Cover Story: Doing good in the world at Christmas (and always)

MANY WAYS TO DO GOOD IN THE WORLD

One of our guiding principles: Good media builds good community. How can you help? Here’s how …

GIVE ‘HOPE FOR THE CITY’ …

Jack Kresnak Hope for the City in the Free Press 2015A STAND-UP-AND-CHEER BOOKThe Detroit Free Press was so impressed with Jack Kresnak’s brand-new biography of Father William Cunningham, called Hope for the City, that then newspaper devoted a huge three-page spread to excerpting the book! That’s high praise indeed! Learn more about the book and how to order a copy for yourself—and someone you love.

 

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Amazon_com__Michigan_State_School_of_Journalism__Books__Biography__Blog__Audiobooks__KindleCOMBAT BIGOTRY

HELP MSU BIAS BUSTERS—The Bias Busters program at the Michigan State University School of Journalism is courageously stepping into the nationwide wave of anti-Muslim bigotry by reducing the price of their guidebook on understanding Muslim-Americans to 99 cents. Leading figures in journalism are praising this move. Please join them in spreading the news! Learn about this effort, spearheaded by MSU’s Joe Grimm and his students.

 

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SUSAN’S HOLIDAY TIPS

ReadTheSpirit book coversEXPERT SHOPPING HELP—Susan Stitt runs Morgan Street Media Services in Georgia, near Atlanta, and also consults with us on our own book marketing. This year, we turned to Susan and asked her to jot down her own holiday shopping list from our bookstore. Learn what Susan thinks you should be wrapping up right now.

 

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CELEBRATE A LIFE OF PEACE

In Memoriam Bishop Jesse DeWitt 1918 to 2015REMEMBERING BISHOP DEWITT—In such a troubling time, when global religious conflict seems to be rising, it’s appropriate to remember the life of a bishop who devoted himself to peacefully bringing people together. Hundreds gathered in Ann Arbor this weekend to remember the century-spanning life of United Methodist Bishop Jesse DeWitt.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS
and YULE GREETINGS, TOO

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

Las Posadas procession photo via Wikiimedia Commons (1)CHRISTMAS IS COMING—The Western Christian Advent season began November 29 this year. Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton reports on Advent traditions. And new this week: Many Latino communities in the U.S. and Mexico start the 9-day custom known as La Posadas.

IN THE EAST—Stephanie also writes about the Eastern Orthodox Nativity Fast, which began November 15 with occasional days of exception and culminates on December 24.

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 Fireplace-lit-logsCELEBRATING YULETIDE? Stephanie Fenton writes: “Whether a Yule log is placed on the fire or eaten as a buche de noel, the longest night of the year is the perfect time to get warm by the fireplace and revel in the joy of the season.” Check out her story about this centuries-old observance.

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FEED THE SPIRIT

FOOD__Transforming_the_American_Table_1950–2000___National_Museum_of_American_HistoryHOLIDAY FOODSFeedTheSpirit columnist Bobbie Lewis stops by the Smithsonian Institution’s fascinating exhibit exploring American foodways. Bobbie shares highlights, including a salute to Julia Child, and shares an all-American recipe for a rich, cheesy corn casserole. It’s perfect for holiday meals, especially if you’ve got vegetarians at the table.

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FILM, FAITH
& POPULAR CULTURE

Cover Edward McNulty Jesus Christ Movie Star (1)CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR MOVIE FANS—Only one figure challenges the century-old records of Sherlock Holmes and Santa Claus as Hollywood superstars. Who is that? Veteran-faith-and-film writer Edward McNulty’s brand new book answers that question in its title: “Jesus Christ, Movie Star.” This book is as timely as front-page news—and lots of fun as well—says our story about the book. Religion scholar Ken Chitwood, the author of FaithGoesPop columns, contributed to this new book and says in a new column that he’s “overwhelmingly excited” about its publication.

 

HOLIDAY MOVIES—Looking for great choices? First, www.VisualParables.org is a treasure trove of free movie reviews by Edward McNulty. Also, check out the current issue of his Visual Parables Journal.

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GOD-SIGNS

Conkie SesslerA LEGACY OF GRATEFULNESS—In this week’s new column from GodSigns author Suzy Farbman, we meet Conkie Sessler. Half a century ago, she was a little girl scared to learn that her heart had serious flaws. Suzy tells the inspiring story of what happened and the gratefulness Conkie has felt all her life.

Peacemakers …

 

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Cover Story: You can give ‘Hope for the City’ this season

REAL-LIFE SAINT BRINGS ‘HOPE’

Cover Hope for the City biography of Focus Hope founder Father Cunningham by Jack KresnakCOVER STORY—Father William Cunningham’s courageous pursuit of social justice might seem like a tale out of Hollywood—except that he really did devote his life to overcoming injustice and helping countless men and women lift their families out of poverty. Now, just in time for the year-end holidays, you can give some Hope for the City to friends—by supporting this new biography by award-winning journalist Jack Kresnak and Detroit’s Cass Community Publishing. Please, read our cover story by Dmitri Barvinok.

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BEN PRATT IS BACK!

Harbor_Docks_-_Gulf_to_Table_on_VimeoSALTY GRATITUDE—Yes, this is a big fish story! But it’s not a fisherman’s yarn. It’s a true tale about gratitude in a Gulf Shore community that leads many people—including author Benjamin Pratt’s family—to pitch in for a long day designed to fuel a local food bank. You’ll enjoy Ben’s latest column, which includes videos and—well, go on and read it, because we’re sure it will fuel your own ideas about generosity.

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HAPPY HANUKKAH
& MERRY CHRISTMAS

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

US Hanukkah stamp (1)HAPPY HANUKKAH!

This year, Jewish families began by lighting the first Hanukkah candle on the evening of December 6. Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton provides an overview of the holiday and its traditions.

For Hanukkah, FeedTheSpirit brings us a guest writer: “Bubbies Latkes” is the story of a real-life Jewish grandmother, Susan Gartenberg, who recalls how her own grandmother taught her to make latkes.

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united-states-charlie-brown-christmas-stamp-2015 (1)CHRISTMAS IS COMING—The Western Christian Advent season began November 29 this year. Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton reports on Advent traditions. And new this week: She writes about the 50th anniversary of A Charlie Brown Christmasand the religious milestone it represented in 1965.

IN THE EAST—Stephanie also writes about the Eastern Orthodox Nativity Fast, a centuries-old tradition of fasting in preparation for the holiday marking Jesus’s birth. This period of self denial and spiritual reflection began November 15 with occasional days of exception and culminates on December 24.

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Candles in a Buddhist TempleAND FROM THE FAR EAST—Buddhism may be waning in Japan, but the ancient traditions of Buddhism continue to find new adherents around the world. Stephanie reports on the Buddhist festival associated with lights Bodhi Day, also known as Rohatsu.

 

 

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FOOD__Transforming_the_American_Table_1950–2000___National_Museum_of_American_HistoryHOLIDAY FOODSFeedTheSpirit columnist Bobbie Lewis stops by the Smithsonian Institution’s fascinating exhibit exploring American foodways. Bobbie shares highlights, including a salute to Julia Child, and shares an all-American recipe for a rich, cheesy corn casserole. It’s perfect for holiday meals, especially if you’ve got vegetarians at the table.

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FILM, FAITH
& POPULAR CULTURE

Cover Edward McNulty Jesus Christ Movie Star (1)CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR MOVIE FANS—Only one figure challenges the century-old records of Sherlock Holmes and Santa Claus as Hollywood superstars. Who is that? Veteran-faith-and-film writer Edward McNulty’s brand new book answers that question in its title: “Jesus Christ, Movie Star.” In these pages, he provides potent fuel for individual movie fans and small groups to discuss how Jesus’s life and legacy is depicted in movies that indelibly shape our understanding of religion. This is as timely as front-page news—and lots of fun as well—says our story about the book. Religion scholar Ken Chitwood, the author of FaithGoesPop columns, contributed to this new book and says in a new column that he’s “overwhelmingly excited” about its publication.

 

HOLIDAY MOVIES—Looking for great choices? First, www.VisualParables.org is a treasure trove of free movie reviews by Edward McNulty. Also, check out the current issue of his Visual Parables Journal.

Hunger Games …

Screen shot from Hunger Games (1)JANE WELLS REVIEW—Thousands of our readers, in recent years, have followed writer Jane Wells’s reflections on social-justice themes inspired by the Hunger Games cycle of novels and movies. In her Bird on Fire website, Jane provides a quick overview of the entire saga (a great opportunity to catch up on the long story) and she reviews the final film in the series.

ED McNULTY REVIEW—For another perspective, check out Ed’s review of the film, which he recommends (4 out of 5 stars). Ed says: “With each film Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) grows more interesting.”

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DOING GOOD
IN THE WORLD

One of our guiding principles: Good media builds good community. What does that mean? Enjoy these stories …

Joanna Fox holds the Newbery award winning book dedicated to herA TRANSFORMATIVE TEACHERGodSigns author Suzy Farbman’s column this week tells the story of Joanna Fox, who became a teacher to get kids excited about reading and writing. She created a unique learning environment she calls the Dragonfly Cafe. Her work even inspired a winner of the Newbery Medal for children’s literature. In her column, Suzy tells us how this teacher’s constant encouragement of her students inspires such creativity.

 

Peacemakers …

REDISCOVER HOPE—Daniel Buttry’s inspiring new book We Are the Socks is full of true stories about men and women who risked pursuing peace even in the face of enormous challenges around the world. Read about Dan’s adventure in writing this new book. And, in a short video, Dan tells the surprising story behind the title.

INTERFAITH PEACEMAKERS—You’ll enjoy more than 100 stories of men and women who dared to cross boundaries in Buttry’s main website: InterfaithPeacemakers

 

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Cover Story: World’s most popular version of the Bible turns 50!

HAPPY GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY NIV!

50th anniversary of the NIV BibleCOVER STORY—We report on the 50th anniversary of the New International Version of the Bible, an English translation created by evangelical Christian scholars for evangelical readers. If you’re not within that religious community, why should you care? Because this is the most popular version of the Bible, today, and has far outsold both Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings combined! And, for those with an evangelical on their Christmas list—we recommend some unusual editions of this Bible with added features from Zondervan.

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HAPPY HANUKKAH
& MERRY CHRISTMAS

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

th Hanukkah_candlesHAPPY HANUKKAH! This year, Jewish families will light the first Hanukkah candle on the evening of Sunday, December 6. Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton provides an overview of the holiday and its traditions.

FEED THE SPIRIT—For Hanukkah, FeedTheSpirit columnist Bobbie Lewis brings us a special guest writer: “Bubbies Latkes” is the story of a real-life Jewish grandmother, Susan Gartenberg, who recalls how her own grandmother showed her how to make delicious latkes. And, yes, there’s a recipe, too!

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Advent Candles (3)CHRISTMAS IS COMING—The Western Christian Advent season began Sunday November 29 this year. Each week in Sunday services (and in Christian homes), families celebrate themes related to Jesus’s birth: hope, peace, love and joy. Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton reports on Advent traditions.

AND IN THE EAST—Stephanie also writes about the Eastern Orthodox Nativity Fast, a centuries-old tradition of fasting in preparation for the holiday marking Jesus’s birth. This period of self denial and spiritual reflection began November 15 with occasional days of exception and culminates on December 24.

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th St NicholasST. NICHOLAS IS COMING! Before there was a jolly old Santa Claus, sipping Coca Cola and starring in countless movies and TV specials—there was a noble Christian bishop whose goodness eventually led to his canonization as St. Nicholas. Stephanie Fenton reports on this global Christian tradition.

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FILM, FAITH
& POPULAR CULTURE

 

Cover Edward McNulty Jesus Christ Movie Star (1)CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR MOVIE FANS—Only one figure challenges the century-old records of Sherlock Holmes and Santa Claus as Hollywood superstars. Who is that? Veteran-faith-and-film writer Edward McNulty’s brand new book answers that question in its title: “Jesus Christ, Movie Star.” In these pages, he provides potent fuel for individual movie fans and small groups to discuss how Jesus’s life and legacy is depicted in movies that indelibly shape our understanding of religion. This is as timely as front-page news—and lots of fun as well—says our story about the book. Religion scholar Ken Chitwood, the author of FaithGoesPop columns, contributed to this new book and says in a new column that he’s “overwhelmingly excited” about its publication.

 

HOLIDAY MOVIES—As predictable as the December holidays are the waves of moviegoers eager to catch up on the many films showing in the final weeks of the year! Looking for great choices? First, www.VisualParables.org is a treasure trove of free movie reviews by Edward McNulty. Also, check out the current issue of his Visual Parables Journal.

Hunger Games …

Hunger Games Mockingjay 2 movie image (2)JANE WELLS REVIEW—Thousands of our readers, in recent years, have followed writer Jane Wells’s reflections on social-justice themes inspired by the Hunger Games cycle of novels and movies. In her Bird on Fire website, this week, Jane provides a quick overview of the entire saga (a great opportunity to catch up on the long story) and she reviews the final film in the series. Jane urges moviegoers to see the film, which she compares to the final episode of the MASH television series—about war, but really about exposing the horrors of war.

ED McNULTY REVIEW—For another perspective, check out Ed’s review of the film, which he recommends (4 out of 5 stars). Ed says: “With each film Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) grows more interesting.”

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DOING GOOD
IN THE WORLD

One of our guiding principles: Good media builds good community. What does that mean? Enjoy these stories …

Thanksgiving table with folks serving (1)YES, ‘GOOD WILL’ IS POSSIBLEGodSigns author Suzy Farbman writes about gathering around a holiday table with friends—and discovering that old wounds can be healed in the interest of togetherness. Thanks Suzy for this real-life holiday story of compassion and reconciliation.

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Peacemakers …

REDISCOVER HOPE—Daniel Buttry’s inspiring new book We Are the Socks is full of true stories about men and women who risked pursuing peace even in the face of enormous challenges around the world. Read about Dan’s adventure in writing this new book. And, in a short video, Dan tells the surprising story behind the title.

INTERFAITH PEACEMAKERS—You’ll enjoy more than 100 stories of men and women who dared to cross boundaries in Buttry’s main website: InterfaithPeacemakers

 

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Cover Story: Debut of ‘Jesus Christ, Movie Star’

HOLLYWOOD ASKS: ‘Who do we say He is?’

Cover Edward McNulty Jesus Christ Movie Star (1)COVER STORY—Only one figure challenges the century-old records of Sherlock Holmes and Santa Claus as Hollywood superstars. Who is that? This week, veteran-faith-and-film writer Edward McNulty releases his newest book, answering that question in its title: “Jesus Christ, Movie Star.” No, Ed isn’t sacrilegious in this provocative new book. He’s providing potent fuel for individual movie fans and small groups to discuss how Jesus’s life and legacy is depicted in movies that indelibly shape our understanding of religion. This is as timely as front-page news—and lots of fun as well—says our Cover Story by ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm.

Happy Thanksgiving …

… from our FAITH and FILM writers!

Visual Parables Journal November 2015 issue by Ed McNulty (2)HOLIDAY MOVIES—As predictable as roast turkey and Black Friday is the tidal wave of moviegoers on this long holiday weekend. Our faith-and-film writers want to help you make great choices!

FIRST—www.VisualParables.org is a treasure trove of free movie reviews by Edward McNulty. Also, check out the current issue of his Visual Parables Journal.

Hunger Games …

Hunger Games Mockingjay 2 movie image (2)JANE WELLS REVIEW—Thousands of our readers, in recent years, have followed writer Jane Wells’s reflections on social-justice themes inspired by the Hunger Games cycle of novels and movies. In her Bird on Fire website, this week, Jane provides a quick overview of the entire saga (a great opportunity to catch up on the long story) and she reviews the final film in the series. Jane urges moviegoers to see the film, which she compares to the final episode of the MASH television series—about war, but really about exposing the horrors of war.

Jerusalem …

Jerusalem IMAX movie poster (1)DON’T MISS THE IMAX MOVIE—Anyone who has spent time in Jerusalem—whether Christian, Muslim or Jew—will tell you that the amazing IMAX movie called Jerusalem is an experience you don’t want to miss. First, you can check out all the showings around the world at the official IMAX website. Then, because our home office is in Michigan, we want to point out that the movie “is back in Michigan” through the end of the year. Check out showtimes at this Detroit-based website.

 

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And, Happy Thanksgiving …

… from our HOLIDAYS and FOOD writers!

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

Thanksgiving table with folks serving (1)SERVING UP THANKSGIVINGHolidays columnist Stephanie Fenton reports on “America’s oldest holiday.” The idea of giving thanks for a bountiful harvest pre-dates the 1621 dinner with Pilgrims, she reports, and was a natural part of Native American culture. She’s also got more than a dozen links to delicious online resources as you prepare your own Thanksgiving feast, this year.

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Nativity Orthodox icon (1)CHRISTMAS IS COMING—The Western Christian Advent season begins Sunday November 29 this year. Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton writes that the first religious milestone in the Christmas season already is unfolding: the Eastern Orthodox Nativity Fast, a centuries-old tradition of fasting in preparation for the holiday marking Jesus’s birth. This period of self denial and spiritual reflection began November 15 with occasional days of exception and culminates on December 24.

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th St NicholasST. NICHOLAS IS COMING! Before there was a jolly old Santa Claus, sipping Coca Cola and starring in countless movies and TV specials—there was a noble Christian bishop whose goodness eventually led to his canonization as St. Nicholas. Stephanie Fenton reports on this global Christian tradition.

 

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Feed The Spirit …

Sharon-Buttry-cookstove (1)OLD-FASHIONED COOKING—The host of our FeedTheSpirit section, Bobbie Lewis brings us a guest column this week from a pastor, a peacemaker, a social worker and a good cook—and all four are the same person! Thanks to the Rev. Sharon Buttry for this delightful column about rediscovering the joys—and challenges—of using a wood-fired cook stove.

 

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DOING GOOD
IN THE WORLD

One of our guiding principles: Good media builds good community. What does that mean? Enjoy these stories …

Muslim-Unity-Center-Imam-Almasmari-740x1024 (1)EATING FROM THE SAME PLATE—Author and photographer Rodney Curtis, whose first book earned him the nickname Spiritual Wanderer, spent part of Friday with media professionals from southeast Michigan at one of Michigan’s most influential mosques. Rodney writes that, in a time of global anxiety about religious conflict, this visit was a source of reassurance.

 

Peacemakers …

Daniel_Buttry_explains_the_story_behind__We_Are_the_Socks__-_ExploreREDISCOVER HOPE—Daniel Buttry’s inspiring new book We Are the Socks is full of true stories about men and women who risked pursuing peace even in the face of enormous challenges around the world. Read about Dan’s adventure in writing this new book. And, in a short video, Dan tells the surprising story behind the title.

INTERFAITH PEACEMAKERS—You’ll enjoy more than 100 stories of men and women who dared to cross boundaries in Buttry’s main website: InterfaithPeacemakers

Suzy Farbman …

Bob and Suzie Ufer (2)GOD SIGNS—This week in her GodSigns column, Suzy Farbman writes about how the people we meet literally along life’s journey wind up inspiring us in unexpected ways.

 

 

Our publishing house …

FRONT EDGE PUBLISHING—Long-time readers are familiar with our ReadTheSpirit Bookstore (and, of course, this is a great time to shop for holiday gifts). Founding Editor David Crumm and Publisher John Hile also are expanding a newly formed company: Front Edge Publishing, which helps organizations, universities and community leaders launch publishing projects. In the Detroit Free Press Business section, Frank Witsil profiled us and our latest work.

 

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Cover Story: ‘Harnessing the Power of Tension’

TRANSFORMING FEAR INTO ENERGY FOR PEACE

Brenda Rosenberg Samia Bahsoun Harnessing the Power of Tension cover imageCOVER STORY—As the world mourns losses in France, our energy can turn to violence or it can fuel our resolve to seek peace. That’s the message of long-time peace activist Brenda Rosenberg, best known for her earlier theatrical production, Reuniting the Children of Abraham, which was featured on CBS. Now, Brenda and co-author Samia Bahsoun are launching a new book and a national effort with a title that explains their cause—Harnessing the Power of Tension: A paradoxical approach to building alliances at home, in the board room, on campus, and in communities. Our popular columnist and author Suzy Farbman reports on Brenda’s dauntless spirit and importance of such daring work in these troubled times.

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NEWS ABOUT OUR PUBLISHING HOUSE

David Crumm and John Hile in Detroit Free Press (1)FRONT EDGE PUBLISHING—Long-time readers are familiar with our ReadTheSpirit Bookstore (and, of course, this is a great time to shop for holiday gifts). Founding Editor David Crumm and Publisher John Hile also are expanding a newly formed company: Front Edge Publishing, which helps organizations, universities and community leaders launch publishing projects. In the Sunday Detroit Free Press Business section, Frank Witsil profiled us and our latest work.

 

HOLIDAYS,
FOOD and FESTIVALS

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

Nativity Orthodox icon (1)CHRISTMAS (NATIVITY) IS COMING—Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton writes about the first religious milestone in the Christmas season: the beginning of the Eastern Orthodox Nativity Fast, a centuries-old tradition of fasting in preparation for the holiday marking Jesus’s birth. This period of self denial and spiritual reflection begins November 15 with occasional days of exception and culminates on December 24.

SEASONAL HOLIDAYSOur November-themed column looks at a number of observances coming up.

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Charlie TunaFEED THE SPIRIT—The host of our FeedTheSpirit section, Bobbie Lewis, tells the story of America’s roller-coaster love affair with tuna. Once a major staple in nearly every home, tuna’s popularity has fallen in recent years. Bobbie also resurrects a classic “Charlie Tuna” video clip from Charlie’s early days in what many Americans now think of as the Mad Men era of advertising. Yes, of course, Bobbie adds a tuna recipe—yum!

GOING VEGETARIAN? Bobbie’s FeedTheSpirit tuna salad recipe wouldn’t qualify for the Orthodox Nativity Fast, but Bobbie regularly looks for vegetarian treats to share with readers. Some could even be adopted to fit the rigors of Orthodox fasting: Here’s a popular column featuring a Three-Bean Chili made with Butternut Squash.

 

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FAITH, FILM
AND POPULAR CULTURE

Visual Parables Journal November 2015 issue by Ed McNulty (2)1,200 MOVIESwww.VisualParables.org is a treasure trove of free movie reviews by Edward McNulty. We also invite readers to consider purchasing a subscription to Ed’s Visual Parables Journal, a monthly compilation of complete faith-and-film study guides for small groups. This week, Ed is publishing the November issue.

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INTERFAITH
PEACEMAKERS

Daniel_Buttry_explains_the_story_behind__We_Are_the_Socks__-_ExploreREDISCOVER HOPE—Daniel Buttry’s inspiring new book We Are the Socks is full of true stories about men and women who risked pursuing peace even in the face of enormous challenges around the world. Read about Dan’s adventure in writing this new book. And, in a short video, Dan tells the surprising story behind the title.

INTERFAITH PEACEMAKERS—You’ll enjoy more than 100 stories of men and women who dared to cross boundaries in Buttry’s main website: InterfaithPeacemakers

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Cover Story: Muslim milestone in a 2,000-page ‘Study Quran’

SQ cover v2SCHOLARS WORKED 10 YEARS

COVER STORY—This week’s biggest news in religion is the long-awaited release of a massive new book, The Study Quran, by HarperOne to stand along side the many popular “study Bibles” Americans have enjoyed for many years. The book’s debut comes on the heels of a major study of Americans’ religious lives that says religiously affiliated men and women are, indeed, spending more time in scripture reading and small-group study of scriptures. Our Cover Story explains why this new edition of the Quran can truly be called unique. Also: We explain some of the bias in other earlier editions of English commentaries on the Quran. And we talk with the head of HarperOne, Mark Tauber, about how Americans are responding to the news.

 

 

HOLIDAYS,
FOOD and FESTIVALS

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

Destroyed-Ohel-Yaaqov-Synagogue-after-KristallnachtLEST WE FORGET—As we publish this new week’s issue of ReadTheSpirit magazine, we also remember that 77 years ago, a religious minority was targeted in a horrific and public way. This is the anniversary of Kristallnacht. On the night of November 9, 1938, Jews in Germany and Austria were terrorized by mobs breaking glass. Our Kristallnacht column recommends a number of resources for individuals and teachers to use from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

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Frank_Buckles_recruitment_picture WWI 1917 (2)VETERANS DAY—And in another worldwide day of remembrance—we honor veterans with a holiday that recalls the end, a century ago, of “the war to end all wars.” That phrase originated with author H.G. Wells and was repeated by President Wilson in a solemn way; Wells actually believed that WWI could end the practice of war. Today, what we now call Veterans Day is a bonanza of special offers for veterans, plus countless local and regional events.

 

 

thumbnail of Diwali LightsDANCING LIGHTS IN THE DARKNESS—For more than a billion men, women and children following the cultures of India, this week is full of lights, special treats, dancing and visits to friends and family. It’s Diwali, the festival of lights celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains! You’ll enjoy Stephanie Fenton’s Holiday column, in part, because we’ve got a super-charged video clip that captures the shopping frenzy associated with Diwali. (And before you roll your eyes at Indian Diwali shopping—Black Friday and the American Christmas-shopping marathon is right around the corner.)

Treats for Diwali from Wikimedia Commons (1)FEED THE SPIRIT—The host of our FeedTheSpirit section, Bobbie Lewis, brings us a special guest column for Diwali, describing the holiday from the perspective of one American family. Whether living in India or elsewhere around the world, families with roots in India are likely to spend weeks planning for their Diwali celebrations. Guest writer Anjali Charankar-Vale also shares a recipe for a simple, savory snack she prepares each year.

SEASONAL HOLIDAYSOur November-themed column looks at a number of observances coming up.

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FAITH, FILM
AND POPULAR CULTURE

Movie still from Labyrinth of Lies

1,200 MOVIESwww.VisualParables.org is a treasure trove of movie reviews by veteran faith-and-film expert Edward McNulty.

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DOING GOOD
IN THE WORLD

One of our guiding principles: Good media builds good community. What does that mean? Enjoy these stories …

Pauline Katz today (1)SUZY FARBMAN—This week, GodSigns columnist Suzy Farbman writes about the personal and spiritual transformation that can accompany weight loss. She tells the story of Pauline Katz, who has wrestled with this challenge for many years—and finally succeeded!

 

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INTERFAITH
PEACEMAKERS

Lance and Christina Muteyo in Zimbabwe with their copy of We Are the Socks (1)STORIES CIRCLING THE GLOBE—The couple in this photo are Lance and Christina Muteyo, whose names greet readers on the dedication page of Daniel Buttry’s inspiring new book We Are the Socks. They just received their copy in Zimbabwe as the book continues to make its way around the world. Order your Socks now to discover dozens of inspirational stories about peacemakers worldwide. Read about Dan’s adventure in writing this new book. And, in a short video, Dan tells the surprising story behind the title.

INTERFAITH PEACEMAKERS—You’ll enjoy more than 100 stories of men and women who dared to cross boundaries in Buttry’s main website: InterfaithPeacemakers

Congratulations Dr. Gushee!

David-Gushee-author Changing Our MindELECTION BY SCHOLARLY PEERS: Dr. David P. Gushee, author of Changing Our Mind was just elected vice president of the American Academy of Religion. The three-year cycle will move him on to president-elect and then president of the world’s largest professional association of scholars who study religion, with 9,000 members representing some 900 colleges, universities, seminaries and schools in North America and abroad. Read more in this Mercer University report on Gushee’s election.

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Cover Story: Perfect time for autumn book shopping

Cover-The-Flavors-of-Faith-Lynne-Meredith-Golodner (1)THE FLAVORS OF FAITH—As the calendar turns to November, it’s time to shop for books as we plan ahead for year-end holidays. Today, we are featuring a perfect pre-Thanksgiving book, The Flavors of Faith: Holy Breads by Lynne Meredith Golodner. Sharing food is a cornerstone of virtually every faith on the planet. In her book, this veteran author and food writer invites us to circle the globe, then step into our kitchens to make breads from sacred Native American, Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions. These delicious recipes—and the stories behind them—make fun and tasty additions to your year-end gatherings with friends and family. Want to learn more? First, there’s our bookstore resource page for Lynne’s book. In addition, you may enjoy reading this interview with Lynne. And, to sample a bread that is included in the book, check out this FeedTheSpirit column by Bobbie Lewis about her family’s version of challah.

HOLIDAYS,
FOOD and FESTIVALS

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

wpid-0211th_family_with_Diwali_lights.jpgDANCING LIGHTS IN THE DARKNESS—November is a month when the world reflects on the eternal interplay of light and darkness, especially in the darkening Northern Hemisphere. Our November-themed column looks at a number of observances coming up, including Diwali and Kristallnacht as well as Thanksgiving.

FEED THE SPIRIT—“As soon as there’s a nip in the air, I know it’s chili season,” FeedTheSpirit’s Bobbie Lewis writes this week. Plus, of course, she also provides a delicious recipe—this one adding butternut squash to a bean-based chili.

rocky-road-bars (1)AND NEW THIS WEEKGuest writer Kim North Shine comes to FeedTheSpirit this week with a story about a young entrepreneur following one of the hottest food trends this year: a subscription service to receive a special box of sweet treats each month. This new service is called Bocandy and serves up such unusual tastes as roasted seaweed. And, yes, there’s a recipe—for good old-fashioned Rocky Road Squares.

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Destroyed-Ohel-Yaaqov-Synagogue-after-KristallnachtLEST WE FORGET—Remembrance and commitment to justice are the goals of the annual Kristallnacht anniversary. On the night of November 9, 1938, Jews in Germany and Austria were terrorized by mobs breaking glass. Our Kristallnacht column, this year, recommends a number of resources for individuals and teachers to use from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

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FAITH, FILM
AND POPULAR CULTURE

Movie Still The Martian (2)1,200 MOVIESwww.VisualParables.org is a treasure trove of movie reviews by veteran faith-and-film expert Edward McNulty.

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DOING GOOD
IN THE WORLD

One of our guiding principles: Good media builds good community. What does that mean? Enjoy these stories …

Merrill Mimi McLaughlin and her husband Mike Ruby (1)SUZY FARBMAN—This week, GodSigns columnist Suzy Farbman writes about a former classmate: Merrill “Mimi” McLoughlin whose career as a famous journalist (she and her husband were co-editors of US News) has taken her far and wide. Her great vocation has been sharing the stories of remarkable men and women, including Alaskan Willie Hensley who grew up along the Bering Sea.

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INTERFAITH PEACEMAKERS

Lance and Christina Muteyo in Zimbabwe with their copy of We Are the Socks (1)STORIES CIRCLING THE GLOBE—The couple in this photo are Lance and Christina Muteyo, whose names greet readers on the dedication page of Daniel Buttry’s inspiring new book We Are the Socks. They just received their copy in Zimbabwe as the book continues to make its way around the world. Order your Socks now to discover dozens of inspirational stories about peacemakers worldwide. Read about Dan’s adventure in writing this new book. And, in a short video, Dan tells the surprising story behind the title.

INTERFAITH PEACEMAKERS—You’ll enjoy more than 100 stories of men and women who dared to cross boundaries in Buttry’s main website: InterfaithPeacemakers

And, the Comedic Advisor to the Pope …

Rabbi Bob Alper and Pope FrancisGOOD NEWS TRAVELS FAR & WIDE: If you’re just catching up with our newsletter—here’s our story about Rabbi Bob Alper beating out 4,000 comics around the world to become Honorary Comedic Advisor to the Pope. Since that big “win,” news stories keep popping up, including:

Want to catch one of Bob’s shows? He’ll be performing November 7 at the South Huntington Jewish Center in Melville, New York (on Long Island). Information about this event is on the center’s website.

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