ReadTheSpirit Cover Story: Barbara Brown Taylor’s new ‘Holy Envy’ is a pilgrimage exploring our neighbors’ religious riches

HOW DO WE LIVE IN A MULTI-FAITH WORLD?

Click Barbara’s photo to read our Cover Story.

‘HOLY ENVY’—At a time when millions of Americans are afraid of their neighbors, Barbara Brown Taylor’s new book invites us to take a pilgrimage through the spiritual wonders in our neighbors’ religious traditions. Based on her two decades of teaching Religion 101 at Piedmont College in Georgia, Barbara now is sharing some of her best, real-life stories with students. And, what an amazing opportunity it must have been for these young men and women! They were treated to a best-selling author and internationally known Christian teacher as their guide, accompanying them as they took their first steps toward discovering the richness of other cultures and faiths.

As readers of this new book, Barbara is inviting us to look over her students’ shoulders in her classes and to join in their on-site visits. What we discover, along with her students, are spiritual wonders that are likely to leave us wanting more. That’s why Barbara calls this latest book, Holy Envy—Finding God in the Faith of Others. Please, enjoy our Cover Story about this wonderful memoir—which also includes a new interview with the author.

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Blue Bird of Happiness?
Try a Prothonotary Warbler

MARTIN DAVIS INVITES US TO MEET some unusual birds—and to learn some remarkable new facts about the “ordinary” birds we see everyday in our neighborhoods. Each month, Martin writes a column about spiritual insights into our world. Since he began writing for our online magazine just a few months ago, he already has attracted loyal readers. As you begin reading this April column, it may seem to be about bird watching, but Martin soon takes us further afield. And, that’s a very timely spiritual insight. Pew Research tells us that even among Americans who say they have no religious affiliation—58 percent say they often feel a deep connection with nature and the earth. And please, share this new column with friends.
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HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

Click on this photo to read about Easter.

HOLY WEEK & EASTER

HOLY WEEK for Western Christians: Stephanie Fenton writes about Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and the Easter Vigil. Eastern Christians are observing the season one week later, this year.

EASTER: Stephanie’s column circles the globe! Writing about the U.S., Stephanie tells us: “Hot cross buns, chocolate bunnies and brunch soufflé fill tables and baskets of plenty on this joyous holiday, as families and friends gather to mark this, the focal point of the Christian calendar. Lilies adorn altar spaces and remind churchgoers of resurrection.”

PASSOVER

FAMILIES ARE PLANNING for the seder gatherings that mark the first two nights of Passover on April 19 and 20 this year. Stephanie Fenton’s column is packed with fascinating stories (and recipes as well) for our Jewish—and especially for our non-Jewish—readers. Want to greet Jewish friends, neighbors or co-workers? Stephanie explains what is appropriate. Might someone invite you to a seder? You can learn about what’s in store and look forward to the occasion.

RAMADAN

This spring, Muslim families also are making preparations for the many changes they will experience in the fasting month of Ramadan. This observance follows a lunar calendar and continues to move “earlier” each year. In addition, the start of Ramadan often varies, based on sightings of the moon around the world. The best estimate of the starting evening in 2019 is Monday, May 5—with the first full day of fasting on Monday, May 6.

AND FROM ASIA

VAISAKI WORLDWIDE—Stephanie Fenton’s Vaisaki (sometimes spelled Baisahki) column circles the globe. From Salt Lake City and Dublin to the heart of India, families with roots in India. As Stephanie explains, in India, Vaisakhi holds varying meanings in different regions.

JAINS CELEBRATE APRIL 17Jains greet one of the most significant days of their calendar year: Mahavir Jayanti, the birth anniversary of the final and most important Tirthankar, Mahavira.

Want to see all the upcoming Holidays & Festivals? Visit www.InterfaithHolidays.com

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HERE’S A HINT—Rodney Curtis is on Zak’s list. Click this book cover to read Zak’s full column.

Got Cancer?
Need a Dose of Hope?

WE CAN HELP—This week, we got a special salute from Australian journalist Zak Parker, who published an online guide to 12 of the best books available for providing a dose of hope to families facing cancer. As Zak puts it: “Raise your fighting chances against cancer by learning all that is known about how it acts, develops and what actions you could take that might prevent it. Get to know all there is to know about cancer by reading these books.” Then, among his dozen recommendations are three of our books! Read Zak’s column at the online magazine Fupping to learn which three books made his cut.

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Is Your Work Protected?

A QUICK GUIDE TO COPYRIGHT PROTECTIONSThis week in our Front Edge Publishing column, Susan Stitt answers some of the most common questions we get from writers, including: Do I need copyright protection? How do I apply for a copyright? How much does it cost? How long does it last? And, did you know that the duration of copyrights has changed dramatically over time? Susan has the answers, plus helpful links so you can find the official version of this information from the U.S. Copyright office. This is a column you’re likely to want to bookmark—and share with writer friends.

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Faith & Film

FAITH & FILM FOR LENT (HOLY WEEK)—Ed McNulty continues his day-by-day Lenten reflections on great films. Click on the image to read this week’s daily suggestions.

ED McNULTY, for decades, has published reviews, magazine articles and books exploring connections between faith and film. Most of his work is freely published. Ed supports his work by selling the Visual Parables Journal, a monthly magazine packed with discussion guides to films. This resource is used coast-to-coast by individuals who love the movies and by educators, clergy and small-group leaders.

Among Ed’s free reviews and columns are:

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Cover Story: Meet two heroes who dared to cross boundaries—Retired Col. Clifford Worthy and peace activist Victor Begg

Clicking on this family photo will take you to the first of our two Cover Stories.

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FINDING GOOD FRIENDS ON THE OTHER SIDE

TWO DARING HEROES: This week, we are thrilled to share two good-news stories about authors who dared to cross seemingly insurmountable boundaries—and found lifelong friends on the other side.

Click on this photo of friends to read the inspiring story of Victor Begg’s nationwide tour.

RETIRED COL. CLIFFORD WORTHY was among the very first African-American cadets sent to West Point after President Harry Truman ordered the U.S. Army desegregated in 1948. His dramatic and inspiring memoir, The Black Knight, was celebrated at Detroit’s Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History on Saturday. Our first Cover Story, then, takes you inside that historic event and explains how this historic occasion was organized. If you are weary from all the hateful voices we hear echoing across media these days, this story is an antidote: a heaping helping of inspirational news. Please, read this story and share it with friends.

MUSLIM PEACE ACTIVIST VICTOR BEGG is crossing another kind of boundary—one that often marginalizes American Muslims. With the release of his memoir, Our Muslim Neighbors, Victor dared to reach out to long-time Jewish friends. They have enthusiastically responded. Please, read this remarkable story about men and women reaching out across religious lines—and share this story with friends.

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HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

LENT & HOLY WEEK

LENT for 2-billion-plus Christians: Stephanie Fenton’s column on Lent also has a recommendation of our popular book for the season, Our Lent: Things We Carry

PALM SUNDAY is coming for Western Christians on April 14—and a week later for Eastern Christians.

PASSOVER

FAMILIES ALREADY ARE PLANNING for the seder gatherings that mark the first two nights of Passover on April 19 and 20 this year. Stephanie Fenton’s column is packed with fascinating stories (and recipes as well) for our Jewish—and especially for our non-Jewish—readers. Want to greet Jewish friends, neighbors or co-workers? Stephanie explains what is appropriate. Might someone invite you to a seder? You can learn about what’s in store and look forward to the occasion.

AND FROM ASIA

VAISAKI WORLDWIDE—Stephanie Fenton’s Vaisaki (sometimes spelled Baisahki) column circles the globe. From Salt Lake City and Dublin to the heart of India, families with roots in India. As Stephanie explains, in India, Vaisakhi holds varying meanings in different regions.

JAINS CELEBRATE APRIL 17Jains greet one of the most significant days of their calendar year: Mahavir Jayanti, the birth anniversary of the final and most important Tirthankar, Mahavira.

Want to see all the upcoming Holidays & Festivals? Visit www.InterfaithHolidays.com

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Faith & Film

FAITH & FILM FOR LENT (WEEK 6)—Ed McNulty continues his day-by-day Lenten reflections on great films. Click on the image to read this week’s daily suggestions.

ED McNULTY, for decades, has published reviews, magazine articles and books exploring connections between faith and film. Most of his work is freely published. Ed supports his work by selling the Visual Parables Journal, a monthly magazine packed with discussion guides to films. This resource is used coast-to-coast by individuals who love the movies and by educators, clergy and small-group leaders.

Among Ed’s free reviews and columns are:

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Cover Story: MSU’s Cultural Guide to Chaldean Americans Explores One of the World’s Oldest Communities

HIGHLIGHTING A MISUNDERSTOOD AMERICAN MINORITY

FACING THREATS TODAY—Chaldean Americans have survived thousands of years of wars and a host of other global threats—including the need to transplant their ancient community to the United States after threats from Iraq, ISIS and the sectarian violence across the Middle East. However, more recently, federal authorities in the U.S. swooped into their neighborhoods to question and detain hundreds of community members. U.S. officials threatened them with deportation back to the very dangerous region they had fled to save the lives of their families.

Most Americans are unaware of the distinctive culture of their Chaldean neighbors, who worship as Catholics and work side by side with their neighbors in a wide array of businesses and professions. Those Americans who know the term “Chaldean” associate the name with Sunday Bible study, because Chaldean Americans’ ancestors played crucial roles in Bible times.

Now, top journalism students at Michigan State University have published a fascinating guide to these remarkable people—painstakingly fact checked with a blue-ribbon panel of experts. Please, read this week’s cover story, consider ordering a copy of this inexpensive book via Amazon or Barnes & Noble—and share this valuable news with friends. This new book is valuable for students, educators, human services professionals and anyone involved in community leadership.

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HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

LENT & HOLY WEEK

LENT for 2-billion-plus Christians: Stephanie Fenton’s column on Lent also has a recommendation of our popular book for the season, Our Lent: Things We Carry

PALM SUNDAY is coming for Western Christians on April 14—and a week later for Eastern Christians.

AND, TIMELY NEWS:

SCRATCH ‘N’ SNIFF
TECH REVOLUTION

OUR FRONT EDGE PUBLISHING column today is from Dmitri Barvinok with news about a revolution in next-wave eBook reading devices with a technology media professionals have been trying to perfect for decades: Yes, it’s Scratch ‘n’ Sniff, soon to be available for eBooks. Dmitri even offers a blueberry-scented sample!

Want to see all the upcoming Holidays & Festivals? Visit www.InterfaithHolidays.com

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Meet a Muslim

‘OUR MUSLIM NEIGHBORS’—Lots of terrific authors are on the road this spring—and one of the most important is Victor Begg with his inspirational and sometimes downright funny stories from his new memoir, Our Muslim Neighbors. Of course, we know our readers live all over the world. However, please check out this list of a dozen upcoming public appearances by Victor. Regional news media already are covering Victor’s tour, such as this report in The Arab American News. If you’re near Michigan, the real highlight is Victor’s appearance at the Arab American National Museum on April 8. Come on along! Our motto for 12 years has been: “Good media builds healthier communities.”

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And, Meet …
‘The Black Knight’

AN APRIL 6 MUSEUM RECEPTION—Another heroic author you can meet in April is Col. Clifford Worthy, the author of the memoir The Black Knight. Again, we understand that our readers circle the globe—but, if you happen to be around Michigan later this week—you’ll definitely want to stop by the Museum of African American History in Detroit to meet Cliff and have him sign a copy of his inspiring book.

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Faith & Film

FAITH & FILM FOR LENT (WEEK 5)—Ed McNulty continues his day-by-day Lenten reflections on great films. Last week, his seven meditations focused on films about fathers—so, this week’s series looks at stories about mothers in film and scripture. Click on the image to read this week’s daily suggestions.

ED McNULTY, for decades, has published reviews, magazine articles and books exploring connections between faith and film. Most of his work is freely published. Ed supports his work by selling the Visual Parables Journal, a monthly magazine packed with discussion guides to films. This resource is used coast-to-coast by individuals who love the movies and by educators, clergy and small-group leaders.

Among Ed’s free reviews and columns are:

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Cover Story: Suzy Farbman returns with ‘Silver Linings of a Caregiver’

OUR BELOVED COLUMNIST SHARES HARD-EARNED WISDOM

ANGELS SURROUND US—For six years, since the publication of her book GodSigns, Suzy Farbman has shared hope-filled columns with us about remarkable men and women coping with challenges that most of us would consider insurmountable. Just as she did in GodSignsher book-length memoir of surviving Stage 4 cancer—Suzy finds humor and bright anecdotes wherever life takes her. Sometimes, her columns are simply good fun. Sometimes, they describe families passing through the darkest of nights.

In recent months, Suzy has not appeared in our online magazine because she has devoted all of her energy to helping her husband Burton through one of the darkest medical challenges families can face: an aggressive brain tumor, major surgery and the rehab that follows.

This week, Suzy returns to our magazine with her same lifelong laser focus on the lights we all can glimpse on the horizon. First, she describes the real-life angels surrounding our families when we are in need, then hard-earned lessons that only come from adversity—and more. Please, help all of us at ReadTheSpirit magazine welcome Suzy back to our pages by reading her column—and sharing it with friends on social media.

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Click this cover image to read our review.

And Speaking of Life-and-Death Inspiration …

THOMAS LYNCH has just released a new book—thanks to the talented team at the Presbyterian publishing house Westminster John Knox Press—and that is cause for celebration among Lynch’s legion of fans. That includes the founding editor of this online magazine who—as a journalist covering Michigan’s best spiritual thinkers—has known and admired Lynch for many years. So, this week, David Crumm offers a review, a recommendation and a cautionary note about Lynch’s new collection, called simply: Whence and Whiter.

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As Well as Angels Who Surround Us …

Can you spot Heather Rae in this photo from her Facebook sharing of this story? Yes, she’s the “kid” in the upper right holding books on her lap.

LINDA JARKEY and our whole team at the publishing house are thanking a Michigan angel who just introduced Linda’s unusual children’s book, Sadie Sees Trouble, to a new audience of kids and parents. We’re talking about Michigan-based Heather Rae, who describes herself this way: “I love to learn, create and keep busy! I constantly have my nose in a book, doing research or working to write and create new classes, workshops and retreats.” In fact, Heather Rae’s creative work is so expansive, it spreads across two websites: Little Lotus Wellness & Meditation as well as Heather Rae: Live Your Magic.

What’s the news here? First, Heather was invited to be a guest reader for children at a local, metro-Detroit public library—and she chose to introduce the kids and their parents to Sadie Sees Trouble. The book has a timely message for families about the need to reduce “screen time.” Plus, the book suggests creative ideas—such as coloring pictures with foods and other substances around the house. In fact, the entire book was illustrated by Julie Jarkey-Kozlowski using fruits, vegetables and lots of other colorful items Julie found at home. Then, Heather shared her experience on social media—inviting even more people to discover the delights of Sadie.

Would you like to become a book angel? It’s easy to do. Simply make it your mission to publicly promote an author’s work. Want suggestions? Contact us at ReadTheSpirit@gmail.com

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Click the image to learn more.

Seriously … Want to become a book angel?

MEET ‘OUR MUSLIM NEIGHBORS’—So, Heather Rae’s public reading is over. You’ve already missed that opportunity. But lots of terrific authors are on the road—and one of the most important this spring is Victor Begg with his inspirational and sometimes downright funny stories from ‘Our Muslim Neighbors.’ Of course, we know our readers are all over the world, including hundreds of fans of our publications in far-away New Zealand! However, please check out this list of a dozen upcoming public appearances by Victor in both Florida and Michigan. If you’re near Michigan, the real highlight is Victor’s appearance at the Arab American National Museum on April 8. Come on along! Our motto for 12 years has been: “Good media builds healthier communities.”

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AND ONE MORE INVITATION—

CONNECTING THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA—The Spring season is inspiring all of us—to connect with neighbors in fresh ways. Our front-page news stories this week involve reaching out both online—and in person—to foster creative, compassionate relationships. We take this very seriously—and our team invites you to connect with us in any way you prefer. In fact, our Front Edge Publishing column this week is by our Susan Stitt, offering a warm invitation to meet us in a variety of ways.

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HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

Play Ball!’ MARCH 28—Contributing Columnist Martin Davis argues that Opening Day amounts to an annual religious experience for millions of Americans.

Click on the image to read our story.

LENT

LENT for 2-billion-plus Christians: Stephanie Fenton’s column on Lent also has a recommendation of our popular book for the season, Our Lent: Things We Carry

Want to see all the upcoming Holidays & Festivals? Visit www.InterfaithHolidays.com

Want to enjoy favorite films with your Lenten journey this year? Check out the next news item …

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Faith & Film

FAITH & FILM FOR LENT (WEEK 4)—Ed McNulty continues his day-by-day Lenten reflections on great films—devoting this week’s series to stories about fathers in film and scripture. Click on the image to read this week’s daily suggestions.

Click this image to learn about Ed’s MARCH 2019 issue of Visual Parables Journal.

ED McNULTY, for decades, has published reviews, magazine articles and books exploring connections between faith and film. Most of his work is freely published. Ed supports his work by selling the Visual Parables Journal, a monthly magazine packed with discussion guides to films. This resource is used coast-to-coast by individuals who love the movies and by educators, clergy and small-group leaders.

Among Ed’s free reviews and columns are:

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Cover Story: Henry Brinton’s new cozy mystery City of Peace is a timely tale of fear, fury and faithfulness

Click the photo to read our Cover Story.

OUR FEARS PLAYED OUT IN ONE TINY TOWN

EXPLORE ‘CITY OF PEACE’—Few readers will recognize the name of the real-life small town where Henry Brinton’s new cozy mystery unfolds: historic Occoquan, which sits along a river that feeds the vast Chesapeake watershed. However, regular readers of our online magazine will recognize Henry’s byline as a contributing columnist who explores the challenges of faith and contemporary life. Now, Henry has expanded his canvas to provide a vivid portrait of an entire town that becomes a powder-keg because of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim anxieties. Please, read our Cover Story, an interview with Henry, in which he talks about why he decided to make these hot-button issues the foundation of his mystery. And, please, share this news with a friend who enjoys discovering new regional cozy mystery writers.

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RESPONDING TO HATE

OUR ‘INBOX’ OVERFLOWS with helpful links and statements and ideas for responding to the tragedy in New Zealand. Clearly, our entire community of writers, editors and authors is heartbroken, once again. We kicked off 2019 with an appeal, headlined: Meet a Muslim this year! We are doing all we can to encourage compassionate community-wide appreciation of diversity.

‘O GOD, We Grieve the Hatred’—Contemporary hymn writer Carolyn Winfrey Gillette immediately released new lyrics to a traditional Christian hymn—with permission to use this moving hymn. To learn more about Gillette, you’ll be inspired by this interview with her that we published several years ago.

Meet This Muslim—Victor Begg, author of the new Our Muslim Neighbors, has a long list of public appearances coming up in Florida and Michigan. If you’re near that part of the country, please check out Victor’s schedule, stop by one of these events and make a new friend.

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GOT BLOCKCHAIN?

HEARD OF BITCOIN? NOW, THERE’S BLOCKCHAIN—”Blockchain for publishing” is one of the hottest ideas in Spring 2019, sparking headlines in Publishers Weekly magazine and speculative stories involving The New York Times staff. In this week’s Front Edge Publishing column, Editor David Crumm has written a quick, newsy overview that we describe as “Bitcoin for Publishing 101.” The column is packed with short nuggets to help you grasp the basics of this emerging concept, including the high hopes and dire warnings. For those of you who love to learn about the technical side of publishing—this column will make you the resident expert on blockchain with friends and colleagues. Think of it as a sci-fi snapshot of Worlds to Come. Enjoy.

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HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

Play Ball!’ MARCH 28—Contributing Columnist Martin Davis argues that Opening Day amounts to an annual religious experience for millions of Americans. Want to read more on the spiritual wonderment of baseball? Check out Rodney Curtis’s novel Hope’s Diamond.

Click on the image to read our story.

LENT

LENT for 2-billion-plus Christians: Stephanie Fenton’s column on Lent also has a recommendation of our popular book for the season, Our Lent: Things We Carry

Want to see all the upcoming Holidays & Festivals? Visit www.InterfaithHolidays.com

Want to enjoy favorite films with your Lenten journey this year? Check out the next news item …

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Faith & Film

FAITH & FILM FOR LENT (WEEK 3)—Ed McNulty continues his day-by-day Lenten reflections on great films, including this one that’s beloved by millions of families around the world. Click on the image to read this week’s daily suggestions.

Click this image to learn about Ed’s MARCH 2019 issue of Visual Parables Journal.

ED McNULTY, for decades, has published reviews, magazine articles and books exploring connections between faith and film. Most of his work is freely published. Ed supports his work by selling the Visual Parables Journal, a monthly magazine packed with discussion guides to films. This resource is used coast-to-coast by individuals who love the movies and by educators, clergy and small-group leaders.

Among Ed’s free reviews and columns are:

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Cover Story: New Music for Troubled Times by Carrie Newcomer, ‘Within us and between us there is everything we need.’

‘IT’S IMPOSSIBLE—UNTIL IT’S NOT’

SOUNDTRACK FOR HOPE—This week, we welcome back singer-songwriter Carrie Newcomer, who we’ve featured many times in our online magazine over the years. She is debuting her first full-scale album of the Trump era—singing about the many ways we find hope in troubled times. Often working with her collaborator Parker Palmer, Carrie crisscrosses our nation and brings thoughtful spiritual encouragement to audiences everywhere she goes.

We’ve got samples of her new lyrics, plus links to her touring schedule and to ways you can order her new album—a terrific soundtrack for hope in your household and your community. Please, read this week’s cover story and share it with friends!

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‘GREAT BOOKS ARE GREAT COMMUNITIES’

LIVING IN THE WORLD WE HOPE TO SEE—The best books are invitations to jump into communities we’re eager to explore. In this week’s Front Edge Publishing column, Editor David Crumm writes about how this idea lies at the core of successful publishing, today. In this column, you’ll learn about the colorful worlds opening up in recent best sellers—and you’ll learn how one author, Victor Begg, is meeting this challenge every day.

THE DREAM OF KASHMIR—In fact, this week, Victor has written a hauntingly beautiful salute to the beauty of Kashmir, which has been in global news headlines recently for a new and dangerous conflict between India and Pakistan. What we’re forgetting, Victor writes, is that there’s an international treasure behind this conflict.

And Speaking of Communities

MAYAN HEALING RITUAL—Another author who has carried our “community” invitation with him around the world is Rodney Curtis, who is best known for books such as Spiritual Wanderer and A Cute LeukemiaA professional photographer and writer, Curtis takes us this week into the realm of a traditional Mayan healing ritual.

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HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

SPRINGS ETERNAL:‘Play Ball!’

THURSDAY, MARCH 28, this year is Major League Baseball’s Opening Day and, for the second straight year, all 30 teams will play that day. Contributing Columnist Martin Davis brings us a spiritual love letter to the game, this week. Among other reasons to read his columns? We’ve dug up some terrific photos to illustrate Martin’s column. You’re going to want to share this on social media!

AND BACK TO RODNEY CURTIS—Want to read more on the spiritual wonderment of baseball? Check out Rodney Curtis’s novel Hope’s Diamond.

LENT

LENT FROM EAST TO WEST—Western Christians—the majority of Christians in the U.S.—began with Ash Wednesday on March 6. Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton takes a look at  the popularity of Lent in 2019. AND—Stephanie’s column also has a recommendation of our popular book for the season, Our Lent: Things We CarryTHEN—Eastern Christians—perhaps better known as the “Orthodox”—begin their Fast of Great Lent with Clean Monday on March 11.

Want to see all the upcoming Holidays & Festivals? Visit www.InterfaithHolidays.com

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Resources to Inspire Inclusion

6 BOOKS THAT CAN HELP—News headlines are describing the challenge faced by millions of Christian families, who are discussing the religious inclusion—or exclusion—of LGBTQ family, friends and neighbors. We can help! Since our founding in 2007, ReadTheSpirit.com magazine and Front Edge Publishing have pledged to celebrate diversity, to encourage inclusion—and to publish the rich and inspiring stories of many minorities. That includes religious minorities, cultural minorities, racial minorities and gender minorities. At this historic moment, our Editor David Crumm speaks to us directly in a special video message that describes our six books that can help. Please, watch this video and share it across social media.

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Faith & Film

FAITH & FILM FOR LENT (WEEK 2)—Ed McNulty continues his day-by-day Lenten reflections on great films, including this one that’s beloved by millions of families around the world. Click on the image to read this week’s daily suggestions.

ED McNULTY, for decades, has published reviews, magazine articles and books exploring connections between faith and film. Most of his work is freely published. Ed supports his work by selling the Visual Parables Journal, a monthly magazine packed with discussion guides to films. This resource is used coast-to-coast by individuals who love the movies and by educators, clergy and small-group leaders.

Among Ed’s free reviews and columns are:

 

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Cover Story: 6 Inspiring Books for Christians on LGBTQ Inclusion

Resources to Inspire Inclusion

6 BOOKS THAT CAN HELP—Front-page headlines in newspapers nationwide are describing the challenge faced by millions of Christian families, who are discussing the religious inclusion—or exclusion—of LGBTQ family, friends and neighbors. What set this off was a narrow vote at a global conference of United Methodist leaders in St. Louis last week—a vote by a narrow margin that doubled-down on that denomination’s traditional condemnation of sexual minorities. As a result, this week, tens of thousands of congregations nationwide are caught up in discussions of these issues.

We can help! Since our founding in 2007, ReadTheSpirit.com magazine and Front Edge Publishing have pledged to celebrate diversity, to encourage inclusion—and to publish the rich and inspiring stories of many minorities. That includes religious minorities, cultural minorities, racial minorities and gender minorities.

At this historic moment, our Editor David Crumm speaks to us directly this week in a special video message that describes our six books that can help. We hope to see that individuals, families and congregations discuss these issues with solid information—and inspiring ideas—to guide them.

Click the image to read Emily’s column.

THE COST OF UNITED METHODIST CONDEMNATION

PASTOR & AUTHOR EMILY SWAN also writes this week about the impact of the painful news from St. Louis on countless families nationwide. As delegates to the global conference voted by a narrow margin to defend their condemnation of LGBTQ members of our communities—they once again traumatized many non-Methodist people who have suffered through many other painful rejections. Although the majority of delegates in St. Louis focused on their own narrow interests, many others were wounded in the process. Emily also is the co-author—along with Ken Wilson—of one of the six books we are recommending, this week.

Gather with Nadia and Friends

Our readers circle the globe! However, just in case you’re in Michigan on the evening of Tuesday March 19, you’ll find a warm welcome for an evening with best-selling author Nadia Bolz-Weber at First United Methodist Church in Ann Arbor. All are welcome at this inclusive church! The event is free—for the first 525 people who arrive. That’s the capacity and it’s possible Nadia could fill the place. Here are all the event details.

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HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

ARE YOU READY FOR LENT?

LENT FROM EAST TO WEST—Christians around the world soon will be observing the Lenten season of reflection that leads to Easter. Western Christians—the majority of Christians in the U.S.—begin with Ash Wednesday on March 6. Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton takes a look at Ash Wednesday, including news items about the popularity of Lent in 2019. AND—Stephanie’s column also has a recommendation of our popular book for the season, Our Lent: Things We CarryTHEN—Eastern Christians—perhaps better known as the “Orthodox”—begin their Fast of Great Lent with Clean Monday on March 10.

HINDU REMEMBRANCE of the great teacher Sri Ramakrishna also takes place this week. Stephanie Fenton has the holiday story for us. Considering our Cover Story this week about current religious divisions, Sri Ramakrishna’s lessons seem timely, indeed! He saw God’s calling as all-encompassing, even in the midst of our diversity. As Daniel Buttry describes him, “People of many religious traditions sought out Ramakrishna for his teaching, including Hindus, Muslims, Christians, and even atheists and humanists. He didn’t seek conversion but called people to deeper connection to God within the fullness of each faith.”

Want to see all the upcoming Holidays & Festivals?

www.InterfaithHolidays.com

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Meet ‘The Black Knight’

ON PUBLIC RADIO—Lester Graham, a veteran public radio host in Michigan, spent time in the studio with the author of  The Black Knight, retired Col. Cliff Worthy. They began by talking about the challenges Cliff faced trying to enter West Point in the era when President Truman was just issuing his formal order integrating the armed forces. To listen to their entire 12-minute interview—visit this public-radio Stateside web page and you’ll find the audio listed as the third audio clip on the page. Its worth the effort, you’ll enjoy hearing this remarkable veteran, now in his 90s, sharing his stories with Lester and the radio audience..

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We’re in a Carnival!

‘IT’S ABOUT CONNECTION’—In this week’s Front Edge Publishing column, Susan Stitt reminds us of a founding principle our entire team shares: “It’s about connection, not competition. Our messages should call people together, not divide them.” One example: Our publishing house team welcomes participating in something called The Carnival of the Indies. Intrigued? Susan’s got the story.

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What Really Happened in Rome?

TAKE A TOUR WITH ’10 CAESARS’—Ancient Rome has never been more popular! No respectable cable channel, these days, isn’t offering some kind of TV series about Rome. That era is continually a part of Bible study for churches nationwide. So, historian Barry Strauss has just released a new book that’s a page-turning tour through 10 Caesars who crop up repeatedly in our discussions and in popular culture. David Crumm shares this review.

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Faith & Film

CLICK on THIS MOVIE STILL from Tender Mercies to find Part 1 of a special 40-day series of movie reflections that can inspire your journey through the Christian season of Lent this year.

ED McNULTY, for decades, has published reviews, magazine articles and books exploring connections between faith and film. Most of his work is freely published. Ed supports his work by selling the Visual Parables Journal, a monthly magazine packed with discussion guides to films. This resource is used coast-to-coast by individuals who love the movies and by educators, clergy and small-group leaders.

Among Ed’s free reviews and columns are:

 

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