by CSW Director Rob Field


Center for Spiritual Wisdom is going back to the movies! 


On Monday, May 20th at 6:30 p.m., the Center and the Co-Ed Cinema in Brevard will host a screening of Join Or Die, a new film about community organizations and the vital role they play in our society. As the movie’s title implies, there’s a strong link between membership in a civic group and our personal well-being.

Groups of all sorts (including faith communities) have been an essential part of America’s social fabric. Unfortunately, a steep decline in the number of people belonging to community organizations has accompanied the stark increase in ideological polarization in the U.S. “Join Or Die” — featuring the voice of Robert Putnam, the author of Bowling Alone — makes a persuasive case that these two trends are closely tied to each other. Please note, this is a fun, award-winning film with a vital message about the present and future of America. I hope you’ll plan now to join me at the Co-Ed on May 20th at 6:30 p.m. You can watch the movie’s trailer HERE, and register for the May 20th showing HERE.

Deciding to show Join Or Die was a no-brainer. A key goal for us at CSW is to hold together things that too often get turned into forced, false choices:  spirituality or social justice, personal healing or the healing of the world, religious claims or scientific truth, our interior lives or the life of the world around us. We are committed to replacing each or with a firm and.

In the case of “Join Or Die,” I think the real message of the movie is  Join and Live. When you join your neighbors to support and serve our fellow citizens, you will find that you’re less lonely and, over time, less distrustful of other people — even if they think and vote differently than you do. Coming together in community organizations will help remind us that what we have in common is more important and more powerful than the forces trying to drive us apart.


images courtesy of Delevan Street Films