Pendle Hill Quaker Center Finds Many Uses for RENEWAL

Pendle Hill Quaker Center

Pendle Hill is a Quaker center for spiritual growth, study, and service just outside Philadelphia, PA. Pendle Hill welcomes people from a variety of faiths and frequently offers educational programs through which individuals can learn about other faiths.  They offer both long-term (Resident Study Program) and short-term options for learning and development.

Eleanor Harris, Associate Director of Development at Pendle Hill beta-tested portions of RENEWAL on Monday, April 7; afterwards, she and her colleagues discussed ways in which they might use it in their educational programs in the future.  Eleanor reported that the beta-test of RENEWAL went very well.  She anticipated a tough crowd given that many audience members had long been involved (many vocationally) in the environmental movement and might be skeptical of the film. 

Surprisingly, the film garnered the exact opposite reaction.  Everyone enjoyed the film and felt its great value lay in how it captured the breadth and depth of religious engagement in environmental issues. Those who have been less involved in the movement were encouraged to become involved thanks to the film's action-oriented aspect.

Eleanor admits that Pendle Hill has wanted to become more involved in the environmental movement and to be recognized by outsiders as associated with it.  She says that publicized screenings of RENEWAL will go a long way in advertising this association.  Beyond public screenings, Eleanor recognizes the potential for the film to be used as workshop material or in training sessions for individuals wanting to gain skills in engaging faith communities.

Outside of Pendle Hill, Eleanor plans to loan the film to Broad Street Ministry, a ministry under the auspices of the Presbyterian Church that serves the homeless in downtown Philadelphia.  While they cannot serve as an overnight shelter, they do have a late night coffee house that ministers to the homeless.  Several student interns from Princeton Theological Seminary work there as well.  On Friday nights, they host a film series that focuses on films that feature social justice and faith themes.  Obviously, RENEWAL will be a great fit for this series.

On Earth Day, Pendle Hill hosted a full screening of RENEWAL for the wider community with a specific focus on gathering an interfaith audience.

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