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Faith, Media & Culture

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

Son of God event at Google + Hangouts. This just popped into my mailbox and given it’s timely nature, I thought I’d  share it with you immediately.

LOS ANGELES, CA (March 5, 2014) Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, the husband-and-wife production team behind SON OF GOD, one of the spring’s most buzzed-about feature films, ­will take social media by storm Wednesday, March 5, during a live online event using Google+ Hangouts.

“Bringing SON OF GOD To The Big Screen,” to be hosted on the SON OF GOD Google+ account (http://bit.ly/SOGhangout) and streamed live on SON OF GOD YouTube channel (http://bit.ly/SOGHangout), will begin at 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m. PST) on Wednesday, March 5. Fans will be able to post questions in the hangout (using #SonofGod) for Downey and Burnett and special guests about the film – the first major studio release to dramatize Jesus’ entire ministry on earth in more than 60 years.

 “SON OF GOD is a Jesus film for a new generation – and there’s no better way to talk about it with today’s generation than through social media,” Downey and Burnett said.

The online hangout will be hosted by Kathie Lee (Today) and feature special guests: Diogo Morgado (Jesus), Eduardo Verástegui (BELLA, the voice of Jesus in the Spanish-language version of SON OF GOD) and Jefferson Bethke (author of Jesus>Religion and popular Youtube video “Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus” with over 25 million views online).

Told with the scope and scale of an action epic, SON OF GOD features powerful performances, exotic locales, dazzling visual effects and a rich orchestral score from Oscar®-winner Hans Zimmer. Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado beautifully portrays the role of Jesus as the film spans from his humble birth through his teachings, crucifixion and ultimate resurrection. This movie has been able to bring leaders together with support from across all denominations. Downey and Burnett, who produced the film under the banner of their company Lightworkers Media, focused from the very beginning on creating an experience that would be shared by all.

Buzz has been building for weeks around the film, which opened in theaters nationwide February 28 with 26.5 million gross for the weekend, beating all anticipated box-office predictions. Media all across the country have been documenting grassroots movement that has brought together churches, businesses and individuals who are taking have taken over entire theaters – every seat, every screen – to share the film with their communities. Such well-known pastors as Rick Warren, Joel Osteen and John Hagee have spearheaded the effort, which has also been supported by Robert Herjavec and Lori Grenier, two of the stars of Burnett’s hit ABC TV series SHARK TANK.

“I’ve seen most of the films about Jesus produced in the past 50 years, and Son of God is the best,” Warren said. “We’re excited Jesus is back on the big screen, and we’re going to fill the theaters. I want every other faith leader in America to do the same. Whether you can buy out a whole theater, or just one screen, now is the time to show up.”

Downey and Burnett said they are “absolutely overwhelmed” by the support their film has received.

“The opportunity to see the epic story of Jesus in an epic movie-theater setting – in community with others – has created a level of excited anticipation we haven’t seen with any other project we’ve been involved in.”

 Fans can share some of that excitement with the couple and their special guests during Tuesday’s live online hangout by asking questions now or live during the event by logging into the hangout and using the Q&A app or by sharing information about it in social media using the hashtag #SonofGod.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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