Spirituality in Movies

Join us each month as we enjoy watching a movie with significant spiritual or religious themes, and engage in conversation afterwards, led by Pastor Michael Coffey.  Movies are shown in digital projection with surround sound.  You’re welcome to bring your own dinner to enjoy during the film.  Free popcorn is provided.

The series is currently on a break.


Previous Films in the Series

13 Conversations About One Thing2001: A Space Odyssey
A Serious ManBlade Runner

Bruce Almighty

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Pacifist, Nazi Resister

Chariots of Fire


Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Crimes and Misdemeanors

Dr. Strangelove

Edward Scissorhands

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind


Food, Inc.

Goodwill Hunting

Grand Canyon

Groundhog Day



Jesus of Montreal

L. A. Story

Lars and the Real Girl

Life of Brian

Lord, Save Us from Your Followers

Make Way for Tomorrow

MagnoliaModern Times

Of Gods and Men

Paths of Glory




The Apostle

The Empire Strikes Back

The Fog of War

The Gospel According to St. Matthew

The Great Dictator

The Grapes of Wrath

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Mission

The Name of the Rose

The Passion of Joan of Arc

The Piano

The Seventh Seal

The Shawshank Redemption

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

The Tree of Life

The Way


Where the Wild Things Are

Wings of Desire

Winter Light


Press Release about the series:

Is church the only place you can go to enhance your spiritual life? Not necessarily, according to the Reverend Michael Coffey, an ordained Lutheran pastor who also happens to be a lifelong movie buff. “You could go to the movies. People might be surprised at the prevalence of spiritual and theological themes that can be found in mainstream, secular films.”

Coffey leads a “Spirituality in Movies” film series at First English Lutheran Church in Austin, where he is the pastor.  The public is always invited, and the event is free.  Following each film, Coffey leads a discussion that explores these themes, offering spiritual, theological, and biblical insight.

The films in the series are not the expected religious/biblical-theme movies. Rather, the films include a wide swath of Hollywood, independent and foreign productions that can be viewed as having a positive impact on the way people explore their own faith and lives. Coffey says, “Really good films are art, and art, when it’s really good, explores those very central themes about life, faith, God and spirituality. That’s what this series is about.”

Films in the series will include a wide range of genres: comedy, science fiction, documentary, drama, fantasy, animation.  They are presented with digital projection and surround sound.

“Certain movies touch us because they are deep, profound and thought-provoking, and we leave the theater wishing we could share our thoughts and questions about the issues that stay with us. With this film series, we’ll be able to do that – to discuss our ideas and questions. We can search for theological and universal themes that connect us spiritually, and have a forum for sharing them.” Coffey says.