Faithspotting “Nine Days” Podcast

Faithspotting "Nine Days"

Follow link to listen to the epiode

Faith Issues Spotted:

The film presents a foundational and stark choice among people of faith, to live through the struggles and darkness of life with Paul’s “Rejoice in the Lord Always” spirit from Philippians, or the worldly spirit that sees darkness overcoming the Light that is Christ and the hope of the Gospel. What are the costs of each perspective?

What is the Righteous choice of candidates? 

A discussion of Christ figure(s)

Recovery of Joy in the midst of grief and loss. 

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Faithspotting “In The Heights”

The latest episode from The Faithspotting Podcast. Mike Hatch and I had a lot of fun both watching the film and recording the episode. It is a fun film to watch, especially if you can see it in a theater. Follow the link to the Faithspotting page and look for the faith notes.

Faithspotting “In The Heights” | Faithspotting

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Faithspotting “Echo in the Canyon Pt. 1”

Check out the newest episode of Faithspotting as Guest Eric Folkerth, a United Methodist pastor and singer songwriter joins Kenny Dickson and Mike Hatch to discuss the Netflix Documentary Echo in the Canyon. In Part 1 we discuss the film in general and the music of the era. Next week we will spot the faith matters reflected in the film in Part 2. The film features the last on-camera interview by Tom Petty before his death in October of 2017.

Also check out the new website, where you can find all the episodes in one easy place as well as information on Hosts Kenny and Mike as well as the guests we have had thus far. We are still addiing elements, but it allows us to offer more elements to the show.

Jakob Dylan, Tom Petty, David Crosby Netflix
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Faithspotting “Crip Camp”

Kenny and Mike discuss the film and spot faith elements presented in Crip Camp, the Netflix documentary that tells the story of a camp for children and youth with disabilities. The film also shares the impact many of the former campers had as adults in the Civil Rights Struggle for persons with disabilities. Follow link to listen to Faithspotting episode Faithspotting: Faithspotting “Crip Camp” on Apple Podcasts

Crip Camp is a production of Higher Ground Productions and is directed by James Lebrecht and Nicole Newnham and stars Lebrecht, Judith Heumann, Denise Sherer Jacobson, and Lionel Je’Woodyard. Barack and Michelle Obama, Priya Swaminathan serve as executive producers. 

Faith Issues Spotted: Primacy of Jesus’s Ministry to the outcast and socially marginalized:

Jesus associates and heals lepers and others with illnesses and disabilities: Mark 1: 40-41, Luke 5:12-13, Luke 17:11-19, Luke 7:18-23.

Jesus response to the need of persons outside Israel: Luke 7:1-10

Jesus and the Samaritan woman and her village: John 4

Jesus heals woman with hemorage: Matthew 9:20-22, Luke 3 8:43-48

Jesus dines with Levi and other “sinners:” Mark 2:13-17

All people are fully children of God, abled as those with disabilities. 

James Lebrecht, Newnham, Judith Heumann Netflix
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Faithspotting the Academey Awards Recap and Documentary Oscar Winner My Octopus Teacher

Kenny and Mike discuss the Academy Awards, winners, runners-up, and the show. Afterward they discuss the film and spot the faith elements in the Oscar winning feature length documentary film, My Octopus Teacher. Click below to listen to the episode

Time Index: Oscar Recap  00:00  My Octopus Teacher  24:30    Faith Spotted    28:34


Faith elements:

Incarnation, the importance of being physically present and a part of creation, God through Jesus, and the part the disciples and the Church play in offering the presence of Christ to the world. Genesis 1:1-14, John 1:1-14, 

Majesty of Creation which leads to an expansive view and understanding of God. The unveiling of mystery of creation and God allows for greater wonder of God. Genesis  Psalm 8

The importance of Spiritual Disciplines, intentionality of time and purpose in connecting with God and overcoming the Barriers to greater connection and relationship with God. 

Recognizing windows and seasons of time. All times pass, both the mountain and valley seasons in life. Easter faith reminds followers that the only season that is everlasting is eternity in God’s Kingdom.  Ecclesiasties 3

Respecting God’s ordering of Creation, even if at times difficult or painful. 

As children of God and disciples, being “sensitized to other,” as God’s children as well. Being open to “others” who look, act, eat, smell etc. different.

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Faithspotting The Academy Awards Nominees for Best Picture

Mike and Kenny are joined by guest Dr. Ryan Parker in a discussion of The Academy Award nominees for Best Picture and the faith elements spotted in films. Ryan is a theologian with an Masters of Divinity degree as well as a PhD. in Religion and the Arts. Ryan also works in the film industry in marketing, public relations, and story development with an eye also toward film production.  See the Oscars handed out Sunday April 25th 7:00PM CDT on ABC.

Click below for the Faithspotting Best Picture episode.

‎Faithspotting: Faithspotting Academy Awards Best Picture Nominees on Apple Podcasts

Faith Elements Discussed:

Sound of Metal:  Stillness as tool for experiencing  and connecting with God and the Kingdom., acceptance and graititude

Nomadland:  Healing and new life that comes through community and journeying through grief and pain. The faith to hear and choose a new calling and different way of living.

One Night in Miami:  Answering the call to seek justice and use talents, gifts, and place in life and in service of Justice 

My Octopus Teacher: The place and purpose of life journeys and connectedness to creation.

Borat Subsequent Movie Film: The place of the prophet in speaking truth to power.  

Overall themes in this and previous discussions of the nominated films: the importance and purpose of Community as presented in many of the films. How does the repetition of this theme reflect our time and needs as a part of the Community of Faith.

Perils of forgoing: When individuals and communities ignore and dont live out of core Christian teaching and theology – Humilty, Community, Following the path of retribution rather rather than Forgiveness.


For more detailed discussion notes or group studies please contact Kenny at

Ryan Parker Blog and Podcast

Contact Ryan:

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Faithspotting: 2021 Academy Awards Best Directors

Chloe Zhao,David Fincher, Emerald Fennell, Lee Isaac Chung,Thomas Vinterberf

Follow link to listen to episode ‎Faithspotting: Faithspotting: Academy Award Nominated Directors on Apple Podcasts

In the 3rd of the 4 part series leading up to the 2021 Academy Awards (April 25th) Kenny and Mike offer their thoughts on the nominees, including their favorites, predictions, possible swaps. In addition, they discuss faith elements spotted in the film Another Round for which director Thomas Venterberg is one of the nominees. For faith elements spotted in the other nominees’ films see the Faithspotting episodes for the acting nominations. 

Faith Issues Spotted in Another Round:

Mads Mikkelsen, Magnus Millang, Lars Ranthe, Thomas Bo Larsen
Zentropa, Samuel Goldwyn Films

The importance and place of having purpose and meaning in life. Such meaning and purpose, as desired by God impacts the lives of others as well as self and can come through vocation as well as avocation. 

Purpose and meaning are especially important when one’s life, plans, and hopes, fail to live up to one’s expectations.

Purpose, meaning, and passions are often discovered after intensional examinations of one’s interest, skills, and needs of others. Such can also change over time.

Living out of one’s meaning and purpose bring joy and pleasure to God.   

Scripture Reference: Jesus recognizes the offering of the poor widow. (Mark 12:41, Luke 21:1)

Film Reference: Chariots of Fire

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Faithspotting The 2021 Academy Awards Best Acting Awards

Kenny and Mike discuss the best acting nominees for the 2021 Academy Awards. The discussion includes their favorites, predictions, and swaps to the list they would have made.  The episode also includes  with a discussion of faith elements spotted in the films represented. More detailed notes on the films Faithspotting has covered are available for films discussed in previous Faithspotting episodes.

Click to listen to Faithspotting on Apple Podcasts

Best Actress Nominations:

Viola Davis     Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom   

Faith elements: Exploitation of others, either by race or gender or other reasons.  This is addressed by the call and teaching to love others as self (Matthew 22:34-40) and do unto others as one would have one do (Luke 6:31.) Also the dangers of pride and arrogance. Note: One element that is in the film that we did not mention in the episode is holding or expressing anger at God. (Psalm 22) Where God is in the midst of our suffering, and why is there evil and suffering if God is loving and almighty? (Theodicy) 

Andra Day      The U. S, vs. Billie Holiday

Faith Elements: The responsibility of leaders and government to serve as shepherds to members of the community:  Group, City, State, Nation. Also teaching regarding non-exploitation.   The need to fill voids,The loss, wounds, pain with things that lead to healing not just masking pain. 

Vanessa Kirby        Pieces of a Woman

Faith Elements: The place others offer in healing and regaining wholeness. Not transfering anger and pain from losses onto others. 

Frances McDormand      Nomadland

Faith Elements:  *  Healing Power of Community and sharing. (See the Promising Young Woman/Nomad episode notes for more details)

Carey Mulligan *     Promising Young Woman

Faith Elements:  The cost of revenge- returning hate rather than love and accountability. (See episode notes for more details. )

* All three of these films address bereavement (loss), and working through loss, grief, and pain, rather than getting stuck in the grief and mourning process.  All demonstrate the need for community and rituals to assist in that journey, but the individual must travel through the valley of pain, saddness and loss yet as Psalm 23 and others teach, s/he does not walk through the valley alone. Jesus set his face to go to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51) journey through his passion and suffering and death and be raised by God to eternal life with God the Father.

Best Actor Nominations:

Riz Ahmed     Sound of Metal

Faith Elements:  Faith amidst loss- Overcoming brokeness and dissapointment even if it requires change to ones life and direction. The transformative power of community. 

Chadwick Boseman   Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Faith Elements  (See Above)

Anthony Hopkins     The Father

Faith Elements: Finding strength and patience  to stay in relationships, serve, and love, especially when trials come- Particularly when the loved one’s personality changes.

Gary Oldham      Mank

Faith Elements: The Purpose and need of humility as taught throughout the Old and New Testaments. The Dangers of pride and arrogance.  Using talents for good rather than selfish desire. (For more details see the faith notes for the Mank episode)

Steven Yeun    Minari

Faith Elements: Obligation to serve community and put welfareof others above one’s own desires.  Shepherding means knowing the needs and capacity of others.

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Faithspotting The Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actors/Actresses

In the first of a 4 part series leading up to the Academy Awards, Kenny Dickson and Mike Hatch discuss the Actresses and Actors nominated for best supporting performances. Follow for episode to listen to episode:

Best Supporting Actress:

Maria Bakalova  Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Glenn Close     Hillbilly Elegy

An awareness and appreciation for life, and not taking life for granted.

Filling voids in life with service and purpose.

Living into God’s goodness, image, and likeness.

Call to love oneself as way of loving God and others.

Olivia Coleman   The Father 

Following call and finding strength to stay, serve, and love others, especially in the midst challenges and trials.

Amanda Seyfried    Mank

The purpose and need of Biblical teaching for humility.

Using God given talents for righteousness and not misuse them for personal revenge and punitive purposes.

Yuh-Jung Youn      Minari

The obligation and call to serve and love family and neighbors.

The need to come to know those in one’s care.

Best Supporting Actor:

Sacha Baron Cohen     The Trial Of The Chicago 7

The obligation to stand, risk, and even suffer for rightiousness.

The call to oppose pressure and temptation to reject and deny beliefs.

The call not to retaliate against hate and violence.

Daniel Kaluuya    Judas and the Black Messiah

The responsibility leaders and governments have to shepherd citizens under their care. (Jesus as Good Shepherd)

The command to love enemies and end cycle of violence. 

Leslie Odom Jr.    One Night In Miami

The faith to answer God’s call to serve and use God given talents for righteousness.

Demonstrates the purposes of community: support, accountability AND reconciliation following disagreements.

Paul Raci   Sound of Metal

Maintaining faith and overcoming brokenness and loss.

The place and transformative power of community.

LaKeith Stanfield    Judas and the Black Messiah

See Above

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Faithspotting “Mank”

2021 Academy Awards Series

Kenny and Mike discuss the film Mank and spot faith elements in the David Fincher, Academy Award nominated film starring Gary Oldman as screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz. The film examines Mank’s writing the screenplay of Citizen Kane as he struggles to overcome the physcial injuries of an automobile accident, alcoholism, and the ever challenging demands of Orson Wells.  Listen to Mank episode of Faithspotting ‎Faithspotting on Apple Podcasts

Replicating the non-linear form of Citizen Kane, Mank uses flashbacks that depict Mank’s relationships within MGM and the Hollywood establishment, most William Randolph Hearst and Hearst’s mistress actress Marion Davies who would both become the primary subjects of Kane. Fincher wanted Mank to replicate the look, sound, and feel of Citizen Kane so he shot the film in stark black and white, employed similar audio techniques and dramatic editing.  

Faith Elements spotted:

Purpose and Call for Humilty. Mank and Citizen Kane demonstrate the purpose of Biblical calls for humility among the people of God.  Exodus 10:3, Numbers 12:3, Proverbs 11:2, Matthew 23:12, and 2 Philippians among many passages. In contrast to the Judeo-Christian traditions and teaching to humbly act, serve and honor God, pride takes the focus off God and places it on the individual and allows fame and self-glory to become an idol. The narrative about King David, (1 Samuel 16- 2 Samuel) shows the need for humility and consequences of pride as does the request of James and John to be elevated above other disciples. (Matthew 20:20, Mark 10:35)

Like the call to faithfully use talents spotted in One Night in Miami, the call is to use one’s talents (God-given) righteously, humbly, and avoid misusing them (pride). Followers of Christ are called to examine and reflect so as to be able to identify one’s talents.

#Mank, #AcademyAwards

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