The Love is Moving team present the show’s curriculum to about 745 students at Loyola High School in Montreal where filming first took place. Courtesy of Joel Gordon

Reality show redefines ‘love’

By  Tristan Bronca, Youth Speak News
  • November 30, 2012

Love is, quite literally, moving to reality TV next April. A new show, Love is Moving, born out of a Toronto initiative known as the Love Movement is hoping to bring viewers to a fuller understanding of this familiar, fuzzy feeling.

Love is a common word, yet it lacks a common understanding, especially among young people. They are exposed to varying notions of love in their relationships and their homes, in the songs they listen to and in the movies they watch. The Greeks had four words and meanings for love; we only have one word with many meanings. And so, love — as a feeling, action and state of being — has been reduced to little more than a four letter word. This is why the Love Movement began.

Back in 2010, Benjamin Porter, a marriage and family therapist living in Toronto, joined with Joel Gordon, a director and producer with V-Formation Productions, to create a Christian movement inspired by the purest notion of love — what the Greeks called “agape” or completely selfless love.

After some research, Porter found that many youth understood “love” to be a “selfish, highly sexual feeling rather than a selfless, service-hearted action.”

What originally began as a book by Porter and a plan for a two-minute book trailer by Gordon has now grown into a movement with hundreds of Facebook and Twitter followers and a 13-episode TV series airing on Global and the Miracle Network next year — all before the book has been finished.

“It’s kind of changed forms the bigger the movement got,” Porter said.

Love is Moving will follow youth groups all over Canada as they complete real acts of service. The first filming took place in October at Loyola Catholic High School in Montreal. The students there already have a strong presence in the community, taking part in both faith-based projects and service acts for the greater community.
However, principal Paul Donovan noticed that the students and staff alike were stuck on one idea: “How do you deal with the conflict of ‘I want to be on TV,’ which is self-serving, versus the whole idea being others service?”

This is an issue Gordon has already acknowledged. The movement is as much about education as it is about action. At Loyola, the entire student body participated in an interactive curriculum filled with quotes, questions and video clips. The clips showcased Christian activists, authors and personalities as they offer their take on current interpretations of love as well as biblical interpretations.

In one clip, “End of Religion,” author Bruxey Cavey sits in an empty auditorium within a greyscale frame punctuated by bright red accents. “The greatest example of God’s love to us is an example of suffering love,” he says of Jesus’ death on the cross. “That is not a moment of warm fuzzies in the tum tum, that’s a moment of pain… we don’t want to run away from the suffering of the world; love says we should run towards it.”

Equipped with new perspectives like this, Donovan said that students started to think about the filming differently.

“If the idea of the television show is not so much to serve your own ego about being on TV but to become a witness to what love can do,” Donovan said, “then it turns into something that’s ‘other service.’ ”

Porter and Gordon both feel strongly that the ubiquitous media is a big reason why selfish notions of love are so prevalent today. Lorna Dueck, president of Media Voice Generation and producer of the show, says in one of her clips that young people are the largest consumers of goods and products and that the media manipulates them in order to sell these products. She says love and acceptance now have store-bought and superficial requirements like certain clothes, body types and personal tastes.

Through the music, poetry, video and other media of the movement, Porter and Gordon have launched a counter-action. Gordon promises that the show is bound to shock and amaze.

“It’s not made the way conventional TV is made,” he said.

For more information on the Love Movement, visit

(Bronca, 21, is a fourth-year journalism student at Carleton University in Ottawa.)

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