The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Books, Movies, Video/DVD

A Book of Courtesy: The Art of Living with Yourself and Others by Sister Mary Mercedes (1871-1965) was originally published in 1910 for use in a California convent school. The class of 1950 revised the book in honor of their 50th reunion. Now more than ever in America, we need a revival of courtesy for both private and public interactions between people. The sage advice of Sister Mercedes has a timeless validity: "You may not think that living with others is an art, but it is the finest and most difficult of arts. ... Courtesy is a way of living inspired by thoughtfulness, consideration, and respect for others and for yourself." She presents a code of conduct based on dignity, thoughtfulness and kindness that can be used in public places, houses of worship, schools and the workplace. This book proves that manners still matter and can contribute mightily toward the making of a better world (HarperSanFrancisco).

Go Tigers! is a rousing and ethically illuminating documentary about the 1999 high school football season in Massillon, Ohio, where the essence of the community seems to be expressed in their avid attention to this sport. The filmmaker, Ken Carlson, is a native son and a preacher's kid. In this blue-collar town, everybody stands behind the team that has won 22 state championships. The citizens live out their hopes and dreams through the players who carry a lot on their young shoulders. Carlson covers the rigorous workouts, the coaches' lectures, the enmity toward longstanding rivals, the pride of the high school band, the cheerleaders' enthusiasm and the boosterism of parents. Go Tigers! effectively conveys both the salutary and the controversial sides of high school sports (ITC Films, not rated).

V I D E O / D V D
Charlotte's Web, both VHS and DVD, is based on E.B. White's best-selling children's book. This animated film deals with the efforts of a resourceful spider to save the life of Wilber the Pig. She draws other members of the animal kingdom into her plan, even the "greedy and grouchy" rat. By the end of the story, Wilber has learned the meaning of love and self-sacrifice.

Charlotte's Web illustrates the basics of life--birth, friendship, earthly delight, joy, pain and death. It's a most exquisite blend of poetry, music, image and characterization. This children's classic affirms life and love and God's good creation (Paramount, G).

Karate Kid and Karate Kid II,both VHS and DVD, have a lot to say about discipline, teachers and being true to yourself. In the first film, Daniel, a teenager having a hard time adjusting to a new town, takes up karate and learns from his Japanese teacher, Mr. Miyagi, about maturity and mastery of self. In the sequel, Daniel travels with Mr. Miyagi to Japan, where they both face challenges. Once again, a pure heart and a clear mind are needed. (Columbia TriStar, both PG).


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