Hanukkah and Christmas converge … well, sort of

COVER STORY:

th Amy Jill Levine and her book The Short Stories of JesusRediscovering Jesus
with Amy-Jill Levine

Hanukkah and Christmas converge often enough that millions of Jewish parents refer to the confusion as “The December Dilemma,” which is unfortunate since both holidays proclaim inspiring messages of  hope. This week, we invite our readers to meet one of the most esteemed Bible scholars teaching in America today: Amy-Jill Levine, University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt in Nashville. We’re recommending her latest book, Short Stories by Jesus. The book’s main goal is to help readers rediscover the original meanings of Jesus’s beloved stories—and, along the way, Levine helps readers to avoid perpetuating dangerous, anti-Jewish stereotypes.

OUR VALUES:
“War on Christmas”?

th Bill O Reilly Declares the War On Christmas Begins YouTubeFor nearly a decade, millions of Fox-TV fans have spent December spreading the story that there’s another “War on Christmas.” This week, University of Michigan sociologist Dr. Wayne Baker explores this phenomenon in his OurValues series. Stay tuned all week! He will share some fascinating stories from America’s holiday history, plus solid data from Pew about our holiday habits.

HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

th Hanukkah_candles

th Kwanzaa-party-celebration

PRACTICE
‘PEACE-GIVING’

th Joyeux Noel the Christmas truce

DO OUR DOGS GO TO HEAVEN?

th Pope Francis I

POPULAR CULTURE,
FILM, FAITH & MORE

th Leonard Lauder Postcard collection

.

.

.

.

Hanukkah: a celebration of light and freedom

COVER STORY: The inspiration of Hanukkah

th Mother and Daughter light Hanukkah candles

  • PREPARE NOW—Hanukkah begins on the evening of December 16. It’s a relatively minor Jewish festival, but its themes are powerful. Freedom is celebrated as Jewish families shine lights in the darkness. These signs inspire all of us who aspire to be peacemakers. We are publishing our Hanukkah stories early this year, because you’ll find recommendations of books that you might want to share with friends during the 8-day festival.
  • PLUS—Today’s Hanukkah column includes links to wonderful stories by Debra Darvick (including her Dear Abby-style columns), Feed The Spirit (a true story of “front porch latkes”) and Rabbi Bob Alper with his marvelous “Mrs. Steinberg’s Christmas Tree.”

RACE IN AMERICA

th Al Sharpton with Esaw GarnerOUR VALUES—In a season when millions are remembering the long struggle for freedom, Americans coast to coast are grappling with difficult questions about racial attitudes and public policy. University of Michigan sociologist Wayne Baker is devoting this week’s OurValues series to “Race in America.”

ALL THE HOLIDAYS

th Our Lady of Guadelupe

MASTER CALENDAR—You can always find the full listing at www.InterfaithHolidays.com

PRACTICE
‘PEACE-GIVING’

Interfaith Peacemakers urges readers to become PeaceGivers

FAITH, FILM
& POPULAR CULTURE

th Coke_Can_Nativity_-_Faith_Goes_PopFaith_Goes_Pop

  • Sleeping-in-shiftsRODNEY CURTIS IS BACK—Known to many readers as “The Spiritual Wanderer,” Rodney Curtis writes this week about wandering around, sometimes, at night. In this darkest season of the year (for our Northern Hemisphere readers), do you find that your sleep is troubled? Many famous writers, including Charles Dickens, rarely slept through the night (the Christmas Carol wasn’t entirely fiction). Maybe Rodney’s tale (and fascinating links) will help you sleep better this month.

.

.

This December, renew your love and your community

COVER STORY:
ROB BELL BRINGS ‘ZIM ZUM’

th Rob Bell in OPRAH magazine

PRACTICE
‘PEACE-GIVING’

Interfaith Peacemakers urges readers to become PeaceGivers

WHAT’S ‘THE PERFECT GIFT’?

th Handful of cash

HOLIDAYS, FESTIVALS & FOOD

th St Nicholas

th kubbah-by-Sarah-Melamed-Pinterest-e1416154722129

FAITH,
FILM &
POPULAR CULTURE

th Theory of Everything Eddie Redmond

.

Cover Story: Enjoy this Season of Gratitude

We’re thankful for—holiday traditions

th Thanksgiving turkey shared via creative commons by-Betty-Crocker-Recipes

We’re thankful for—diversity

th Front cover MSU guide 100 Questions about Muslim Americans

We’re thankful for—a chance to gather

SONY DSC

We’re thankful for—(some) Pop Culture

th Mockingjay Part 1 screenshot

.

.

.

 

Cover Story: Order some good cheer for your holiday giving

OUR HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

th ReadTheSpirit Books Christmas Shopping Guide

  • THIS YEAR, make the world a better place—Whatever your faith, this is a season of gift giving. Everyone has a shopping list. So, why not give gifts that will move your loved ones to enjoy a better, more meaningful new year? Please, take a few moments to read our 2014 Holiday Shopping Guide. The books and other resources we recommend can light up someone’s life—and you’ll find them giving you a warm hug for your thoughtfulness.
  • WHAT ARE THE HOLIDAYS? We’ve got you covered with fascinating, practical columns by Holidays & Festivals expert Stephanie Fenton. You can find all of the holidays listed at www.InterfaithHolidays.com

LET’S BE
TRULY THANKFUL!

th PBS American Experience Cold War Road Show DVD documentary

OUR VALUES ON …
CHANGE IN WASHINGTON

th Public Religion Research Institute report on 2014 midterm elections

MORE HOLIDAYS,
FOOD and FUN

th Challah-by-ruth-hartnup-e1414610971977

.

FAITH, FILM
AND POPULAR CULTURE

th Scene from the movie Rosewater

BULLYING IS NO LAUGHING MATTER

INTERFAITH PEACEMAKERS

.

.

.

Cover story: ‘Changing Our Mind’ may be changing America

EYES OF THE NATION ON GUSHEE’S ‘CHANGING’

th David Gushee Changing Our Mind headlines

HONORING OUR MILLIONS OF VETERANS

th Womens war memorial Washington DC

VETERANS: ELOQUENT PLEAS FROM WORLD WAR I

Interfaith Peacemakers on World War I Wilfred Owen Siegfried Sassoon and underground art of the trenches

HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

th Guide-for-Caregivers-front-cover-info

FAITH GOES POP

BULLYING IS NO LAUGHING MATTER

th Funky Winkerbean in Bullying Is No Laughing Matter

FILM, FOOD, FAITH
—AND MORE

th Birdman movie still

Birthday Cake in Bobbie Lewis column

.

.

.

Cover Story: Historic turn-around in ‘Changing Our Mind’

Dr. Gushee says we should be ‘Changing Our Mind’

th Changing Our Mind cover with David P Gushee

OUR VALUES:
CHANGING RELATIONSHIPS

th United Church of Christ banner in a pride parade

BULLYING IS NO LAUGHING MATTER

Bullying Is No Laughing Matter the Green Lama

INTERFAITH PEACEMAKERS

Interfaith Peacemakers profiles Rumi Kabir Hazrat Inayat Khan

HOLIDAYS
and FESTIVALS

th autumn leaf

FAITH GOES POP!

Ken Chitwood Launches Faith Goes Pop

FILM, FAITH, FOOD and MORE

th Visual Parables Nov issue

  • A NEW VISUAL PARABLES JOURNAL—Popular faith-and-film author Edward McNulty freely provides more than 1,000 film reviews through our website. To support his work, he sells one thing: the long-running Visual Parables Journal. Each month, Ed publishes a new issue packed with complete movie discussion guides for your small group. The November issue debuts today. Especially if you regularly enjoy Ed’s free movie reviews, please consider supporting his work by ordering an annual subscription to the full Journal. (It  makes a great holiday gift!)
  • NEW THIS WEEK—As he does every week, Ed has a fresh crop of free reviews: The Book of Life (4 out of 5 stars), Dear White People (4 stars), and St. Vincent (4 stars).
  • ‘HUNGER GAMES’ FANS! Jane Wells is the author of Bird on Fire, a Bible-study book based on the Hunger Games novels and movies. In her weekly column, Jane is sharing the just-released movie trailer for the upcoming film.

th coffee-by-Slew-Feun

.

.

.