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An Evening of Worship and Film

Tuesday, November 5, 2013
7:30 p.m.
Sanctuary, First United Methodist Church
500 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91101

Simultaneous interpretation available in Spanish, Korean & American Sign Language
동시통역 이용 가능---서반어, 한국어, 미국수화
Interpretación simultanea disponible en español, coreano y lenguaje de señas americano

On the eve before the inauguration of Mark Labberton as the fifth president of Fuller Theological Seminary, he has requested the screening of a portion of a film project by Burning Heart Productions called Praying the Hours that uses narrative storytelling to reconsider an ancient tradition of worship. The evening will be hosted by Burning Heart Productions and Fuller’s Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts, and will include music, film, liturgy, and prayer. Fuller's Lead Storyteller Lauralee Farrer is the president of Burning Heart Productions and the artist in residence for Fuller's Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts.

About the Praying the Hours Film Project

The core of the Praying the Hours film project is based on the ancient practice of fixed-hour prayer observed by the Abrahamic faith traditions. By personifying each hour into a character, we tell the story of a 24-hour day as if the Hours were a community of friends. The Traveling Man (our everyman) is hit by a car: over the time it takes to cross over from this life into the next, he visits with eight friends. He sees his own life anew from the lens of eternity—not as something that happens to you after you die, but as the river that flows under the surface of ordinary life. The project is made up of a feature film and eight short films. On the eve before Dr. Labberton’s inauguration, at his special request, we will be screening one of those films—“None: The Prayer of the Mournful Songwriter.”

None: The Prayer of the Mournful Songwriter

None is a successful custom frameshop owner with a loving wife, a beautiful daughter, and a lost dream of being a musician. When old band friends come to town and invite None to play with them at a local open-mic night, sleeping dreams are reawakened. The Traveling Man happens upon this scene, thinking he is there to help None finally seize his dreams. He watches as None steals away from work to write a song. There, he hears something he hasn’t heard before—None’s true heart in his songwriting. Seeing that he might have misjudged None’s motives all along, Traveling Man realizes why he is really there to visit his friend in the late afternoon. His epiphany frees him and liberates None to make a choice between resurrecting a faded dream or recognizing the wonderful life he already has.

Watch the Preview for “NONE”

About the Musicians

Along with the Fuller Vocal Ensemble, directed by J. Frederick Davison, we will welcome guest musicians the Eagle Rock Gospel Singers and solo artist (and lead actor from the evening’s film) Aaron Paul Ballard.

More on The Eagle Rock Gospel Singers »

More on Aaron Paul Ballard »

Watch "What Paul Did"

Video - Eagle Rock Gospel Singers


Makoto Fujimura - Tears of Christ

Why This Artwork?


I am drawn to abstract art, and love the work of master artist Makoto Fujimura, whose "Tears of Christ" we are privileged to represent here. When I first saw this piece, and learned its title, I was deeply moved by the profound layers of beauty and suffering embodied in it. What appealed to me was the vivid intensity of it, the expression that portrays not a two-dimensional caricature of the core event of our faith, but a rich, multi-layered experience of beauty, imagination, empathy, compassion, and hope. That's quite a lot for one painting to contain.

When Mako started painting in traditional Nihonga tradition, "beauty" was not a word spoken in the world of art without contempt; yet he eschewed the fleeting enthusiasms of that trend and built his work with his soul as guide. This, to me, is clearly evident in this painting which merges so beautifully our shared faith and the richly layered beauty therein. I am so happy that we are able to use it for all the printed materials relating to my inauguration as the fifth president of Fuller Theological Seminary. I can think of no more elegant companion to my inaugural theme to "have this mind among you" (Philippians 2:1-11), than this, and I am grateful to my friend Mako for the gift of its use.

More from the artist »


Makoto Fujimura

Charis-Kairos (The Tears of Christ)


80" x 64", Mineral Pigments, Gold on Belgium Linen

Painting from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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135 N. Oakland Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91182