So far this year Raleigh has experienced a tornado, an earthquake, and a hurricane. And coming in November, you may be able to add a blizzard to the mix.
That weather event, however, would be planned and controlled. The “blizzard” would be created for the production of a feature length faith-based film called Secrets in the Snow. It’s about six teens trapped in their school during a blizzard.
“They get snowed into their high school,” says co-producer Aaron Michael Johnson, “and each of them is dealing with something or some sort of secret that they have. We have all of these different issues that we’re dealing with in a faith-based way. We’re really seeing what the Lord can do in each of these situations as far as all of our characters go. With each of them there’s a different moral to be learned.”
The film is the brainchild of local filmmaker Brittany Goodwin, who wanted to make a movie the whole family could watch, and which would teach strong moral lessons. She asked Johnson, a Charlotte-based actor, if he would like to co-produce it, and he agreed.
“We wanted to create this movie based solely on the fact that it’s a Christian movie and it’s still going to be entertaining and teach you something,” Johnson told me. “We’ve got an awesome cast, a good story. There’s comedy, some drama, and tearjerkers -- stuff like that.”
Filming is expected to take about 10-12 days in November at two Raleigh private schools that have made their facilities available. But production can take place only if enough funds are raised first. You can read about that, and hear more about the project, in this promotional clip.
Johnson says if all goes well, Secrets in the Snow will be released on DVD next year and possibly even get theater distribution. One small thing, however: how do you create a blizzard in Raleigh?
“There’s a company called Snow My Yard, and what they do, basically, is you buy snow by the ton,” says Johnson. “And they come out, they bring their their dump trucks and they just blow snow all over the entire place. We’ll be purchasing snow and we’ll be having a huge fun snow day in Raleigh.”
Friday, October 7th, will be a special time for many in Raleigh’s legal and judicial professions. The annual Red Mass will take place at Sacred Heart Cathedral at 12:10pm. The Red Mass is a tradition in the Catholic Church dating back to the 13th century. The Mass gets its name from the red liturgical garments worn. The vestments signify the flames of the Holy Spirit, whose guidance is sought for those who pursue justice.
This Friday evening at sundown marks the start of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Rabbi Daniel Greyber of Durham’s Beth El Synagogue says it’s the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.
“The Bible itself describes Yom Kippur as a Sabbath of Sabbaths, a Shabbat of Shabbats,” he told me. “It’s a day of forgiveness between God and the Jewish people, a day in which Jews come together and reflect on the year which has passed and how we can be better people towards one another and in the world as well. It’s a day of introspection and reflection, and ultimately a day of joy. We believe and trust in God’s forgiveness and in God’s goodness, and take energy from this day into the year.”
Beth El is having a pre-fast dinner at 4:45pm Friday, with a Yom Kippur services beginning Saturday morning at 8:30. It’s the one holiday of the year that even many non-religious Jews wouldn’t miss going to synagogue.
“People come for different reasons,” Greyber says, “but I think people want to reconnect with community and also with their traditions. People have a sense of the holiness of the day. You have the famous example of Sandy Koufax. Many years ago when he was a pitcher for the Dodgers he would not pitch on Yom Kippur. He was not a religious Jew where it was going to stand in his way pitching on other days, but Yom Kippur was understood to be qualitatively different.”
Yom Kippur is the culmination of the Jewish High Holy Days -- the “Days of Awe.” That ten day period began last Thursday with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. For some, it was a time of solemnity and personal reflection. For others, a time of celebrating and even – break dancing! Check out this clip.