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The Hollywood Faithful. 
Hollywood's all bad? An evening with the Entertainment Fellowship quickly dispels that illusion.
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The Hollywood Faithful
A reprint from The Plain Truth Magazine. Used by permission.

(1997) Hollywood's all bad? An evening with the Entertainment Fellowship quickly dispels that illusion.

The Fellowship--now in its third year and growing rapidly --comprises more than 1,200 members from all facets of the entertainment and media industries --actors, actresses, producers, directors, writers, musicians, newscasters, grips, hair stylists--you name it.

Its mission: "to enable people in the entertainment industry to know and apply Judeo-Christian principles into their careers."

The Fellowship was founded by Robert Hanley, an actor and acting teacher from the Bronx, who saw the need for a group where believers in the entertainment industry could meet and share their faith, feelings, problems and experiences with like-minded peers in "the business."

The nonprofit fellowship is open to members of all faiths. "We're all in this together," says Hanley. "The Spirit is ecumenical."

Activities include a monthly dinner during which featured guests talk about their spirituality and share how their faith in God has played a role in their careers. Speakers have included singer, actor, host Peter Marshall (Hollywood Squares), comedian Kevin Nealon (Saturday Night Live), director Asaad Kelada (Family Ties, Who's the Boss?) and actor-comedian Tom Wilson (the bully Biff in Back to the Future I, II and III).

Several other events take place each month. Discussion meetings are held at five different locations in the Los Angeles area. Members meet to discuss topics related to the overall theme of "God and Career." Emphasis is heavy on mutual support and encouragement. These meetings begin and end in prayer.

Discussion topics include managing stress, coping with money problems, combatting age discrimination, balancing family and career, and staying true to one's values in an industry that is
hardly God-centered.

A participant in a discussion on the importance of faith and prayer in making career decisions commented that knowing God has a plan for her life has been a source of great strength. "Putting God first has helped me stay focused in a crazy, difficult business," she said. "Knowing I can count on him has kept me going in the rough times."

Though the Fellowship focuses mainly on spiritual support for the individual, discussion often comes around to larger issues like the content of films and TV shows. Members feel that quality entertainment is possible without violence or pornography. They're committed to having a positive effect on others in the industry through their input and example.

"Act with grace--set the tone!" Hanley urges members.

Tom Wilson puts it this way: "We change the industry by prayer and fasting and humbling ourselves. Christians should be the 'together people' on the set."

That counsel is echoed in the group's mission statement: "The Fellowship hopes to effect a positive change in the life of the individual which subsequently will bring a higher standard of morals and ethics to what the industry as a whole produces."

--Keith W. Stump

For more information,
Entertainment Fellowship (818) 909-0841
or write
P.O. Box 17313,
Encino, CA 91416-7313.


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