Cover Story: Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil on ‘Becoming Brave, Finding the Courage to Pursue Racial Justice Now’

It’s Time to Channel the Tidal Wave

The dramatic wave of support for the Black Lives Matter campaign shows an astonishing change in American awareness of systemic racism. There is overwhelming support for justice right now. Pew says 67 percent of all Americans support the Black Lives Matter movement.

So—now is the time to channel that tidal wave toward change, says the Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil. Now is the time—as her new book urges—that all of us should be Becoming Brave: Finding the Courage to Pursue Racial Justice Now.

Please read our Cover Story, this week, which includes an interview with McNeil about her national focus on teaching about the hard work of reconciliation and justice. This summer, she is publishing two, valuable new books—Becoming Brave and a second book that is more of a “toolbox” for working toward justice. These books are perfectly timed for individual reading and discussions in congregations nationwide.

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We Contribute to the National Conversation Every Week

IF YOU FOLLOW our online magazine on a weekly basis (sign up for free email updates via the green box in the upper-right corner), then you know that our community of writers is deeply involved in the national conversation about diversity. Every week, we bring you fresh links to what our writers are doing and saying. This week, Victor Begg (author of Our Muslim Neighbors), spoke with the Christian Science Monitor as the CSM’s Editorial Board emphasizes the importance of inter-religious cooperation in response to COVID-19.

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Holidays & Festivals

FOURTH OF JULY:

What’s Going on at Mount Rushmore?

STEPHANIE FENTON, our Holidays & Festivals columnist, reports on the holiday—and also includes the latest news (and news links) to this year’s controversial plans by President Trump to bring back fireworks to the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

Why Did Lincoln say, ‘A Man Is Responsible for his Face’?

OUR QUIET FIRE COLUMN, this week, explores the importance of monuments—and the important of our individual faces—as we all grapple with our place and our vocation in this world. Lincoln scholar Duncan Newcomer takes us to Mount Rushmore—and also to Asia with the Catholic mystic Thomas Merton. What is the scale of your life? What monuments inspire you? What monuments move you to action? Please, share this column with friends, this week.

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Care to see all of our Holidays & Festivals columns? It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just remember the address InterfaithHolidays.com

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How about Some Pure Escapism!?!

RODNEY CURTISour resident photographer, author and all-around funny guy, reminds us this week that—hey!—in the midst of these very troubling times …. yes, we also need to laugh and have fun with family.

 

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And, Speaking of Family Fun …

SPECIAL THANKS to all of our readers who sent texts, social-media messages and even phoned to share praise for last week’s marvelous cover story by Elisa Di Benedetto in Italy and Martin Davis in the D.C. area—who managed to cook up a shared pot of minestrone soup across the 4,300 miles that separate them. Talk about social distancing at dinner time!!

Celebrate Global Culture: Ask Friends to Virtually Bake Bread with You!

THIS WEEK, we are following up with a reminder of an easy way to connect with diverse religious and cultural traditions around the world—by baking bread.

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FAITH & FILM 

NO, THIS IS NOT A SCENE from a protest today. It’s a screenshot from Spike Lee’s movie biography of Malcom X. Click on this photo to read Ed McNulty’s column about this 1992 film.

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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 these films available for streaming now. 

  1. MALCOLM X—This week, Ed writes: “This review was written for the December 1992 issue of Visual Parables. I am bringing it up from the archives because of a new project highlighting ten films I believe every American white person needs to see in order to understand the currently debated topics of systemic racism and white privilege. With a few minor exceptions, the text appears as originally printed, but the two Scripture passages and a set of questions for discussing the film are additions.”
  2. BOYS STATE—Ed writes, “The new documentary by Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss is an interesting look at our democratic process in miniature, as seen at a Boys State meeting, one of 49 held each year in every state but Hawaii since the mid Thirties, sponsored by the American Legion.” (4.5 out of 5 stars)
  3. IRRESISTIBLE—Ed writes, “This is the delightful story of a political operative who might be too smart for himself. Director/writer Jon Stewart’s political satire does not hedge by conjuring up fictitious names of political parties, though the characters themselves are made-up. Steve Carell’s Gary Zimmer is a political consultant of the Democratic Party, and Rose Byrne’s Faith Brewster works for the Republican National Committee.” (4.5 out of 5 stars)
  4. SWEETHEART—Ed writes, “Director J.D. Dillard also co-wrote the screenplay of this tense thriller set on a desert island. The sweetheart of the title is Jenn (Kiersey Clemons), who finds herself swept up on the sandy beach of a tropical island.” (4 stars)
  5. HEARTS BEAT LOUDBecause of Kiersey Clemons’s new film Sweetheart, Ed reaches back to 2017 to recommend this earlier film in which she starred.
  6. DA 5 BLOODSEd urges viewers to see this 5-star direct-to-streaming film from Spike Lee about five Vietnam veterans.
  7. SEE YOU YESTERDAY—Ed writes, “This science fiction thriller by first-time director Stefon Bristol and his co-writer Fredrica Bailey boasts Spike Lee as one of its producers. With its ripped-from-the-headlines relevancy in regard to police brutality you might think it was made last week, but it actually was released a little over a year ago when another shooting of a black man by the police was in the headlines. Indeed, its genesis goes back even further when Bristol had made a short film and Spike Lee  helped him to expand it into its present feature length. With many #Black Lives Matter news clips interspersed throughout, the film seems like a mixture of Back to the Future, The Hate You Give and When They See Us.” (5 out of 5 stars)
  8. CURTIZ—This film about Michael Curtiz, the director of Casablanca, is full of factual errors. “Nevertheless,” Ed McNulty writes, “first-time director Tamas Yvan Topolanszky’ film, streaming on Netflix, is an interesting one thanks to a combination of excellent acting and crisp black & white photography.”
  9. RETURN TO ME—Ed writes, “Director/co-writer Bonnie Hunt’s 20-year-old romantic film could easily have gone astray were it not for its solid cast and attention to details of character. The main characters—two lovers Bob Rueland and Grace Biggs, played by David Duchovny and Minnie Driver—are so appealing that we can overlook some of the film’s sentimental excess.” (4 out of 5 stars)
  10. PROLONGED EXPOSURE—This film might seem slow moving by anyone who has been misled by the false posters that imply this is an action thriller. Mr. Thoms’ insightful script is more of a character study.” (4 stars)

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Cover Story: Across Thousands of Miles, Friends Still Connect to Feed Our Families and Our World

Reconnecting in a Season of Separation

SHARING A POT OF FRESH SUMMER SOUP ACROSS 4,300 MILES

COVER STORY—Can something as simple as a pot of soup help us to reconnect, even the midst of this global pandemic? Two regular contributors to this online magazine are Elisa Di Bendetto and Martin Davis—who are physically separated by 4,300 miles. She is based in Italy; he’s near Washington D.C. They became friends through the International Association of Religion Journalists and have visited in person occasionally over the years. As spring turns to summer, they both were reminded via email and social media that their thoughts were turning toward their mutual love of cooking with fresh ingredients, especially the first crop of summer vegetables. Today they’re coming together to talk about an Italian classic—minestrone—plus they are sharing colorful photos as well as their personal recipes. Please share this story with a friend—and perhaps share one of your own summer recipes as well.

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And Speaking of Diverse Connections …

MSU Bias Busters Help Improve Education for All

IMPROVING EDUCATION is one of our nation’s greatest challenges in 2020 in the midst of a global pandemic and economic downturn. Millions of us depend on the reporting of journalists about the best ideas for maintaining—and improving—our patchwork school systems nationwide.

One of the biggest challenges reporters face is the ever-growing diversity in communities large and small. Now, our own Michigan State University Bias Busters team, under the direction of Joe Grimm—an award-winning team that has produced a long-running series of books to help understand diversity—is helping the reporters who are part of the Education Writers Association. Please, read this story about the challenges journalists face in helping all of us to improve educational opportunities—and you’ll also be able to get a free copy of the guide, if you wish. And, please, share this column with friends who work in our schools—and friends who care about our teachers and students.

BREAKING NEWS FROM AP…

Joe Grimm and the MSU Bias Busters keep us up to date on the proper way to write about our diverse world—including a new Bias Busters column this week, explaining that Associated Press has just agreed to capitalize the “B” in the term “Black.”

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And Speaking of AP …

WHY DO WE REFER TO LINCOLN’s ‘FIRE’ as ‘QUIET‘?

IN HIS ‘QUIET FIRE’ series this week, Duncan Newcomer focuses on that word “Quiet” in the title of his long-running, weekly radio series Abraham Lincoln—Quiet Fire.

In our era when politicians seem to be in competition for the loudest and longest orations, Lincoln reminds us that brevity often is the sincerest sign of heart-felt communication. Please, read this week’s story about a particularly poignant talk by Lincoln—which we only have today because an Associated Press correspondent insisted that the president jot down his remarks on a slip of paper as the presidential train pulled away from the station.

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Holidays & Festivals

Ready for Flags, Food & Fireworks?

STEPHANIE FENTON reports that home-fireworks sales are “sky high” this year! That’s because, backyard barbecues will be firing up as thousands of events nationwide turn from public to private. Most patriotic parades and festivals are cancelled this year—but that doesn’t mean that Americans aren’t holding festivities: In fact, residential fireworks sales are soaring. Please, read Stephanie Fenton’s column—which includes a prominent, helpful link to fireworks safety precautions!

What are we reading for ‘Pride Month’?

AMERICANS ARE READING, this summer, about diversity at a rate we’ve never seen! This month, Americans also are ordering books about sexuality and gender because this is LGBT Pride Month, set in June to honor the activists at Stonewall in June 1969. Susan Stitt writes about some of the great books you can get right now to explore these issues.

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Care to see all of our Holidays & Festivals columns? It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just remember the address InterfaithHolidays.com

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FAITH & FILM 

Click on this image from ‘Irresistible’ to read Ed McNulty’s review.

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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 these 10 films available for streaming now. 

  1. IRRESISTIBLE—Ed writes, “This is the delightful story of a political operative who might be too smart for himself. Director/writer Jon Stewart’s political satire does not hedge by conjuring up fictitious names of political parties, though the characters themselves are made-up. Steve Carell’s Gary Zimmer is a political consultant of the Democratic Party, and Rose Byrne’s Faith Brewster works for the Republican National Committee.” (4.5 out of 5 stars)
  2. SWEETHEART—Ed writes, “Director J.D. Dillard also co-wrote the screenplay of this tense thriller set on a desert island. The sweetheart of the title is Jenn (Kiersey Clemons), who finds herself swept up on the sandy beach of a tropical island.” (4 stars)
  3. HEARTS BEAT LOUDBecause of Kiersey Clemons’s new film Sweetheart, Ed reaches back to 2017 to recommend this earlier film in which she starred.
  4. DA 5 BLOODSEd urges viewers to see this 5-star direct-to-streaming film from Spike Lee about five Vietnam veterans.
  5. SEE YOU YESTERDAY—Ed writes, “This science fiction thriller by first-time director Stefon Bristol and his co-writer Fredrica Bailey boasts Spike Lee as one of its producers. With its ripped-from-the-headlines relevancy in regard to police brutality you might think it was made last week, but it actually was released a little over a year ago when another shooting of a black man by the police was in the headlines. Indeed, its genesis goes back even further when Bristol had made a short film and Spike Lee  helped him to expand it into its present feature length. With many #Black Lives Matter news clips interspersed throughout, the film seems like a mixture of Back to the Future, The Hate You Give and When They See Us.” (5 out of 5 stars)
  6. CURTIZ—This film about Michael Curtiz, the director of Casablanca, is full of factual errors. “Nevertheless,” Ed McNulty writes, “first-time director Tamas Yvan Topolanszky’ film, streaming on Netflix, is an interesting one thanks to a combination of excellent acting and crisp black & white photography.”
  7. REDISCOVERING ‘INSIGHT’—One of the great gems of classic TV was the Insight series produced by Paulist Productions. This week, Ed looks back at that remarkable and long-running series, which included a Who’s Who of top Hollywood talent. Through its 250 episodes, viewers saw performances by stars including Carroll O’Connor, Ed Asner, Bob Newhart, June Lockhart, Celeste Holm, Meg Tilly and Patty Duke. Best of all, Ed shares with us the YouTube link to enjoy many of these classic episodes.
  8. RETURN TO ME—Ed writes, “Director/co-writer Bonnie Hunt’s 20-year-old romantic film could easily have gone astray were it not for its solid cast and attention to details of character. The main characters—two lovers Bob Rueland and Grace Biggs, played by David Duchovny and Minnie Driver—are so appealing that we can overlook some of the film’s sentimental excess.” (4 out of 5 stars)
  9. PROLONGED EXPOSURE—This film might seem slow moving by anyone who has been misled by the false posters that imply this is an action thriller. Mr. Thoms’ insightful script is more of a character study.” (4 stars)
  10. HALA—”Writer/director Minhal Baig brings us a very unusual version of the teenager coming of age story. Who has ever filmed this from the perspective of a 17-year-old Muslim girl, daughter of strict Pakistani parents who are only half acclimated to their new country? Although the pace of the film might try the patience of some viewers, it offers a rewarding time for those concerned about a young woman on the cusp of discovering her freedom.” (4 stars)

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Cover Story: Greg Garrett Helps Us Understand Hollywood’s Role in Systemic Racism

‘A Long, Long Way: Hollywood’s Unfinished Journey from Racism to Reconciliation’

COVER STORY—There’s not a more timely book this summer for individual reading and small-group discussion than media scholar Greg Garrett’s new exploration of systemic racism in Hollywood feature films.

As global protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death continue to rattle the foundations of major institutions worldwide—one the biggest problems is the global dominance of racial imagery flowing from American studios. Why is Hollywood such a vital part of the Black Lives Matter effort to open up discussions of systemic racism? In his new book, Garrett says it’s because movies become a deeply embedded part of our own self image.

Please, read this week’s cover story and recommend this book to friends as a way to spark discussion about understanding Hollywood’s legacy of racism.

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One Solution: We’re All Producers Now!

NAJAH BAZZY:
‘Wisdom to Navigate this Tragedy’

NAJAH BAZZY’S PRAYER—Our team is overwhelmed with new columns—and videos—coming from our writers who are reaching out in positive ways through the power of social media. After all, two-thirds of Americans now support the Black Lives Matter protests (and 38 percent “strongly support” this movement) according to a June 12 Pew Research report. Are you tired of what Hollywood is broadcasting? Now, you hold a TV studio in the palm of your hand.

Last week, Zaman International founder (and CNN and People magazine hero) Najah Bazzy broadcast a prayer for George Floyd, his family—and all the men and women spreading the call for justice. She used the power of her own smartphone, coupled with the broad audience of #CNNHeroesSpeakOut. Here is her video, which you can share with others.

VICTOR BEGG: ‘God Intended Our Colorful Diversity’

VICTOR is the author of Our Muslim Neighbors: Achieving the American Dream, An Immigrant’s Memoir. He has been very active in writing about the complex challenges of embracing racial, religious and cultural diversity. He has a unique perspective because he is a Muslim, born in India, whose family has been living in the heart of diverse communities for generations. He is a veteran of using social media—and news media—to help spread his message. Victor’s latest column has appeared nationwide in newspapers and also was posted on the widely read IslamiCity web hub, headlined: “Find Source of Racial Divisiveness”.

 

ANNI REINKING: ‘We’re Breathing Racism’

ANNI is both a nationally known scholar studying the racial challenges in education and family life—and the mother of an African-American son. Like Najah and Victor, Anni reaches out in many ways through her teaching, consulting and advocacy work. She has been featured in media interviews and also has written her own wise columns, including this recent ReadTheSpirit cover story.

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Holidays & Festivals

FLAG DAY WISDOM FROM ABRAHAM LINCOLN

QUIET FIREThis week’s episode in Duncan Newcomer’s Quiet Fire series about the spiritual life of Abraham Lincoln takes us to Lincoln’s dramatic journey toward Washington D.C. in 1861. One key ceremony in that cross-country journey was the raising of a new American flag in Philadelphia.

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Click this image of Brosnan to read Susan’s column.

FATHER’S DAY IS COMING

GOOD NEWS! There’s still time to send a great gift, writes Susan Stitt in our Front Edge Publishing column this week. Susan recommends 7 books that are sure to put a smile on Dad’s face—and remind him of your thoughtfulness as he reads these stories. In fact, you just mind find that a good book sparks a great, fresh discussion with your Dad. One of Susan’s recommendation is as timely as this week’s Parade magazine cover story with James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan. Susan recommends a book that digs into the core values behind Bond’s remarkable career.

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What are we reading—
for ‘Pride Month’?

AMERICANS ARE READING, this summer, about diversity at a rate we’ve never seen! This month, Americans also are ordering books about sexuality and gender because this is LGBT Pride Month, set in June to honor the activists at Stonewall in June 1969. This week, Susan Stitt writes about some of the great books you can get right now to explore these issues. Please read Susan’s column and share these book ideas with friends.

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Celebrating 10 Years with Rodney Curtis

SURVIVING LEUKEMIAIn his always-uplifting style, Rodney Curtis writes: “My life ended ten years ago. But it’s okay; I got over it.” That major milestone a decade ago was a diagnosis of leukemia. Rodney even wrote a book about this chapter of his life: A ‘Cute’ Leukemia. This week, he looks back and thanks all the people who helped him through that year.

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Care to see all of our Holidays & Festivals columns? It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just remember the address InterfaithHolidays.com

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FAITH & FILM 

Click this photo to read Ed McNulty’s 5-star review of See You Yesterday.

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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 these 10 recommending videos available for streaming right now. 

  1. SEE YOU YESTERDAY—Ed writes, “This science fiction thriller by first-time director Stefon Bristol and his co-writer Fredrica Bailey boasts Spike Lee as one of its producers. With its ripped-from-the-headlines relevancy in regard to police brutality you might think it was made last week, but it actually was released a little over a year ago when another shooting of a black man by the police was in the headlines. Indeed, its genesis goes back even further when Bristol had made a short film and Spike Lee  helped him to expand it into its present feature length. With many #Black Lives Matter news clips interspersed throughout, the film seems like a mixture of Back to the Future, The Hate You Give and When They See Us.” (5 out of 5 stars)
  2. BOB ROBERTS—Ed reaches back to 1992 to highly recommend this political satire starring Tim Robbins.
  3. CURTIZ—This film about Michael Curtiz, the director of Casablanca, is full of factual errors. “Nevertheless,” Ed McNulty writes, “first-time director Tamas Yvan Topolanszky’ film, streaming on Netflix, is an interesting one thanks to a combination of excellent acting and crisp black & white photography.”
  4. REDISCOVERING ‘INSIGHT’—One of the great gems of classic TV was the Insight series produced by Paulist Productions. This week, Ed looks back at that remarkable and long-running series, which included a Who’s Who of top Hollywood talent. Through its 250 episodes, viewers saw performances by stars including Carroll O’Connor, Ed Asner, Bob Newhart, June Lockhart, Celeste Holm, Meg Tilly and Patty Duke. Best of all, Ed shares with us the YouTube link to enjoy many of these classic episodes.
  5. RETURN TO ME—Ed writes, “Director/co-writer Bonnie Hunt’s 20-year-old romantic film could easily have gone astray were it not for its solid cast and attention to details of character. The main characters—two lovers Bob Rueland and Grace Biggs, played by David Duchovny and Minnie Driver—are so appealing that we can overlook some of the film’s sentimental excess.” (4 out of 5 stars)
  6. PROLONGED EXPOSURE—This film might seem slow moving by anyone who has been misled by the false posters that imply this is an action thriller. Mr. Thoms’ insightful script is more of a character study.” (4 stars)
  7. HALA—”Writer/director Minhal Baig brings us a very unusual version of the teenager coming of age story. Who has ever filmed this from the perspective of a 17-year-old Muslim girl, daughter of strict Pakistani parents who are only half acclimated to their new country? Although the pace of the film might try the patience of some viewers, it offers a rewarding time for those concerned about a young woman on the cusp of discovering her freedom.” (4 stars)
  8. 7500—”When a thriller, and Patrick Vollrath’s film is certainly one, begins with a Gandhi quotation, you can be sure that I will be watching with an extra amount of attention!” (4 stars)
  9. A HIDDEN LIFE—Want to learn more about courageous peacemakers? “Terrence Malick raises important questions about faith and loyalty to one’s country versus loyalty to one’s conscience. And how do you know that you are right when most everyone else is of the opposite view? These are universal questions, applicable here today as well as in 1940s Europe.” (The Franz Jagerstatter story is streaming from Amazon; also from Netflix’s DVD service.)
  10. FORBIDDEN—”This 36-year-old TV film, directed by Anthony Page and written by Leonard Gross, is another worthy film to add to the small number that pay tribute to the too-few Germans who opposed Adolph Hitler. Like Alone in Berlin, this film is set in Berlin. It is based on the non-fiction book by Leonard Gross The Last Jews in Berlin and stars the great French actress Jacqueline Bisset as the real life Countess Maria von Maltzan.” (4.5 stars)
  11. ALONE IN BERLIN—”Most WW 2 era films about resistance to Nazi tyranny are set in France, Poland, or some other occupied country, so Vincent Perez’s story of a middle-aged German couple becoming disillusioned with Hitler is most welcome. Based on Hans Fallada’s novel Jeder stirbt für sich allein (Every Man Dies Alone), it is a fictionalized version of what happened to the real-life Otto and Elise Hampel.” (4.5 stars)

 

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Cover Story: What now? Dr. Anni Reinking reminds us ‘It’s Not Just Black and White’

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s staff provided this photo of her overseeing the two-block-long mural she had painted not far from the White House.

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What can we do, now?

ANNI REINKING is a researcher and educational consultant with a specialty on the racial dynamics shaping the lives of children and families. This week, she reminds us of two important truths. First, Americans have been “breathing” the air of racism for decades. This traumatic moment since the death of George Floyd is an opportunity to recognize that hard truth—and begin to clear the air. Then, second, as a teacher, author and the mother of an African-American son, she suggests several steps we all can take right now.

Please, read Part 1: What Now? Dr. Anni Reinking reminds us it’s ‘Not Just Black and White.’ This column—which includes helpful links to other scholars as well—explains the long legacy of America’s “breathing racism.” Anni also explains the problem black families face when their children suddenly face an unfair “adultification” by authority figures, including police. There’s a lot in this column to share with your friends, or your small group, to spark helpful discussion.

Then, read Part 2: Dr. Anni Reinking on ‘What can I do now? In this second column, Anni responds directly to the question so many men and women are asking today: “What can I do now?” She doesn’t claim to have the only “right” answers. Rather, she describes tried-and-true approaches she is taking with her own family, friends, co-workers and her students.

Both of these columns are published under Creative Commons, so you are free to share this material widely with friends as long as you credit Anni with this work.

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How Lincoln  Navigated These Waters

DUNCAN NEWCOMER’S QUIET FIRE COLUMN, this week, invites us to remember the occasions on which Abraham Lincoln’s presidency connected with two other powerful issues in the news this week: the concerns of African-Americans—and the Bible.

Duncan writes, “Lincoln’s life is inseparable from the Bible. Lincoln, of course, is also inseparable from the life of black people in America. It is revealing to recount some of the stories of when all three meet: Lincoln, black people and the Bible.”

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Holidays & Festivals

Juneteenth Will Be Different This Year

JUNE 19 marks a holiday largely unknown in predominantly white northern communities—but it’s a huge celebration in many towns, especially across the South and in Texas. Even before the turbulent events of 2020, interest in the holiday has been growing across that region. Texas, Oklahoma and Florida have recognized Juneteenth for many years, but, since 2010, seven other states in the region have joined them. Some northern states have followed suit, including Montana, Illinois and Maine. Read Stephanie Fenton’s story and, please, share it with friends on social media.

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What are we reading—
for ‘Pride Month’?

AMERICANS ARE READING, this summer, about diversity at a rate we’ve never seen! That’s good news for all of us who care about inclusion in our communities. CNN reported, this week, that books about race are flying off Amazon’s shelves. This month, Americans also are ordering books about sexuality and gender because this is LGBT Pride Month, set in June to honor the activists at Stonewall in June 1969. This week, Susan Stitt writes about some of the great books you can get right now to explore these issues. Please read Susan’s column and share these book ideas with friends.

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Care to see all of our Holidays & Festivals columns? It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just remember the address InterfaithHolidays.com

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Click this movie image to read Ed McNulty’s review of the 1954 classic about the lives of poor people, Salt of the Earth.

FAITH & FILM 

LIFT YOUR SPIRITS WITH STREAMING

Click this snapshot from the June 2020 issue of Visual Parables Journal to learn more about this wonderful resource for individual viewing and small group discussion.

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 these 10 recommending videos available for streaming right now. 

  1. SALT OF THE EARTH—Ed reminds us of the 1954 classic about the lives of poor people, Salt of the Earth, the subject of great controversy in that era.
  2. CURTIZ—This film about Michael Curtiz, the director of Casablanca, is full of factual errors. “Nevertheless,” Ed McNulty writes, “first-time director Tamas Yvan Topolanszky’ film, streaming on Netflix, is an interesting one thanks to a combination of excellent acting and crisp black & white photography.”
  3. REDISCOVERING ‘INSIGHT’—One of the great gems of classic TV was the Insight series produced by Paulist Productions. This week, Ed looks back at that remarkable and long-running series, which included a Who’s Who of top Hollywood talent. Through its 250 episodes, viewers saw performances by stars including Carroll O’Connor, Ed Asner, Bob Newhart, June Lockhart, Celeste Holm, Meg Tilly and Patty Duke. Best of all, Ed shares with us the YouTube link to enjoy many of these classic episodes.
  4. RETURN TO ME—Ed writes, “Director/co-writer Bonnie Hunt’s 20-year-old romantic film could easily have gone astray were it not for its solid cast and attention to details of character. The main characters—two lovers Bob Rueland and Grace Biggs, played by David Duchovny and Minnie Driver—are so appealing that we can overlook some of the film’s sentimental excess.” (4 out of 5 stars)
  5. PROLONGED EXPOSURE—This film might seem slow moving by anyone who has been misled by the false posters that imply this is an action thriller. Mr. Thoms’ insightful script is more of a character study.” (4 stars)
  6. HALA—”Writer/director Minhal Baig brings us a very unusual version of the teenager coming of age story. Who has ever filmed this from the perspective of a 17-year-old Muslim girl, daughter of strict Pakistani parents who are only half acclimated to their new country? Although the pace of the film might try the patience of some viewers, it offers a rewarding time for those concerned about a young woman on the cusp of discovering her freedom.” (4 stars)
  7. 7500—”When a thriller, and Patrick Vollrath’s film is certainly one, begins with a Gandhi quotation, you can be sure that I will be watching with an extra amount of attention!” (4 stars)
  8. A HIDDEN LIFE—Want to learn more about courageous peacemakers? “Terrence Malick raises important questions about faith and loyalty to one’s country versus loyalty to one’s conscience. And how do you know that you are right when most everyone else is of the opposite view? These are universal questions, applicable here today as well as in 1940s Europe.” (The Franz Jagerstatter story is streaming from Amazon; also from Netflix’s DVD service.)
  9. FORBIDDEN—”This 36-year-old TV film, directed by Anthony Page and written by Leonard Gross, is another worthy film to add to the small number that pay tribute to the too-few Germans who opposed Adolph Hitler. Like Alone in Berlin, this film is set in Berlin. It is based on the non-fiction book by Leonard Gross The Last Jews in Berlin and stars the great French actress Jacqueline Bisset as the real life Countess Maria von Maltzan.” (4.5 stars)
  10. ALONE IN BERLIN—”Most WW 2 era films about resistance to Nazi tyranny are set in France, Poland, or some other occupied country, so Vincent Perez’s story of a middle-aged German couple becoming disillusioned with Hitler is most welcome. Based on Hans Fallada’s novel Jeder stirbt für sich allein (Every Man Dies Alone), it is a fictionalized version of what happened to the real-life Otto and Elise Hampel.” (4.5 stars)

 

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Cover Story: We Held a National Conversation asking, How Do We Reconnect Communities?

IS YOUR COMMUNITY GROWING ONLINE? Click this “tiled” image to read our Cover Story.

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‘Nothing Is More Important than Helping People to Reconnect’

COVER STORY—“Since the start of this crisis, we are hearing from so many people that we need understanding and a place of refuge. Nothing is more important to us right now than helping people to reconnect with our communities—the communities around us, our communities of faith and culture and heritage.”

And, that’s just one of the inspiring voices we heard in a 90-minute, nationwide conversation we held with two dozen media professionals on Friday.

Please, read this cover story that spans the nation—and is packed with inspiring examples of creative outreach. Then, please share this inspiring cover story with friends.

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Bob Alper:
How a Comic Connects—Without a Standup Stage

FRONT EDGE PUBLISHING COLUMN—One major theme in the national conversation we are featuring in our cover story is the need to build creative new online options to bring people together. So, what’s an author who’s famous as a standup comic supposed to do? Trying to make people laugh—in the stony silence of streaming media—quickly fizzles.

However, like many of our authors, Bob Alper is multi-talented and he has developed two new online programs that he describes as drawing on other parts of his life: his long career as a rabbi and a writer.

Please, enjoy Bob’s story—and, note: There’s a tip at the end about how to get a free laugh from Bob via email.

Click this illustration from Pilgrim’s Progress to read Duncan Newcomer’s Lincoln column this week.

Wisdom from Abraham Lincoln

A SPECIAL ‘QUIET FIRE’—Lincoln scholar Duncan Newcomer was a key contributor to our national conversation, which is described in this week’s cover story—to the point that other writers across the connection began spontaneously lifting up small figurines and photos of Lincoln in their Zoom screens.

After years of writing about Lincoln—and recording the weekly public radio series Quiet Fire—Duncan believes that one key to Lincoln’s profound wisdom was his ability to decipher and understand spiritual truth in many voices, many tongues.

In this week’s special episode of Quiet Fire, Duncan writes about some of the eclectic inspirations that may have touched Lincoln’s spiritual life—from John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress to figures like Johnny Appleseed and Joan of Arc.

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Holidays & Festivals

Pentecost

 

The Holiday

STEPHANIE FENTON’S Holidays & Festivals column reminds us that, this year, many Christians may wind up posting photos of themselves to social media, wearing red to celebrate the ancient “birthday of the Christian church,” commonly called Pentecost.

A Poetic Meditation

BENJAMIN PRATT contributes special Pentecost poetry this year—set in a barroom. This is Benjamin’s hopeful reflection on our deeply troubling times as millions of Christians mark the ancient holiday, this year.

Care to see all of our Holidays & Festivals columns? It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just remember the address InterfaithHolidays.com

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Click this movie image to read Ed McNulty’s review of the 1954 classic about the lives of poor people, Salt of the Earth.

FAITH & FILM 

LIFT YOUR SPIRITS WITH STREAMING

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 these 10 recommending videos available for streaming right now. 

  1. SALT OF THE EARTH—Ed reminds us of the 1954 classic about the lives of poor people, Salt of the Earth, the subject of great controversy in that era.
  2. CURTIZ—This film about Michael Curtiz, the director of Casablanca, is full of factual errors. “Nevertheless,” Ed McNulty writes, “first-time director Tamas Yvan Topolanszky’ film, streaming on Netflix, is an interesting one thanks to a combination of excellent acting and crisp black & white photography.”
  3. REDISCOVERING ‘INSIGHT’—One of the great gems of classic TV was the Insight series produced by Paulist Productions. This week, Ed looks back at that remarkable and long-running series, which included a Who’s Who of top Hollywood talent. Through its 250 episodes, viewers saw performances by stars including Carroll O’Connor, Ed Asner, Bob Newhart, June Lockhart, Celeste Holm, Meg Tilly and Patty Duke. Best of all, Ed shares with us the YouTube link to enjoy many of these classic episodes.
  4. RETURN TO ME—Ed writes, “Director/co-writer Bonnie Hunt’s 20-year-old romantic film could easily have gone astray were it not for its solid cast and attention to details of character. The main characters—two lovers Bob Rueland and Grace Biggs, played by David Duchovny and Minnie Driver—are so appealing that we can overlook some of the film’s sentimental excess.” (4 out of 5 stars)
  5. PROLONGED EXPOSURE—This film might seem slow moving by anyone who has been misled by the false posters that imply this is an action thriller. Mr. Thoms’ insightful script is more of a character study.” (4 stars)
  6. HALA—”Writer/director Minhal Baig brings us a very unusual version of the teenager coming of age story. Who has ever filmed this from the perspective of a 17-year-old Muslim girl, daughter of strict Pakistani parents who are only half acclimated to their new country? Although the pace of the film might try the patience of some viewers, it offers a rewarding time for those concerned about a young woman on the cusp of discovering her freedom.” (4 stars)
  7. 7500—”When a thriller, and Patrick Vollrath’s film is certainly one, begins with a Gandhi quotation, you can be sure that I will be watching with an extra amount of attention!” (4 stars)
  8. A HIDDEN LIFE—Want to learn more about courageous peacemakers? “Terrence Malick raises important questions about faith and loyalty to one’s country versus loyalty to one’s conscience. And how do you know that you are right when most everyone else is of the opposite view? These are universal questions, applicable here today as well as in 1940s Europe.” (The Franz Jagerstatter story is streaming from Amazon; also from Netflix’s DVD service.)
  9. FORBIDDEN—”This 36-year-old TV film, directed by Anthony Page and written by Leonard Gross, is another worthy film to add to the small number that pay tribute to the too-few Germans who opposed Adolph Hitler. Like Alone in Berlin, this film is set in Berlin. It is based on the non-fiction book by Leonard Gross The Last Jews in Berlin and stars the great French actress Jacqueline Bisset as the real life Countess Maria von Maltzan.” (4.5 stars)
  10. ALONE IN BERLIN—”Most WW 2 era films about resistance to Nazi tyranny are set in France, Poland, or some other occupied country, so Vincent Perez’s story of a middle-aged German couple becoming disillusioned with Hitler is most welcome. Based on Hans Fallada’s novel Jeder stirbt für sich allein (Every Man Dies Alone), it is a fictionalized version of what happened to the real-life Otto and Elise Hampel.” (4.5 stars)

 

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Cover Story: As summer begins, we all long for sports—and the coaches who shape our lives

Why We Need Our Coaches

COVER STORY—”My concern about the forthcoming season goes far beyond athletes missing games and communities missing reasons to gather together,” writes journalist (and football coach) Martin Davis. “What I worry about most are the critical life lessons these young athletes aren’t getting from their coaches: lessons about character, humility, dedication, commitment and living for more than yourself. We are not talking about just a few privileged athletes who play football and basketball. About half of all high school students take part in athletics in some way during their teenage years.”

Please, enjoy this cover story. This is a perfect column to share with all those friends who love sports. In reading the handful of short true stories about athletes in Martin’s column—you’ll likely smile. You’ll find wisdom here. Maybe you’ll recognize yourself—or a friend—in these stories. Please, share this inspiring story with others.

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Holidays & Festivals

Memorial Day

The Holiday

STEPHANIE FENTON’S Holidays & Festivals column reminds us: “It’s Memorial Day. The unofficial start of summer in America began, less than two centuries ago, as a solemn observance for the war that had consumed more lives than any other U.S. conflict.”

ORIGINS IN THE SOUTH—In 2010, we published this restored history of Memorial Day’s origins, based on research by Yale historian David Blight. Over the past decade, this has been one of the most-Googled columns in our online magazine. Although written 10 years ago, the sources in this column are both fascinating and inspiring to this day.

There’s a surprising photo with this week’s episode of Quiet Fire. Click on this thumbnail to read Duncan’s column—and learn about this remarkable photo.

Wisdom from Abraham Lincoln

A SPECIAL ‘QUIET FIRE’—Wherever you stand on the political spectrum, we all respect Lincoln’s wisdom—and his articulation of American values. That’s why Lincoln scholar Duncan Newcomer writes: “Abraham Lincoln is the soul of America, calling us to our best as Americans.” That certainly was true as Lincoln redefined the way we all would remember the tragedy of the Civil War.

Care to see all of our Holidays & Festivals columns? It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just remember the address InterfaithHolidays.com

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Celebrating Inclusion

‘SOLUS JESUS’ WINS ERIC HOFFER AWARD

FRONT EDGE PUBLISHING, this week, is celebrating a major book award. Solus Jesus, a theological call for LGBT inclusion in Christian churches, wins the Eric Hoffer Spiritual Book Award for authors Ken Wilson and Emily Swan. “I hope the ideas of Solus Jesus will percolate in the wider Christian community for years to come,” Emily Swan said when she got the news. Want to help them spread that news of Christian inclusion? Please, read Susan Stitt’s column about this award—and share it via social media or email with friends.

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Click this movie poster to read Ed’s review of the romantic ‘Return to Me.’

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Click this image to learn more about the May issue of Visual Parables Journal.

FAITH & FILM 

INSPIRING AND SIMPLY GOOD FUN—What did Jesus look like? Sacred images of Jesus grace churches worldwide, but millions of moviegoers picture Jesus from classic films. In his book Jesus Christ, Movie Star, Ed McNulty invites readers on an inspiring journey, meeting Jesus again through a dozen big-screen stories of Christianity’s founder. His book is available from Amazon, from Barnes & Noble—and also from our own bookstore.

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LIFT YOUR SPIRITS WITH STREAMING

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 photo of Carroll O’Connor to read Ed McNulty’s column about the classic TV anthology series Insight (including a YouTube link to watch episodes).

Among Ed’s free reviews and columns are these 10 recommending videos available for streaming right now. 

  1. REDISCOVERING ‘INSIGHT’—One of the great gems of classic TV was the Insight series produced by Paulist Productions. This week, Ed looks back at that remarkable and long-running series, which included a Who’s Who of top Hollywood talent. Through its 250 episodes, viewers saw performances by stars including Carroll O’Connor, Ed Asner, Bob Newhart, June Lockhart, Celeste Holm, Meg Tilly and Patty Duke. Best of all, Ed shares with us the YouTube link to enjoy many of these classic episodes.
  2. RETURN TO ME—Ed writes, “Director/co-writer Bonnie Hunt’s 20-year-old romantic film could easily have gone astray were it not for its solid cast and attention to details of character. The main characters—two lovers Bob Rueland and Grace Biggs, played by David Duchovny and Minnie Driver—are so appealing that we can overlook some of the film’s sentimental excess.” (4 out of 5 stars)
  3. PROLONGED EXPOSURE—This film might seem slow moving by anyone who has been misled by the false posters that imply this is an action thriller. Mr. Thoms’ insightful script is more of a character study.” (4 stars)
  4. HALA—”Writer/director Minhal Baig brings us a very unusual version of the teenager coming of age story. Who has ever filmed this from the perspective of a 17-year-old Muslim girl, daughter of strict Pakistani parents who are only half acclimated to their new country? Although the pace of the film might try the patience of some viewers, it offers a rewarding time for those concerned about a young woman on the cusp of discovering her freedom.” (4 stars)
  5. THE ELEPHANT QUEEN—”Documentary filmmakers Mark Deeble and Victoria Stone treat us to some of the most beautiful and intimate shots of African elephants ever made. Shot over a 4-year period in Kenya’s Tsavo East National Park, the film focuses upon an extended family headed by the long-tusked Athena as she guides them in their quest for food and water.” (5 stars)
  6. DICKINSON—”Those of us who enjoyed A Quiet Passion might well have mixed feelings about Alena Smith’s Apple TV+’s series Dickinson. The approach is very different from that of British filmmaker/writer Terence Davies in his 2016 biopic.”
  7. COME SEE THE PARADISE—Want to learn more about the wartime treatment of Japanese-Americans? Ed gave 5 stars to this 1990 feature. “Alan Parker’s film puts human faces on the dark, tragic era of American history when an entire people were uprooted and moved inland into concentration camps. (Streaming on Amazon)
  8. A HIDDEN LIFE—Want to learn more about courageous peacemakers? “Terrence Malick raises important questions about faith and loyalty to one’s country versus loyalty to one’s conscience. And how do you know that you are right when most everyone else is of the opposite view? These are universal questions, applicable here today as well as in 1940s Europe.” (The Franz Jagerstatter story is streaming from Amazon; also from Netflix’s DVD service.)
  9. TIGERTAIL—Ed writes, “The past is not something we leave behind, but, as long as we have memory, is always with us, inside our heads and hearts. Or so writer-director Alan Yang seems to be saying in the title of his remarkably acted story centering on a failed father-daughter relationship.” (4.5 out of 5 stars)
  10. ALONE IN BERLIN—”Most WW 2 era films about resistance to Nazi tyranny are set in France, Poland, or some other occupied country, so Vincent Perez’s story of a middle-aged German couple becoming disillusioned with Hitler is most welcome. Based on Hans Fallada’s novel Jeder stirbt für sich allein (Every Man Dies Alone), it is a fictionalized version of what happened to the real-life Otto and Elise Hampel.” (4.5 stars)

 

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Cover Story: David Finnegan-Hosey Invites Congregations to Help with a Major Healthcare Concern for Millions

TSUNAMI OF NEED RISING BENEATH THE PANDEMIC

COVER STORY—America’s more than 350,000 congregations are working overtime to serve families with a wave of new online inspirational offerings—as well as tangible help including new kinds of community service and food distribution. What no one is discussing, in the midst of this crisis, is the years-long impact of the pandemic on public health as well as the medical debts families will shoulder for many years.

That’s why David Finnegan-Hosey’s new book, Grace Is a Pre-Existing Condition—Faith, Systems, and Mental Healthcare—should be in the hands of clergy and small-group leaders in congregations nationwide, right now. There is not a more timely—and uniquely focused—book for congregations this spring. The book comes from our friends at Church Publishing, the publishing arm of the Episcopal Church.

Please, read our cover story this week and share it with friends. Every one of us can help spark this important national conversation.

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Remembering Motoko

MANY OF OUR READERS sent us heart-felt notes, this week, about the passing of Motoko Huthwaite (our cover story last week), including links to additional media coverage of her remarkable life. Among the most inspiring is this video report from the TODAY show, which includes images many of us had never seen before of Motoko’s early life. (Because it’s a network show, you will have to watch a short ad first, but it’s worth the wait.)

Motoko lived through World War II as a Japanese-American—living both in the U.S. and Japan during the war—and developed a deep commitment to peacemaking that spanned the rest of her life. She is most famous for serving, after the war, in the now-famous corps of Monuments Men and Monuments Women, specializing in recovering and restoring looted cultural treasures.

Missed this story last week? Here’s a direct link to last week’s tribute to Motoko—along with other links to stories about her life. And please remember our suggestion: You can honor Motoko by ordering a copy of Friendship & Faith, which benefits the women of WISDOM, a group she strongly supported.

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HELP FOR CAREGIVERS AND THOSE WHO GRIEVE

FRONT EDGE PUBLISHING offers a variety of books to help families coping with the burdens and the grief of the COVID-19 pandemic. Susan Stitt recommends and describes four books, including our Guide for Grief, Never Long Enough and Dying Well—plus the valuable Guide for Caregivers.

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Ramadan Ends

MUSLIMS WORLDWIDE FACE AN EID—
MINUS THE CELEBRATIONS

Ramadan usually ends with the joyous festival of Eid al Fitr on May 23 this year. Please remember our many friends, neighbors and professional colleagues who are in the midst of this challenging season during the COVID-19 pandemic.

AN EID WITH NO CROWDS? In Muslim communities around the world, families are contemplating the unthinkable. No one alive today can recall an era when the celebration ending the Ramadan fast was all but cancelled. Of course, the intention of the celebration remains the same and will be observed in individual homes—but public gatherings define the Eid, so it feels as though the heart of the festivity is missing this year.

Thanks to our colleagues Stephanie Fenton—as well as Larbi Megari reporting from Algeria—we have a full story on the dramatic changes Muslim families are facing this week.

Care to see all of our Holidays & Festivals columns? It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just remember the address InterfaithHolidays.com

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Looking toward Washington

 

Wherever you stand on the political spectrum, we all respect Lincoln’s wisdom—and his articulation of American values. That’s why Lincoln scholar Duncan Newcomer writes: “Abraham Lincoln is the soul of America, calling us to our best as Americans.”

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Click this photo from the movie to read Ed’s entire review of Hala.

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Click this image to learn more about the May issue of Visual Parables Journal.

FAITH & FILM 

INSPIRING AND SIMPLY GOOD FUN—What did Jesus look like? Sacred images of Jesus grace churches worldwide, but millions of moviegoers picture Jesus from classic films. In his book Jesus Christ, Movie Star, Ed McNulty invites readers on an inspiring journey, meeting Jesus again through a dozen big-screen stories of Christianity’s founder. His book is available from Amazon, from Barnes & Noble—and also from our own bookstore.

.

LIFT YOUR SPIRITS WITH STREAMING

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 photo of Carroll O’Connor to read Ed McNulty’s column about the classic TV anthology series Insight (including a YouTube link to watch episodes).

Among Ed’s free reviews and columns are these 10 recommending videos available for streaming right now. 

  1. REDISCOVERING ‘INSIGHT’—One of the great gems of classic TV was the Insight series produced by Paulist Productions. This week, Ed looks back at that remarkable and long-running series, which included a Who’s Who of top Hollywood talent. Through its 250 episodes, viewers saw performances by stars including Carroll O’Connor, Ed Asner, Bob Newhart, June Lockhart, Celeste Holm, Meg Tilly and Patty Duke. Best of all, Ed shares with us the YouTube link to enjoy many of these classic episodes.
  2. PROLONGED EXPOSURE—Ed writes, “This film might seem slow moving by anyone who has been misled by the false posters that imply this is an action thriller. Mr. Thoms’ insightful script is more of a character study.” (4 out of 5 stars)
  3. HALA—”Writer/director Minhal Baig brings us a very unusual version of the teenager coming of age story. Who has ever filmed this from the perspective of a 17-year-old Muslim girl, daughter of strict Pakistani parents who are only half acclimated to their new country? Although the pace of the film might try the patience of some viewers, it offers a rewarding time for those concerned about a young woman on the cusp of discovering her freedom.” (4 stars)
  4. THE ELEPHANT QUEEN—”Documentary filmmakers Mark Deeble and Victoria Stone treat us to some of the most beautiful and intimate shots of African elephants ever made. Shot over a 4-year period in Kenya’s Tsavo East National Park, the film focuses upon an extended family headed by the long-tusked Athena as she guides them in their quest for food and water.” (5 stars)
  5. DICKINSON—”Those of us who enjoyed A Quiet Passion might well have mixed feelings about Alena Smith’s Apple TV+’s series Dickinson. The approach is very different from that of British filmmaker/writer Terence Davies in his 2016 biopic.”
  6. In honor of Motoko Huthwaite’s passing: MONUMENTS MEN—Ed writes, “I love it when an old genre, such as the war film is revisited from a fresh perspective–such as this George Clooney WW 2 film.” NOTE: The Clooney production, based on a best-selling book, helped to make this remarkable team world famous—but the movie focuses only on the European theater. Motoko worked in the Pacific theater. (4 out of 5 stars; rents for streaming from Amazon for as low as $2.99; also available from Netflix’s DVD service.)
  7. COME SEE THE PARADISE—Want to learn more about the wartime treatment of Japanese-Americans? Ed gave 5 stars to this 1990 feature. “Alan Parker’s film puts human faces on the dark, tragic era of American history when an entire people were uprooted and moved inland into concentration camps. (Streaming on Amazon)
  8. A HIDDEN LIFE—Want to learn more about courageous peacemakers? “Terrence Malick raises important questions about faith and loyalty to one’s country versus loyalty to one’s conscience. And how do you know that you are right when most everyone else is of the opposite view? These are universal questions, applicable here today as well as in 1940s Europe.” (The Franz Jagerstatter story is streaming from Amazon; also from Netflix’s DVD service.)
  9. TIGERTAIL—Ed writes, “The past is not something we leave behind, but, as long as we have memory, is always with us, inside our heads and hearts. Or so writer-director Alan Yang seems to be saying in the title of his remarkably acted story centering on a failed father-daughter relationship.” (4.5 out of 5 stars)
  10. ALONE IN BERLIN—”Most WW 2 era films about resistance to Nazi tyranny are set in France, Poland, or some other occupied country, so Vincent Perez’s story of a middle-aged German couple becoming disillusioned with Hitler is most welcome. Based on Hans Fallada’s novel Jeder stirbt für sich allein (Every Man Dies Alone), it is a fictionalized version of what happened to the real-life Otto and Elise Hampel.” (4.5 stars)

 

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