the predictable waters of athletic triumphalism, still manages to entice the viewer to love its own unique version of small-town Americana: McFarland, California. Here, the lush orange groves and lettuce farms are dotted with seasonal workers, many of… continue reading...
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  • Movie Reviews 18 hours ago

    Interview with Coach Jim White

    Interview with Coach Jim White

    by Ronald P. Salfen
    Interview with Coach Jim White of “McFarland, USA.” Ron Salfen for the Presbyterian Outlook: First of all, I really enjoyed the movie. And the fact that it was based on a true story just makes it even better. Jim White: Thanks very much. Presbyterian Outlook: So here you are, out in a remote area, kind of a coach’s purgatory. How did you decide to go from coaching football to coaching track? Jim White: Well, the movie took a little bit of liberty there, in order to tell the story. I… continue reading...
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  • Movie Reviews 2 days ago

    The Last Five Years

    The Last Five Years

    by Ronald P. Salfen
    OK, musicals aren’t for everyone. But I daresay that Presbyterians have more interest in music than most. For one thing, our worship services encourage everyone to sing hymns. (And we just published a new denominational hymnal.) There are plenty of people in our surrounding culture who haven’t sung anything for years, much less every week. And for those of us who have sung in church choirs all our lives, well, the music of the anthems runs through our heads constantly, which isn’t a bad thing at all. It’s like a… continue reading...
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McFarland, USA

McFarland,_USA_poster

Director Niki Caro (“Whale Rider”) is already adept at feel-good films, and star Kevin Costner (“Bull Durham,” “Field of Dreams,” “For Love Of The Game,” “Tin Cup,” “Draft Day”) certainly has done his share of sports movies. And who doesn’t love to root for the underdog? But “McFarland USA,” though swimming in the predictable waters of athletic triumphalism, still manages to entice the viewer to love its own unique version of small-town Americana: McFarland, California. Here, the lush orange groves and lettuce farms are dotted with seasonal workers, many of them migrant, some of them illegal immigrants, and none of them making a living wage. But here they are, slaving away in the hot sun, trying to catch some elusive part of the American Dream. Coach Jim White (Costner) moves to town in a U-Haul with his wife and two daughters, mainly because he has no other choices left. It seems he has a temper and has demonstrated it not only with superiors, but also with the kids he’s … [Read more...]

Interview with Coach Jim White

"movie" by van Ort is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Interview with Coach Jim White of “McFarland, USA.” Ron Salfen for the Presbyterian Outlook: First of all, I really enjoyed the movie. And the fact that it was based on a true story just makes it even better. Jim White: Thanks very much. Presbyterian Outlook: So here you are, out in a remote area, kind of a coach's purgatory. How did you decide to go from coaching football to coaching track? Jim White: Well, the movie took a little bit of liberty there, in order to tell the story. I actually did still help with the football program, but after a while, track became my primary emphasis, just because it was something I really enjoyed, and the boys seemed to be responding positively. Presbyterian Outlook: They sure did. It's amazing how you were able to take a bunch of untrained high schoolers and turn them into competitive athletes. How did you do that? I mean, where did you start with evaluating the talent? Jim White: I started with P.E. I was also teaching physical … [Read more...]

The Last Five Years

The_Last_Five_Years_poster

OK, musicals aren’t for everyone. But I daresay that Presbyterians have more interest in music than most. For one thing, our worship services encourage everyone to sing hymns. (And we just published a new denominational hymnal.) There are plenty of people in our surrounding culture who haven’t sung anything for years, much less every week. And for those of us who have sung in church choirs all our lives, well, the music of the anthems runs through our heads constantly, which isn’t a bad thing at all. It’s like a part of our spirits is always at song, like a soundtrack in the background of our consciousness. Yes, we’re the type of people who have more inherent interest in musicals than most moviegoers. That said, there’s a lot to appreciate about “The Last Five Years,” especially for music lovers. The singing is practically nonstop. There’s only a little dialogue in between. It’s the complete history of a five-year relationship, from meeting each other to breakup, with the charming … [Read more...]

The Duff

The_Duff_poster

Here’s hoping that this doesn’t start a trend among already-beleaguered teens. The premise here is that “The Duff” is the person in your group who is the “designated ugly fat friend.” She’s the one with a bubbly personality, is somewhat geeky but approachable, and therefore is an important gateway to her better-looking friends. If you’re a hot football player, say, and you want to know if the pretty head cheerleader might be “into you,” then you approach The Duff and inquire of her. That way you’ve got a layer of insulation against rejection. The further premise here is that high school guys also operate under a similar unspoken social hierarchy (but this movie isn’t about them). Veteran child actress Mae Whitman plays Bianca, whose best friend actually is the boy next door, Wesley (Robbie Amell). Though the viewers immediately realize their emotional connection, she doesn’t. She thinks she is part of the cool chick clique at school, the popular tandem of Casey and Jess, and so far … [Read more...]

Stated Clerk/ Communications Director

As the Presbytery of Tampa Bay embarks on a renewed journey, we need a special and unique person who is able to serve full-time as both a traditional Stated Clerk and also as Communications Director. This person will be significant by providing the glue that holds us together but does not hold us back as we organize in three geographical areas around the core values of being unapologetically Christ-centered, meaningfully connected, relentlessly congregational, and faithfully constitutional. The position is posted on the Church Leadership Connection. Apply before April 15 to: [email protected] Presbytery of Tampa Bay 4704 Kelly Rd Tampa Bay FL 33615-5019 presbyteryoftampabay.com Job Type: full-time … [Read more...]

Winter storms spell catastrophe for New England: Presbyterian Disaster Assistance responds

LOUISVILLE (PNS) Confronting what one meteorologist has called a “once every 26,000 years” event, New Englanders are reeling from the cumulative effect of multiple winter storms that have dumped more than 100 inches of snow within a 30-day period. And it may not be over. More heavy snow is expected this weekend, making a critical situation even worse. Coupled with frigid temperatures that have not allowed thawing, these storms may have long-term implications for the future survival of Presbyterian congregations in Boston and northern New England.   “We could see churches cease to exist because of these storms. It could result in 20 or more church closings, nearly a third of Presbyterian congregations in the area,” says Cindy Kohlmann, resource presbyter for the Presbyteries of Boston and Northern New England. “These are churches that have vibrant congregations but don’t have the resources to deal financially with the issues brought about by the snow and cold … [Read more...]