The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Help is on the way

That's what the five best movies of 2006 tell us

In Akeelah and the Bee, an 11-year-old girl with a talent for spelling is talked into representing her school in a series of spelling bees. When it’s obvious that she could go all the way to the national competition, a college professor agrees to coach her. Then, after she qualifies for the big event, he tells her that he doesn’t have anything else to teach her. He gives her four boxes of cards and tells her to memorize all the words.

Akeelah and the Bee is an inspiring
Akeelah and the Bee is an inspiring story of an 11-year-old African American girl who claims her power as a child of God and discovers how many people are behind her (Lions Gate Home Entertainment, PG).
Akeelah tells her mother that she can’t do it and wants to quit. But her mother reminds her that she isn’t alone. In fact, her entire community is rooting for her. There are plenty of people who can help—she’s got 50,000 coaches! And before long her family, her classmates, the waitresses at the diner, even the bum on the corner are drilling her on the words in the yellow boxes.

Help is near, no matter what we are trying to do. Our communities are full of people who are willing and able to help us. This is the message of one of the best movies of 2006, and it’s also the message of four of our other favorites that we recommend you take another—or a first—look at during this “Oscar” season.

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February issue


Embracing diversity