Cover Story: Dr. Wayne Baker invites you to ‘Pay it forward!’

Mom-Mothers-Day (1)Happy Mother’s Day!

A STORY OF FAITH—Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton wishes our readers “Happy Mother’s Day!” on behalf of all of us here at ReadTheSpirit magazine. Her column describes the origins and key themes of this holiday that is celebrated coast to coast this weekend.

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OUR VALUES EXPERT SEEKS EARLY APP-DOPTERS

Dr Wayne Baker at UofM gives a TEDx talk about generalized resciprocity (1) COVER STORY: Since ReadTheSpirit magazine was founded a decade ago, the single most popular writer has been Dr. Wayne Baker, creator of the daily OurValues series that published 2,000 columns on American values before it concluded in late 2015. This week‘s cover story explains what Dr. Baker has been doing since then—including news of a powerful new App he and his wife are offering through their leadership-training company, founded on the value of “generalized reciprocity.” Plus, we’ve got a brand-new TEDx video of Baker talking about the universal value best known by the phrase: “Pay it forward!

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LOOKING FORWARD IN … MEDIA

ReadTheSpirit bookstore onlineWHY WE STILL PRINT BOOKS ON PAPER—The online magazine you are reading, founded in 2007, is the flagship of the publishing house we also started nearly a decade ago. We publish books in both e-editions and ink-on-paper books, which may seem “retro” to some readers. In fact, our strategy of publishing both digitally and on paper is perfectly poised for today’s publishing industry where … (believe it or not) paper is king. Read the whole story in this latest Creative Connections column …

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REMEMBERING DANIEL BERRIGAN

Interfaith Peacemakers urges readers to become PeaceGivers‘INTERFAITH PEACEMAKERS’—With the news that 94-year-old Daniel Berrigan has died, many of us want to revisit his life and witness to the world. On Sunday, the New York Times devoted an entire page to his life. Our recommendation is: If you haven’t already ordered a copy of Daniel Buttry’s Blessed Are the Peacemakers, then do so in remembrance of this giant who we lost on Saturday. Buttry’s book has a chapter about the Berrigan brothers and their legacy. More importantly, Buttry’s book places them in the context of dozens of men and women around the world who shared his passion for peace. (Warning: Reading these inspiring stories may be dangerous to an otherwise safe life—you may feel compelled to go out and do likewise.)

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A LEGACY OF SERVICE

Harry Weinsaft (1)GOD SIGNS—This week, as we ponder the legacies of those who struggle for justice in our world, Suzy Farbman brings us the story of Harry Weinsaft—and his family. No, Harry isn’t as famous as the Berrigan brothers. And that’s precisely the point. Even though you haven’t heard of him before today, Weinsaft truly did live a remarkable life. He survived the Holocaust by coming to the U.S. and he lived to establish a tradition of public service in his American-born family.

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HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL …

__Hope front THEN back (2)Each year as spring sweeps across america, our magazine takes readers on a spiritual pilgrimage to … the ballpark. So, once again, we’ve got some wonderful baseball news. Longtime columnist and author Rodney Curtis has published a new novel, called Hope’s Diamond. Then, Benjamin Pratt adds this delightful little memory from his own years playing the gameAnd, you may enjoy the OurValues series that started our baseball tradition: Terry Gallagher wrote this creative, five-part look at “Baseball Values.Please, enjoy!

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HOLIDAYS & MILESTONES

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

th Yom HaShoah March-of-the-Living-AuschwitzYOM HASHOAH

NEVER FORGET—Inaugurated in 1953 in Israel, this is now one of two international days of remembrance of the Shoah each year. Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton writes about the observance and “in the news,” she highlights a column by Jeff Jacobi about the challenge to keep this remembrance alive.

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Buraq from the Night Journey of the Prophet Muhammad (1)LAILAT AL MIRAJ

This week, Muslims around the world also remember a sacred journey by the Prophet Muhammad that Muslims believe connected him other great prophets and further revealed God’s intentions for Islam. It’s sometimes referred to as “the night journey” and Stephanie Fenton reports on this tradition.

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FILM, FAITH & CULTURE

I Saw the Light movie still (2)TALKING ABOUT MOVIES? Enjoy all of the free resources from Ed McNulty’s faith-and-film website by remembering the simple Web address: www.VisualParables.org 

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Cover Story: Spiritual renewal through … baseball

HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL …

__Hope front THEN back (2)COVER STORY—Each year as spring sweeps across america, our magazine takes readers on a spiritual pilgrimage to … the ballpark. So, once again, we’ve got some wonderful baseball news. Longtime columnist and author Rodney Curtis has published a new book, Hope’s Diamond, so we invited another of our columnists Benjamin Pratt to review this funny, hope-filled novel. How fun is this new book?

Well, it inspired Ben to add this delightful little memory from his own years playing the game.

tom hanks and virginia madsen in a league of their own (1)Who started this annual tradition in our magazine? Yet another popular columnist Terry Gallagher, back in 2012, realized that there simply wasn’t enough baseball in ReadTheSpirit. Terry wrote this creative, five-part look at “Baseball Values” that continues to draw readers every year. If you haven’t seen Terry’s original series: Please, enjoy!

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HOPE COMES IN MANY FORMS

Destry Ramey and Feather (2)PEOPLE (AND DOGS) WE LOVE—This week, GodSigns columnist Suzy Farbman tells the story of Destry Ramey—a cancer survivor and author of children’s books. Destry’s love of family (and dogs, as well) have kept her going through one battle with cancer after another. She has just published her latest book about Feather, the dog she’s holding in this photograph.

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DOING GOOD IN THE WORLD

2016 03 21 MSU Bias Busters team (1)CONGRATULATIONS MSU BIAS BUSTERS!

AND THE RABBI SAYS—Huffington Post Jewish columnist Rabbi Jason Miller wrote a glowing recommendation of Michigan State University’s latest book, 100 Questions and Answers about American JewsMiller called the new book “an ideal guide for the perplexed,” and he described the questions as common issues that he frequently hears from people wanting to learn more about Judaism.

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CONGRATULATIONS EILEEN FLANAGAN!

th Renewable cover and Quaker author Eileen FlanaganHONORS FOR RENEWABLEOur readers have been following the work of Quaker writer Eileen Flanagan for a number of years. In 2015, we featured this interview with Eileen about her book, Renewable. This spring, honors are arriving for books published in 2015—and Eileen has won a Silver Nautilus Award. Established in 1998, the Nautilus awards honor books that encourage reflection on social, environmental and justice issues. This spring, we’ve heard from lots of readers who are inspired by Diana Butler Bass’s new Grounded. If you love Grounded, then you’ll also be inspired by Renewable.

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HOLIDAYS & MILESTONES

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

PASSOVER

PASSOVER CONTINUESHolidays columnist Stephanie Fenton reports on the ancient Jewish observance that runs until sundown on April 30.

gefilte fish with carrots (1)FEED THE SPIRIT—Our FeedTheSpirit host Bobbie Lewis brings us a guest column by Rabbi Eli Finkelman. For Passover, Eli writes about his family’s tradition of gefilte fish—and he serves up a recipe. It’s a challenge: Can you find 2 pounds of fresh carp?

This year, Bobbie also has published other pre-Passover columns: First, she shared a guest viewpoint from Jewish educator Rebecca Starr. Rebecca’s column comes with a recipe for vegetable kugel. Second, Bobbie brought us a new twist to charoset, the apple-and-nut mixture meant to evoke the mortar used in ancient Egypt.

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19th century Russian icon of the resurrection (1)EASTER

EASTERN ORTHODOX—Easter is a distant memory for the majority of the world’s Christians, but hundreds of millions of Orthodox Christians still are in the midst of the Lenten season. They will mark Easter on May 1 this year.

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FILM, FAITH & CULTURE

TALKING ABOUT MOVIES? Enjoy all of the free resources from Ed McNulty’s faith-and-film website by remembering the simple Web address: www.VisualParables.org And, please consider subscribing to Visual Parables Journal, used by individuals, teachers, group leaders and clergy who want to spark discussion with current films. The April 2016 issue is new this week, packed with complete study guides. Then, among Ed’s recent free movie reviews, you’ll find …

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Cover Story: Vatican push to make ‘Amoris,’ not ‘Just War’

VATICAN 2—FROM ‘LOVE’ TO ‘WAR’

The_Holy_See (1)COVER STORY—Pope Francis is moving rapidly to reshape the Vatican’s moral voice in an era when—according to the pontiff—the world is suffering through a tragic “world war in installments.” Last week, we reported on his massive new publication Amoris Laetitia or The Joy of Love. He followed that by publicly endorsing the work of a global summit of peace activists, intent on dismantling the traditional use of “Just War” teachings to justify conflict. NEWRead our story this week summing up what people are saying around the world about this historic move by Francis.

 

 

DOING GOOD IN THE WORLD

Raoul Wallenberg as a student at University of MichiganThe ongoing mission of our magazine is reporting on media—books, films and other forms of expression—that build stronger, diverse communities. Recently, for example, columnist Suzy Farbman reported on a new documentary film about WWII hero Raoul Wallenberg. Meanwhile, Rodney Curtis literally took us up on the roof for an inspiring tale about going solar. And, we held a special spotlight on the PBS series 10 That Changed America, which concludes this week with the final “10” in that nationwide series.

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NEW THIS WEEK—MSU STUDENTS RAISE FLINT VOICES

Faces_of_Flint___WKARWATCH IT YOURSELF—Our readers who know that ReadTheSpirit’s headquarters is in southeast Michigan often ask: “What’s the latest news from Flint?” Now, the whole world knows about the tragedy of poisoned water in this blue-color Michigan city—forced on unsuspecting residents by Michigan’s governor who was so determined to cut costs that Flint’s water system was hooked to the city’s polluted river. Despite growing uproar from residents, Michigan officials refused to fix the problem—until doctors revealed that children were being poisoned and some residents had died of Legionnaire’s Disease. Now, the “news from Flint” is a cautionary tale followed by men and women around the world. Recently, Michigan State University sent a team to report from Flint. The audio and video reporting by these students and their advisors first was broadcast in Michigan and now is streaming live online.

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Some of the displays at their 50th anniversary party (2)AND, FROM TRAGIC TO …

SUZY FARBMANGodSigns columnist Suzy Farbman specializes in stories about men and women who improve life in a host of ways from charitable projects to the fine arts. This week, she points out that sometimes the life of a community turns on—a good party. Meet the Schoeniths, among the most famous party planners in southeast Michigan.

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HOLIDAYS & MILESTONES

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

Jain-Temple-Calcutta (1)JAINS CELEBRATEHolidays columnist Stephanie Fenton reports on Mahavir Jayanti, a unique Jain holiday harking back to a spiritual hero nearly 3,000 years ago.

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PASSOVER

COMING APRIL 22—Seder meals will begin this year after sundown on Friday April 22.

gefilte fish with carrots (1)FEED THE SPIRIT—Our FeedTheSpirit host Bobbie Lewis brings us a guest column by one of the all-time-most-popular food writers in our magazine: Rabbi Eli Finkelman. Readers still ask about his earlier column on pickles. For Passover, Eli writes about his family’s tradition of gefilte fish—and he serves up a recipe for this treat well-known to Jewish families (but rarely made in non-Jewish kitchens). It’s a challenge: Can you find 2 pounds of fresh carp?

This year, Bobbie also has published other pre-Passover columns: First, she shared a guest viewpoint from Jewish educator Rebecca Starr. Rebecca’s column comes with a recipe for vegetable kugel. Second, Bobbie brought us a new twist to charoset, the apple-and-nut mixture meant to evoke the mortar used in ancient Egypt.

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19th century Russian icon of the resurrection (1)EASTER

EASTERN ORTHODOX—The majority of the world’s Christians have celebrated Easter (March 27), but hundreds of millions of Orthodox Christians still are in the midst of their fasting season known as Great Lent. They will mark Easter on May 1 this year.

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FILM, FAITH & CULTURE

TALKING ABOUT MOVIES? Enjoy all of the free resources from Ed McNulty’s faith-and-film website by remembering the simple Web address: www.VisualParables.org And, please consider subscribing to Visual Parables Journal, used by individuals, teachers, group leaders and clergy who want to spark discussion with current films. The April 2016 issue is new this week, packed with complete study guides. Then, among Ed’s recent free movie reviews, you’ll find …

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Cover Story: Pope Francis preaches mercy and flexibility

WHAT DOES ‘AMORIS LAETITIA’ MEAN?

th Pope Francis releases Amoris LaetitiaCOVER STORY—The impact of Pope Francis’s massive new “apostolic exhortation” may take the form of the mercy and regional flexibility that Francis calls for from the beginning of this 265-page document. But there’s a lot in these pages that is encouraging many men and women, while disappointing many others. Our Cover Story this week provides a number of starting points to learn more about Francis’s latest milestone in reshaping his worldwide church.

AND, NEXT FROM THE VATICAN

Saint_Peter's_Square_from_the_dome_v2 (2)RETHINKING “JUST WAR”—If news of the “exhortation” weren’t enough to signal major changes in the Catholic church, this week theologians are gathering at the Vatican from around the world to rethink a centuries-old moral code known as “just war theory.” Global peacemaker Daniel Buttry explains what is at stake at this important summit meeting.

 

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HOLIDAYS & MILESTONES

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

Cover of Shrunken Treasures Scott Nash (1)HAPPY 100th BIRTHDAY, MRS. CLEARY!—We join Americans coast to coast who remember the dozens of novels written by Beverly Cleary in wishing the author a wonderful 100th birthday. Here’s a story about her life with links to read more about her—and a 2-minute video about her life and legacy.

LOVE OF READING BEGINS AT HOME—In addition to our story about Mrs. Cleary, this week, we added a rave review of a new book that playfully retells literary classics in rhymes for children. Called Shrunken Treasures, this big picture book is a delight for families!

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Rama and Hanuman (1)RAMAYANA WEEK—In India, we are seeing the crescendo of a week-long cultural emphasis on the Ramayana, a cycle of inspiring stories from the life of Lord Rama. Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton has the story. The photo here shows Rama giving a ring to the monkey king Hanuman to carry to the beloved Sita.

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PASSOVER

COMING APRIL 22—Seder meals will begin this year after sundown on Friday April 22.

Charoset balls for PassoverFEED THE SPIRITOur FeedTheSpirit host Bobbie Lewis brings us a fresh approach to charoset this week. If you’re Jewish, you’re familiar with this seder staple. If you’re not Jewish, but perhaps have visited at a dinner as Passover begins—you’ll remember that charoset is the brown, fruity-nutty food that is meant to remind Jews of the mortar their ancestors used in their building as slaves in ancient Egypt.

Last week, Bobbie began her series of pre-Passover columns with a guest viewpoint from Jewish educator Rebecca Starr. Rebecca’s column comes with a recipe for a Passover-adapted recipe for vegetable kugel.

 

19th century Russian icon of the resurrection (1)EASTER

EASTERN ORTHODOX—The majority of the world’s Christians have celebrated Easter (March 27), but hundreds of millions of Orthodox Christians still are in the midst of their fasting season known as Great Lent. They will mark Easter on May 1 this year.

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REMEMBERING RAOUL WALLENBERG

Raoul Wallenberg as a student at University of MichiganSUZY FARBMAN—GodSigns columnist Suzy Farbman reports on a new documentary film in production by a team that intends to include Raoul Wallenberg‘s connections with the University of Michigan as a student. Wallenberg’s courageous effort to save thousands of Jewish lives during the Holocaust is a model for human-rights activists today. The filmmakers hope to inspire a new generation of young adults.

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Electricity-in-the-Air-002-1024x681 (1)GOING SOLAR

RODNEY CURTIS—Columnist Rodney Curtis decides to do a good deed for Planet Earth. Even though he lives in Michigan, where the winters are long and the skies often gray, Rodney shares an inspiring tale and some photos you’ll enjoy.

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30 FRESH VIEWPOINTS ON AMERICA

Taos Pueblo in New Mexico (1)PBS SERIES DEBUTS—Across most of the United States, PBS continues a three-week series called 10 That Changed America, which actually will take viewers to a total of 30 landmarks in “our” national story as Americans. This week’s program takes us to 10 city parks; and, next week, the final episode explores 10 culturally innovative towns. What made the list? You may be surprised. Read our review and you’ll see why you should catch this new PBS series.

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FILM, FAITH & CULTURE

April 2016 issue of Ed McNulty Visual Parables journal (1)TALKING ABOUT MOVIES? Enjoy all of the free resources from Ed McNulty’s faith-and-film website by remembering the simple Web address: www.VisualParables.org 

Then, please consider subscribing to the one service Ed sells: His long-running publication Visual Parables Journal, used by individuals, teachers, group leaders and clergy who want to spark discussion with current films. The April 2016 issue is new this week, packed with complete study guides. Then, among Ed’s recent free movie reviews, you’ll find …

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Cover Story: ‘Bishop’ Spong on rediscovering Matthew’s Jewish roots

INTERVIEW WITH JOHN SHELBY SPONG

John Spong Author Photo (Photo Credit - Dick Snyder) (2)INSPIRATIONAL SPRING READING—Now in his 80s, retired bishop Spong still draws enormous crowds for his talks and books in recent years about rediscovering the Bible’s Jewish roots. Most importantly, Spong believes that Christians need to understand Christianity’s original context to overturn rigid doctrines associated with Fundamentalist preaching. Whether you agree with his overall mission, or not, his new book lays out a way of understanding the gospel of Matthew that may interest both Christian and Jewish readers. That makes this a great choice for inspirational reading in this season of both Easter and Passover. Please, read Editor David Crumm’s new interview with the irrepressible “Bishop Spong.

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30 FRESH VIEWPOINTS ON AMERICA

Taos Pueblo in New Mexico (1)PBS SERIES DEBUTS—Across most of the United States, PBS will begin a three-week series called 10 That Changed America, which actually will take viewers to a total of 30 landmarks in “our” national story as Americans. The first week looks at 10 homes; the second week takes us to 10 city parks; and the final episode explores 10 culturally innovative towns. What made the list? You may be surprised. This isn’t a romp through the playgrounds of the rich and famous. Read our review and you’ll see why you should catch this new PBS series.

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HOLIDAYS and FESTIVALS

Ugadi-tray-of-food-flowersFROM INDIA

UGADI or YUGADI—The English name of the Indian New Year festival is spelled a couple of ways in the West. Celebrations are popping up around the world. Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton includes news of a celebration in Netherlands.

RAMAYANA WEEK—This also begins a period when millions of Hindu families remember inspiring events in the life of Lord Rama. Once again, Stephanie Fenton has the story.

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PASSOVER

Rebecca-Starr-by-John-Hardwick (1)COMING APRIL 22—Seder meals will begin this year after sundown on Friday April 22. To keep up with all the holidays, just remember this simple Web address www.InterfaithHolidays.com.

FEED THE SPIRIT—Our FeedTheSpirit host Bobbie Lewis brings us a guest column this week from Jewish educator Rebecca Starr, who writes about traditional food-related themes connected with Passover. And  there’s a delicious recipe as well—a Passover-adapted recipe for vegetable kugel.

 

19th century Russian icon of the resurrection (1)EASTER

EASTERN ORTHODOX—The majority of the world’s Christians have celebrated Easter (March 27), but hundreds of millions of Orthodox Christians still are in the midst of their fasting season known as Great Lent. They will mark Easter on May 1 this year.

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MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE

Monni Must photographerSUZY FARBMAN—GodSigns columnist Suzy Farbman shares stories of men and women who find hope and new meaning in their lives, often after personal tragedies. That’s the case in this week’s story of photographer Monni Must, best known for making portraits of Holocaust survivors for a series of books.

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100 Questions and Answers about American JewsMSU ‘BIAS BUSTERS’—Naturally, we’re proud of these Michigan State University School of Journalism students who collectively have produced 10 widely used books that combat bigotry and answer common questions about minority groups. Recently, MSU’s Joe Grimm appeared on public radio talking about the project. Here is a link to that 7-minute radio clip. Lots of people, including business executives and community leaders, are using these guides to answer questions commonly asked—yet rarely answered with such clarity. Want to see all of these MSU books lined up in Amazon? Here is the ‘Bias Busters’ Amazon page.

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th-Changing-Our-Mind-cover-with-author-David-P-GusheeGUSHEE GETS THE WILBURMercer University’s David Gushee has received a number of accolades from his colleagues over the past year for his courageous online columns and, ultimately, his book Changing Our Mind. That body of work describes how this prominent evangelical ethicist went from condemning same-sex relationships to defending the inclusion of LGBT men and women in Christian churches. Now, the original version of Gushee’s writing on the subject is being honored in New York with a Wilbur Award from the Religion Communicators Council.

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FILM, FAITH & CULTURE


TALKING ABOUT MOVIES?
Enjoy all of the free resources from Ed McNulty’s faith-and-film website by remembering the simple Web address: www.VisualParables.org 

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Cover Story: Innovations in interfaith diversity

Diversity sparking peace, not violence

IFLC Religious Diversity Journeys-logo (1)3 REMARKABLE STORIES:

RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY JOURNEYS—In southeast Michigan, a broad array of religious leaders and educators in public school systems have developed a popular program called, “Religious Diversity Journeys.” This unique curriculum is designed for students who want to be on the cutting edge of combatting bigotry through immersive experiences. Students travel as a group and learn about the religious traditions shaping their communities. Our story includes a helpful link to learn more about the program and perspectives from two recent newspaper reports on Religious Diversity Journeys.

Panorama-of-the-whole-siteINDIA’S HUGE FESTIVAL—If you care about inter-religious relationships, you’ll be fascinated to learn that an enormous interfaith festival of arts and music recently occurred in northern India on the plains along the sacred Yamuna River. Most Americans probably would never have heard of this story, except for the efforts of the International Association of Religion Journalists, which published this overview of the enormous festival by an Indian reporterIf you care about religion news from around the world, be sure to check out the Twitter feed of headlines from this organization of journalists.

‘THIRD WAY’ CATCHES ON—Gender diversity also is emerging as a huge issue within religious groups worldwide, but especially in the United States. One place to look for news about peaceful approaches to this diversity is The Third Way Newsletter. Then, recently, journalist Kay DeMoss, who reports on news within the United Methodist Church’s Michigan Area, wrote about this movement within that denomination.

And a reminder from last week …

2016 03 21 MSU Bias Busters team (1)MSU BIAS BUSTERS—A highly respected series of books on understanding American minorities adds a new volume on American Jews—as Jewish news is moving to front pages. What news? Passover is coming with Americans’ annual conversation over “crossover” themes with Easter. This new book has a special section helping non-Jews to understand the major Jewish holidays. Learn more about the latest volume in the Bias Busters series in a new story by Michigan State University’s Joe Grimm.

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HOLIDAYS and FESTIVALS

PASSOVER

COMING APRIL 22—When is the ancient Jewish festival held this year? Seder meals will begin this year after sundown on Friday April 22. To keep up with all the holidays, just remember this simple Web address www.InterfaithHolidays.com.

Eden-Gardens-seedling (1)Before Passover, watch ReadTheSpirit for holiday coverage—and a special column from Bobbie Lewis in FeedTheSpirit. Bobbie often marks the changing seasons of the year in her stories about food traditions (with recipes). As temperatures rise in spring, you may enjoy reading her story about the importance of urban farming. (Note: The editors at ReadTheSpirit have tried her recipe for kale salad—and it’s terrific!)

 

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19th century Russian icon of the resurrection (1)EASTER

EASTERN ORTHODOX—The majority of the world’s Christians have celebrated Easter (March 27), but hundreds of millions of Orthodox Christians still are in the midst of their fasting season known as Great Lent. They will mark Easter on May 1 this year.

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Three Sisters From Left Elaine Drury Susan Martin Joyce Tuttle (2)GODSIGNS

A REMARKABLE WALK—GodSigns author Suzy Farbman’s columns celebrate life’s wonders even in the midst of tragedy. This week, she tells the story of three sisters who suffered a devastating loss in their family, yet gathered to support their family. They made time to care for others—and themselves. While on a walk along the beach one day … Well, please, read Suzy’s column for yourself. You’ll be glad you did.

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FILM, FAITH
& CULTURE


TALKING ABOUT MOVIES?
Enjoy all of the free resources from Ed McNulty’s faith-and-film website by remembering the simple Web address: www.VisualParables.org AND—Please consider subscribing to the one resource Ed sells—his long-running Visual Parables Journal, which is packed with complete study guides for individual reflection and small-group discussion.

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Just in time for holidays: MSU Bias Busters publish guide to American Jews

100 Questions and Answers about American JewsCOVER STORY: Timely guide to American Jews

100 QUESTIONS & ANSWERS: A highly respected series of books on understanding American minorities adds a new volume on American Jews—as Jewish news is moving to front pages this week.

2016 03 21 MSU Bias Busters team (1)What news? A major Jewish conference is drawing presidential candidates to Washington D.C. this week. And the annual conjunction of Easter and Passover is looming. This new book has a special section helping non-Jews to understand the major Jewish holidays. Learn more about the latest volume in the Bias Busters series in a new story by Michigan State University’s Joe Grimm.

Who are these Bias Busters? They’re top students in one of the nation’s leading journalism programs. In recent years, they have produced a whole series of books widely used by individuals, nonprofits, community groups and company human resource programs.

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HOLIDAYS and FESTIVALS

DON’T MISS A HOLIDAY! Just remember this simple Web address www.InterfaithHolidays.com to find all of the upcoming holidays, festivals and anniversaries.

Hard boiled eggs (1)EGGS FOR EQUINOX

THAT’S A TART! Regular readers of Bobbie Lewis’s FeedTheSpirit love her fascinating stories as well as her diverse range of recipes. For the Equinox, Bobbie searched for something unusual to serve up involving eggs. Check out this vegetable-and-egg Russian tart. Also, if company is coming to your house for the Easter weekend, you’ll enjoy this earlier column that includes a wonderful muffin recipe.

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hamans pockets hamantaschen for Purim (1)PURIM

FESTIVE HOLIDAY—Before Passover (sunset on April 22) there’s the festive holiday called Purim, which recalls the noble Queen Esther who saved the Jewish people in a time of great danger. The holiday includes great fun and some tasty treats, including triangular-shaped cookies. Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton has the story and links to recipes, including one from FeedTheSpirit writer Bobbie Lewis.

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Easter-lily (2)LENT and EASTER

EAST MEETS WEST—The majority of the world’s 2 billion  Christians follow the Western liturgical calendar, which means they are entering Holy Week and the solemn holy days marking the end of Jesus’s life on earth. Meanwhile, Eastern Orthodox Christians, who follow a different calendar are in the midst of their Great Lent. They will mark Easter on May 1 this year.

 

Bart Ehrman Jesus before the Gospels front cover (1)

Want some additional thought-provoking reading in this Christian season of reflection on Jesus life, death, resurrection and the birth of the Christian church? We recommend a new book by Bible scholar Bart Ehrman, which explores how the stories of Jesus’s life were remembered by ancient Christians and, decades later, were recorded in Bible stories. Sound intriguing? We invite you to enjoy this latest conversation between ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm and Bart Ehrman.

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Loretta and Sy Ziegelman (1)GODSIGNS

QUEST FOR A TRANSPLANT—GodSigns author Suzy Farbman’s columns celebrate the remarkable twists and turns of life. This week, she tells the story of a husband and wife and their daunting search for a transplant that would save the life of wife, mother and grandmother Loretta Ziegelman. Each day of the year, countless families are on this arduous journey, hoping for a transplant. This uplifting story reminds us that organ donations can change the lives of entire families.

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FILM, FAITH
& CULTURE

Son of Saul movie poster (3)TALKING ABOUT MOVIES? Enjoy all of the free resources from Ed McNulty’s faith-and-film website by remembering the simple Web address: www.VisualParables.org AND—Please consider subscribing to the one resource Ed sells—his long-running Visual Parables Journal, which is packed with complete study guides for individual reflection and small-group discussion. The new March issue has just been published.

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