Arts & Entertainment Neighbors

Interfaith Community Screening Film That Highlights Community Rocked By Tragedy

The public is invited to view the 30-minute film, “Waking in Oak Creek” on Sunday, Jan. 21 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Yardley United Methodist Church, located at the intersection of Yardley-Newtown Road and Yardley-Langhorne Road in Yardley.

The film showing is a partnership, including the Interfaith Community of Lower Bucks (ICLB), The Peace Center and the Yardley United Methodist Church.

Gayle Evans, director of Leadership and Community Engagement for The Peace Center, will lead an interactive dialogue after the film, “Waking in Oak Creek.”

“Waking in Oak Creek,” is about a hate incident, which happened as the Sikh community in Oak Creek, Wisconsin prepared for Sunday prayers. The deadly hate attack shatters their lives, but not their resilience.

After six worshipers are killed by a white supremacist, the local community finds inspiration in the Sikh tradition of forgiveness and faith. A police lieutenant, who was shot 15 times in the attack, joins the mayor and police chief as they forge new bonds with the Sikh community.

The film focuses on young temple members, still grieving, who emerge as leaders in the quest to end the violence. In the year following the tragedy, thousands gather for vigils and community events to honor the victims and seek connection.

Together, a community rocked by hate, is awakened and transformed by the Sikh spirit of relentless optimism.

The January 21 film event is a continuation of the Interfaith Film Festival, which debuted in November, 2017 with the showing of “Not in Our Town: Billings, Montana.”  This film showed how ordinary citizens in Billings, Montana joined together to stand up to hate when their neighbors were under attack by white supremacists.

Natalie Kaye of Newtown, ICLB board president, explained why the showing of “Waking in Oak Creek” was postponed to January.

“The first movie contained so many incidents of different hate crimes against different groups, it seemed there would be enough material for discussion and it made sense to save the second one for a different time,” said Kaye.

Kaye continued, “Our mission is to bring people of faith together to build harmony, community and understanding by hosting and participating in community work, play, worship and education.

This event is free for students of all ages and a suggested donation of $5 for adults at the door.

About the author

Petra Chesner Schlatter

Petra Chesner Schlatter