Cover Story: From Great Cathedrals to Fields of Dreams

EACH OCTOBER, ‘AMERICAN ODYSSEY’ CALLS US HOME

SPIRITUAL GIFTS OF BASEBALL—Two of our most popular columnists have written eloquent bookends to the baseball season, this year. At a time when millions of Americans are abandoning their religious affiliations—in search of more satisfying spiritual communities—baseball is one of our most traditional gathering places as a nation. In March, Martin Davis wrote When I hear ‘Play ball!’ its like a prelude welcoming me back to the great cathedrals.

Now, as we reach October, Benjamin Pratt has written a second Cover Story for us on a similar theme, headlined: Fields of Dreams—In October, our ‘American Odyssey’ calls us home. Please, enjoy this column and perhaps look back to Martin’s earlier piece—then share them with friends to spark conversation.

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Holidays & Festivals:
Happy Jewish New Year 5780

ROSH HASHANAHAt sundown on Sunday September 29, this year, the Jewish High Holy Days begin with the New Year 5780. Do you know someone who is Jewish? Get ready to wish him or her L’shanah tovah—“For a good year!”

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What holiday is this?

IT’S YOM KIPPUR IN ISRAEL, of course. Holidays & Festivals columnist Stephanie Fenton has the story about the holiest day in the Jewish year, which generally is a solemn occasion for Jewish families around the world. In Israel, however, many families have begun taking the opportunity of empty roadways to establish an annual kid-friendly festival of bikes. Our story also has a personal reflection from columnist Suzy Farbman.

SUKKOT IS COMING—Just after the Jewish high holidays each year comes the festival of booths, Sukkot. By mid-October, then, communities will see leafy shelters popping up in the back yards of some Jewish families.

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And Christians Recall St. Francis

BLESSING OF THE ANIMALSAre you an animal lover looking for a St. Francis-themed blessing, this year? As Stephanie Fenton reports, the actual holiday is on Friday October 4—which means that congregations offering these services may do so as early as September 29 or perhaps later in October. If you are interested, check local listings.

Care to see all the holidays? It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances—just remember the address InterfaithHolidays.com

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Oh, Have You Seen the Faygo Man?

100 PUBLIC APPEARANCES … AND STILL GOING—Joe Grimm of the Michigan State University School of Journalism—and the creator of our own Bias Busters serieswrites this week about what he has learned in his first 100 public appearances to promote his latest: The Faygo Book. He lists lots of valuable tips for authors who want to hit the road to market their message and their books.

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Linda Ronstadt movie still

Click the photo to read Ed McNulty’s review of the Linda Ronstadt documentary.

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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