Cover Story: Amy Julia Becker Invites Us to Explore the ‘White Picket Fences’ We Have Built

SHE WELCOMES US—AS A FRIEND TO PARENTS

Click Amy’s photo to read our story.

LIKE MISTER ROGERS BEFORE HER, Amy Julia Becker knows how to share compelling stories about everyday family life that inspire us to break down barriers. She’s already a popular Christian writer, known for her books about the richness of family life. Now, Amy Julia’s sixth book tells the true story of how her family discovered the walls (or ‘White Picket Fences’) that they had helped their neighbors build over many years. Without even thinking about the cost of these walls, they shut out people who seem different—people we have instinctively learned to fear.

Her book could not be more timely in our deeply divided America. This is not a political manifesto. She’s not out to shame or blame anyone. As readers of her earlier books know, Amy Julia is a loving Mom who simply wants the brightest and most loving future for her kids. Like Mister Rogers told all of us for many, many years: Bad things happen in our world. We need to clearly see those dangers and divisions—and keep on welcoming each other as neighbors, despite our fears.

Her book is perfect for small group discussions in congregations. She even includes a seven-page discussion guide. We hope you will read our story about Amy Julia and her new book—and share this story with friends.

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SLOWING DOWN FOR SPIRITUAL RENEWAL

ALSO THIS WEEK, our columnist Henry Brinton writes about the overwhelming challenge we all face with the 24/7 pace of social media. In our Cover Story, this week, Amy Julia Becker urges us to find doorways—and walk through them into a new awareness of our world. Henry asks: How can we even hope to glimpse a doorway, if we don’t slow down for a moment?

We’ve headlined this column from Henry: Seeking True Christmas Spirit? Consider Diving Deeper This Year. Like our Cover Story, this is a column that you’ll want to share with friends.

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HOLIDAYS: Seasons of Light

HANUKKAHAlthough Hanukkah is a relatively minor Jewish festival, it is one of the most easily recognizable Jewish observances each year to non-Jews. This year, in particular, learning about this celebration of religious freedom is timely in the face of a rising tide of anti-Semitism.

ADVENT—This year, in an unusual convergence, Hanukkah coincides with the Western Christian season of Advent, which also is marked by the lighting of candles. Eastern Christians began their reflective period of preparation for Christmas, the Nativity Fast, weeks earlier.

ST. NICHOLAS DAYAll Christians unite in celebrating St. Nicholas on December 6—the religious figure behind the tales of Santa Claus. Stephanie Fenton has this story, too, including helpful links to the world’s biggest St. Nicholas website!

HOLIDAY GIFT GIVING—As you plan for the holidays, consider giving great books to the readers you love. To help, we’ve published an overview of some terrific gift-giving ideas, whatever your year-end occasion might be. And, please, consider sharing this column with friends. Speaking for our entire family of authors: We all hope you’ll join us in encouraging Peace on Earth!

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

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WHAT’S IN A NAME?

THE ART OF THE BOOK TITLEIn this week’s Front Edge Publishing column, our Marketing Director Susan Stitt explores one of the great challenges in book production: the art of titling a new book. This is the most important step we take with authors in planning for the launch of a new book. Lots of factors—and guidelines—shape that handful of words that will wind up on a book’s front cover. Did you know that Amazon has rules that govern book titles? Susan touches on all these issues, and more.

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Click the movie still to read Ed’s review of The Green Book.

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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:

Click the movie still to read Ed’s review.

 

 

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