Graduate Theological Union

Documentary Captures Alumna's Journey of Faith and Love

Raw FaithRaw Faith, a surprisingly intimate and revealing documentary featuring an original song by Sheryl Crow, follows two years in the private life of Marilyn Sewell, an outspoken and socially progressive Unitarian minister who has re-energized her Portland community. Sewell graduated 1991 with a Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union.

During Marilyn Sewell’s tenure as senior minister of the First Unitarian Church of Portland, the church grew from 625 to 1,600 members, becoming one of the largest and most esteemed UU groups in the nation. As one of the few women to lead a large church of any faith in the United States, Marilyn also brings a female perspective to local and national issues, making her a prominent figure in Christian liberal debates in the United States.

About the film (according to the Raw Faith website www.rawfaith.com): “Marilyn Sewell is successful and beloved in the pulpit, but behind the scenes she is lonely and yearning for change. As she considers leaving the ministry, she realizes she will be leaving her only social network. Yet when she falls in love for the first time, she realizes she does not trust intimacy. A study in contrasts, Marilyn must rely on raw faith as she questions her future, her difficult past, her God and, most importantly, her ability to love.”

Raw Faith (2010), directed by Peter Wiedensmith, was an official selection at the Nashville Film Festival, where it received the 2010 Nashville Public Television Human Spirit Award. Its theatrical release will be June 24, 2011, at The Quad Cinema in New York City. After the New York opening, Raw Faith will expand to other national markets during the summer and fall of 2011, before a DVD and Video-On-Demand release in early 2012.

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