Cover Story: Inspiring Stories of Courageous Compassion—Pick up the Portable New eBook of ‘Blessed Are the Peacemakers’

‘In these Pages, You Will Meet Heroes’

In the pages of Blessed are the Peacemakers, you will meet more than 100 heroes, but most of them are not the kind of heroes our culture celebrates for muscle, beauty and wealth. These are peacemakers—and the world needs to hear their stories now more than ever.

That’s why our publishing house has just released an inexpensive, easy-to-carry eBook edition of the Rev. Daniel L. Buttry’s international collection of real-life stories. Whether you prefer Kindle or an Apple tablet—or you’ve never read an eBook before—we’ve got easy links for you to pick up a copy of this remarkable book that you can read anywhere. If you don’t have a dedicated e-reading device, there’s a free app for your smartphone to enjoy reading right now.

Profiles include many famous names, including Gandhi and Bono of the band U2. But this volume is packed with stories about men and women who you’ll be discovering for the first time. Although he is based in the United States, Buttry’s stories takes us across Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America as well.

Buttry calls himself a “peace warrior” after many years of circling our planet to assist grassroots peace movements on behalf of American Baptist Churches (the denomination that proudly counts the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. among its past members).

Do you enjoy a little inspirational reading each day? Get this new eBook edition and you’ll have real-life inspiration as close as the phone in your pocket. Our Cover Story has all the links you need to choose an eBook that will load easily on your devices. You could be reading these stories within minutes!

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Martin Davis:
‘The Letter’

KNITTING RICH NEW BONDS—This week, we welcome back the journalist Martin Davis, whose occasional columns are charting the spiritual lives of millions of American families—through true stories from the everyday world around him. Martin debuted in December with memorable images from his family’s holiday observances. This week, Martin writes about another common experience—writing a letter to a loved one who is far away. In this case, his son dove into the rigorous Marine Corps training at Parris Island. Please, welcome Martin and share his column with friends who will enjoy it, too.

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HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

ARE YOU READY FOR LENT?

COMING SOON TO EAST AND WEST—Within three weeks, Christians around the world will be observing the Lenten season of reflection that leads to Easter. Western Christians—the majority of Christians in the U.S.—begin with Ash Wednesday on March 6. Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton takes a look at Ash Wednesday, including news items about the popularity of Lent in 2019. Did you know that Lent is still the hottest season in the American seafood industry?

AND—Stephanie’s column also has a recommendation of our popular book for the season, Our Lent: Things We Carry. 

THEN—Eastern Christians—perhaps better known as the “Orthodox”—begin their Fast of Great Lent with Clean Monday on March 10. Stephanie has that story as well, including recipes for the traditional, unleavened lagna bread.

AND, FREE FROM AMY JULIA BECKER

A GUIDE FOR LENT—In December, our magazine published high praise for author Amy Julia Becker’s new book, White Picket Fences: Turning Toward Love in a World Divided by Privilege. In our profile of Amy, we said this about her book:

The heart and soul of this book is the way Amy Julia describes—in the midst of ordinary family life—how she reaches startling moments of spiritual awareness about the world’s unjust divisions. She describes this through events that any parent will recognize as absolutely true. What’s so helpful about her memoir is the way she regards these moments as doorways. 

Now—just in time for Lent—she is offering a free Lenten Discussion Guide to her new book. You’ll want to check out her website for this offering, because she has some great ideas that can help you prepare for such an experience. Then, you’ll find options: a One-Time guide, a Three-Time guide as well as the new Lenten guide. Well done, Amy Julia! (If you’re among the many authors who regularly read our online magazine for fresh ideas—definitely take a look at the sophisticated and helpful way she makes this offer on her website.)

Want to see all the upcoming Holidays & Festivals? For quick reference, you can easily find Stephanie’s master calendar by going to—www.InterfaithHolidays.com

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The Most Interesting Muslim Man in the World

HAVING FUN WITH VIDEOIn this week’s Front Edge Publishing column, we celebrate the creativity of author Victor Begg, who has taken our advice about spreading awareness of his new book, Our Muslim Neighbors, by video. He created a basic promo video—then he and his talented family simply had fun with one of the popular video memes. We’ve got the video clip for you to judge for yourself. No question: He’s definitely an interesting man! Take a look. You’ll want to think about making some short videos yourself.

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Faith & Film

Click on the image to learn more about the February 2019 issue of Visual Parables Journal, which includes complete study guides to Beale Street, Roma, Bumblebee, Stan & Ollie and many more movies.

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: Benjamin Pratt says, ‘It’s Time to Thank the Millions of Caregivers All around Us

USE THE #NATIONALCAREGIVERSDAY HASHTAG

FROM HIS WHEELCHAIR—This week, a humbled Benjamin Pratt writes, “Wherever I have traveled—and whenever I have written about the challenges of caregiving—I always have been greeted with warm responses from strangers who introduce themselves with stories from their families.”

Now, Benjamin finds himself in the wheelchair—the “great Caregiver” now is a care receiver. So, he has written an inspiring Cover Story this week about the need to be thankful for our blessings each day—including giving thanks to our millions of caregivers.

This is the kind of column you’re going to want to share with friends, perhaps include in your own email newsletter or social media. It’s guaranteed to touch readers and remind them of all those tireless men and women right there in the heart of your family, your neighborhood and your congregation.

Thank you, Ben!

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‘A BONE-CHILLING FEAR’ FOR DIVERSE FAMILIES

DR. ANNI REINKING RESPONDS—If you are part of a racially or ethnically diverse family, you were among the millions who were shocked this week when Cindy McCain targeted an innocent family for police questioning in an airport. This is precisely the danger Anni Reinking writes about in her new book Not Just Black and White. So, this week, we invited Anni to respond to the news—and she has. If you were among the countless families who felt a jolt this week, you’ll be moved to read Anni’s thoughts and share them with friends.

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HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

BLACK HISTORY MONTH—This year, we’re urging our readers to take this opportunity seriously, given the ongoing rise in hate crimes documented by the FBI. Here are our recommendations:

  1. Get a copy of the new book The Black Knight and enjoy the dramatic story of Col. Clifford Worthy’s courage in agreeing to become one of the first black cadets at West Point in the 1940s after President Truman signed the order integrating the U.S. Army.
  2. Read the moving New York Times profile of the late Sgt. Isaac Woodard, a decorated World War II veteran—in uniform—who was returning home in South Carolina by bus in 1946 when he was savagely attacked by a small-town police chief. Pulled off the bus, Woodard was blinded by the beating—such a horror story that it helped to prompt Truman to sign that order. This February 9 Times story underlines the stakes Clifford Worthy also faced in that era.
  3. Read the inspiring Times obituary of U.S. Rep. John Dingell Jr., whose family was involved in helping Worthy in the 1940s. Just weeks before his death, Dingell finished the Foreword to Worthy’s book.
  4. Want to learn more about this annual, month-long observance? Stephanie Fenton wrote this fascinating overview.

VALENTINE’S DAY

GET YOUR CARDS IN THE MAIL! As Holidays expert Stephanie Fenton reports, this week, “The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately 190 million valentines are sent in the United States each year (not including the inexpensive Valentine cards exchanged among schoolchildren).” Wow!

SAVE THE DATE for WORLD SABBATH—If you happen to be in Michigan on March 3, plan to attend one of the largest and most colorful one-day interfaith festivals in America—the World Sabbath of Religious Reconciliation. You can find more details on the Sabbath website. You will discover that some of the talented volunteers who produce the World Sabbath also were involved in the publication of the popular book, Friendship & Faith.

For quick reference, you can easily find Stephanie’s master calendar by going to—www.InterfaithHolidays.com

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Creating a Promotional Video Is Easy

HELP FROM SUSAN STITTIn this week’s Front Edge Publishing column, marketing expert Susan Stitt reports on how video clips outperform almost any other form of online marketing. Perhaps you knew that already, but you’re looking for a good, basic introduction to making short videos? In this column, Susan suggests some easy, free-of-charge ways to start producing short videos. She’s even got samples of “free” videos she created—and links to online services. This is a great one-stop introduction to marketing through video.

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THE BEST OF COLLABORATION

INSPIRING NEWS FROM DETROIT—This is the kind of professional collaboration we always want to celebrate! Our author Lynne Meredith Golodner, who is the founder of the Your:People network, is featuring our author Faith Fowler, founder of Detroit’s Tiny Homes community, in Lynne’s ongoing series of podcasts about remarkable people and the work that they do to make our world a better place. If you haven’t discovered Lynne’s series, here’s a direct link to Episode 27 featuring her interview with Faith. After you listen to that episode, we’re sure you’ll want to mark more of Lynne’s interviews for future listening. Thanks Lynne and Faith!

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AND … THE BEST IN FILM

RODNEY’S ANNUAL ‘BEST’ LIST …

TIME TO RE-ORGANIZE YOUR MOVIE QUEUEEach year, before the Oscars are awarded, author and photographer Rodney Curtis brings us his Best of the Year list. Sure, some of these movies are on your viewing list already, but you’re also likely to spot an overlooked gem or two on Rodney’s list. For example: Can you identify the movie still with this news item? If not, be sure to click on it and read Rodney’s column. (AND, PSST! Here’s a great tip. Are you eager to start watching—but you find these 2018 “best” movies aren’t available yet? Then, click here to read Rodney’s Best of 2017 list, all of which you can easily find, if you’ve overlooked some of those 2017 films.)

AND FROM ED MCNULTY …

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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Victor Begg’s ‘Our Muslim Neighbors’: Meet a Muslim this year—build a healthier community

ONE FRIENDSHIP CAN CHANGE OUR WORLD

START RIGHT HERE—“This is what interfaith understanding and friendship is supposed to look like.” That’s how the veteran religion writer Bill Tammeus describes Victor Begg’s new book, Our Muslim Neighbors: Achieving he American Dream—an Immigrant’s Memoir.

And, that’s what we’re urging you to do, this week. If you haven’t already: Meet a Muslim. Two thirds of Americans have had no meaningful contact with our Muslim neighbors. Research shows that these simple contacts lead to a transformation of community acceptance of these millions of families who, in 2019, suffer from a rising tide of hateful stereotypes.

Victor Begg makes this so easy for us! His memoir is simply entertaining. Whether he’s describing his days trying to sell vacuum cleaners door to door (yes, he actually did that)—or he’s writing about to pull together a mourning community after a national tragedy—you’ll keep turning these pages to find out what happens next.

Please, read this week’s cover story about the release of Our Muslim Neighbors. Then, share that news with a friend. Get a copy of the book. Start a discussion group. As you will learn in our cover story, simply making a new friend among our Muslim neighbors can change the face of America.

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SUZY FARBMAN RETURNS

GOD SIGNSOur columnist Suzy Farbman, beloved by thousands of our readers through the years, returns this week with a column that sums up the importance of friendship. The headline is Love and Loss and the Price We Pay for Friendship, which may sound ominous. But, by the end, you’ll see how powerfully a life of friendships can undergird and color our own lives so vibrantly that we are thankful. In particular, if you love Detroit, you’ll find a Who’s Who of great Detroit women included in this story. Thanks Suzy for this inspiring piece!

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CONFESSIONS OF A VINE PIONEER

THE FABLED KINGDOM OF AMAZONIn this week’s Front Edge Publishing column, Editor David Crumm tells the true story of how he was invited into the now-fabled kingdom of Vine—the “invitation only” Amazon program for “elite” reviewers that now is the subject of a New York Times investigative report. As a journalist, David was exiled from Vine, but this story captures some of the strange-but-true adventures in the new realms that sometimes open up in Amazon’s vast global empire.

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HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

BLACK HISTORY MONTH—We’ve got an excellent way to mark this annual observance. Get a copy of the new book The Black Knight and enjoy the dramatic story of Col. Clifford Worthy’s courage in agreeing to become one of the first black cadets at West Point in the 1940s after President Truman signed the order integrating the U.S. Army.

Stephanie Fenton also take a fascinating look at the history of this annual observance. Do you know why February was chosen as an auspicious month? Stephanie tells the story. You’ll also find news about a very helpful guidebook that many institutions, teachers and community leaders are finding invaluable—it’s a resource produced by Michigan State University School of Journalism.

THE YEAR OF THE PIG—February 5 is the dawn of the Year of the Pig. This 15-day celebration that circles the globe. The color red, which is considered auspicious and homophonous with the Chinese word for “prosperous,” dominates décor in nearly every event. The Spring Festival, as it is also termed, ushers in warmer weather and marks the time of great gatherings among family and friends.

This festival also represents the world’s greatest annual human migration. The Reuters news service reported: “People are joining in the world’s largest human migration and are leaving China’s capital by train, making their way home for family reunions during the Lunar New Year holidays.”

SAVE THE DATE FOR WORLD SABBATH—If you happen to be in Michigan in early March, plan to attend one of the largest and most colorful one-day interfaith festivals in America—the World Sabbath of Religious Reconciliation. You can find more details on the Sabbath website.

You will discover that some of the talented volunteers who produce the World Sabbath also were involved in the publication of the popular book, Friendship & Faith. If you happen to be in Michigan and attend the free event, you’ll get a chance to see these remarkable women in action.

For quick reference, you can easily find Stephanie’s master calendar by going to—www.InterfaithHolidays.com

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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: Lucille Sider’s ‘Light Shines in the Darkness’—Real help for abuse survivors from an expert counselor who also is a survivor

A BOOK WE NEED IN OUR COMMUNITIES

HELP FOR MILLIONS OF FAMILIES—For many years now, journalists have been covering the news of abuse survivors stepping forward with stories of trauma—and secrecy—in the heart of religious communities nationwide. Now, in the #MeToo era, survivors feel even more encouragement to honestly account for the lingering effects of such abuse. Congregations nationwide need help in encouraging families to talk.

That’s why psychologist and pastoral counselor Lucille Sider’s new Light Shines in the Darkness is such a landmark for readers. Lucille is a survivor herself and honestly tells what happened throughout her life as she suffered, then as she sought spiritual practices to regain her stability and even as she helped to pursue the legal process against the abuser within her extended family. This is an important, compassionate book written to help other survivors and their families. Lucille encourages survivors to talk about their own experiences and also offers wise advice as a professional. Please, read our cover story this week; share it with friends; and consider organizing a discussion group in your community.

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WEST POINT CELEBRATES 150 YEARS

FEATURING ‘THE BLACK KNIGHT’—The U.S. Military Academy traces its roots back to 1801, but the West Point Association of Graduates—its influential alumni organization—was organized in 1869 so this new year is the group’s sesquicentennial. Special events are planned all year long to celebrate the Long Gray Line. That starts with the new Winter 2019 issue of West Point magazine. If you click on that link, you can “flip through” the pages of that special issue—but we urge you to jump right to page 54, where the West Point Authors Bookshelf features Clifford Worthy’s new memoir, The Black Knight: An African-American Family’s Journey from West Point-A Life of Duty, Honor and Country. You also can learn much more about that new book on Amazon.

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PICTURE THIS … A LIFE IN PHOTOGRAPHY

RODNEY CURTIS shares with us a story about the lives of photographers in the dramatically changing world of American media. As many of our readers know, Rodney volunteers each year with the remarkable Mountain Workshops, one of the nation’s most prestigious programs for visual storytellers.

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The Powerful Reach of eBooks

A QUARTER OF ALL AMERICANS read an eBook last year. In our Front Edge Publishing column this week, Director of Production Dmitri Barvinok writes about why eBooks remain a vital part of book distribution nationwide. In this column, Dmitri shares the latest trends in eBook sales and looks at the unique power and reach of several of the major eBook platforms, including Kindle and Kobo. Are you among those millions of eBook readers? You’ll find this a fascinating overview of how publishers are trying to reach out to you.

Want to know more about publishing trends in 2019? Visit our Front Edge Publishing Blog, scroll to the bottom of that page, and sign up for our free weekly email newsletters.

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HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

WHAT’S WITH THIS WEATHER?! So, what will the Groundhogs say? Yes, that’s right—Groundhogs plural. Stephanie Fenton’s column points out that Punxsutawney Phil now has some furry competition: Buffalo Bert, a groundhog in Buffalo, New York! Of course, she also covers other auspicious observances on February 2—Candlemas and Imbolc. Do you know the origins of that term Imbolc? Well, you’ll find it in Stephanie’s column.

DO YOU NEED AN INSPIRING, HEROIC STORY? Well, here’s a classic, thanks to Stephanie Fenton. Coming up February 3, it’s the annual Four Chaplains Sunday. These courageous men of faith have been honored since their self-sacrifice inspired Americans during a tragedy at sea in 1943.

For quick reference, you can easily find Stephanie’s master calendar by going to—www.InterfaithHolidays.com

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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 this image to read Ed’s column on the PC-USA website.

Congratulations Ed!

This month, Ed McNulty has touched off quite a buzz across the Internet with his Top 10 Films for Believers posted on the official Presbyterian Church (USA) website. In particular, many people are discussing Ed’s strong recommendation of the movie Boy Erased, which confronts evangelical gay-conversion-therapy programs. Staunch Fundamentalists continue to defend that practice, which is now legally banned in 15 states and the District of Columbia. Because the scientific and medical communities both oppose such “therapy,” diversity-rights advocates continue to push for a further expansion of these bans. It’s such a hot topic that Gay Times magazine even covered Ed’s recommendation of the movie.

Among Ed’s free reviews and columns are:

 

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How Are You Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Vision this Week?

ALL THIS WEEK—
LET’S MOVE TOWARD KING’S ‘BELOVED COMMUNITY’

REMEMBERING KING’S VISION—Over the past decade, many of our writers have published inspiring columns that honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy. Let’s start with the column by our Holidays & Festivals columnist Stephanie Fenton. Stephanie’s story reminds us of how King’s life eventually inspired this annual holiday. Then, Stephanie provides a gateway to several other fascinating columns—including one that has a recipe for Dr. King’s favorite dessert: sweet potato pie! There’s a lot to enjoy here.

And there’s a lot you can do, this week, to honor Dr. King’s vision! Please, read on!

REMEMBERING OTHER HEROES OF THE MOVEMENT—The civil rights movement spanned decades and involved millions of heroic men and women who had the courage to live their lives as if America’s ideals of liberty and justice really could be claimed by all of us.

One of those living heroes is Col. Clifford Worthy—who dared to join the first few African-American cadets at West Point after President Truman signed the order integrating the U.S. Army just after World War II. This week, our popular columnist Benjamin Pratt has written a review of Col. Worthy’s memoir, The Black Knightpraising the book as “a memoir of deep integrity, revealing honesty and wisdom.” Want to do a little good in our world this week? Order a copy of The Black Knight and come back to Amazon.com to leave your review of the book. Your voice will make a difference in how many other readers will find this inspiring memoir.

The Black Knight also was highlighted this month among “Recent Books of Interest to African American Scholars” by The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education.

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Help an Author Reach the World in 2019

BECOME A CITIZEN OF A ‘COMMUNITY’—In our Front Edge Publishing column this week, David Crumm writes about the powerful world of Amazon.com’s Community of reviewers. The column is written from the perspective of authors who want to encourage more reviews of their books—but the column also is a Call to Action for anyone who would like to become an effective Amazon.com reviewer. Are you starting 2019 with a resolution to make a positive difference in our world? One of the most powerful, easy steps you can take is to become an Amazon.com reviewer and encourage others to find books that will inspire them, this year. And, please, share this column with friends, especially friends who love to read.

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DISCUSS DIVERSITY IN 2019

WE CAN HELP WITH A FREE SAMPLE—Millions of Americans are discussing gender diversity and sexual orientation in 2019. For example, members of the United Methodist church nationwide have identified this issue as a year-long, global conversation. We want to help! Our publishing house is proud of the high praise we’ve received for publishing a pair of guidebooks with Michigan State University School of Journalism. Those books are called: 100 Questions and Answers about Gender Identity and 100 Questions and Answers about Sexual Orientation.

MSU’s Joe Grimm, the head of the educational project that has published this groundbreaking series of books, is offering to send a free sample set of these two new volumes on gender and sexuality to community leaders hoping to organize a discussion group. The trademark of this MSU book series is: We’re answering the questions everybody’s asking but nobody’s answering. Sample copies could prompt others in your community to order these books—and share this accurate, helpful information on these urgent issues.

So, if you are a librarian, preacher, teacher, book-club coordinator—or any other kind of community leader planning to spark a discussion—please contact us ReadTheSpirit@gmail.com

UPDATE—We have a few sets of these samples let. Please, email us now.

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Click this cover image to learn about the January 2019 issue of Visual Parables Journal with complete faith & film study guides of recent movies.

FAITH & FILM: Ed McNulty

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 Story: ‘Not Just Black and White’—a Hopeful Vision of How Families Can Respond to Racism

A COMPELLING NEW VOICE: A MOM, AUTHOR, EDUCATOR & STORYTELLER

MEET ANNI REINKING—Every day, headlines tell us that race is a dangerous flashpoint in American neighborhoods. Sometimes, the news can overwhelm us. That’s not something Dr. Anni Reinking can let happen on her watch—as the white mother of a black son, as an educator of university students and as a researcher about the challenges faced by diverse American families.

The fact is: Diversity is our future. Anni has lived with this truth on a daily basis since 2009, when she gave birth to her son Ahmad. Both as a researcher and educator—and as a Mom—she has had to cope with America’s life-and-death friction over racial diversity.

As research shows, millions of new interracial families are forming every year. By 2040, America’s “majority” will be our “minorities.” While there are many important new books emerging each year focused on these issues—Publishers Weekly magazine highlighted Anni’s new book, Not Just Black and White, as unique and especially important. Now, a chorus of other writers and activists are saying the same thing.

Please, read our Cover Story to find out about this book that more and more people are discussing nationwide. Learn how you can start a discussion where you live—and even consider inviting Anni to speak. Share this hopeful news with friends.

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DISCUSS DIVERSITY IN 2019

WE CAN HELP WITH A FREE SAMPLE—Millions of Americans are discussing gender diversity and sexual orientation in 2019. For example, members of the United Methodist church nationwide have identified this issue as a year-long, global conversation. We want to help! Our publishing house is proud of the high praise we’ve received for publishing a pair of guidebooks with Michigan State University School of Journalism. Those books are called: 100 Questions and Answers about Gender Identity and 100 Questions and Answers about Sexual Orientation.

MSU’s Joe Grimm, the head of the educational project that has published this groundbreaking series of books, is offering to send a free sample set of these two new volumes on gender and sexuality to community leaders hoping to organize a discussion group. The trademark of this MSU book series is: We’re answering the questions everybody’s asking but nobody’s answering. Sample copies could prompt others in your community to order these books—and share this accurate, helpful information on these urgent issues.

So, if you are a librarian, preacher, teacher, book-club coordinator—or any other kind of community leader planning to spark a discussion—please contact us ReadTheSpirit@gmail.com

UPDATE—This is the second week we are extending this special offer. Last week, we heard from groups from the West Coast, the East Coast, the South and the Midwest. Joe tells us he still has a few sets of these books he can send to a few more groups. Please, email us now.

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News about Our Authors

‘SADIE’ ON IOWA PUBLIC RADIO—Sadie the dog’s best friend Penny received an e-tablet as a gift and as soon as she logged on to the internet, their friendship began to suffer. Sadie Sees Trouble is a colorful children’s book that explores the balance of screen time and real life. Public radio program Idaho Matters speaks to the book’s author, Linda Jarkey, about turning a didactic message into entertaining children’s literature.

JOE GRIMM WINS MICHIGAN AWARD—The Library of Michigan just announced its prestigious list of Michigan Notable Books for 2019. On that list was Joe Grimm’s new Faygo Book, a colorful history of a company that has forged a bond with metro-Detroit and its residents for more than a century. Here’s the complete listing of Michigan Notable Books.

LUCILLE SIDER’S STORY GOING GLOBAL—The roots of the Baptist Global News Service stretch back through almost two centuries of independent reporting for readers around the world. Veteran journalist Jeff Brumley profiled author Lucille Sider about her new memoir Light Shines in the Darkness—My Healing Journey through Sexual Abuse and Depression. Jeff’s story begins: “Lucille F. Sider is an ordained minister called to bring healing to others even as she carried dark, painful secrets inside her for decades.” Please, read Jeff’s excellent profile and share this news with friends.

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PRAYERS FOR UNITY

A CENTURY-OLD TRADITIONHolidays & Festivals columnist Stephanie Fenton reports this week on the global Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which is more than 100 years old this year. Starting on Friday, January 18, this year—Stephanie has the links to detailed resources for worship and reflection provided by the World Council of Churches as well as the Vatican.

For quick reference, you can easily find Stephanie’s master calendar by going to—www.InterfaithHolidays.com

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Make Google Work for You!

HOW TO SET UP A GOOGLE ALERT—If you’ve never set up a Google Alert, then you may be surprised how easy it is to start one—or to change or even cancel an Alert if you don’t care for the results. This week in our Front Edge Publishing column, marketing expert Susan Stitt walks us through the process step by step. Establishing these Alerts can open windows into the world that automatically greet you each day with news about authors, books or important topics that matter to you. Even if you’re not an author, learning how to set up Alerts can keep you up to date on the latest news and save you hours of web searching.

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Click this movie still to read Ed’s review.

FAITH & FILM: Ed McNulty

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 Story: Master Spiritual Guide Kent Nerburn Lights up the New Year with an Invitation

Click this cover image to read about Kent.

‘DANCING WITH THE GODS’

KENT NERBURN RETURNS—Our regular readers know that Kent Nerburn visits our online magazine at least once a year. Right now, he’s celebrating the news that the entire state of South Dakota has the goal of reading his classic Neither Wolf nor Dog. Amazing, but true! South Dakota launches a statewide reading campaign each year and Kent’s book is the 2019 focus.

This news comes just as Kent is releasing his latest book, Dancing with the Gods—Reflections on Life and Art. He’s now 72 and regards this phase of his life as time for an “elder” to share some hard-won wisdom with others. So, this new book explores the ups and downs—and the joyous surprises—of a life devoted to the arts and to writing. This book is a great choice for group discussion in 2019, especially if you have friends who enjoy writing. So, please, share this story with friends.

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DISCUSS DIVERSITY IN 2019

WE CAN HELP WITH A FREE SAMPLE—Millions of Americans are discussing gender diversity and sexual orientation in 2019. For example, members of the United Methodist church nationwide have identified this issue as a year-long, global conversation. We want to help! Our publishing house is proud of the high praise we’ve received for publishing a pair of guidebooks with Michigan State University School of Journalism. Those books are called: 100 Questions and Answers about Gender Identity and 100 Questions and Answers about Sexual Orientation.

MSU’s Joe Grimm, the head of the educational project that has published this groundbreaking series of books, is offering to send a free sample set of these two new volumes on gender and sexuality to community leaders hoping to organize a discussion group. The trademark of this MSU book series is: We’re answering the questions everybody’s asking but nobody’s answering. Sample copies could prompt others in your community to order these books—and share this accurate, helpful information on these urgent issues.

So, if you are a librarian, preacher, teacher, book-club coordinator—or any other kind of community leader planning to spark a discussion—please contact us ReadTheSpirit@gmail.com

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News about Our Authors

ANNI REINKING IN ST. LOUIS AREA—The Telegraph—a daily newspaper based in Alton, Illinois, and serving the St. Louis metro-east area—started the new year with a story about Anni Reinking, author of the new book Not Just Black and WhiteThe Telegraph’s headline focuses on Anni’s role at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) and says: Publishers Weekly Highlights SIUE’s Reinking’s Book.

LYNNE MEREDITH GOLODNER IN MICHIGAN—Metro Parent Magazine named Lynne Meredith Golodner an admired mom who the editors chose to interview to kick off the new year 2019. Among many accomplishments in her career, which you can read about in the Metro Parent profile, Lynne also wrote The Flavors of Faith—Holy Breads, a fascinating book about the wide array of breads that are a part of religious traditions.

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HOLIDAYS TELL OUR STORIES

A BREATH-TAKING LOOK—Since our founding in 2007, the writers producing ReadTheSpirit online magazine have tried to lift up news about books, films and cultural milestones that celebrate the best in our religious and cultural diversity. One cornerstone of that coverage is the weekly coverage by Holidays & Festivals expert Stephanie Fenton. Now, she is starting 2019 with a breath-taking list of the vast array of holidays and festivals awaiting us this year. Want to be inspired? Just take a look at all of the observances you can enjoy, this year, with friends and family. It’s all ahead of us in this New Year! Please, take a moment to look over this 2019 calendar—and contact us if you spot an error, or if you want us to include a holiday that we have overlooked.

For quick reference, you can easily find Stephanie’s master calendar by going to—www.InterfaithHolidays.com

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‘Hot Off the Presses, for the Lucky’

A SQUEEZE BECOMES A CRISIS—The good news is this: There’s not a better time to publish a new book than 2019! So, what’s this “Crisis”? In this week’s Front Edge Publishing column, Editor David Crumm writes about how an annual holiday squeeze in book production became a full-scale crisis in December 2018. Did you experience problems trying to order a copy of a book for the holidays this year? Do you know someone who received a damaged book? Please read David’s column, which tells the story of how an industry-wide squeeze suddenly spilled into an obvious crisis of capacity over the past month or so.

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Click on the movie still to read about ‘At Eternity’s Gate.’

FAITH & FILM: Ed McNulty

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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