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INVITATION: Thurs., 1/20/22, 8 pm ET, If America Fails?: The Coming Tyranny

@AtwoodSociety @JaniceOCG YOU ARE INVITED to watch the LIVE webcast, Thurs., 1/20/22, 8:00 pm ET, feat. @cassady2euca Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith & Dr. #CynthiaAnnBaron in “American Democracy Under Siege: Cults, Cultures and Religions” – Season 1 of “If America Fails?:  The Coming Tyranny.”

YOU ARE INVITED to watch the LIVE webcast, Thursday, 1/20/2022, 8:00 pm ET, of Season 1 of “If America Fails?:  The Coming Tyranny.”  This discussion group explores themes presented by The Handmaid’s Tale HULU Series, which is an adaptation of the book, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” by Margaret Atwood.  Co-hosted by Janice Graham and L. Michelle Odom, “If America Fails?” is a production of TruthWorks Network.

This week’s chat reflects upon “American Democracy Under Siege: Cults, Cultures and Religions.”

Founded By Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith
Founded By Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith

WATCH Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith, Founder and Executive Director, Crazy Faith Ministries – LIVE – Thursday, January 20, 2022, 8 pm ET, on the TruthWorks Network YouTube channel, when she joins “If America Fails?:  The Coming Tyranny,” in discussion on Cults, Cultures and Religions in The Handmaid’s Tale, and modern American culture.

ABOUT THIS EPISODE:

We will examine through the lens of the story/film prominent issues of the current toxic political environment in America and the relevance of the images and culture we witness in it.  We look to tonight’s guest experts for assistance in learning about changes happening in religion today, and grasping the theological and cinematic implications of “The Handmaid’s Tale.”  We explore the themes and lessons of the dystopian tale, reflecting on the aspects of how a cult mindset, diffusion of culture, and the influence of narrow religious aggression can contribute to the masses of people deciding to tolerate the process of eradicating democracy and accepting an autocratic, oppressive form of government.

By Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron
By Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron

WATCH Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron, Associate Professor, Theatre and Film, Bowling Green State University – LIVE – Thursday, January 20, 2022, 8 pm ET, on the TruthWorks Network YouTube channel, when she joins “If America Fails?:  The Coming Tyranny,” in discussion on Cults, Cultures and Religions in The Handmaid’s Tale, modern American culture and film.

ABOUT THIS EPISODE’S GUESTS:

Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron is an Associate Professor in Theatre and Film at Bowling Green State University, where she researches and teaches; authors scholarly books and articles on subjects related to the discipline; and provides keynote speeches and other presentations at conferences both domestically and internationally She has taught courses on intersections between the film-media industry, national security, and cultural moments; and,  Hollywood, Censorship, and American Culture; and Performance and Theatre in the Americas.

Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith is an ordained minister, pastor, musician, writer, and activist living in Columbus, OH She is the Founder and Executive Director of Crazy Faith Ministries, a non-traditional church where “church is not a place where you go, it is something you do.” The ministry provides outreach and services for homeless people; services for children of incarcerated parents; voter education and registration, and more. Williams Smith has published six books, including Crazy Faith:  Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives, (2009); The Book of Jeremiah: The Life and Ministry of Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., (2014); Rest for the Justice-Seeking Soul, (2019); and With Liberty & Justice for Some: The Bible, the Constitution, and Racism in America, (2020). She has been awarded an Independent Press Award in the category of cultural and social issues.

ABOUT THE HANDMAID’S TALE:

“IF AMERICA FAILS?:  The Coming Tyranny,” examines a fictional story to explore the real potential of the U.S. as a failed state.  A new totalitarian society is created in the dystopian world of “The Handmaid’s Tale.”  It resonates, frighteningly, with the dramatic efforts happening in the United States today—to suppress voting rights, limit a woman’s right to choose, criminalize free speech, distort education, rewrite history, and other threats taking place in the country now.  Our Black voice collaborative considers the themes presented by the universally-focused web series, from a Black perspective—relating them to real-life current events—and warns, the time to fight fascism is NOW!

WATCH | Thurs., 1/20/22, 8 pm ET | If America Fails?:  The Coming Tyranny | TruthWorks Network

Read “With Liberty & Justice for Some: The Bible, the Constitution, and Racism in America” by Susan K. Williams Smith

@JaniceOCG @AtwoodSociety Cut straight to the truth in #WithLiberty&JusticeForSome by @cassady2euca & @JudsonPress. Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith is live, Thurs., Jan. 20 at 8 pm ET, w/ “If America Fails?” on TWN, for our chat on @HandmaidsOnHulu, cults, cultures, religion & modern practices.

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“Can those whom a nation has considered ‘we the problem’ ever become ‘we the people’ who are celebrated in the Preamble to the Constitution?” — Judson Press

The most recent book by Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith is With Liberty & Justice for Some: The Bible, the Constitution, and Racism in America (2020).  Here Williams Smith goes to the heart of the contradictions between espoused values and beliefs, and actual behavior and practice within the U.S.  Dr. Smith puts her finger on the pulse of the disease ailing Americans today, and threatening to plunge the country into open warfare.

My mother, Loga Isis Butler Odom, taught me “actions speak louder than words.”  It’s old-school wisdom meant to protect us from those who lie, manipulate, deceive, and otherwise work to foment chaos and confusion for their own reasons and advantages.  It works!  (Thank you, mother).  When we give more weight to the things people do, than the things they say, we are seldom confused, and more importantly, empowered to take steps to protect ourselves from whatever nefarious agenda the deceiver may have in mind.  Dr. Smith applies this wisdom to the context of America, and gives us a tool with which to see through the smokescreens of copius disinformation leaving many uncertain about where things stand in the country today.  Thank you, Dr. Smith.

Let’s ask Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith:

  • What contradictions do you see in the words and actions of the men who lead Gilead in The Handmaid’s Tale?
  • What are some of the ways Americans have been deceived by the beliefs and values found in the Bible and the U.S. Constitution?
  • Why have lies traditionally been so effective in fomenting chaos and confusion – or why does truth have such a difficult time motivating our actions?

Dr. Smith joins our discussion tonight and you still have time to add your questions to the mix!  — LMO

Founded By Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith
Founded By Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith

WATCH Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith, Founder and Executive Director, Crazy Faith Ministries – LIVE – Thursday, January 20, 2022, 8 pm ET, on the TruthWorks Network YouTube channel, when she joins “If America Fails?:  The Coming Tyranny,” in discussion on Cults, Cultures and Religions in The Handmaid’s Tale, and modern American culture.

“In this provocative new book from prophetic preacher and pastor Susan Williams Smith, the author tackles the truths that the church in the United States has long held to be self-evident—that ours is one nation under God, that our U.S. Constitution is (almost) as infallible as the Holy Bible, and that democracy and its principles of justice for all are sacrosanct and protected by both God and government. Yet, history and headlines alike expose the fallacy of those assumptions, particularly when viewed in the light of a national culture of white supremacy and systemic racial injustice. In fact, Smith argues, the two texts we count as sacred have not been merely impotent in eliminating racism; they have been used to support and sustain white supremacy. This important work examines how our foundational documents have failed people of color and asks the question, Can those whom a nation has considered ‘we the problem’ ever become ‘we the people’ who are celebrated in the Preamble to the Constitution? What will it take to reclaim the transforming and affirming power of God and government to secure liberty and justice for all?

“Susan K. Williams Smith, MDiv, DMin, has formed a private not-for-profit organization aimed at empowering urban youth all over the United States through improved literacy. ‘Susan K. Smith Ministries’ is operating as ‘Crazy Faith Ministries,’ aiming to ‘worship through service.’ She also has her own blog, ‘Candid Observations,’ which concentrates on the intersection of race, politics and religion. Dr. Smith is the author of Forgive Who? The Struggle to Obey God’s Awful Command (Pub: United Church Press, 1999), and Carla and Annie (African American Images, 1989), a children’s book. This former news reporter and talk show host makes her home in Gahanna, Ohio. — Publisher

With Liberty and Justice for Some is the best argument of historical theology for critical race theory.” — Rev. Dr. J. Alfred Smith, Sr., Pastor Emeritus, Allen Temple Baptist Church

“Susan Smith’s meditations are like piercing rays of light in the present dark times, the consequences our politics, greed, and wayward choices have inflicted upon humanity. COVID-19 has mercilessly exposed the long-existing fractures and fault lines in our societies. With these meditations on American faith, the American Constitution, and American politics, Susan Smith does the same. But she is equally relentless in her message of hope, her inspiration toward courage, her call for steadfast faith in times of great convulsions. A wonderful book one puts down only to pick up again.” —Allan Boesak, Professor of Black Liberation Theology and Ethics, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Member, Martin Luther King Jr. International Board of Preachers

“Neither the Bible nor the Constitution protected Black Americans from the power and prerogatives of white supremacy. That is the eye-opening conclusion reached in this important new book by Susan K. Williams Smith. This book explores, examines, and then explains how two different versions of Christianity have held sway in this country from its inception. How can white Christians who read the same Bible as Black Christians allow for and justify the physical enslavement and economic exploitation of their fellow believers? Williams Smith answers that question by leading the reader on a journey—from the encounter of Christianity with the Roman Empire, to a slave castle in Ghana, to the centuries of slavery and racial segregation in the United States, and finally to the racial tensions that continue to divide this country today. This is a journey worth taking with a gifted and insightful guide.” —Marvin A. McMickle, PhD, Retired President and Professor of African American Religious Studies, Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School; Pastor Emeritus, Antioch Baptist Church, Cleveland, OH

With Liberty and Justice for Some is a brilliantly written, well-researched, must-read book for such times as these. Turning a historical, theological, and exegetical lens on three texts: the Bible, the Constitution, and the text that is American racism, Susan K. Williams Smith invites the light of truth to shine on our sitz im laben in order to heal the soul of our nation, illuminating a just path to create an antiracist heaven on earth. Reading, we are compelled to be the Christians we say we are and to fulfill the prayer we pray when we gather for worship. Without blame and with a big-hearted invitation, this book is an altar call to come, see, and taste the new thing God wants to do in and through us. For preachers, for professors and students, for people in the pews—you’ll soon have a dog-eared copy to which you will return again and again.”—Rev. Jacqueline J. Lewis, PhD, Senior Minister, Middle Collegiate Church, New York; Author, The Power of Stories: A Guide for Leading Multi-Racial and Multi-Cultural Congregations

Works by Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith

Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith is an ordained minister, pastor, musician, writer, activist and mother of two, living in Columbus, OH, where she now serves as Founder and Executive Director of Crazy Faith Ministries.  This is a non-traditional church with faith ministries providing outreach and services for homeless people; services for children of incarcerated parents; and voter education and registration, among other things.  Pastor Williams Smith also leads Freedom Choir that sings songs of freedom at marches and events offering messages of social justice through music.  She previously served for 22 years as pastor of Advent United Church of Christ, also in Columbus, and maintains an interest in the relationship between politics, religion, and race.  A prolific writer and author of several books, Williams Smith began her career as a newspaper reporter in Baltimore.  Her books include Crazy Faith:  Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives (2009), and most recently, With Liberty & Justice for Some: The Bible, the Constitution, and Racism in America (2020), Dr. Williams Smith also blogs at Candid Observations and has written for the Washington Post and Huffington Post.  With a Doctorate in Ministry, she maintains leadership roles in many national and community organizations and religious networks.  — If America Fails:  The Coming Tyranny, a TruthWorks Network Production

READ | With Liberty & Justice for Some: The Bible, the Constitution, and Racism in America | by Susan K. Williams Smith | Judson Press | 10/19/2020

See “Acting Indie: Industry, Aesthetics, and Performance,” by Cynthia Baron and Yannis Tzioumakis

@JaniceOCG @AtwoodSociety #ActingIndie by #CynthiaAnnBaron & @Palgrave is film expert’s latest book & looks at impact of actors as writers, directors & producers. Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron is live, Thurs., Jan. 20 at 8 pm ET, w/ “If America Fails?” on TWN, for chat on @HandmaidsOnHulu, film & cults, cultures & religion.

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Acting Indie: Industry, Aesthetics, and Performance (2020) is the most recent book published by Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron, and it focuses upon the role and contributions of actors in American independent cinema.

While we have the opportunity to speak with Dr. Baron, let’s see what we can learn about the differences between independent and studio-backed film-making, and what it implies about our viewing consumption of The Handmaid’s Tale.  Perhaps we could ask the professor:

  1. What differences do you imagine we might see if The Handmaid’s Tale TV series were developed by independent filmmakers, instead of Hulu, a major streaming service and production studio?
  2. I see where major studios have attempted to become more innovative, as a response to increased demand created by COVID-19 lockdowns.  Has the pandemic had an impact on the quality or quantity of film production by independent filmmakers; and if so, in what ways?
  3. Elisabeth Moss made her directorial debut in season 4 of The Handmaid’s Tale, including the dramatic season finale.  What do you see as the pros and cons of actors who simultaneously take on multiple roles in a film production?

Tonight we welcome Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron to “If America Fails?”  Join the chat or send your questions to us in advance of the 8 pm ET livestream.  — LMO

By Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron
By Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron

WATCH Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron, Associate Professor, Theatre and Film, Bowling Green State University – LIVE – Thursday, January 20, 2022, 8 pm ET, on the TruthWorks Network YouTube channel, when she joins “If America Fails?:  The Coming Tyranny,” in discussion on Cults, Cultures and Religions in The Handmaid’s Tale, modern American culture and film.

“This book illustrates the many ways that actors contribute to American independent cinema. Analyzing industrial developments, it examines the impact of actors as writers, directors, and producers, and as stars able to attract investment and bring visibility to small-scale productions. Exploring cultural-aesthetic factors, the book identifies the various traditions that shape narrative designs, casting choices, and performance styles. The book offers a genealogy of industrial and aesthetic practices that connects independent filmmaking in the studio era and the 1960s and 1970s to American independent cinema in its independent, indie, indiewood, and late-indiewood forms. Chapters on actors’ involvement in the evolution of American independent cinema as a sector alternate with chapters that show how traditions such as naturalism, modernism, postmodernism, and Third Cinema influence films and performances.” — Publisher

Books by Dr. Cynthia Baron

Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron is an Associate Professor in Theatre and Film at Bowling Green State University, where she researches and teaches; authors scholarly books and articles on subjects related to the discipline; and provides keynote speeches and other presentations at conferences both domestically and internationally.  Her research and teaching interests include American Independent Cinema; Screenwriting; Taste Formation; Censorship; Food Studies; Women’s Cinema; and Actor Training, Stardom, and Screen Performance, among other subjects. She has taught courses on intersections between the film-media industry, national security, and cultural moments such as the Cold War and the Vietnam era.  Some other courses Dr. Baron teaches are American Independent Cinema; Hollywood, Censorship, and American Culture; and Performance and Theatre in the Americas. 

Most recently, she published Acting Indie: Industry, Aesthetics, and Performance (with Yannis Tzioumakis), (2020), which illustrates the many ways that actors contribute to American independent cinema and analyzes industrial developments; Modern Acting: The Lost Chapter of American Film and Theatre (2016), which, in part, highlights women’s key contributions to American film and theatre; and Denzel Washington (2015) where Baron traces the star’s persona and impact on mainstream society.  Current book projects include:  Recasting (White) Genres: Race, Ethnicity, and Performance in Contemporary Film and Television; Intersecting Aesthetics: Literary Adaptations and Cinematic Representations of Blackness, with co-editor Charlene Regester; and Imprisonment: Representation in Global Film and Media, with co-editor Karen Ritzenhoff.  She is co-chair of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Caucus on Class and has participated in events such as the Rethinking Realist Acting Conference in New York, and the Acting in Film Conference in Potsdam.  — If America Fails:  The Coming Tyranny, a TruthWorks Network Production

READ | Acting Indie: Industry, Aesthetics, and Performance | by Cynthia Baron and Yannis Tzioumakis | Palgrave | 2020

Watch in as Rev. Brittany Graves Interviews Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith On Her Latest Book — With Liberty & Justice for Some

@JaniceOCG See book talk on #WithLiberty&JusticeForSome by @cassady2euca & @JudsonPress w/ #BrittanyGraves. Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith is live, Thurs., Jan. 20 at 8 pm ET, w/ “If America Fails?” on TWN, for our chat on cults, cultures & religion in @HandmaidsOnHulu & modern practices.

Watch this 52-minute video as Rev. Brittany Graves interviews Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith on her latest book — With Liberty & Justice for Some: The Bible the Constitution and Racism in America, Judson Press (2020).  — LMO

Founded By Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith
Founded By Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith

WATCH Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith, Founder and Executive Director, Crazy Faith Ministries – LIVE – Thursday, January 20, 2022, 8 pm ET, on the TruthWorks Network YouTube channel, when she joins “If America Fails?:  The Coming Tyranny,” in discussion on Cults, Cultures and Religions in The Handmaid’s Tale, and modern American culture.

“Rev. Brittany Graves, Associate Coordinator Public Witness & Advocacy, at American Baptist Home Mission Societies interviews Dr. Susan Smith, author of the award-winning book, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR SOME. This book challenges assumptions that the U.S. is ‘one nation under God,’ that both the Constitution and the Bible have been interpreted without bias and that democracy and its principles of justice for all largely prevent the oppression or unequal treatment of individuals and groups.”  — Judson Press

Works by Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith

Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith is an ordained minister, pastor, musician, writer, activist and mother of two, living in Columbus, OH, where she now serves as Founder and Executive Director of Crazy Faith Ministries.  This is a non-traditional church with faith ministries providing outreach and services for homeless people; services for children of incarcerated parents; and voter education and registration, among other things.  Pastor Williams Smith also leads Freedom Choir that sings songs of freedom at marches and events offering messages of social justice through music.  She previously served for 22 years as pastor of Advent United Church of Christ, also in Columbus, and maintains an interest in the relationship between politics, religion, and race.  A prolific writer and author of several books, Williams Smith began her career as a newspaper reporter in Baltimore.  Her books include Crazy Faith:  Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives (2009), and most recently, With Liberty & Justice for Some: The Bible, the Constitution, and Racism in America (2020), Dr. Williams Smith also blogs at Candid Observations and has written for the Washington Post and Huffington Post.  With a Doctorate in Ministry, she maintains leadership roles in many national and community organizations and religious networks.  — If America Fails:  The Coming Tyranny, a TruthWorks Network Production

WATCH 52:00 | Book Talk with Dr Susan Williams Smith | by Rev. Brittany Graves, Judson Press | 4/1/2021

To Breathe and Be Seen: On Writing & Art

@ASoulAFire @JaniceOCG @GlennonDoyle & friends discuss value of creating art – even more important in dystopian times.  Watch Thursdays, 8 pm ET, 1/13 – 4/7/22, “If America Fails?:  The Coming Tyranny” on TWN.

In these difficult days

where U.S. Senators attempt to decide if voting rights are more important than a rule they use to regulate how they work together;

where jobs go unfilled and few seem to imagine that perhaps workers don’t want to risk their lives during a plague, in order to maintain employment; and

where long-established women’s rights to control their own bodies are quickly evaporating,

The need for art in all forms goes up.

In this relaxing conversation between Glennon Doyle and friends, they discuss the role of writing and art in their own lives.  They see engagement in making art as a space in their lives to breathe and be seen.  When I was listening to this episode, I thought about how fascistic-style governments require that our representative be on call almost always.  It must be even more important than ever to have a space to breathe and be seen, when living under such over-bearing oppression.

If you’re not in denial about the direction in which this country is heading, you may want to start now (if you haven’t already), cultivating the skills and stocking your playground with the toys you need to make art.  Who knows?  Maybe you’ll produce the very thing this world needs to connect with the most loving and humane parts of our nature.  Good luck! 🙂  — LMO

  1. How writing is a lifeline for Glennon because it’s the one place her real self can tell the truth.
  2. Why Abby feels that her time on the soccer field was art.
  3. The unorthodox way Glennon’s writing evolved from hourly 5AM sessions to survive sobriety with three young kids to three New York Times Best Sellers.
  4. Why it’s horseshit that books by women authors are indiscriminately labeled “self-help.”

— We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle

LISTEN TO | WRITING & ART: When does your real self get to breathe and be seen? | We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle | 10/19/2021

See “Modern Acting: The Lost Chapter of American Film and Theatre,” by Cynthia Baron

@JaniceOCG See Modern Acting, 2016 book by #CynthiaAnnBaron. Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron is live, Thurs., Jan. 20 at 8 pm ET, w/ “If America Fails?” on TWN, for our chat on cults, cultures & religion in @HandmaidsOnHulu & other films.

Modern Acting: The Lost Chapter of American Film and Theatre, is a 2016 book by Cynthia Baron, where she considers the differences between modern and method acting, and contributions of women to film and theatre.  This inspires me to ask…

  • In your opinion, how do the women stars in The Handmaid’s Tale stack up as actors?
  • Are they using Modern acting or Method acting in The Handmaid’s Tale – and what’s the difference?

Let’s get all we can from this expert in film and theatre, to gain a deeper understanding of why we are so moved by the story and performances in The Handmaid’s Tale.  — LMO

By Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron
By Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron

WATCH Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron, Associate Professor, Theatre and Film, Bowling Green State University – LIVE – Thursday, January 20, 2022, 8 pm ET, on the TruthWorks Network YouTube channel, when she joins “If America Fails?:  The Coming Tyranny,” in discussion on Cults, Cultures and Religions in The Handmaid’s Tale, modern American culture and film.

“Tells the story of Modern acting long hidden by the mystique of Method acting. Highlights women’s key contributions to American film and theatre. Reveals Marlon Brando’s opposition to the Method and Stella Adler’s work as a Modern acting teacher.  Explores the significant connections between the Group Theatre and the Actors’ Lab in Hollywood.  Illuminates the creative labor of 21st century actors by tracing its roots to the 1930s and 1940s.”  — Publisher

Books by Dr. Cynthia Baron

Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron is an Associate Professor in Theatre and Film at Bowling Green State University, where she researches and teaches; authors scholarly books and articles on subjects related to the discipline; and provides keynote speeches and other presentations at conferences both domestically and internationally.  Her research and teaching interests include American Independent Cinema; Screenwriting; Taste Formation; Censorship; Food Studies; Women’s Cinema; and Actor Training, Stardom, and Screen Performance, among other subjects. She has taught courses on intersections between the film-media industry, national security, and cultural moments such as the Cold War and the Vietnam era.  Some other courses Dr. Baron teaches are American Independent Cinema; Hollywood, Censorship, and American Culture; and Performance and Theatre in the Americas. 

Most recently, she published Acting Indie: Industry, Aesthetics, and Performance (with Yannis Tzioumakis), (2020), which illustrates the many ways that actors contribute to American independent cinema and analyzes industrial developments; Modern Acting: The Lost Chapter of American Film and Theatre (2016), which, in part, highlights women’s key contributions to American film and theatre; and Denzel Washington (2015) where Baron traces the star’s persona and impact on mainstream society.  Current book projects include:  Recasting (White) Genres: Race, Ethnicity, and Performance in Contemporary Film and Television; Intersecting Aesthetics: Literary Adaptations and Cinematic Representations of Blackness, with co-editor Charlene Regester; and Imprisonment: Representation in Global Film and Media, with co-editor Karen Ritzenhoff.  She is co-chair of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Caucus on Class and has participated in events such as the Rethinking Realist Acting Conference in New York, and the Acting in Film Conference in Potsdam.  — If America Fails:  The Coming Tyranny, a TruthWorks Network Production

READ | Modern Acting: The Lost Chapter of American Film and Theatre | by Cynthia Baron | (Palgrave, 2016)

Crazy Faith Ministries: A Non-Traditional, Action-Oriented Ministry Led by Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith

@JaniceOCG Learn about the work of #CrazyFaithMinistries, an action-oriented ministry led by @cassady2euca.  Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith is live, Thurs., Jan. 20 at 8 pm ET, w/ “If America Fails?” on TWN, for our chat on cults, cultures & religion in @HandmaidsOnHulu & modern practices.

Question:  What does a “pastor, author and musician interested in the relationship between politics, religion, and race” decide to focus on as a career?

Answer:  Crazy Faith Ministries.

 “I believe that church is not a place where you go, it is something you do. I decided this ministry would be about us doing things for other people, with no building, no trustees, no deacons, no formal worship at all — just us.”  — Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith

Founded By Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith
Founded By Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith

WATCH Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith, Founder and Executive Director, Crazy Faith Ministries – LIVE – Thursday, January 20, 2022, 8 pm ET, on the TruthWorks Network YouTube channel, when she joins “If America Fails?:  The Coming Tyranny,” in discussion on Cults, Cultures and Religions in The Handmaid’s Tale, and modern American culture.

“Crazy Faith Ministries (CFM) is both a non-profit organization and a church dedicated to improving the lives of the ‘least of these’ and teaching the power of ‘crazy faith.’ As a church, we have a traditional worship service from 5 – 6 pm on Sundays at Summit United Methodist Church (82 E 16th Ave). We welcome ALL (in the truest sense of the word) to come worship with us in the black church tradition of music, hymns, scriptures, and the preached word. Rev. Sue believes in liberation theology as well as the teachings of Jesus. With that being said, social justice is our main tenant, and is the focus of the work that we do outside of the church. Social justice means both mercy work and justice work and we do both. The traditional worship service is only a small amount of what we do. The bigger part of our ministry is outreach, as we believe that taking the ‘good news’ to marginalized communities is what truly living the gospel should be about.  — Crazy Faith Ministries

Volunteers assist Crazy Faith Ministries in reaching those in need, with a current focus on the homeless community.  The ministry also pursues social justice objectives including voter education and registration.  “Rev. Sue,” as she is affectionately known, leads a Freedom Choir that sings freedom songs at marches and events throughout the community, spreading the message of social justice through music.

If you are in the area of Columbus, OH, reach Crazy Faith Ministries at CrazyFaith2019@gmail.com or (614) 245-5411.  Also, consider making a donation to help extend this good work, from wherever you may be.  — LMO

Works by Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith

Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith is an ordained minister, pastor, musician, writer, activist and mother of two, living in Columbus, OH, where she now serves as Founder and Executive Director of Crazy Faith Ministries.  This is a non-traditional church with faith ministries providing outreach and services for homeless people; services for children of incarcerated parents; and voter education and registration, among other things.  Pastor Williams Smith also leads Freedom Choir that sings songs of freedom at marches and events offering messages of social justice through music.  She previously served for 22 years as pastor of Advent United Church of Christ, also in Columbus, and maintains an interest in the relationship between politics, religion, and race.  A prolific writer and author of several books, Williams Smith began her career as a newspaper reporter in Baltimore.  Her books include Crazy Faith:  Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives (2009), and most recently, With Liberty & Justice for Some: The Bible, the Constitution, and Racism in America (2020), Dr. Williams Smith also blogs at Candid Observations and has written for the Washington Post and Huffington Post.  With a Doctorate in Ministry, she maintains leadership roles in many national and community organizations and religious networks.  — If America Fails:  The Coming Tyranny, a TruthWorks Network Production

SEE | Crazy Faith Ministries | A Non-Traditional, Action-Oriented Ministry Led by Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith

See “The ‘crazy faith’ and prophetic voice of Susan Williams Smith ’86 M.Div.” by Kimberly Winston, Yale Divinity School

@JaniceOCG @kjwinston11 of @YaleDivSchool conducted thoughtful interview of @cassady2euca. Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith is live, Thurs., Jan. 20 at 8 pm ET, w/ “If America Fails?” on TWN, for our chat on cults, cultures & religion in @HandmaidsOnHulu & modern practices.

Founded By Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith
Founded By Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith

WATCH Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith, Founder and Executive Director, Crazy Faith Ministries – LIVE – Thursday, January 20, 2022, 8 pm ET, on the TruthWorks Network YouTube channel, when she joins “If America Fails?:  The Coming Tyranny,” in discussion on Cults, Cultures and Religions in The Handmaid’s Tale, and modern American culture.

Twenty years into her career as a minister, Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith considered turning away from her chosen career. 

“’I was so tired, I was so burnt out,’ she said from her home in Columbus, Ohio, where she raised two children while leading a United Church of Christ congregation.  ‘I didn’t know if I wanted to do church or talk about God ever again.’

…So, she resigned as head pastor and entered a period of deep confusion and reflection…Five months after she resigned from her traditional congregation, Dr. Smith started Crazy Faith Ministries, a non-denominational and pointedly non-traditional organization that, for lack of a better description, might be called a ‘distilled’ church,” wrote Kimberly Winston.

In a thoughtful interview, going deep into the background and motivations of Dr. Smith, we learn much about what makes this dynamic leader tick.  Here are a couple of quotes from the article, which I encourage you to read in full:

“I believe that church is not a place where you go, it is something you do. I decided this ministry would be about us doing things for other people, with no building, no trustees, no deacons, no formal worship at all — just us.”

“It’s a way of making a sermon not just words, but action. It makes my soul sing.”

— LMO

Works by Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith

Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith is an ordained minister, pastor, musician, writer, activist and mother of two, living in Columbus, OH, where she now serves as Founder and Executive Director of Crazy Faith Ministries.  This is a non-traditional church with faith ministries providing outreach and services for homeless people; services for children of incarcerated parents; and voter education and registration, among other things.  Pastor Williams Smith also leads Freedom Choir that sings songs of freedom at marches and events offering messages of social justice through music.  She previously served for 22 years as pastor of Advent United Church of Christ, also in Columbus, and maintains an interest in the relationship between politics, religion, and race.  A prolific writer and author of several books, Williams Smith began her career as a newspaper reporter in Baltimore.  Her books include Crazy Faith:  Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives (2009), and most recently, With Liberty & Justice for Some: The Bible, the Constitution, and Racism in America (2020), Dr. Williams Smith also blogs at Candid Observations and has written for the Washington Post and Huffington Post.  With a Doctorate in Ministry, she maintains leadership roles in many national and community organizations and religious networks.  — If America Fails:  The Coming Tyranny, a TruthWorks Network Production

READ | The ‘crazy faith’ and prophetic voice of Susan Williams Smith ’86 M.Div. | by Kimberly Winston | Yale Divinity School | 9/20/2021

Read “Denzel Washington” by Cynthia Baron

@JaniceOCG @BFI #CynthiaAnnBaron wrote the book on Denzel!  Will she dish the dirt? 🙂 Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron is live, Thurs., Jan. 20 at 8 pm ET, w/ “If America Fails?” on TWN, for our chat on cults, cultures & religion in @HandmaidsOnHulu & other films.

By Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron
By Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron

WATCH Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron, Associate Professor, Theatre and Film, Bowling Green State University – LIVE – Thursday, January 20, 2022, 8 pm ET, on the TruthWorks Network YouTube channel, when she joins “If America Fails?:  The Coming Tyranny,” in discussion on Cults, Cultures and Religions in The Handmaid’s Tale, modern American culture and film.

See “Denzel Washington” by Cynthia Baron, British Film Institute, 2015.  OK Doc, what’s the deal?:

  1. Did you meet Denzel Washington in person, and if so, is he as gorgeous in real life as he is on screen?
  2. What did you find to be Denzel’s greatest impact on mainstream society?

Tell me – what gets you curious about Denzel?  — LMO

“In this illuminating insight into Denzel Washington’s multifaceted image and remarkable career, Cynthia Baron traces his star persona and impact on mainstream society – from his time as a skilled actor in theatre and television in the 1980s, to his leading man roles in landmark films of the 1990s, to his place in Hollywood’s elite in the 2000s.”  — Publisher

Books by Dr. Cynthia Baron

Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron is an Associate Professor in Theatre and Film at Bowling Green State University, where she researches and teaches; authors scholarly books and articles on subjects related to the discipline; and provides keynote speeches and other presentations at conferences both domestically and internationally.  Her research and teaching interests include American Independent Cinema; Screenwriting; Taste Formation; Censorship; Food Studies; Women’s Cinema; and Actor Training, Stardom, and Screen Performance, among other subjects. She has taught courses on intersections between the film-media industry, national security, and cultural moments such as the Cold War and the Vietnam era.  Some other courses Dr. Baron teaches are American Independent Cinema; Hollywood, Censorship, and American Culture; and Performance and Theatre in the Americas. 

Most recently, she published Acting Indie: Industry, Aesthetics, and Performance (with Yannis Tzioumakis), (2020), which illustrates the many ways that actors contribute to American independent cinema and analyzes industrial developments; Modern Acting: The Lost Chapter of American Film and Theatre (2016), which, in part, highlights women’s key contributions to American film and theatre; and Denzel Washington (2015) where Baron traces the star’s persona and impact on mainstream society.  Current book projects include:  Recasting (White) Genres: Race, Ethnicity, and Performance in Contemporary Film and Television; Intersecting Aesthetics: Literary Adaptations and Cinematic Representations of Blackness, with co-editor Charlene Regester; and Imprisonment: Representation in Global Film and Media, with co-editor Karen Ritzenhoff.  She is co-chair of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Caucus on Class and has participated in events such as the Rethinking Realist Acting Conference in New York, and the Acting in Film Conference in Potsdam.  — If America Fails:  The Coming Tyranny, a TruthWorks Network Production

READ | Denzel Washington | by Cynthia Baron | (British Film Institute, 2015)

See PROMO: 01-20-22 – “American Democracy Under Siege: Cults, Cultures and Religions” – If America Fails? The Coming Tyranny

@AtwoodSociety @JaniceOCG See PROMO for LIVE webcast, Thurs., 1/20/22, 8:00 pm ET, feat. @cassady2euca Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith & Dr. #CynthiaAnnBaron in “American Democracy Under Siege: Cults, Cultures and Religions” – Season 1 of “If America Fails?:  The Coming Tyranny.”

Divider07 – HMT S1

See PROMO for the Thursday, January 20, 2022, 8 pm ET, LIVE webcast of “If America Fails?  The ComingTyranny.”  This event, “American Democracy Under Siege: Cults, Cultures and Religions,” features guest expert panelists Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron, Associate Professor in Theatre and Film at Bowling Green State University, and Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith, Founder and Executive Director of Crazy Faith Ministries.

PROMO: 01-20-22 – “American Democracy Under Siege: Cults, Cultures and Religions” – If America Fails? The Coming Tyranny

We will examine through the lens of the story/film prominent issues of the current toxic political environment in America and the relevance of the images and culture we witness in it.  We look to tonight’s guest experts for assistance in learning about changes happening in religion today, and grasping the theological and cinematic implications of The Handmaid’s Tale.  We explore the themes and lessons of the dystopian tale, reflecting on the aspects of how a cult mindset, diffusion of culture, and the influence of narrow religious aggression can contribute to the masses of people deciding to tolerate the process of eradicating democracy and accepting an autocratic, oppressive form of government.

Works by Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith

Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith is an ordained minister, pastor, musician, writer, activist and mother of two, living in Columbus, OH, where she now serves as Founder and Executive Director of Crazy Faith Ministries.  This is a non-traditional church with faith ministries providing outreach and services for homeless people; services for children of incarcerated parents; and voter education and registration, among other things.  Pastor Williams Smith also leads Freedom Choir that sings songs of freedom at marches and events offering messages of social justice through music.  She previously served for 22 years as pastor of Advent United Church of Christ, also in Columbus, and maintains an interest in the relationship between politics, religion, and race.  A prolific writer and author of several books, Williams Smith began her career as a newspaper reporter in Baltimore.  Her books include Crazy Faith:  Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives (2009), and most recently, With Liberty & Justice for Some: The Bible, the Constitution, and Racism in America (2020), Dr. Williams Smith also blogs at Candid Observations and has written for the Washington Post and Huffington Post.  With a Doctorate in Ministry, she maintains leadership roles in many national and community organizations and religious networks.  — If America Fails:  The Coming Tyranny, a TruthWorks Network Production

Books by Dr. Cynthia Baron

Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron is an Associate Professor in Theatre and Film at Bowling Green State University, where she researches and teaches; authors scholarly books and articles on subjects related to the discipline; and provides keynote speeches and other presentations at conferences both domestically and internationally.  Her research and teaching interests include American Independent Cinema; Screenwriting; Taste Formation; Censorship; Food Studies; Women’s Cinema; and Actor Training, Stardom, and Screen Performance, among other subjects. She has taught courses on intersections between the film-media industry, national security, and cultural moments such as the Cold War and the Vietnam era.  Some other courses Dr. Baron teaches are American Independent Cinema; Hollywood, Censorship, and American Culture; and Performance and Theatre in the Americas. 

Most recently, she published Acting Indie: Industry, Aesthetics, and Performance (with Yannis Tzioumakis), (2020), which illustrates the many ways that actors contribute to American independent cinema and analyzes industrial developments; Modern Acting: The Lost Chapter of American Film and Theatre (2016), which, in part, highlights women’s key contributions to American film and theatre; and Denzel Washington (2015) where Baron traces the star’s persona and impact on mainstream society.  Current book projects include:  Recasting (White) Genres: Race, Ethnicity, and Performance in Contemporary Film and Television; Intersecting Aesthetics: Literary Adaptations and Cinematic Representations of Blackness, with co-editor Charlene Regester; and Imprisonment: Representation in Global Film and Media, with co-editor Karen Ritzenhoff.  She is co-chair of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Caucus on Class and has participated in events such as the Rethinking Realist Acting Conference in New York, and the Acting in Film Conference in Potsdam.  — If America Fails:  The Coming Tyranny, a TruthWorks Network Production

WATCH LIVE EVENT HERE:  Thurs., 1/20/22, 8:00 pm ET | “American Democracy Under Siege: Cults, Cultures and Religions” | Featuring Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron and Rev. Dr. Susan K. Williams Smith

WATCH | PROMO:  01-20-22 – “American Democracy Under Siege:  Cults, Cultures and Religions” | If America Fails?  The Coming Tyranny

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