ReadTheSpirit Cover Story: Jon Sweeney on the remarkable life of Phyllis Tickle

Click this image of Phyllis to read our story.

‘SHE SHAPED A GENERATION’

MEET PHYLLIS TICKLE: Our long-time readers recall that the disarmingly blunt Phyllis Tickle visited our online magazine at least once a year until her death in 2015. In fact, Phyllis wrote introductions for some of the most influential books we have published over the past decade. Now, her friend and a multi-talented writer and editor, Jon Sweeney, has published her biography, which is as honest, prophetic and occasionally as funny as Phyllis was in her prime. Among Phyllis’s many accomplishments, her activism in fostering inclusion of LGBTQ Christians, particularly among evangelicals, already has changed America’s religious landscape. As David Crumm writes in this week’s Cover Story: If you care about religion in America, then you don’t want to miss this new book. And, please, share our story with friends on social media.

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CONGRATULATIONS BUTTRYS!

MAKING PEACEMAKERS—International peacemaker Daniel Buttry wrote the first book we published more than a decade ago, Interfaith Heroes. (Here is Dan’s Author Page, listing all four of his books to date.) Dan and his wife Sharon both work around the world training and encouraging peacemakers to resolve crises and conflicts without resorting to violence. Now, the Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Shawnee, Kansas, is establishing a Buttry Center for Peace and Nonviolence to ensure that future generations of students will learn from their example. Here is the Central announcement about the new center’s official launch in May.

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Click on the pope to read Lina’s article about faith and humor.

WHAT’S SO FUNNY ABOUT THAT?

ONE JOKE AT A TIME—As the theologian Mary Poppins put it: “We love to laugh!” Thanks to the scholars at the ARDA GlobalPlus project, UK-based researcher Lina Molokotos-Liderman wrote this fascinating overview of faith and humor. Yes, there are many examples of offensive jokes and poking fun at religion occasionally causes problems—but humor also bubbles up authentically from the ancient roots of the world’s great religious traditions. This is a fun column to explore! In addition, we know that many of our readers enjoy talking, writing, teaching and even preaching about stories they find in our pages. If you are among those readers who like to “pass it on,” you won’t want to miss the dozens of intriguing links Lina adds to this report! Her links include articles, books and online resources for further reading. Pour a fresh cup of coffee or tea as you dive into this story! Please, enjoy Lina’s column at the website of the International Association of Religion Journalists.

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Click the photo to read Keith’s story.

TACKLING A BIGGER CHALLENGE

GOD SIGNS—This week, Suzy Farbman tells the story of Keith O’Neil, who helped the Colts win a Super Bowl victory—but later faced an even bigger challenge. Keith was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Keith and his wife have learned to live with this condition and, now, Keith works with others to support individuals and families grappling with mental illness.

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Click to read about these special observances.

HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

PLAN AHEAD FOR MAY—Two special national observances honor centuries of American Jewish history and Asian Pacific American heritage. Our column has links to resource-rich Library of Congress websites for both months.

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

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MONITORING AMAZON

Click THIS button to read our story.

FRONT EDGE PUBLISHING—This week, our column about publishing trends looks at the “complex” process of trying to keep a book on sale via Amazon. Lots of delays and clogs can slow down book sales, including resellers who “capture the Buy Button,” a hot topic in the industry these days. Want to learn more about publishing today? Please, share this home address with friends: www.FrontEdgePublishing.com
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FAITH & FILM

Click the movie still to read about Come Sunday.

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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