Cover Story: What religion stories do we need to hear in 2017?

From Journalists Around the World

th the Blue Marble Earth from spaceCOVER STORY—What religion stories are most important to lift up in 2017? What stories are under-covered in the media? Two of us at ReadTheSpirit participated in a global online forum sponsored by the International Association of Religion Journalists (IARJ) asking for responses to those important questions. You’ll be intrigued and inspired to discover what reporters from the six continents had to say. This week our Cover Story is based at the website of the IARJ.

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WELCOMING SPRING

spring-tree-equinox (1)ALL THE HOLIDAYS—Check out www.InterfaithHolidays.org.

EQUINOX, OSTARA, NOROUZ—It’s spring! That’s the simplest way to describe this cluster of holidays known by many names: Equinox, Ostara or in various traditions with origins in the Middle East and Asia—Norouz, Nowruz or Naw-Ruz. Stephanie Fenton has the story about these global responses to the changing of seasons in the Northern Hemisphere.

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PASSOVER—Jewish families around the world mark the ancient festival of freedom starting at sunset on April 10. Stephanie Fenton has the story about this observance, which involves recalling the story of freedom from slavery—and always prompts questions about the need to respond to injustice in our contemporary world, as well.

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wpid-0322th_Palm_Sunday.jpgEASTER and PALM SUNDAY—As Stephanie Fenton reports, this is one of those rare years when Eastern and Western Christians converge on the same date for Easter, the most important holiday in the Christian year. Before that, though, comes the colorful festival of Palm Sunday.

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African cooking story (1)FEED THE SPIRIT

AFRICAN COOKING—This week, FeedTheSpirit Editor Bobbie Lewis brings us a guest column by Detroit-based artist and writer Sarah Rose Sharp about a community partnership involving a Catholic church and two regional nonprofits presenting classes called “A Taste of African Heritage”—a nutritional education effort that explores the intersection of healthy eating practices and African heritage.

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Cover Blue Ocean Faith book by Dave Schmelzer (1)A New Jesus Movement

DIVE INTO BLUE OCEAN—Recently, we introduced Dave Schmelzer, head of a daring new religious movement launching nationwide this spring: Blue Ocean Faith. The book, and the movement is taking off coast to coast!

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FILM, FAITH
& POPULAR CULTURE

March 2017 Visual Parables Journal thumbED McNULTY—Enjoy all of the free resources from Ed McNulty’s faith-and-film website: VisualParables.org. For many years, the one publication Ed asks subscribers to pay for is the Visual Parables Journal, a monthly magazine packed with complete study guides to films and other news about multi-media resources for discussion. The March 2017 issue now is online! Please, consider subscribing—or giving a gift subscription to someone you know. It’s great for clergy, teachers and anyone who enjoys movies as a springboard to spiritual reflection.

Among Ed’s latest free movie reviews are:

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