Page 6 - Presbyterian Connection
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                                6 SPRING 2022
Connecting through Facebook
 Written in consultation with Chippawa Presbyterian Church in Niagara Falls, Ont.
Imagine having 62,000 people in your congregation’s Facebook group, with hundreds of new people joining each day. That’s exactly the situation that Chippawa Presbyterian Church in Niagara Falls, Ont., finds itself in.
What, you might be asking, could draw so many people to a local church’s Facebook group? The an- swer is the first multi-season series about the life of Jesus called The Cho- sen. The historical television drama is based on the life of Jesus of Nazareth and was created, directed and co- written by American filmmaker Dal- las Jenkins. Two seasons have been completed with a third in production, portraying Jesus through the eyes of those who met him. It holds the re- cord for crowdfunding, and they are currently working on funding season four. They plan to release seven sea- sons in all of The Chosen.
The fictional series is deeply in- spired by and steeped in scripture, which is one of the reasons that Christine Sands-Vizzari, coordinator of discipleship at Chippawa Pres- byterian, chose it as the topic of an adult study for the congregation in spring 2020. She started a Facebook
group called “The Chosen Discus- sion Group” so that members of the study could easily find the series’ ep- isodes (available for free online) and share their thoughts about the show. For the first year of the group’s exist- ence, that is exactly what happened. Then, suddenly, in August 2021, the group was discovered by other fans of The Chosen from across the world and the number of people in the group grew and grew and grew. It hasn’t stopped growing since then!
The discussion group attracts peo- ple who love the show, but it is so much more than a fan page. “Our fo- cus is on Jesus,” Christine explained. “We talk about the way scripture has taken on new meaning in light of the show. We also discuss the moments that challenge our understanding of Jesus. And we ask questions about the Bible and faith that we might not otherwise ask.”
While managing such a large Fa- cebook discussion group comes with challenges, Christine sees the group as a gift from God: “This group shows that God can and does use small things to share Jesus’ love and make disciples. There are peo- ple from many different backgrounds coming together to talk about Jesus’ impact on the characters in the show and in their own lives.”
The Chosen continues to grow in popularity, and Chippawa’s Facebook group will likely continue to grow along with it. As it does, Christine will continue to embrace the unex- pected gift that it has become. She recommends that if you have not yet had a chance to watch The Chosen to do so: “It is such a great tool for outreach and connection. You never know how God will use this series to grow, bless or strengthen faith in your midst.”
The Chosen is available to view for free at thechosen. On a tablet or phone it will direct you to download an app so you can screencast it to a TV.
Join The Chosen Facebook Dis- cussion Group at groups/3337004546380290.
Images from The Chosen, a television drama created and directed by American film- maker Dallas Jenkins.
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