ReadTheSpirit cover story: Tracking Down the Spirit in Times of Conflict and Tragedy

PILGRIMAGE IN PRINT WITH BISHOP FRANK GRISWOLD 

Click the cover to read our interview with Frank Griswold on ‘Tracking Down the Holy Ghost,’ a title taken from Flannery O’Connor.

TRACKING THE SPIRIT—Why do we need this wisdom from former Episcopal Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold right now? Because, at the heart of his newest book is an invitation from a survivor of conflict to walk along with him through various dramatic encounters and discover, in the end, that Spirit can guide us not only to our own individual solace—but toward re-establishing ties in a deeply divided community.

Griswold knows what he’s talking about. He’s most famous as the man at the helm of the Episcopal church when Gene Robinson was elected as the first openly gay Episcopal bishop and the entire denomination threatened to implode. But that particular story is not the main point of Tracking Down the Holy Ghost. The main value in this pilgrimage-in-print is to explore Griswold’s larger faith in the potential to heal our divided world. And, isn’t that a message we all could use right now? Please, read David Crumm’s interview with Griswold with an overview of the timely nature of this new book.

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Click the image to read Ben Pratt’s column.

Spiritual Discernment: ‘Training to Say Goodbye’

BENJAMIN PRATT—Our popular contributing writer returns with his own personal look at spiritual discernment—also the theme of Frank Griswold’s conversation above. Ben writes, this week, about a journey he and his wife took to visit an old friend, at a point in life when farewells are in order. Does that sound somber? While it is, there is a gracious wisdom in this encounter that you may want to take to heart as you face similar meetings.

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Click this photo to read Suzy’s story about Days 4 Hope.

Making a Difference—One Life at a Time

GOD SIGNS—This week, columnist Suzy Farbman brings us the story of Pam Hawn, a woman who found herself in the midst of anxiety about her own family’s future—and transformed that fear into a program that has served thousands of needy families. Suzy not only tells the story of that courageous effort—she also links to the program so you can see for yourself what this one community is doing to assist parents and children.

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Lent—and all the holidays

Want to see all the holidays? www.InterfaithHolidays.com

Click the image to learn more about Our Lent.

ALL TOGETHER NOW—As Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton reports, 2 billion Christians around the world are now in the midst of the reflective period that leads to Easter. For Western Christians, the period of reflection began with Ash WednesdayEastern Christians, this year begin Great Lent with their traditional Clean Monday on February 19. Looking ahead? Eastern and Western Christians will travel through most of Lent together, but will diverge as the calendar turns to April. Western Christians celebrate Easter on April Fools Day (no kidding). The Orthodox wait one week longer, this year, and mark their Pascha on April 8.

Black History Month

WHAT IS THIS MONTH? Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton gives us an overview of this observance honoring African American milestones.

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Front Edge Publishing

Click this image of Front Edge’s new front page to read this week’s column on publishing.

HYBRID PUBLISHING—Through the turbulent changes in the publishing industry over the past decade, promising new models are emerging including one that we embrace here at Front Edge Publishing. The model is widely called Hybrid Publishing. Read this new column by David Crumm to find out more about this model. Care to learn about the wide range of publishing options today? Perhaps you’re an author—or know an author. Please, share this home address with friends: www.FrontEdgePublishing.com

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He’s Saved You a Seat

Click the image to read Rodney’s column.

RODNEY CURTIS IN KEY WEST—Are you cold yet? Tired of winter? Well, then, journey with writer-photographer Rodney Curtis to Key West this week! Beyond the enticing prose, you’ll love the gorgeous image, including—yes—a photo of the famous Sloppy Joe’s, supposedly named by Ernest Hemingway himself and definitely mentioned by Orson Welles in Citizen Kane. Come on along!

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FAITH & FILM

Click the movie still to read Ed’s review of Ferdinand.

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 Journala 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 latest free movie reviews are:

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Cover Story: How will Lent shape your life—and your community?

DAY1 Radio’s Peter Wallace Introduces Jesus (Again)

Click this book cover to read our interview with Peter Wallace.

RE-DISCOVERING LENT—What does Lent mean to you, these days? An opportunity to try kick a bad habit? Maybe to stop swearing? Or give up chocolate and shed a few pounds? As popular Day 1 radio host Peter Wallace tells it, there’s so much more to the centuries-old observance of Lent than those typical options. Lent is an opportunity to move closer to a “life of learning and giving and sharing and growing,” he says. If you are among the 2 billion Christians starting Lent in this new week, Peter says, then making Jesus your daily companion is the best way to step toward that “life you can’t wait to wake up for in the morning.”

This week, Peter Wallace talks with ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm about rediscovering the spiritual riches of the Lenten season. This invitation couldn’t be more timely!

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Ready for Lent? For Valentine’s Day?

Want to see all the holidays? www.InterfaithHolidays.com

Click the image to learn more about Our Lent.

STRANGE CONVERGENCE—As Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton reports, soon 2 billion Christians around the world will be in the midst of the reflective period that leads to Easter. For Western Christians, the solemn observance coincides with Valentine’s Day! So, in Stephanie’s Ash Wednesday column, she has a news item about how some church leaders are urging followers to schedule their celebrations of love earlier this week. After all, this week brings Fat Tuesday (or Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras)! And, yes, Stephanie has an array of delicious holiday-related recipe links you’ll want to explore.

Eastern Christians, this year begin Great Lent with their traditional Clean Monday on February 19. Stephanie also reports on the February 11 and 18 preparations for Eastern Orthodox Lent in the celebrations of Meatfare and Cheesefare Sundays, when the faithful begin to pare away major elements of their daily diets for the fast that start on Clean Monday.

Click the hearts to read the Valentine’s column.

VALENTINE’S DAY—Of course, in the midst of her Lenten coverage, Stephanie devotes a special column to Valentine’s Day as well. She’s found some great links for DIY crafts, including one for kids from Disney.

READ ALONG WITH THE SEASON—This week, we hope you also will consider ordering ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm’s book, Our Lent: Things We CarryThis is a 40-day, 40-chapter invitation to enjoy a combination of faith and self-guided reflection. Each chapter shares a biblical story from Jesus’ final journey to Jerusalem, insights from our daily lives today—and then stories from the lives of pop culture stars, including the spiritual writer Thomas Merton, the actress and singer Judy Garland, the country musician Merle Haggard and even the beloved Cat in the Hat.

Click this image to learn more about Jesus Christ Movie Star by Ed McNulty.

And, for movie lovers? Many of our loyal readers visit ReadTheSpirit for our faith-and-film columns, mainly written by film critic Ed McNulty. If you love movies, then you’ll be inspired throughout Lent with Ed’s book, Jesus Christ Movie Star. This is a great choice if you want to invite friends, or your small group, to join you. McNulty provides everything you need to spark spirited discussion from the best film clips to show your group—to dozens of questions you could ask about each featured film. You’ll explore hits like The Passion of the Christ and Jesus Christ Superstar. And some surprises, too! Can you find Gospel themes in Cool Hand Luke and Broadway Danny Rose?

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Black History Month

Click this cover image to read about Briggs and Emerson.

WHAT IS THIS MONTH? Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton gives us an overview of this observance honoring African American milestones.

MICHAEL EMERSON ON BRIDGING OUR DIVIDESReligion correspondent David Briggs talks with sociologist Michael Emerson, a leading expert on racial divides in American religious life, about the state of our deep divisions in 2018—and the potential of “humility research” to lead us closer to reconciliation.

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Click the image to read Stephanie’s column.

AND FROM INDIA—Indian families around the world turn their thoughts to Lord Shiva this month in observance of Maha Shivaratri, which means “Great Night of Shiva.” On this holiday, many Hindus believe that Lord Shiva performed the Tandava—the cosmic dance of creation, preservation and destruction. So, some of the faithful observe an all-night vigil. Stephanie Fenton has the story and has even spotted a fascinating news story with photos about a 7th-century temple in India dedicated to Shiva.

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Click the image to read Suzy’s column about Julie Taubman.

Remembering Julie Taubman

GOD SIGNS—Suzy Farbman’s column this week recalls the creative life of Julie Taubman, who used her many talents and advantages to promote a renewed interest in Detroit and the fine arts. Julie loved spending time with Detroit greats like novelist Elmore Leonard—as well as folks she met in many of the city’s neighborhoods.

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Front Edge Publishing

Click this image of Front Edge’s new front page to read this week’s column on publishing.

MARKETING—”How often should you check in on social media?” In workshops and other gatherings of media people, this question always is raised. So, this week in our new Front Edge Publishing website, Marketing Director Susan Stitt shares some valuable data and advice about best practices with social media. Care to learn more about publishing options today? Perhaps you’re an author—or know an author. Please, share this home address with friends: www.FrontEdgePublishing.com

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Coming: Awakening Soul 2018

FRAN McKENDREE—Long-time readers of our magazine will recall singer-songwriter, retreat leader and peace activist Fran McKendree. He occasionally sends us videos and other columns to post. Fran just alerted us that plans are set for the November 2018 Awakening Soul retreat, so we’ve got details for you.

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FAITH & FILM

Click the movie still to read Ed’s review of “Hostiles.”

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 Journala 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 latest free movie reviews are:

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Cover Story: Dr. Karlene Stange on ‘The Spiritual Nature of Animals’

Click the image to read about veterinarian and spiritual storyteller Karlene Stange.

‘Creatures Great and Small …’

A PILGRIMAGE FOR ALL—If you love animals, you’ll want to meet Dr. Karlene Stange, a vet and a remarkable writer in the tradition of James Herriot and Joseph Campbell. Sound like a crazy pairing? Then, please read our Cover Story this week, an interview with Karlene as well as an overview of her unique new book.

Early in the book, she actually evokes Herriot and invites us all along for this sometimes suspenseful and sometimes inspirational pilgrimage. She explains that she has spent years charting these realms: “Creatures great and small dragged me down a rabbit hole and through sacred tunnels …” And she would like us to join her as she digs even deeper. There are some great stories between these covers, including what happens when a newborn horse suffers from a disastrous fall within its first few days of life—and what unfolds when a self-described “Catholic Buddhist” woman suddenly has a crisis with her beloved dog. Intrigued? Read our Cover Story.

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PLAN FOR LENT (and Valentine’s Day)

Click the image to learn more about Our Lent.

STRANGE CONVERGENCE—As Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton reports, soon 2 billion Christians around the world will be in the midst of the reflective period that leads to Easter. For Western Christians, the solemn observance coincides with Valentine’s Day! So, in Stephanie’s Ash Wednesday column, she has a news item about how some church leaders are urging followers to move up their celebrations of love.

That also means Fat Tuesday (or Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras) is coming soon! And, yes, Stephanie has an array of delicious holiday-related recipe links you’ll want to explore.

Eastern Christians, this year begin Great Lent with their traditional Clean Monday on February 19. Stephanie also reports on the February 11 and 18 preparations for Eastern Orthodox Lent in the celebrations of Meatfare and Cheesefare Sundays, when the faithful begin to pare away major elements of their daily diets for the fast that start on Clean Monday.

Click the hearts to read the Valentine’s column.

VALENTINE’S DAY—Of course, in the midst of her Lenten coverage, Stephanie devotes a special column to Valentine’s Day as well. She’s found some great links for DIY crafts, including one for kids from Disney.

READ LONG WITH THE SEASON—This week, we hope you will consider ordering ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm’s book, Our Lent: Things We CarryThis is a 40-day, 40-chapter invitation to enjoy a combination of faith and self-guided reflection. Each chapter shares a biblical story from Jesus’ final journey to Jerusalem, insights from our daily lives today—and then stories from the lives of pop culture stars, including the spiritual writer Thomas Merton, the actress and singer Judy Garland, the country musician Merle Haggard and even the beloved Cat in the Hat.

Click this image to learn more about Jesus Christ Movie Star by Ed McNulty.

And, for movie lovers? Many of our loyal readers visit ReadTheSpirit for our faith-and-film columns, mainly written by film critic Ed McNulty. If you love movies, then you’ll be inspired throughout Lent with Ed’s book, Jesus Christ Movie Star. This is a great choice if you want to invite friends, or your small group, to join you. McNulty provides everything you need to spark spirited discussion from the best film clips to show your group—to dozens of questions you could ask about each featured film. You’ll explore hits like The Passion of the Christ and Jesus Christ Superstar. And some surprises, too! Can you find Gospel themes in Cool Hand Luke and Broadway Danny Rose?

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ALL THE HOLIDAYS

Want to see all the holidays? www.InterfaithHolidays.com

Click the image to read Stephanie’s column.

FROM INDIA—Indian families around the world turn their thoughts to Lord Shiva this month in observance of Maha Shivaratri, which means “Great Night of Shiva.” On this holiday, many Hindus believe that Lord Shiva performed the Tandava—the cosmic dance of creation, preservation and destruction. So, some of the faithful observe an all-night vigil. Stephanie Fenton has the story and has even spotted a fascinating news story with photos about a 7th-century temple in India dedicated to Shiva.

Click to read about Black History Month.

BLACK HISTORY MONTHFrederick Douglass and a host of other famous African Americans are remembered in our Holidays & Festivals column about the observance. In Stephanie Fenton’s column, she also previews an important book that can help you respond to racism you might encounter in daily conversations—with accurate information, courtesy of young journalists.

LOVE FILMS? Consider purchasing the February issue of Ed McNulty’s Visual Parables Journal, which includes a special column about films that are perfect for marking Black History Month. (See the news item below.)

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Front Edge Publishing’s new website

Click this image of Front Edge’s new front page to read this week’s column on publishing.

MYTH BUSTING—”Books are dead, aren’t they?” You may have heard this myth, but quite the opposite is true. Ink-on-paper book sales continue to rise. This week in our new Front Edge Publishing website, our column on trends looks at the future of books after half a millennium since moveable type revolutionized the world.

Care to learn more about publishing options today? Perhaps you’re an author—or know an author. Please, share this home address with friends: www.FrontEdgePublishing.com

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FAITH & FILM

Click the image to learn about the February 2018 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 Journala 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 latest free movie reviews are:

Click the image to read Ed’s review of ‘The Post.’

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Cover Story: Introducing our new Front Edge Publishing website

‘GOOD MEDIA BUILDS HEALTHIER COMMUNITIES’

Click this image of Front Edge’s new front page to visit the website right now.

COVER STORY—That’s a founding motto we still live by more than a decade after the launch of this ReadTheSpirit online magazine and our associated publishing house, now known as Front Edge Publishing. This week we are proud to unveil Front Edge’s new website, designed for us by Becky Hile of Radiant Punch.

First, please visit the website and look over the new front page, which welcomes authors to explore Front Edge’s flexible options for book production in all formats: including hardback or paperback, black-and-white or color printing, and all of the popular e-book formats. Perhaps you’re an author—or know an author. Please, share this home address with friends: www.FrontEdgePublishing.com

Then, dig deeper and you’ll discover other resources:

Click on the image to read our new Front Edge columns.

LEARN MORE about publishing and marketing books. Each week, you’ll find a short, newsy column from either founding Editor David Crumm or our Director of Marketing Susan Stitt. We will be offering tips about techniques and trends in book publishing. Already, we have two columns you might enjoy: David Crumm’s Welcome to Our New Website, which includes a recap of our 10 founding principles for good media in this new millennium, and Susan Stitt’s Do You Need Social Media? In her first column, Susan looks at trends in social media and offers some valuable tips for marketing in general. Once again—please share these with friends. The direct web address for our new publishing columns is: www.FrontEdgePublishing.com/blog/

Click this logo to visit our new bookstore.

EXPLORE OUR CATALOG. This new website also includes a bookstore listing books we have published over the past decade. You can purchase a copy of any book directly from this new online “Catalog.” Over time, we will add more books, including books by authors we recommend in the pages of ReadTheSpirit online magazine. The direct web address for our new Catalog bookstore is: www.FrontEdgePublishing.com/catalog/

Want to do a good deed for your community this week? Share some news from Front Edge with friends!

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Click these images of Frederick Douglass to read about Black History Month 2018.

HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

BLACK HISTORY MONTH—Throughout February, we will add resources you’ll want to explore as you mark this nearly century-old observance, which is more important in 2018 than ever. In our Holidays & Festivals column about the observance, we begin with a basic question: Why is Black History Month in February? Yes, it has something to do with Frederick Douglass, but the way this historical connection played out may surprise you. Then, we turn to the organization associated with the founding of this traditional month and list the many issues the group hopes will be highlighted in the 2018 theme: “African Americans in Times of War.” Finally, we preview an important book that can help you respond to racism you might encounter in daily conversations—with accurate information, courtesy of young journalists.

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Click the image to see the entire calendar.

EXPLORE OUR CALENDAR—Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton recently published the entire 2018 array of festivals and observances. If you spot something missing in her calendar, please alert us! Holidays are a wonderful opportunity to reach out to friends, neighbors and co-workers from other traditions. Simply remember: www.InterfaithHolidays.com

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Standing in a long (muddy) line of helpers!

Click this muddy image to read Suzy’s column.

GOD SIGNS—What a mess! The fire and mud in California dislocated countless families. Thank goodness for people like Karen Schloss Heimberg, who regards helping others as a core mission in life. In this week’s column, Suzy Farbman writes about Karen’s tireless efforts on behalf of needy people. And, Suzy explains the roots of Karen’s passion in the kindness of an early American movie pioneer who saved Karen’s father from the Nazis. It’s quite an inspiring story!

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Click this image of Elvis to read Rodney Curtis’s tribute to the late Leonard Falce.

Remembering the Man who Photographed …

RODNEY CURTISAuthor, columnist and photographer Rodney Curtis provides this wonderful portrait of photographer Leonard Falce, a man who balanced classic, hard-nosed newspaper journalism with a kind heart and the spirit of a true mentor. And, by the way, he was a pretty great photographer, too! Yes, Leonard took this early photo of a youthful Elvis. (You’ll see the entire photo with Rodney’s column.)

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FAITH & FILM

Click the image to read Ed’s interview with a real-life hero behind the story in ’12 Strong.’

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 Journala 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. In the January 2018 issue, Ed provides discussion guides on the new Star Wars film, The Darkest Hour, The Shape of Water, Roman J. Israel, Esq.—and many more.

Among Ed’s latest free movie reviews are:

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Cover story: Kelley Nikondeha in ‘Adopted’ proclaims: We can choose our families.

RADICAL AFFIRMATION COULD SAVE THE WORLD

Click the cover to read our Cover Story about Kelley Nikondeha and ‘Adopted.’

COVER STORY—Need to be inspired this week? Then, meet Kelley Nikondeha, a theologian and an advocate for adoption on a global scale. She’s talking about a radical, life-changing vision of adoption. She argues: Through God’s adoption of us, and our adoption of others, we join in building what Dr. Martin Luther King called “the beloved community” and Kelley likes to describe from Isaiah as the new City of God. Here is just one passage from our interview:

“We envision, and we work toward, a city that thinks differently about how to include people, a city that cares for the health of all the people, an economy that is calibrated to make every family strong. That’s the vision that inspires me as a person of faith and certainly it guides our aspirations as development partners with the people in Burundi. Those are visions to work toward every day. Each morning, I ask myself: How are we moving one step closer to that vision? How can we help to construct this new community based on God’s justice?”

Don’t we need to hear this voice now? If so, please read this interview with Kelley about her new book, Adopted, and about her work with her husband Claude in building a literal community in Burundi. Please, share this story with friends. Consider ordering her book and discussing it in your community.

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Click the photo to read Suzy’s column.

WHEN OUR FAMILIES LEAVE US PUZZLED

GodSigns—In this week’s column, Suzy Farbman writes about a generational problem that can arise when a beloved parent dies: Who’s named in the will? And whose name is missing? Suzy’s story has a happy ending—and a final word of advice for readers. She begins her story: “Death plays funny tricks on us.  Our responses aren’t always rational.” Enjoy. (And thanks to all of our readers who share Suzy’s columns on Facebook each week!)

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Click the photo to read the column.

HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

VASANT PANCHAMI—Literally the fifth day of spring, Vasant Panchami honors Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of music, art, culture, learning and knowledge. On this holiday, the spring cycle will begin that ends with Holi, the massive spring festival that is now celebrated internationally. Stephanie Fenton’s column also explains how Sikhs mark this seasonal milestone. Ever wonder why this goddess sometimes is shown with four hands? It’s a reminder of the many aspects of learning. And, you can learn more right now by reading this column.

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Click the photo to read the column.

HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE—On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau, a concentration and death camp in Poland that had claimed more than a million lives. As part of the global commitment to “never forget,” this date is observed as International Holocaust Remembrance Day by United Nations member states. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial in Washington DC is planning a special ceremony, which will be streamed online on January 26. Stephanie’s column has a link to that event. According to the Memorial’s website, it remains open this week, despite the government shutdown. Read Stephanie’s story about this observance and share the story with friends, this week..

 

Click the image to see the entire calendar.

EXPLORE OUR CALENDAR—Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton recently published the entire 2018 array of festivals and observances. If you spot something missing in her calendar, please alert us! Holidays are a wonderful opportunity to reach out to friends, neighbors and co-workers from other traditions. Simply remember: www.InterfaithHolidays.com

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Click the image to visit the Visual Parables Journal section of our website.

FAITH & FILM

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 Journala 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. In the January 2018 issue, Ed provides discussion guides on the new Star Wars film, The Darkest Hour, The Shape of Water, Roman J. Israel, Esq.—and many more.

Click the image to read Ed’s review of ’12 Strong.’

Among Ed’s latest free movie reviews are:

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Cover Story: Living Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy …

CELEBRATE 2018 HOLIDAYS; STRENGTHEN COMMUNITIES

Click the photo of Dr. King to read Stephanie’s column.

COVER STORY—What an appropriate week to unveil our 2018 Holidays & Festivals calendar by our columnist Stephanie Fenton! Last week, the world was horrified by the crude disparagement of nations of color coming from the White House. We are not a political magazine, but we do have readers in nations circling this globe and we have felt the tidal wave of righteous reaction coming from all sectors of our readership.

So, let’s focus our energies on a positive response that can help build stronger, healthier, more diverse communities. And, one of the best ways? Let’s enthusiastically share in Holidays & Festivals this year. It’s the easiest way to celebrate community. It’s fun! And, even if an occasion isn’t my holiday specifically—it’s always a great occasion to ask friends and neighbors about their traditions.

Click this photo to read about Timkat in Ethiopia.

First, enjoy Stephanie Fenton’s story about the Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. Follow the links Stephanie recommends. There’s a lot to read here! Share it with friends. It’s such an easy way to mark King’s holiday—by suggesting to friends on social media that they read something like this column.

Then, learn about a more exotic festival: Timkat, which is the Christian Ethiopian celebration of Epiphany. There’s even a link in that column to watch a short Smithsonian Channel video about Ethiopian Christians.

Click the green logo to see the entire Holidays calendar.

EXPLORE OUR CALENDAR—Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton also is unveiling, this week, the entire 2018 array of festivals and observances. If you spot something missing in her calendar, please alert us! Have some fun today looking ahead at holidays you want to learn about this year. Reach out to friends, neighbors and co-workers from other traditions. There are countless ways—on a daily basis—that we all can strengthen what Dr. King called the “Beloved Community.” It’s easy. Simply remember: www.InterfaithHolidays.com

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Click the image to read this story about the MSU Police Department.

Police Promoting Awareness of Diversity

SURPRISED? That’s not a headline you’ll typically see in your daily newspaper, but it’s true. Law enforcement agencies in many parts of the U.S. are working hard to raise awareness of diversity and, this week, we’ve got such a real-life story from East Lansing, Michigan. Sgt. Florene McGlothian-Taylor and Cadet Downer collaborated on sending us this news, which includes a photo and their description of the many ways this sharing of information sparks positive conversations. Consider this: Become a book Angel yourself! Are you responsible for a community reception area where these books might be displayed? If you do start passing along these MSU guides as your small part of promoting diversity, please let us know your story.

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FAITH & FILM

Click the image to read Ed’s review of Mudbound.

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 Journala 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 latest free movie reviews are:

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Cover Story: MSU students help us welcome our neighbors of all genders

Congratulating journalism students for helpful new guide

Click this image to read the story about this new guide to gender from MSU’s School of Journalism.

COVER STORY—How do we welcome our neighbors in an ever-more-diverse America? How do we heal a deeply divided nation? Those are the most crucial questions for all of us as 2018 dawns. As Americans, we are wrestling with a host of dividing lines over race, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic background, political affiliation and age. But, the most confusing of these diversity issues involves gender. Suddenly, it seems, we are encountering a host of new distinctions as our neighbors—often our relatives and our co-workers—begin to honestly tell us about their lives.

Today, please, share the news about this new book which will help us understand and respond with compassion to emerging truths about gender. We asked the head of the Michigan State University School of Journalism diversity publishing project, Joe Grimm, to write about the new book. Here is his story

CARE TO LEARN MORE? Writer and editor Karla Huber recently wrote an online column about MSU’s larger series of guidebooks to cultural competence. Karla wonderfully outlines the importance of these short books—and provides lots of links to earlier volumes.

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Click the image to read Suzy’s column.

May 2018 be a lucky year!

GOD SIGNSSuzy Farbman opens this new year with her adventures with family over the holidays—including a breath-taking plunge down a sky-high zipline! With photos and anecdotes, Suzy reminds us of the warmth we all might find among family and friends in this icy season of the year.

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Click the image of King to read Stephanie’s Holiday column.

HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

Want to see all the holidays?
www.InterfaithHolidays.org

MAKING PLANS FOR MLK DAY? Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton has a very helpful column about free online resources as community groups make plans. She adds a short summary of the holiday and more links to inspiring reading—including a delicious recipe—that you may want to share as the holiday approaches.

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DETROIT’S REBIRTH

LOOKING FOR ‘TINY HOMES’? Many of our readers are asking where they can get a copy of one of the hottest books this winter: Tiny Homes in a Big City, the story of a visionary little community rising in what had been a totally abandoned neighborhood in the heart of Detroit. Well, the answer is: Tell friends about the web address www.TinyHomesBigCity.com, which will take you to Cass Community Publishing’s website where you can order a copy. Want to energize your compassionate creativity in 2018? Read this book!

 

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Click on this image to visit the website for the Street Beat TV series, where you can see interviews with Joseph Krakoff, Michelle Sider (13-minute mark) and then Lynne Meredith Golodner (19-minute).

MEET 3 OF OUR AUTHORS!

VIDEO FROM ‘STREET BEAT’—The Michigan-based TV series Street Beat recently featured three of our authors. First, host Rob Stone featured Rabbi Joseph Krakoff and illustrator Michelle Sider in an interview about their creation of Never Long Enough, a new book helping families talk about the end of life. Then, he welcomed Lynne Meredith Golodner, author of Flavors of Faith, a delicious and inspiring book about sacred traditions involving bread. Visit the CW50-WKBD website here to watch these interviews. The first segment begins at the 13-minute mark. The second at 19 minutes. (Care to check out the two books? Here are the direct Amazon links for Never Long Enough and Flavors of Faith.

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FAITH & FILM

Click this movie still to read Ed McNulty’s review of Denzel Washington’s new film.

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 Journala 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 latest free movie reviews are:

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