Cover Story: A Spring Walk and an Old Oak Pew—The Call of Memory and Reflections on JFK and W.S. Merwin

A MEMORABLE MEMORIAL DAY

‘DISTANT VOICES STILL HOPING TO FIND US’Some readers may recognize this famous line from the poetry of W.S. Merwin who the world lost this spring, at age 91. To mark the week of Memorial Day, our special cover story is a collaboration between contributing columnist Martin Davis and Editor David Crumm. The two began a dialogue this week about the love of walking, the allure of sacred places, the timeless pull of memory—and our hope, against all odds, that we may all somehow discover a healthy community emerging in our world, once again. Please, read our cover story and share it with friends via email or social media. You’re also free to print out our story and share it with friends to spark conversation.

MEMORIAL DAY, 2019—So, what is this national holiday that historians argue helped to redefine Americans’ sense of our nation’s history? Is it really a memorial anymore? Is it the starting shot to vacation destinations? Or one of the biggest “blowouts” of the year for retailers? Stephanie Fenton’s Holidays & Festivals column covers all of those questions.

.

..’

..’

WHAT’S NEW IN DETROIT? A TINY HOME RAFFLE

BOOMING WITH HOPE—Regular readers know about the historic milestone in the heart of Detroit surrounding a visionary “tiny homes” community sponsored by Cass Community, which has produced the popular book Tiny Homes in a Big City. If this is news to you, then you’ll want to jump back and read our cover story headlined: What’s Detroit Building Now? A community of tiny homes that could change the face of poverty in America. The nationwide excitement over this experiment led to a donor giving a full-scale tiny home—on wheels—to Cass for a raffle to raise funds for the ongoing project. (After all, Cass homes are permanent neighborhood structures, so this “tiny mobile home” fits the project best as the prize for a raffle.) Here is Cass Community’s home page with an article about the raffle, simply scroll down to find that headline news. Then, here’s a Crain’s Detroit Business magazine story about the raffle. And, here’s the story as reported by Channel 2 TV news in Detroit.

.

..’

..’

Click the cover to learn more about the book.

‘THE GOOD MANAGER’

BOOKS ON THE MOVE, aka BOOVE—The UK-based book-lovers website BOOVE is a mash-up of Pinterest design and social media links designed to recommend new books to readers. James, aka Jimmy, Jackson is a TV critic for The Times in London and is as voracious in his reading as he is in video viewing. Occasionally, James sends lists of favorite books over to BOOVE—and we are celebrating that he selected two of our authors to feature in this BOOVE column headlined Become the Good Manager Everyone Loves by Reading These Books. Among James’ 17 recommendations are Robert Pasick’s Balanced Leadership in Unbalanced Times and William Donohue’s Critical Conversations as Leadership. Thanks for honoring our authors, James!

.

.

.

RAMADAN MUBARAK!

OUR MUSLIM NEIGHBORS are fasting during the month of Ramadan. As 2019 dawned, we made a commitment as a publishing house to help combat bigotry by reaching out to our Muslim neighbors in a friendly way. Please consider buying a copy of the new book Our Muslim Neighbors and become a positive model of change in your community.

This week, author Victor Begg was featured in an online interfaith dialogue in Florida. Here’s a link to that inspiring conversation.

Want to see all the holiday stories? Just remember www.InterfaithHolidays.com 

.

.

.

Faith & Film

Click to learn more about the May issue of Visual Parables.

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:

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

 

Cover Story: Researcher Harold Heie Shows How Christians Can Move from Conflict to Conversation

Click the cover to read our Cover Story.

A HOPE-FILLED GUIDE TO ‘REFORMING AMERICAN POLITICS’

LET’S HANG UP THE BOXING GLOVES! In one front-page confrontation after another these days, “Christians” play a role as an angry and sometimes downright hateful force. Now, scholar and online researcher Harold Heie is urging Christians to stop allowing themselves to be co-opted by political activists as cannon fodder in the current culture wars. On the contrary, Heie argues after a year of research, Christian men and women can take part in cooperative and constructive conversations with people whose viewpoints are dramatically different. The keys to unlocking healthy conversation, Heie finds, lie in the often-overlooked core values of Christianity.

This week, our cover story is divided into two fascinating perspectives on Harold’s work:

.

.

MSU Bias Busters:
Helping Chaldean Americans Tell Their Story

NEAR MICHIGAN? Stop by on Tuesday evening May 22 for the launch of a new book by the team at the Michigan State University School of Journalism. This timely volume in the Bias Busters series uses 100 Q&A exchanges to tell the story of Chaldean Americans—Iraqi Christians—who have fled to the U.S. to escape persecution in their ancient homeland. Right now, however, hundreds of Chaldeans are in federal custody, caught up in harsh new rules limiting refugees. Here is the Bias Busters’ own announcement of the launch event, expected to be attended by many Chaldean-American leaders. And here is our earlier ReadTheSpirit Cover Story about the importance of this new book. Want to help spread the word about this endangered minority? Get a copy of the book, learn more and then talk to friends. Right now, the greatest threat to these Chaldean refugees is lack of national awareness about their plight.

.

.

Click this photo of Derek Black to read Suzy’s column.

A CHANGE OF HEART IS POSSIBLE

THE STORY OF DEREK BLACK is the heart of Suzy Farbman’s inspiring column this week. You may have heard about this young man, who was considered the royal heir to the white supremacy movement in the U.S. Instead of following in his family’s footsteps, however, Derek turned 180 degrees and now actively promotes diversity and speaks out against racism.

.

.

‘WHY-OMING?’

RODNEY CURTIS writes about a cross-country odyssey to drop his daughter off at her new home. If you’re a parent, you’ll especially enjoy Rodney’s story.

.

.

Click the cover to learn more about the book.

‘THE BLACK KNIGHT’ TALKS WITH SOLDIERS NATIONWIDE

CLIFF WORTHY ON RADIO—This week, retired Col. Clifford Worthy, author of the memoir The Black Knight, appeared on the military news and talk radio show Frontlines of Freedom, which is produced by veterans to raise awareness about issues faced by military families. The show is carried on more than 180 radio stations. You can listen to the interview on the Frontlines website here. The audio clip begins with some military music, then the host introduces Cliff—and Cliff then shares some of his stories and insights as they talk.

.

.

RAMADAN MUBARAK!

OUR MUSLIM NEIGHBORS are fasting during Ramadan. First, Stephanie Fenton has the story in her Holidays & Festivals column. It’s also timely to remind you about our 2019 commitment to help combat bigotry by reaching out to our Muslim neighbors in a friendly way. You can say: “Ramadan Mubarak!”

Want to do even more? Buy a copy of the new book Our Muslim Neighbors and become a positive model of change in your community. That new book just got a glowing review in the Midwest Review of Books, which said: “An exceptionally well written and absorbingly personal story of an immigrant life in America today, Our Muslim Neighbors is an extraordinary, timely and unreservedly recommended addition to both community and academic library collections.”
.

.

.

Faith & Film

Click to learn more about the May issue of Visual Parables.

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:

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

 

Cover Story: Richard Rohr Urges Readers to Expand Our Spiritual Universe

Click the photo to read our story with Richard Rohr.

ENLARGING OUR VISION OF ‘CHRIST’—Here’s why men and women nationwide love reading Richard Rohr, the best-selling Franciscan author and teacher: He continually pushes us all to expand our spiritual vision! That’s why many avid followers even cross the country to learn from him—as Ken Whitt and his wife did recently. This week’s cover story features a new interview with Rohr about his 2019 book, The Universal ChristAs Rohr himself says in our interview: “I’m trying to show readers that Christ is much bigger than what they are envisioning.” This is story we know you’ll want to share with friends.

.

.

Click the image to read Henry’s column.

Expanding Our Concepts of Weekly Worship

HEARD OF DINNER CHURCHES? Pastor, author and contributing columnist Henry Brinton reports this week on the nationwide movement of congregations who gather around meals as a form of worship. Included in his column is a great example from United Methodist churches in Florida—as well as news about We Will Feast, a spring 2019 book from Eerdmans that reports on these dinner churches nationwide. Please, consider sharing Henry’s newsy story with friends to spark a discussion—and, who knows? Maybe a great meal, as well!

.

.

An Open Letter to the Royal Family

Click this AP photo to read Anni’s story.

ON BEHALF OF PARENTS OF BIRACIAL CHILDRENAuthor Anni K. Reinking, whose memoir Neither Black nor White tells the story of her multiracial family, writes an open letter to the royal family, including: “We—parents of biracial children—are overjoyed to have the royal baby, a biracial baby, be in the spotlight, showing the world that children come in all colors. What matters most? Love.”

.

.

Click the photo to read Ben’s story.

‘I Know Why Abraham and Sarah Laughed!’

A PAPA IN MY 70s? Beloved columnist Benjamin Pratt returns this week with a true story of how he became a father again in his 70s—that is, papa to a family of endangered Eastern Bluebirds. It’s quite a tale—complete with photos. Of course, given Ben’s love of scripture, he is reminded of the ancient story of Abraham and Sarah laughing when they were told they would become parents. You’ll definitely want to share this story with friends.

.

.

Click to read Debra’s column.

From the American Southwest

DEBRA DARVICK responds to Martin Davis’s cover story last week about the need to remember our calling to be compassionate to our neighbors—as Martin put it, to those on our right and on our left. Author and educator Debra Darvick took Martin’s challenge to continue this national conversation with a true story from her travels in the American Southwest. Please, read Debra’s column and think about responding yourself to this challenge to spread a message of compassion.

.

.

RAMADAN MUBARAK!

MILLIONS OF MUSLIM NEIGHBORS are fasting during Ramadan. First, you will want to read Stephanie Fenton’s fact-filled story in her Holidays & Festivals column. It’s also timely to remind you about our 2019 commitment to help combat bigotry by reaching out to our Muslim neighbors in a friendly way. You can say: “Ramadan Mubarak!”

Want to do even more? Buy a copy of the new book Our Muslim Neighbors and become a positive model of change in your community. That new book just got a glowing review in the Midwest Review of Books, which said: “An exceptionally well written and absorbingly personal story of an immigrant life in America today, Our Muslim Neighbors is an extraordinary, timely and unreservedly recommended addition to both community and academic library collections.”

.

.

Committee to Protect Journalists chart of journalists killed since 1992.

Click on this chart to read the whole story.

WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY

A DANGEROUS PROFESSION—Hundreds of journalists around the world remain in prison, even after the two courageous journalists in Myanmar were freed recently, and every year journalists are killed while pursuing this profession. To mark World Press Freedom Day in early May, ReadTheSpirit’s David Crumm spoke with Welton Gaddy on the radio-and-internet broadcast State of Belief about these challenges. David also works closely with the International Association of Religion Journalists and posted, on the IARJ website, this fact-filled overview of current threats to journalism—as well as several good-news items about the expansion of religion reporting. Want to hear the entire interview with David Crumm about the many challenges religion writers face, today? Here’s the direct State of Belief link.

.

.

Click Snoopy to read our story.

In the Beginning …

WHY FIRST WORDS MATTER—In our Front Edge Publishing column this week, David Crumm writes about the timeless wisdom of master storytellers: The opening lines are the gateway to any great story! Drawing on examples from the Bible, novelists, famous preachers, The Moth and TED Talks, David explains why writers and editors often spend as much time on the opening and closing of a book as they do on the rest of the chapters.

Want to know more about publishing? Sign up for the free weekly email reminders (via a form at the end of David’s column).

.

.

.

.

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.

Click the movie still to read Ed’s review.

Among Ed’s free reviews and columns are:

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

 

Cover Story: What a timely reminder! ‘It’s not about you. It’s about the people …’

Click this image to read our Cover Story.

.

5 Writers on Our Urgent Need to Remember Others

JOIN THE CONVERSATION …
And now for something completely different …
This week, contributing columnist Martin Davis welcomed four other writers to respond to his personal story about a startling reminder that stopped him in his tracks. He heard the words: “It’s not about you. It’s about the people …” You’ll be surprised to learn the setting where Martin heard this ringing appeal. The words set him to writing this week’s Cover Story. Then, following Martin’s brief story, our four responses include popular writers Benjamin Pratt, Rabbi Bob Alper and Stephanie Fenton. Please, join this national conversation—and share this cover story with friends.

.

Click this image to learn more about Ramadan.

RAMADAN MUBARAK!

MILLIONS OF MUSLIM NEIGHBORS are starting the fast of Ramadan today, as this new issue of our magazine is published on May 6, 2019. We’ve got a broad range of coverage: First, you will find a Ramadan story as one of the four responses within our Cover Story (above). Then, you will also want to read Stephanie Fenton’s fact-filled story about the fasting month in her Holidays & Festivals column. It’s also timely to remind you about our 2019 commitment to help combat bigotry by reaching out to our Muslim neighbors in a friendly way. One friendly greeting you can share with Muslim neighbors or co-workers is: “Ramadan Mubarak!”

Click the News logo to read Victor Begg’s profile.

Want to do even more? Buy a copy of the new book ‘Our Muslim Neighbors’ and become a positive model of change in your community. The author of that book, Victor Begg, was just featured in an in-depth Detroit News profile by reporter Mark Hicks.

.

.

.

Click on the image to read Suzy’s column.

And Speaking of Inspiring Friendships …

SUZY FARBMAN shares a delightfully twisting-and-turning true story about caregiver and Motown music fan Fayez Hammoud. At first glance, he seemed an unlikely caregiver for Suzy’s husband, but he has turned out to be a delightful friend. Part of the fun is Fayez’s fondness for celebrities, and their enjoyment of his enthusiasm. This story will make you smile!

.

.

Celebrating Mothers—and Fathers

Click on this image of Anna Jarvis to read Stephanie’s column.

ARE YOU READY FOR MOTHER’S DAY? Although people have been celebrating motherhood since ancient times, the modern American version of Mother’s Day began in 1908 with Anna Jarvis. Determined to bring awareness to the vital role of each mother in her family, Jarvis began campaigning for a “Mother’s Day,” and finally was successful in reaching the entire country in 1914. However, Jarvis’s concept differed considerably from corporate interests in the holiday. Stephanie Fenton’s column explains how you can mark the holiday as Jarvis intended.

.

How do we measure up to our Dads? Rodney offers a different perspective.

AND, DON’T FORGET DAD—Now’s the time to plan ahead, because Father’s Day is just a few weeks away on June 16. This year, author and photographer Rodney Curtis already is thinking about his father—because Rodney just passed a father-related milestone that should make all of us stop and think.

.

.

Click the image to read about Linda’s fun with fourth graders.

Just 1 “Screen Free Week”?

THE IDEA IS VALUABLE ANYTIMEespecially now that the World Health Organization has issued global guidelines urging parents to limit their children’s screen time. What is fascinating about that WHO report is the responses from the families of the inventors of our cutting-edge “screens.” They’re telling journalists now that they have always limited their own children’s use of these devices. Here’s a link to read more about that WHO report and responses from tech gurus. Linda Jarkey, a veteran educator and author of the children’s book Sadie Sees Trouble, just observed the annual Screen Free Week with fourth graders in Michigan. Here’s a link to read more about her—and her work with these kids. Plus, that web page about Linda tells you how to contact us if you would like to arrange an appearance. We all think that “screen free” should not be limited to a single week each year!

.

.

Click Victor’s image to read Susan’s column.

Show Your World on Amazon

AUTHOR VIDEOS—This week’s Front Edge Publishing column by Marketing Director Susan Stitt describes how authors can add great videos to their Amazon Author Pages. Amazon’s online author pages are valuable resources for showing potential readers more about your work as an author. You can upload as many as eight videos—as long as you follow Amazon’s rules. Among the gems in Susan’s column is a link to Victor Begg’s video, shot along the shoreline, as he plays his Native American flute.

.

.

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:

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

 

Cover Story: Lucille Sider’s Inspirational Story Can Help As We Uncover the Truth of Long-Hidden Abuse

A SURVIVOR WITH PROFESSIONAL EXPERTISE TO HELP OTHERS

MEET LUCILLE SIDER—Not a week passes without the discovery of long-hidden sexual abuse in front-page headlines. Most Americans now know someone wrestling with the aftermath of such abuse—often for many decades. In this week’s Cover Story, we tell you how to reach out to someone who can help: author, counselor, minister and teacher Lucille Sider.

Right now, Lucille Sider—a clinical psychologist and clergywoman based in the Chicago area—is scheduling appearances with groups nationwide to encourage constructive small-group discussions. Contrary to myth, such trauma does not fade away with the passage of time. Lucille herself is a survivor both of childhood abuse—and the crippling psychological effects of years of secrecy. In her new book Light Shines in the Darkness, she tells her own remarkable story of overcoming both abuse and the debilitating effects of that trauma—coupled with professional insights to help survivors. She even includes a complete discussion guide for small groups in the last 10 pages of her book.

This week, our Cover Story about Lucille’s book, and her ongoing work, appears in our Front Edge Publishing website, where we have gathered many resources highlighting the importance of Lucille’s work—and the value of sharing this news with others. You can take action right now to organize a discussion in your community. Please read this story and share this resource with friends. Someone you know will benefit from meeting Lucille through her book and ongoing work.

.

.

See Dr. David Gushee on CNN

CNN HOST DON LEMON ran out of air time while interviewing Dr. David Gushee about Franklin Graham’s attack on a gay presidential candidate. So, Lemon told Dr. Gushee that he would invite him back to talk further about these issues. However, in the few minutes the two men were able to talk on the live talk show, Dr. Gushee was able to make a powerful rebuttal of Graham’s condemnation of LGBTQ Christians. Many of our readers heard about the broadcast online—but missed its original airing. They emailed our main office, asking for links to the video clip. Well, here’s that CNN video clip, and we’ve also included the text of some of Dr. Gushee’s most important comments.

.

.

Need a Life Lesson?

WE’VE GOT BOOKS FOR THAT! Thanks to Australian journalist Zak Parker for including one of our books in his new list of 17 Books Filled with Life Lessons for the online magazine Fupping. Zak writes: “By reading books, especially non-fiction books, we can pick apart the author’s brain and actually learn from their experiences. There’s no exaggeration in saying that by reading these books you can learn valuable life lessons to apply to your own.” His list includes Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven—plus Rabbi Bob Alper’s funny-and-inspirational stories in Life Doesn’t Get Any Better than This. Want a copy of Bob’s book? It’s available right now via Amazon.

.

.

Dr. Esperanto and the Language of Hope

HAVE YOU DISCOVERED this language created in the late 1800s by a creative eye doctor in eastern Europe who dreamed of a way for all the world’s diverse cultures to communicate with each other? It’s called Esperanto, which was the nom de plume the ophthalmologist used when he published his introductory volume in 1887. The word means “one who hopes.” Now, a very talented team from Candlewick Press has published a delightful picture book, which just might introduce a whole new generation to this unusual strategy for achieving world peace. Please read David Crumm’s review of the book—and you’ll be likely to order a copy for yourself, or someone you love.

.

.

HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

YOM HASHOAH

SUNDOWN, SUNDAY MAY 1—The traditional Israeli remembrance of the Holocaust—and the many heroes who risked or lost their lives in that era—comes at a moment when hate crimes are on the rise around the world. Our story about Yom HaShoah also includes a link to a remarkable column in a British newspaper, calling for a new interfaith coalition of groups to stem the tide of extremist violence.

ISRAELI MEMORIAL AND INDEPENDENCE DAYCommemorations in Israel begin at sunset on Tuesday, May 7, this year, for Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut. In the Israeli calendar, Memorial Day (or Yom HaZikaron) is followed by the celebration of Independence Day (or Yom Ha’atzmaut), as a way to begin the celebration of freedom with a day-long solemn remembrance of the cost of that freedom.

Click the image to read our Ramadan story.

RAMADAN

Already, Muslim families are planning ahead 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. Enjoy our Ramadan story and share it with friends.

Beltaine and Samhain

CELEBRATE SPRINGMay 1 is the Pagan and Wiccan festival of Beltane, a joyous festival that celebrates the renewal and bounty of nature. Beltane (or Samhain, in the southern hemisphere) falls on a date approximately halfway between the spring equinox and summer solstice.

.

.

Screen Free Week

MEET THE AUTHOR of Sadie Sees Trouble, Linda Jarkey, a veteran educator and author who is planning one of the many events around the world that coincide with  the 2019 observance of Screen Free Week: April 29 through May 5. The organizers stress that the week is supposed to be an exciting adventure: “An hour once dedicated to YouTube becomes an hour spent outside; a movie on a rainy afternoon is replaced by time spent reading, chatting, or playing pretend!” On May 3, Linda will be presenting a program about her Sadie book, which also stresses the need to limit “screens,” at an elementary school in Hazel Park, Michigan. You can mark Screen Free Week by getting your own copy of Sadie.

.

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:

 

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

 

Cover Story: Two fascinating biographies chart the rise of heroes William Shakespeare and Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

How Our Greatest Writer Was Enshrined in the Heavens

Click the cover to read our Cover Story.

THE SHAKESPEARE JUBILEE—Who is the greatest writer in the English-speaking world? William Shakespeare, of course! However, there was a time—many years, in fact—when Shakespeare was all but forgotten. Now, historian Andrew McConnell Stott brings us the delightful story of the year when daring British entrepreneurs joined forces with Britain’s greatest actor to officially seal Shakespeare’s reputation for all time. After their Shakespeare Jubilee of 1769, a worldwide fascination with his plays arose that eventually evolved into today’s almost universal regard of The Bard’s original works as Holly Writ.

This is a true story full of all the greed, pride, envy, lust—and also the loftiest purity of passion—that are the highlights of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. This is also a true account of ruthless media professionals flocking to a public spectacle both to the detriment and to the enduring benefit of Shakespeare’s most fervent fans.

.

Click Holmes’ image to read our story.

A Courageous Prophet of Free Speech

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES JR.A fascinating new biography of the great American Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. coincides with the centennial of his historic dissent in a free-speech case. While he wrote as the loser in a 7-to-2 ruling against a group of supposedly dangerous immigrants, Holmes soon proved to be right in his vigorous defense of free speech. For 12 years, ReadTheSpirit magazine has published weekly issues highlighting the best in new books and films related to religious and cultural diversity. Many of Holmes’ arguments form the American legal basis for welcoming such diversity. He was not a religious or cultural leader, but his writing often invokes a higher power—and the higher calling of his vocation.

.

.

Speaking of Heroes …

COLUMNIST SUZY FARBMAN, this week, tells the inspiring story of Elyse Foltyn and her family, devastated by the Holocaust. The few survivors who managed to evade the Nazis built new lives, but carried with them the powerful message of the need to remember. Elyse’s father eventually dedicated his life to this effort and, today, Elyse talks about how all of us need to help preserve the memories of loved ones.

Elyse says, “Sooner or later, every one walks through pain. The point is not to come out empty-handed.” Our goal should be “to develop a greater appreciation of life … to become more empathetic and kind.” Please, after you enjoy Suzy’s column, share it with friends.

.

And, Speaking of the Power of Media …

WHAT ARE EDITING STYLES? For at least 1,000 years, book styles have varied across regions, cultures and generations. As our Cover Story about the Shakespeare Jubilee of 1769 points out—editors and publishers always have felt free to adapt original works. In our Front Edge Publishing column this week, Dmitri Barvinok explains the concept of “editing styles”—an important part of the media profession that is little known to most readers. (This photo shows a Muslim master calligrapher teaching his style to students.)

.

.

HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

EASTER

EASTERN or ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS are still looking ahead to their Easter, or Pascha. this week. Stephanie Fenton’s Easter column circles the globe.

PASSOVER

TRADITIONAL SEDER meals already have taken place, but Passover extends through this week. Stephanie’s column is packed with fascinating stories for our Jewish—and especially for our non-Jewish—readers. Want to greet Jewish friends, neighbors or co-workers? Stephanie explains what is appropriate.

RAMADAN

Already, Muslim families are planning ahead 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.

.

.

Faith & Film

Cover of the April 2019 issue of Ed McNulty's Visual Parables Journal.

Click these movie stills to learn more about the April 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:

Click on the movie still to read Ed’s review of The Public.

 

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

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.

.

.

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.
.

.

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

.

.

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.

.

.

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.

.

.

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:

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.