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.

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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!

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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).

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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 the movie still to read Ed’s review.

Among Ed’s free reviews and columns are:

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

Click this image to read our Cover Story.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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: 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

 

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

HOW DO WE LIVE IN A MULTI-FAITH WORLD?

Click Barbara’s photo to read our Cover Story.

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

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

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Blue Bird of Happiness?
Try a Prothonotary Warbler

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

Click on this photo to read about Easter.

HOLY WEEK & EASTER

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

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

PASSOVER

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

RAMADAN

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

AND FROM ASIA

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

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

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

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

Got Cancer?
Need a Dose of Hope?

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

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Is Your Work Protected?

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

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Faith & Film

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

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

Among Ed’s free reviews and columns are:

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

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

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FINDING GOOD FRIENDS ON THE OTHER SIDE

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

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

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

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

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HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

LENT & HOLY WEEK

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

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

PASSOVER

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

AND FROM ASIA

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

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

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

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Faith & Film

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

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

Among Ed’s free reviews and columns are:

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

HIGHLIGHTING A MISUNDERSTOOD AMERICAN MINORITY

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

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

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

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HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

LENT & HOLY WEEK

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

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

AND, TIMELY NEWS:

SCRATCH ‘N’ SNIFF
TECH REVOLUTION

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

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

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Meet a Muslim

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

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And, Meet …
‘The Black Knight’

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

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Faith & Film

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

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

Among Ed’s free reviews and columns are:

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