Cover Story: Good news for the holidays …

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GOOD CHEER …
… WITH INTERFAITH COOPERATION

MITZVAH DAY—Depending where you live around the world, you may be familiar with “Mitzvah Day” programs that take place each autumn, especially in the UK, encouraging interfaith volunteerism. In Michigan, where ReadTheSpirit is based, Mitzvah Day is something else: Because of metro-Detroit’s large populations of Muslims and Jews, community leaders put out an annual call to step forward on Christmas Day. Since Muslims and Jews don’t celebrate that holiday, religiously mixed groups from these two communities step up and fill many roles usually covered by Christians. This lets more Christian families celebrate the holiday—and Muslim and Jewish men and women pitch in, side by side, running everything from soup kitchens to hospital wards. Suzy Farbman has this inspiring story for us. This event holds special meaning this year for Jewish volunteers, since Christmas is the first full day of Hanukkah in 2016.

Check out all the holidays! Visit www.InterfaithHolidays.com

th Hanukkah_candlesHAPPY HANUKKAH!

CELEBRATE FREEDOM—One of the major themes of this eight-night festival of lights is religious freedom. Our Hanukkah story is packed with intriguing information about the holiday, plus a link to a FeedTheSpirit column about making latkes. And, of course, we have a link to that Maccabeats Hanukkah song that’s now been viewed on YouTube more than 12 million times!

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AND FROM BOB ALPER—Given the convergence of these two global holidays, this year, let us also recommend that you enjoy author and humorist Bob Alper’s story, Mrs. Steinberg’s Christmas Tree. In this delightful true story, Bob looks back to confusion over the holidays when he was a kid growing up in the 1950s. Don’t miss it!

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HISPANIC CHRISTMAS—The elaborate Hispanic countdown to Christmas officially began December 16 with Las Posadas—or Posadas Navidenas—across Mexico, in Guatemala and in regions of the United States.

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SPREAD GOOD NEWS

readthespirit-dot-com-bookstoreWANT INSPIRATION? This is a perfect time to order ReadTheSpirit books! You’ll be encouraging our authors—and doing something good for yourself and friends by sharing books like This Far By Faith, the inspiring (and funny) memoir of pastor and pioneering “green” activist Faith Fowler. Our opening Mitzvah Day photo, this week, was taken in 2015 at Faith’s Cass Community Services center in Detroit.

visual-parables-december-2016-issue-1LOVE MOVIES?
Consider ordering a year’s subscription to Visual Parables Journal. Visit faith-and-film columnist Ed McNulty’s home page and click on the link at the top of the page to “Visual Parables Journal.” Each month, you’ll get a new issue of the Journal packed with complete study guides to popular movies. It’s fun for individuals who love to think about the movies they are seeing—and a sure-fired way to spark discussion in your small group.

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la-la-land-movie-stillFILM, FAITH
& POPULAR CULTURE

ED 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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