ReadTheSpirit Cover Story: In Solus Jesus, Emily Swan and Ken Wilson are following Jesus into a world where everyone feels safe

Click the image to read about Ken’s and Emily’s adventures.

RE-IMAGINING THE CHURCH

COVER STORY—Just imagine: A world where everyone feels safe. Everyone is loved. That alone is an astonishing vision in this era when each morning’s front-page headlines chronicle yet another crushing confrontation between our nation’s leaders. And then imagine: In this world shaped by Jesus’s vision of compassion and justice, everyone is invited to explore God’s goodness—because everyone recognizes that a loving God continues to remains active in our world. That’s the inspiring message of the new Solus Jesus: A Theology of Resistance, a book by Emily Swan and Ken Wilson. In this week’s cover story, Ken and Emily talk about their recent adventures at the Wild Goose Festival—and their vision of a world where everyone is safe to follow God’s leading.

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Click the image to read Suzy’s column.

FROM HEALING—TO HEALER

GOD SIGNS—This week, Suzy Farbman introduces us to Dr. Elana Ackerman whose childhood struggle with cancer helped to inspire her journey into medicine. In this story, Suzy also includes another famous Michigan doctor who survived a medical challenge in her youth. We all should be thankful for physicians who feel such a strong personal vocation, Suzy writes. This could be the perfect week to reach out and thank a medical professional who played a key role in your life.

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FRONT EDGE PUBLISHING

THOUSANDS OF AWARDS! Did you know that there are more than 6,000 competitions for book awards each year in the U.S. alone? Why are so many of these prizes cropping up? David Crumm explores the complex world of book prizes this week in our Front Edge Publishing column. One reason is that many non-profits have decided to include awards programs as part of their marketing campaigns. So, are prizes losing their value for authors trying to find an audience? On the contrary, awards still can help boost the awareness of a book in many ways.

Want to learn more about publishing today? Please, share this home address with friends: www.FrontEdgePublishing.com

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Click the image to read about the Hajj.

Hajj Mubarak

A WORLDWIDE OBSERVANCE—More than a billion Muslims around the world look to the Hajj, each year, as more than 2 million pilgrims travel to Mecca for to fulfill one of the five pillars of Islam. Stephanie Fenton has the story for us, including an overview of the history and customs. Most Americans have a friend, neighbor or colleague in the community who is Muslim. It’s a great time to learn about the culture of this faith that stems, along with Judaism and Christianity, from the patriarch Abraham.

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

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Click on these movie stills to learn about the August 2018 issue of Visual Parables Journal.

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 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: How Tiny Homes Are Transforming an Urban Neighborhood

Click this image to listen to the podcast.

LISTEN TO FAITH FOWLER’S INSPIRING STORY

TURNING HOUSES INTO HOMES—Visitors from around the world are coming to see the diverse designs of Detroit’s tiny-homes neighborhood sponsored by Cass Community Social Services. Now, Ethan Waldman—host of the Tiny House Lifestyle podcast—is featuring his own interview with the Rev. Faith Fowler, coordinator of the Detroit project. In his newest podcast, Ethan talks with Faith about the unique vision shaping the Detroit community. You can enjoy the podcast online right now or download it for later listening. This podcast is a terrific way to share the Detroit story with friends. Consider downloading the podcast and playing it for your small group, class—or simply for a circle of friends. If you become intrigued, then you’ll also want a copy of Faith’s book, Tiny Homes in a Big City. We always urge readers to purchase Faith’s books directly through the Cass website, which returns the highest portion of the price to Cass. However, if you prefer buying through Amazon (many readers have Prime accounts, for example), that’s also an option. Every book sold benefits the Cass project.

Click on this cover to learn about the book.

Who is Ethan Waldman? He’s a popular national voice in the tiny house movement. He clearly is impressed with Cass’s pioneering concept. As Ethan puts it: “What is the difference between a house and a home? All to often, we provide solutions for homeless people that don’t give them any kind of permanence. We just give them housing but never allow them to achieve the stability of a home. What I love about Tiny Homes Detroit is that it is designed with the idea of creating a community that people can call home, not just providing shelter.”

Please, start by checking out Ethan’s podcast with Faith. We’re confident you’ll catch the vision and want to get involved in some way—perhaps through buying a book. And, remember: The simple act of spreading this news with friends can wind up helping the project!

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Click on the artist (Can you see her?) to read Suzy’s column.

TRAVELING FAR …

ART AND IMMIGRATION—This week, God Signs columnist Suzy Farbman introduces us to artist Mami Takahashi, who explores aspects of the immigrant experience through her art projects.

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Click the cloud to read Rodney’s column.

… AND TRAVELING DEEP

A PACIFIST DESCENDS INTO … World traveler, photographer, journalist Rodney Curtis takes us deep into a realm most of us will never see—into a missile launch control center. Rodney’s question for these isolated missileers? So, what do you dream about after a day at a missile console? It’s a rare glimpse of Americans still living in a Cold War corner of our country.

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Click the image to read Susan’s column.

FRONT EDGE PUBLISHING

PERSONALIZING YOUR BOOKS—One of the most valuable options offered by our Front Edge Publishing company is the ability to customize any of our 100-plus books to add your own logo or event to a book’s cover—and opening pages of customized content that are bound into your group order. This week, Marketing Director Susan Stitt explains why we are able to offer this unusual service—and how groups already are using this option nationwide.

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Click the image to read about the Hajj.

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Holidays

HAJJ—More than a billion Muslims around the world look to the Hajj, each year, as about 2 million pilgrims travel to Mecca for to fulfill one of the five pillars of Islam. Stephanie Fenton has the story for us, including an overview of the history and customs. Most Americans have a friend, neighbor or colleague in the community who is Muslim. It’s a great time to learn about the culture of this faith that stems, along with Judaism and Christianity, from the patriarch Abraham.

CELEBRATING MARY—On August 15, Christianity comes together from East and West on the mid-August holiday honoring Mary, Jesus’s mother. However, there are two different names sets of traditions: The occasion is called the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Western tradition—and the Dormition of the Theotokos in Eastern churches.

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

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Click the movie still to read about Leave No Trace.

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 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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ReadTheSpirit Cover Stories: And Now for Something Completely Different about … Our Muslim Friends

Click on this photo of girls of two different faiths to start reading Larbi’s report on diversity and peacemaking.

How We Can Become Friends …

FRIENDSHIP IS A PATHWAY TO PEACE—This week, our two featured Cover Stories are both new Global Plus columns by friends of our online magazine. The first is by Larbi Megari, an internationally known Muslim journalist based in Algeria who also is co-managing director of the International Association of Religion Journalists. Larbi is always looking for ways encourage peace through reporting on our world’s diverse religious communities. In fact, his new Global Plus column shows why making friends across religious lines is a powerful step in peacemaking.

In his new report, Larbi writes, “Getting to know each other, and listening to what people have to say about their faith in a spirit of humility and mutual respect, can be keys to living together in peace and harmony. And that is not just faith talking. Researchers found bringing together people of different religions was not only related to greater acceptance among the faiths involved, but was associated with warmer feelings toward other religions.”

… and How We Can Avoid  Stereotypes

Click on this image to start reading the second Global Plus column we recommend this week—about trends in modest fashion.

POPULARITY OF ‘MODEST’ FASHION—If you think that the Muslim “hijab” or “head scarf” is a dangerous sign of oppression, you will need to rethink that stereotype after reading this second Global Plus column by Reina Lewis, one of the world’s leading scholars and writers on faith and fashion. In this new column, Reina writes, “Slowly, the stereotype of the hijab as a potent political symbol of the outsider status of Muslims is eroding. Today, stylish women of many faiths that encourage modesty have embraced coverings or other relevant adaptions of dress and behavior as signs of fashion and faith. In so doing, this largely women-led movement is breaking down legal and social barriers to religious freedom.”

Now, that’s a fresh perspective in reporting on Muslim culture, isn’t it? And, these stories are especially timely with the annual Hajj, and associated festivals, coming soon.

THERE’S MORE—All Global Plus columns include a list of recommended reading. So, both Larbi’s and Reina’s reports are valuable as a way to spark further discussion and learning on these important topics.

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Click the 8 to read Suzy’s column.

The Art of 8.8.88

GOD SIGNS—Columnist Suzy Farbman shares true stories of unexpected connections in our world through the inspiring men and women she meets in her travels. This week, Suzy writes about her lucky number and the surprising ways that number seems to have spiraled around a particular modern artist she loves: Julian Lethbridge. Do you have a lucky number? Perhaps after reading Suzy’s column this week, you might think of a story you want to share with friends about a digit that just seems to keep popping up in your life.

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Click to start reading.

FRONT EDGE PUBLISHING

DREAMING OF BOOKS—Last week, we posted two stories about the  future of publishing—and the creative ideas in those columns sparked a lot of reader feedback. Thank you for the thoughts and questions you’ve sent our way. So, we are keeping the links to these columns on our front page for a second week: The first story tells about three visionary issues that 57 publishers discussed at length at a conference held in Nashville. Then, in a second story, we zeroed in on six more news items about publishing trends. That story is over at our Front Edge website.

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Click the image to read about the Hajj.

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Holidays

HAJJ—More than a billion Muslims around the world look to the Hajj, each year, as about 2 million pilgrims travel to Mecca for to fulfill one of the five pillars of Islam. Stephanie Fenton has the story for us, including an overview of the history and customs. Most Americans have a friend, neighbor or colleague in the community who is Muslim. It’s a great time to learn about the culture of this faith that stems, along with Judaism and Christianity, from the patriarch Abraham.

CELEBRATING MARY—On August 15, Christianity comes together from East and West on the mid-August holiday honoring Mary, Jesus’s mother. However, there are two different names sets of traditions: The occasion is called the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Western tradition—and the Dormition of the Theotokos in Eastern churches.

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

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Click this movie still to read about Blindspotting.

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 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 Stories: At Lightning Source conference, independent publishers chart a flexible future for the global growth of books

Click on our photo to begin reading.

DREAMING OF THE FUTURE OF BOOKS

COVER STORIES—Three of our staff members have just returned from a national publishers’ conference sponsored by the giant book wholesaler Ingram and its just-in-time printing-and-binding division Lightning Source. Our first story, this week, tells about three visionary issues that the 57 publishers in attendance discussed at length: The global reach of the English language today; the mind-stretching potential of audio books to bring the world’s great libraries to your ears; and the cutting-edge possibilities for personalizing books. You’re likely to be surprised by at least one of these three news items.

Then, in a second story, we zeroed in on six more news items of interest to writers and people who want to dig deeper into today’s publishing trends. These include: News about readers preferences for Fiction vs. Nonfiction—and a news item we’ve headlined The Top 5 Reasons Readers Choose Books. That story is over at our Front Edge website, where we publish our columns about book marketing and trends. Once again, we hope you’ll find this news intriguing, useful—and something you might consider sharing with a friend.

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HOW FAR WE’VE COME 1:
Rodney Curtis

LIVE FROM NEW YORK—Photographer and author Rodney Curtis travels to New York with his family to explore the Now-and-Then of life in the city’s jam-packed apartment buildings. At one point, he writes, “Simply by the random act of where we are born—into what family, what tribe, what city, what country—our paths are paved.” A column well worth pondering—and sharing with friends.

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Click the image to read Suzy’s column.

HOW FAR WE’VE COME 2:
Suzy Farbman

PICTURING A SMALL TOWN—This week, Suzy takes us to the small town of Charlevoix, Michigan, where the passion of one man led to an exceptional collection of historical photos. Bob Miles began gathering and preserving these images long before anyone else showed much interest. Thank goodness, he did! The Miles collection now is the core of a new exhibition of photos from the Charlevoix area—preserving more than a century of vibrant life in this region along Lake Michigan.

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Click the image to read about Lammas.

Holidays

LAMMAS—On August 1, an ancient festival of the wheat harvest, Lammas—or Lughnasadh—has long been called “the feast of first fruits.” Stephanie Fenton has the story, including a recipe for a Lammas Loaf.

FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION—Churches celebrate one of the greatest mysteries described in the New Testament: Jesus takes three disciples—Peter, James and John—along with him on an ascent of a mountain. Once at their destination, the prophets Elijah and Moses appear. And that’s just the beginning of the biblical story.

CELEBRATING MARYChristianity comes together from East and West on the mid-August holiday honoring Mary, Jesus’s mother. However, there are two different names sets of traditions: The occasion is called the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Western tradition—and the Dormition of the Theotokos in Eastern churches.

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

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

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 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: Emily Swan and Ken Wilson publish ‘Solus Jesus: A Theology of Resistance’

Click the cover to learn more about the book.

Christians from the Margins Reclaiming Christianity

COVER STORY—”If you read one book this year about the future of Christianity, then choose this book.” This week, that’s the first line in our news release about this remarkable new book, Solus Jesus: A Theology of Resistance. Best-selling Christian writer Brian McLaren opens this new book by Emily Swan and Ken Wilson by urging his loyal readers to spread the news about this new book. “Solus Jesus challenges us to see the authoritative Jesus in a fresh light, so that his life, message, death, and rising summon us to live in a new way as individuals and congregations,” Brian writes.

That strong recommendation is shared by journalist and author Deborah Jian Lee. She is nationally known for covering efforts by Christians from the margins—who she describes as “people of color, women and queer”—to re-envision Christianity as an inclusive community. Deborah wrote a Foreword to this new book. “Drawing from personal experience and those who have long carved out theologies far from power, Swan and Wilson show how Solus Jesus can open a portal to the divine communion that is possible between all people,” Deborah writes.

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Click Roseanne’s photo to read the story.

Legacy of Roseanne’s Courage

GOD SIGNSThis week, Suzy Farbman introduces us to the Harrington family. To this day, they are inspired by daughter-sister-and-aunt Roseanne, whose amazing courage and confident grace guided her even in the midst of a battle with cancer. Millions of American families have grappled with this a diagnosis that suddenly seems to change everything. The Harringtons—at Roseanne’s urging—were committed to reaching as many family goals as possible. Roseanne’s legacy is an example that continues to inspire them.

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Click to read our holiday story.

Holidays

BIRTHDAY OF HAILE SELASSIE—Rastafari around the world—estimated to number 700,000 to 1 million—hold Nyabingi drumming sessions and celebrate the birthday anniversary of Haile Selassie I.

PIONEER DAYAcross the state of Utah and in Mormon communities worldwide, Pioneer Day marks the entry of Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon pioneers into Salt Lake Valley. Parades, fireworks, rodeos, carnivals and more accompany festivals in Utah—and also in Colorado, New Mexico, Hawaii and Canada.

HOT DOG! Enjoy our story about July’s many food festivals, which also include ice cream, chocolate and fried chicken.

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

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Click the photo to read Dmitri’s column.

Front Edge Publishing

HOW DO YOU FORMAT A MANUSCRIPT? That’s one of the most common questions we hear from writers. This week, Front Edge Production Manager Dmitri Barvinok lists four simple ways you can clearly and concisely express your author intent in an easy-to-accept manuscript. Plus, along with this column, there’s also a great classic photo of author Thomas Wolfe with one of his legendary manuscripts that you’ll likely want to see—and may want to share with friends.

Want to learn more about publishing today? Please, share this home address with friends: www.FrontEdgePublishing.com

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FAITH & FILM

Click to learn about the July 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:

Click the images to read Ed’s review of Shock and Awe.

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Cover Story: Marilyn McEntyre on why ‘Make a List’ is really a spiritual practice

Click to read our Cover Story.

WE LOVE LISTS!

FULL OF SURPRISESThis week, we introduce Marilyn McEntyre, a scholar, spiritual guide and author who has published a wonderful guidebook on making lists as a spiritual practice. The book is titled simply, Make a List: How a simple practice can change our lives and open our hearts. In particular, Marilyn focuses on how making lists can reduce anxiety—and also can open new creative possibilities in our lives. “A list is a way of making sense of things. But there also is such freedom in list making,” she says. Plus, this cover story about Marilyn’s new book inspired us to look back over the past 11 years of ReadTheSpirit magazine. We’ve searched through our 10,000-plus columns and offer 10 Great Lists to Explore. In that list, we even remind readers of a popular gem from 2007: The Bible or the Bard? There’s a lot to explore—and share with friends—this week. Enjoy!

Click to read our column on the Joy of Epigraphs.

WHAT’S IN AN EPIGRAPH? You might not recognize the term, but you certainly have read plenty of epigraphs—at the start of favorite books over the years. In 2018, we’re finding this traditional publishing style is more popular than ever. Over at our Front Edge Publishing website, this week, David Crumm writes, 10 Reasons We Like EpigraphsWe thought that this was an appropriate way to further celebrate lists this week.

Want to learn more about publishing today? Please, share this home address with friends: www.FrontEdgePublishing.com

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Click to read our holiday story.

Holidays

BIRTHDAY OF HAILE SELASSIE—Rastafari around the world—estimated to number 700,000 to 1 million—hold Nyabingi drumming sessions and celebrate the birthday anniversary of Haile Selassie I.

PIONEER DAYAcross the state of Utah and in Mormon communities worldwide, Pioneer Day marks the entry of Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon pioneers into Salt Lake Valley. Parades, fireworks, rodeos, carnivals and more accompany festivals in Utah—and also in Colorado, New Mexico, Hawaii and Canada.

HOT DOG! Enjoy our story about July’s many food festivals, which also include ice cream, chocolate and fried chicken.

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

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FAITH & FILM

Click to learn about the July 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: The many faces and many languages of Debra Darvick

Read our Cover Story about Debra Darvick.

DEBRA’S CREATIVITY GOES GLOBAL

COVER STORY—We have several fun ways for you to enjoy Debra Darvick’s creativity this week. First, please read our Cover Story about Debra’s book, We Are Jewish Faces, a colorful picture book of Jewish diversity. We are celebrating with Debra the news that her book has been chosen by the worldwide PJ Library for distribution in 2019! Please, share this news with friends.

IMAGES ALSO TELL A STORY—Debra’s multi-faceted media work also includes the creation of a boxed set, called Picture a Conversation, which may look like a stack of beautiful full-color postcards at first glance. In fact, each card’s image prompts people to think about several questions—as printed on the back of each card. In using her set with groups in recent years, Debra has demonstrated that images are a powerful language. (Here’s more about the history of this unique project.) But are there limits of picture-based reflections? To explore that question, Debra has just written a column about communication with her infant granddaughter—which includes a great little story about sharing an image across generations.

BUT, WAIT! THERE’S MORE! Every week, we share a Front Edge Publishing column full of news and tips about professional media. This week, Marketing Director Susan Stitt writes about how the authors we publish are doing in their efforts to present engaging Amazon Author Pages. As it turns out, Debra Darvick is No. 1 on Susan Stitt’s list of prime examples.

Want to learn more about publishing today? Please, share this home address with friends: www.FrontEdgePublishing.com

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Click to read Suzy’s column.

Wonders of the Night Sky

GOD SIGNS—Each week, columnist Suzy Farbman introduces us to remarkable men and women who invite us to see the world from fresh perspectives. This week, meet Mary Stewart Adams, whose public radio series is called The Storyteller’s Night Sky. Plus, Suzy’s column includes a link to stream some of Mary’s broadcasts. Mary’s greatest accomplishment was helping to lobby for the creation of a Dark Sky Park in northern Michigan in 2011. Mary encourages people to look up into the stars and to dream along with poets and philosophers down through the ages. Please, enjoy her story and share this one with a friend.

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Holidays

Click to read Stephanie’s story about Obon.

MARTYRDOM of THE BAB—On this solemn anniversary, Baha’is around the world also continue to celebrate the expansion of their faith. Stephanie Fenton’s column includes news about a new temple in Colombia.

OBON IS COMING—Check your local calendars if you hope to participate in a colorful Obon festival this year. Across the United States and in Japan itself, the timing of observances vary in July and August. Stephanie Fenton has the Obon story for us.

HOT DOG! Stock up now! July is National Hot Dog Month and our own resident author Joe Grimm is one of the nation’s leading hot dog experts—at least when it comes to Michigan’s signature treatment of this beloved food: the Coney Island. Enjoy our story about July’s many food festivals, which also include ice cream, chocolate and fried chicken.

TISHA B’AV—Often described as “the saddest day in the Jewish year,” the Ninth of Av is traditionally marked with a 25-hour fast in solemn remembrance. Stephanie Fenton has the story as well as some 2018 news items related to the observance.

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

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FAITH & FILM

Click to read Ed’s review of the Thoreau 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 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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