Cover Story: Happy New Year, 5770! ‘Shanah Tovah!’

TIMELY FORGIVENESS, RECONCILIATION

wpid-2010_09_08_thumb_Rosh_Hashanah_treats.jpgJEWISH HIGH HOLIDAYS—Some of the Jewish writers who work with our online magazine and publishing house are contributing this week (and next week) new year’s reflections as Rosh Hashanah nears on the evening of Sunday, October 2. While the majority of our writers and readers are not Jewish, this is a great opportunity for all of us to reflect on the High Holiday themes of forgiveness and reconciliation. Start with this column by Stephanie Fenton and Joe Lewis on the start of the High Holidays. Look ahead, then, to their column on Yom Kippur.

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HATE2HOPE: YES, THAT’S POSSIBLE

detective-brad-mc-kenzie-helping-students-experiece-driving-drunk-simulator-1YOU’LL WANT TO SHARE—this inspiring story by author and peace activist Brenda Rosenberg, who published a book about overcoming tension in 2015 … and then discovered that the greatest tensions were here in the U.S. between police and community leaders. With so many tragic stories in the news about conflicts with law enforcement officials, we find this pilot program remarkable! Please, tell friends about this news. You might find this program could be very helpful in your part of the country.

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COUNTING OUR BLESSINGS

Farbman family

GOD SIGNS—”Twelve years cancer free.” If you’re among our many readers who have been inspired by Suzy Farbman’s funny and downright honest memoir, God Signs, those four words say it all in summing up the past year. Even if you haven’t been touched by cancer in your home, then you’ll still enjoy Suzy’s look at the year as Rosh Hashanah rolls around again. And, if you’re not Jewish, as Suzy points out, it’s always a good time to stop and … count your blessings.

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CONGRATULATIONS

DAVID GUSHEE—Author of the influential book, Changing Our Mind, Mercer’s Dr. David Gushee will deliver the annual Matthew Simpson lecture at Simpson College in Iowa on October 6.

GLENN WAGNER—Author of the new God Incidents, the Rev. Glenn Wagner’s work in reaching out to Americans who have walked away from religion was covered in a Michigan United Methodist news story by Kay DeMoss.

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HOLIDAYS and FESTIVALS

Check out all the holidays! Tell friends about the simply Web address: www.InterfaithHolidays.com

NAVARATRI—Hindus are celebrating the 10-day festival of Sharad Navaratri, emphasizing the motherhood of the Divine.

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Saint_Francis_of_Assisi_Church,_Coyoacan,_Federal_District,_Mexico019ST. FRANCIS DAY— Our friends at the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) are reaching out again this autumn to help communities mark St. Francis Day. October 4 is the official “feast day” for the saint, but many congregations nationwide will be remembering Francis—or hosting animal-blessing services—on various dates this autumn. Visit this page to order a free kit, called St. Francis in a Box, from HSUS. If you’d simply like to read more about Francis, the HSUS has lots of information right here. And, if you’d like to read the HSUS book that collects faith statements from many different denominations, then check out Every Living Thing.

 

 

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FILM, FAITH
& POPULAR CULTURE

ED McNULTY—Enjoy all of the free resources from Ed McNulty’s faith-and-film website: VisualParables.org.

movie-still-the-lady-in-number-6-3Among Ed’s latest movie reviews are:

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Cover Story: How are Americans choosing congregations?

WELCOMING STORIES OF GOD’S PRESENCE

cover-of-god-incidents-by-glenn-m-wagner-2MEET GLENN WAGNER—This week, we are reporting on a startling new Pew Research report about why Americans choose to join congregations—and a new author who is trying to reach the millions of men and women who are still outside religious life, looking in. Glenn Wagner is a veteran pastor who has experienced the best of caring communities around the world—and has collected some of his best stories about discovering God’s presence in the lives of ordinary people.

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OUT OF AFRICA

iarj-ghana_working-sessionA DIVERSE CONTINENT—In 2016, our magazine team often connects with the worldwide network of reporters covering faith and spirituality, the International Association of Religion Journalists (IARJ). That nonprofit just hosted a major conference in Africa to discuss many of the challenges—and misperceptions—about religion in that vast continent. This week, three IARJ leaders are publishing highlights from that conferenceAre you interested in fresh perspectives on world religions? Visit the IARJ website and click “follow” on the group’s Twitter feed, which posts important news in several languages, sharing tips on some of the best coverage of religion around the planet. If you care about accurate reporting on faith from a global perspective, you’ll be glad you picked up the IARJ’s Twitter offering.

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REDISCOVERING OUR PAST

tour-of-hudson-yards-with-my-sister-anne-fuchs-smith-towbesGODSIGNS—Columnist Suzy Farbman takes a trip to New York City for a family reunion with the branches of her family that connect with the famous architect Albert Kahn. Along the way, Suzy discovers a memoir written by her grandmother that tells a fascinating story of a young woman’s efforts to make a difference in her family’s corporate world. Suzy’s columns always are a bright spot in a busy week so, once again: Enjoy!

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MSU journalists publish ‘To My Professor’

th-msu-journalism-students-who-published-to-my-professorNEED HELP THIS FALL? Countless headlines in recent years highlight confusion between educators and students who, today, control powerful realms of social media where they can echo their frustration around the world. Now, the Michigan State University School of Journalism, which already has published a popular series of books on cultural diversity, is starting this new school year with a book designed to sort out much of that confusion. The new book is called To My Professor: Student Voices for Great College Teaching, produced by the students you see in this photograph.

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HOLIDAYS and FESTIVALS

pumpkins-apples-fall-1WELCOME AUTUMN! Holidays-and-Festivals columnist Stephanie Fenton (who also, by the way, is a member of the international journalists’ association featured above) reports on an autumn festival associated with the Equinox: Mabon.

Check out all the holidays! Tell friends about the simply Web address: www.InterfaithHolidays.com

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FILM, FAITH
& POPULAR CULTURE

the-innocents-movie-still-2ED McNULTY—Enjoy all of the free resources from Ed McNulty’s faith-and-film website: VisualParables.org.

Among Ed’s latest movie reviews are:

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Cover Story: Just in time! Help with teacher-student confusion

MSU journalists publish ‘To My Professor’

th-msu-journalism-students-who-published-to-my-professorNEED HELP THIS FALL? Countless headlines in recent years highlight confusion between educators and students who, today, control powerful realms of social media where they can echo their frustration around the world. Now, the Michigan State University School of Journalism, which already has published a popular series of books on cultural diversity, is starting this new school year with a book designed to sort out much of that confusion. The new book is called To My Professor: Student Voices for Great College Teaching, produced by the students you see in this photograph. If you or someone you care about is in school today, then our team at ReadTheSpirit is urging you to read this week’s cover story—and order a copy of this helpful new book.

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CONGRATULATIONS,
COURAGEOUS AUTHORS!

faith-fowler-cass-tiny-houses-on-front-page-of-detroit-free-pressFAITH FOWLER—Once again, Detroit’s Faith Fowler is on the front page of Michigan’s statewide morning newspaper. This time, The Detroit Free Press reports on the debut of her innovative approach to bringing tiny homes to some of the city’s neediest families. The buzz about “tiny homes” has been spreading coast to coast, but Faith and her Cass Community have their own unique twist on this red-hot trend. Just last month, August 2016, Faith was honored with a Shining Light award, and then was profiled by Free Press writer Niraj Warikoo. Want to be inspired by Faith yourself? Then read this 2014 story about the release of her own high-spirited memoir, This Far by Faith. 

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NATHAN ALBERT and BOB CORNWALLchanging-our-mind-study-guide-by-bob-cornwallOne reason ReadTheSpirit magazine and publishing continue to thrive a decade after our founding is the community that forms among our writers—and that reaches out to include you, our readers. So, one of our newest authors, the widely read columnist Bob Cornwall, just posted an encouraging book review about another of our authors, Nathan Albert. When you glance at Nathan’s book cover, Embracing Love, your first question is probably: So, what is this guy’s story? And, Bob’s review captures that appeal, as Bob puts it: “What makes this book so valuable is the personal nature of the story.” Then, in addition, Bob Cornwall is becoming one of our newest authors by publishing an e-edition Study Guide to David Gushee’s very popular book, Changing Our Mind. Bob’s new Study Guide easily breaks Gushee’s book into sections for small-group discussion and provides lots of discussion starters. (That link goes to the Kindle version. If you prefer other options, you’ll also find the new study guide in the Apple store, Barnes and Noble, and also the Google store.

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cover-of-safeguarding-the-stranger-by-jayme-r-reavesDANIEL BUTTRY—Of course, our circle always is growing! We’re always reaching out to tell our readers about other writers and filmmakers. This week, our author Daniel Buttry—an international peacemaker—has contributed this very timely review of Safeguarding the Stranger, by another noted peacemaker: Jayme R. Reaves. While Reaves is not a household name in this country, her work should be more widely known, as Daniel points out in his review.

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FEED THE SPIRIT

food-innovation-center-greens-1FOOD INNOVATION FeedTheSpirit columnist Bobbie Lewis brings us a guest column this week, by Kathy Jennings, about a remarkable program at a Michigan community college. In addition to the story, Bobbie brings us a tasty recipe for a kale and apple salad. (Regular readers know that Bobbie’s kale recipes are worth tasting! Many of us are still making her earlier kale and mango salad.)

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SUZY FARBMAN’S GOD SIGNS

from-left-carolyn-alter-and-denise-alter-tobin-and-leslie-alter-1HOPE … AFTER A FALL—Each week, Suzy Farbman brings us an inspiring story of real-life people who discover hope, often in the face of tragedy. This week, she tells about a woman who experienced a horrific fall and feared her life, as she knew it, was over. Instead … well, please read this week’s column for the rest of the story.

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WORLD WATCHES ISLAM

Muslim-pilgrims-HajjTHE CELEBRATIONColumnist Stephanie Fenton, an expert on religious holidays and milestones, writes about the Hajj, which reaches its high point with a worldwide Muslim celebration of Eid al Adha on September 12.

 

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FILM, FAITH
& POPULAR CULTURE

movie-still-from-tom-hanks-in-sully-2ED McNULTY—Enjoy all of the free resources from Ed McNulty’s faith-and-film website: VisualParables.org.

Among Ed’s latest movie reviews are:

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Cover Story: Preparing for the Hajj

WORLD WATCHES ISLAM

Muslim-pilgrims-HajjHOPES FOR A SAFE HAJJColumnist Stephanie Fenton, an expert on religious holidays and milestones, writes our Cover Story this week on the Hajj, which begins September 10 although pilgrims already are on the move worldwide. Why is the Hajj so important in 2016? First, due to the toxic rhetoric in the U.S. presidential campaign, the whole world is watching Islam this year. Second, Muslims and non-Muslims are praying, this year, for a safe Hajj—after last year’s horrific trampling incident that left more than 2,000 men and women dead.

 

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HOLIDAYS & MILESTONES

Don’t miss a date! Remember www.InterfaithHolidays.org, our master calendar...

SHE’S A SAINT—On September 4, the Vatican officially canonized St. Teresa as a saint. Here is the Vatican’s biography of St. Teresa. From her book No Greater Love, here is the chapter called “On Love.” We also have permission to share a second chapter from St. Teresa’s book.

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HAPPY LABOR DAY!—If you are using your American holiday to catch up on your reading, then you’ll enjoy Stephanie Fenton’s overview of the observance—and, she’s also found some delicious recipes.

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110901-September-11 movie poster (3)15th ANNIVERSARY of 9/11—Will you mark this milestone? Or is “9/11” slipping into the history books? Film critic Edward McNulty suggests we reach back and watch a remarkable collection of short films that were made in response to the terrorist attacks in 2001.

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FROM THE MOON … WITH LOVE

Neil Armstrong on the moon (2)GOD SIGNS—Every week, columnist Suzy Farbman inspires us with surprising stories about people who do remarkable things—often for the people they love. That’s especially true of the columnist this week that begins with famous pianist Bob Milne, then winds up taking us into the life of the late Neil Armstrong and his wife.

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FILM, FAITH
& POPULAR CULTURE

Visual Parables Journal September 2016 issue (1)ED McNULTY—Enjoy all of the free resources from Ed McNulty’s faith-and-film website: VisualParables.org. Ed supports his ongoing work by selling subscriptions to his long-running digital magazine: The Visual Parables Journal. Each issue is jam-packed with complete study guides for your own individual enjoyment or use in your small group. The September issue now is available.

Among Ed’s latest free movie reviews are:

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Cover Story: Meet true innovators in early education

BIB to BACKPACK SERIES

Solutions for Success UWSEM book cover 3D (1)COVER STORY—Getting ready for school—or pre-school—in your neighborhood?

This week, take a look at a national publishing project we are proud to be launching: The Bib to Backpack Learning Series with United Way for Southeastern Michigan. Yes, we said “national” project, because we eventually will publish a total of six books about truly innovative programs helping families with education in early childhood. This series is part of a nationwide demonstration of the impact of publishing books about creative educators’ most successful ideas. As this series proclaims: Education Begins at Home. These six books tell the stories of nonprofit groups that have carved out innovative programs to meet the needs of young children—especially kids who face enormous challenges because of poverty or language barriers.

BOOK 1: ACCESS TO SCHOOLThis book tells the amazing story of educators working at an Arab-American nonprofit who have figured out how to kick-start early education for recent immigrants who are just learning English.

BOOK 2: SOLUTIONS FOR SUCCESS—The second book in the series is the inspiring story of a group that has served a low-income Hispanic-American community for decades. Now, the group is using the latest training methods from a national center for education research to empower not only children—but their parents as well.

Please, check out both books—and tell friends. This is very good news from some of America’s most challenging neighborhoods. And, watch for four more titles in this series to be published this autumn!

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EMPOWERING WOMEN

Bald is Beautiful project participants (1)BALD IS BEAUTIFUL—Cancer survivor Suzy Farbman, author of GodSigns, tells the true story of creative women using their talents to empower other women in the midst of struggling with cancer. Learn about “Bald Is Beautiful” and see a short video about their work. And, please, share this column with friends, this week. . other o

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HOLIDAYS & MILESTONES

Don’t miss a date! Remember www.InterfaithHolidays.org, our master calendar...

FROM THE VATICAN—On September 2, a new St. Teresa postage stamp will be issued by the Vatican to celebrate her September 4 canonization: the official declaration of sainthood by the Catholic church. You may also want to read the Vatican’s biography of St. Teresa, which includes many inspiring details about her life and legacy.

FROM ST. TERESA—New World Library, the publisher of a special edition of her book No Greater Love, has given us permission to excerpt the chapter called “On Love.” We also have permission to share this chapter from St. Teresa’s book, which includes some very challenging teachings about the nature of work and our personal vocations.

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110901-September-11 movie poster (3)15th ANNIVERSARY of 9/11—Will you mark this milestone? Or is “9/11” slipping into the history books? Film critic Edward McNulty suggests we reach back and watch a remarkable collection of short films that were made in response to the terrorist attacks in 2001.

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FILM, FAITH
& POPULAR CULTURE

Entertaining Angels movie still (1)ED McNULTY—Enjoy all of the free resources from Ed McNulty’s faith-and-film website: VisualParables.orgAmong Ed’s latest free movie reviews are:

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Cover Story: A new voice connects faith of Africa … with basketball

FROM YORUBA TO BASKETBALL

Cover of the book Black Gods of the Asphalt by Onaje Woodbine (2)COVER STORY—This week, we introduce our readers to a scholar, teacher and author who is becoming an important global voice in connecting Americans with religious traditions from Africa. Onaje X. O. Woodbine’s debut book, Black Gods of the Asphalt, tells the fascinating story of how Woodbine identified and then studied deep religious connections, including some with Yoruba origins, in the culture of urban basketball. This book will open your eyes to a whole new perspective on urban culture—plus, it’s simply a great read! Please, enjoy our interview with Woodbine, today.

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CONGRATULATIONS, FAITH!

th launch of This Far by Faith by Faith Fowler of Cass PublishingSHINING LIGHT AWARDAnd, speaking of inspiration from urban neighborhoods … this week, our whole team is celebrating with Faith Fowler, head of Cass Community Publishing in Detroit. Here is the Detroit Free Press announcement that Faith is being honored across Michigan with a Shining Light award. Then, on Sunday, Faith was on the Free Press front page. Here is staff writer Niraj Warikoo’s profile of Faith Fowler as she receives this prestigious award. Finally, for more background on Faith’s publishing efforts, you may want to read our 2014 story about a stunning book launch by Faith’s organization in Detroit.

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FEED THE SPIRIT

Milts barbecue for the perplexedUNCLE MILT’S—FeedTheSpirit columnist Bobbie Lewis returns with a story about the popularity of—kosher barbecue. At least that’s the buzz in Chicago, where Milt’s Barbecue for the Perplexed is a popular destination. This week, Bobbie shares the story behind this curious bistro—plus a delicious recipe for short ribs!

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HOLIDAYS & MILESTONES

Don’t miss a date! Remember www.InterfaithHolidays.org, our master calendar..

Dahi_Handi on Krishna Janmashtami (1)KRISHNA JANMASHTAMI—Stephanie Fenton reports on the colorful celebrations that spread across India and around the world in Hindu communities to mark the birth of the deity Krishna.

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FROM THE VATICAN—On September 2, a new St. Teresa postage stamp will be issued by the Vatican to celebrate her September 4 canonization: the official declaration of sainthood by the Catholic church. You may also want to read the Vatican’s biography of St. Teresa, which includes many inspiring details about her life and legacy.

FROM ST. TERESA—New World Library, the publisher of a special edition of her book No Greater Love, has given us permission to excerpt the chapter called “On Love.” We also have permission to share this chapter from St. Teresa’s book, which includes some very challenging teachings about the nature of work and our personal vocations.

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1 MORE OLYMPIC STORY …

Marcy Hinzmann and Aaron Parchem Photo by Paul Harvath (1)GOD SIGNS—Columnist Suzy Farbman has a heart-warming profile of an Olympian in figure skating: Aaron Parchem. Suzy runs into Aaron, 10 years after he competed in the Turin Winter Olympics. She shares a fresh story of inspiration as Aaron reflects on the lessons of his life.

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FILM, FAITH
& POPULAR CULTURE

ED McNULTY—Enjoy all of the free resources from Ed McNulty’s faith-and-film website: VisualParables.orgAmong Ed’s latest free movie reviews are:

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Cover Story: Celebrate “St. Teresa” by following her spirit

SPIRIT OF A NEW SAINT

The Vatican will anticipate the canonization of Blessed Teresa of Kolkata with this special postage stamp

COVER STORY—She’s already famous around the world her work in India. And that’s before the Vatican canonizes St. Teresa of Calcutta on September 4—and issues a new postage stamp to honor her. Now, two decades after her death in 1997, her writings have become a source of renewed inspiration. If we take time to read her words—we find a stirring call to humility and sacrificial service. And, in the summer of 2016, the world could use a big spiritual dose of both messages.

ST. TERESA ‘ON LOVE’—New World Library, the publisher of a special edition of her book No Greater Love, has given us permission to excerpt the chapter called “On Love.”

ST. TERESA ‘ON WORK AND SERVICE’—We also have permission to share this chapter from St. Teresa’s book, which includes some very challenging teachings about the nature of work and our personal vocations.

FROM THE VATICANYou may also want to read the official Vatican biography of St. Teresa, which includes many inspiring details about her life and legacy.

 

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1 MAN; 1 VISION; 1 TOUR

Edith Pair outside one of Charlevoix Mushroom Houses (1)GOD SIGNS—Columnist Suzy Farbman has a delightful column this week about the eccentric builder Earl A. Young. Born in the late 1800s, Young created an unusual series of homes known as Mushroom Houses in northern Michigan. Today, artist Edith Pair has made it her mission to show off those homes in a popular guided tour.

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HOLIDAYS & MILESTONES

Don’t miss a date! Remember www.InterfaithHolidays.org, our master calendar.

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Raksha-bandhan-shopping-rakhiRAKSHA BANDHAN—It’s a heart-warming tradition—celebrated across India and in Hindu communities worldwide—honoring the sacred bonds between brothers and sisters. Stephanie Fenton reports on this festival in which women typically tie some form of bracelet around men’s wrists to honor their family bonds.

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Dahi_Handi on Krishna Janmashtami (1)KRISHNA JANMASHTAMI—Stephanie Fenton reports on the colorful celebrations that spread across India and around the world in Hindu communities to mark the birth of the deity Krishna.

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FILM, FAITH
& POPULAR CULTURE

Best-Films-of-2016-Dont-Think-Twice-1920p-1024x562 (1)RODNEY CURTIS—First this week, author and columnist Rodney Curtis offers his recommendations of two films that you could easily miss this year. Rodney recommends Michael Moore’s latest documentary—and a comedy called Don’t Think Twice about comedians who get a shot at a popular TV show.

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Petes Dragon movie still (2)ED McNULTY—Enjoy all of the free resources from Ed McNulty’s faith-and-film website: VisualParables.orgAmong Ed’s latest free movie reviews are:

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