Cover Story: ‘Shining Brightly’ on the power of mentors to pay it forward.

A message we need now more than ever:

Howard Brown shows how paying it forward strengthens generations

IT’S A MESSAGE WE ALL NEED TO HEAR: “We’re not given life to see how much we can get—we’re given life to see how much we can give.” That’s one of the central messages that runs throughout Howard Brown’s new book, Shining Brightly, and it’s a message he delivers in TV and radio broadcasts, podcasts and public appearances nationwide. His book won’t be officially released until the Jewish High Holiday of Rosh Hashanah under the theme: New Year; New Hopes! But already Howard is crisscrossing the nation with his inspiring message and you can preorder his book from Amazon right now.

We’re devoting three weeks of ReadTheSpirit magazine to the three central themes of Shining Brightly: resiliency in the face of cancer was last week, interfaith peacemaking will come next week. This week, we’re focusing on Howard’s lifelong passion for mentorship, which he sometimes performs in a style he calls “whispering” and is a key to the entrepreneurial successes in his own life.

What do we mean by “successes”? Consider Howard’s brother Ian. These days, Ian is virtually Howard’s real brother, but their relationship began when Howard was a budding Silicon Valley entrepreneur who devoted spare time to helping a kid from a troubled family find a hopeful pathway in life. That’s little Ian, in the photo above, when Howard first became his Jewish Big Brother.

Please, read our Cover Story this week and share it with friends. Word of Warning: If you buy a copy of Shining Brightly and enjoy Howard’s stories—you’ll likely find yourself wanting to become a mentor, too (if you’re not already doing that). This is a potent book that you should consider giving as a gift to a friend or loved one who could use such a dose of resiliency, hope and strength! If you care to help in spreading this good news into the world, please start right now by visiting Amazon and pre-ordering your copy of Shining Brightly.

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And Speaking of Inspiration—

Bill Tammeus celebrates the songs of Carolyn Winfrey Gillette

AWARD-WINNING RELIGION JOURNALIST BILL TAMMEUS, author of Love Loss and Endurancehas asked his nationwide audience to help celebrate a major milestone for Christian songwriter Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. In his column, Bill writes: “One of the important sources of new Christian hymns these days is the Rev. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, a Presbyterian pastor who, with her husband, helps lead a small church in upstate New York. She has just published a new collection of her hymns in a book called I Sing to My Savior: New Hymns from the Stories in the Gospel of Luke.” For anyone who has ever sung a hymn by Gillette, this is terrific news you’ll want to share. Plus—Bill’s column includes links to Gillette’s personal website, where she has posted many of her hymns that are free for congregations to use right away.

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And we all celebrate Dr. Gushee’s milestone with Changing Our Mind

SUSAN STITT writes about the 300-review threshold on Amazon that Dr. David Gushee is likely crossing this week with his inspiring and helpful book, Changing Our MindWhy is this so important? More than numbers and stars, it’s the ever-growing number of lives that have been changed by this message.

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Holidays & Festivals

Rosh Hashanah is coming!

THIS YEAR, WE’VE GOT TWO WONDERFUL COLUMNS: First, Rabbi Lenore Bohm, author of Torah Tutor, shares a series of inspiring thoughts that you’ll want to enjoy—whatever your faith may be. Her column is a perfect preparation for the Jewish New Year but it also ends with reflective questions that all of us can benefit from asking.

Then, regular Holidays & Festivals columnist Stephanie Fenton fills in more details about the holiday, especially geared to our non-Jewish readers. And regular readers know that the gems in Stephanie’s columns are her links to other resources—in this case to some delicious recipes.

 

And, the Equinox is coming

STEPHANIE ALSO WRITES, this week, about the change-of-season milestone coming later in September.

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WANT TO SEE ALL OF THE UPCOMING HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS?—It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just remember the web address: InterfaithHolidays.com

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Click on this movie poster to read Ed McNulty’s review of the new Netflix film Trees of Peace.

Faith & Film

CLICK ON THIS IMAGE to learn more about the September 2022 issue of Ed McNulty’s Visual Parables Journal, packed with discussion guides of movies including: A Love Song, Peace by Chocolate, My Name is Sara, Breaking, Emily the Criminal and Extraordinary Attorney Woo.

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.

Here are some of Ed’s most recent free reviews and columns:

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Cover Story: Why should you read ‘Shining Brightly’? It’s a true story of cancer survivorship against long odds.

‘I met death.’

Howard Brown beat Stage IV cancer twice and now shares keys to resiliency to help others

WHY SHOULD YOU ORDER YOUR COPY OF ‘SHINING BRIGHTLY’ TODAY? This week and over the next two weeks, we are sharing with our readers the three major themes of this book, which is now available for pre-order.

The first theme is resilience in our struggles with cancer. Howard Brown is nationally known as a rare survivor of advanced Stage IV cancer—not just once, but twice! Regularly, he speaks to groups about the principles of resiliency. On a daily basis, he is a “cancer whisperer” for families facing this traumatic struggle. This is why Dr. Anna D. Barker, co-founder of the American Association for Cancer Research’s special Scientist Survivor Program, is endorsing this book for everyone touched by cancer: “As a mentor in our program, Howard motivates everyone to build mutually beneficial relationships that educate, inspire and ultimately heal. Shining Brightly offers a compelling landscape of possibilities for cancer patients, survivors and indeed anyone who wants to become their best self!”

So, this week, here are some of the resources you can share with friends and loved ones about the resiliency that can help us to survive cancer:

What are the ‘Keys to Resiliency when Confronting Cancer?Howard is freely sharing this part of the Discussion Guide for his new book, which lists 18 keys to resiliency that have proven valuable in his life and in the lives of people he has mentored through cancer. The list ends with two open slots for you and your friends to fill in during your discussion of the book, based on your own experiences. Howard also invites discussion groups to get in touch with him to share your ideas and experiences.

Then, timeless questions arise at each New Year: ‘Who shall live and who shall die?’ In this inspiring column, Howard shares how this question asked by families facing cancer is addressed directly with timeless spiritual wisdom during the Jewish high holidays. We have chosen to launch Howard’s book at Rosh Hashanah this year under the theme: New Year; New Hope. Please read and share this moving column with friends.

If you care to help in spreading this good news into the world, please start right now by visiting Amazon and pre-ordering your copy of Shining Brightly.

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Remembering—

Queen Elizabeth II

CANADIAN-AMERICAN AUTHOR LUCILLE SIDER writes about why she, and millions of others around the world, cried when the news broke that Queen Elizabeth II had died.

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Dr. Ronald J. Sider

THIS WEEK, LUCILLE SIDER also shares with us a personal remembrance of her brother—Dr. Ronald J. Sider, founder of Evangelicals for Social Action and for half a century an international voice for progressive Christianity. Ron died late this summer.

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Shahina Begg

ALL OF US ARE MOURNING THE PASSING OF SHAHINA BEGG, the wife of author and peace activist Victor Begg and a pioneering community leader in her own right. Among Shahina’s many accomplishments was the co-founding of the WISDOM women’s organization based in Michigan, which promotes friendships across religious lines. In this tribute to her life, we celebrate Sharhina’s daring life of crossing boundaries.

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Holidays & Festivals

 

The Equinox is coming (and for some Mabon)

STEPHANIE ALSO WRITES, this week, about the change-of-season milestone coming later in September.

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WANT TO SEE ALL OF THE UPCOMING HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS?—It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just remember the web address: InterfaithHolidays.com

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Click on this movie still to read Ed McNulty’s review of Three Thousand Years of Longing.

Faith & Film

CLICK ON THIS IMAGE to learn more about the September 2022 issue of Ed McNulty’s Visual Parables Journal, packed with discussion guides of movies including: A Love Song, Peace by Chocolate, My Name is Sara, Breaking, Emily the Criminal and Extraordinary Attorney Woo.

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.

Here are some of Ed’s most recent free reviews and columns:

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Cover Story: Where were you this summer? Benjamin Pratt shows us his JazZen Journey

Postcards from the Road by Benjamin Pratt …

Healing our divisions through jazz and Zen

ONE OF THE JOYS OF FALL, since the first days of school in our childhoods, has been the question: “What did you do this summer?” Well, this summer, the answers from our community of writers have been quite inspiring! So, this week, we are featuring what we might describe as colorful postcards and notes sent to us by Benjamin Pratt as he and his wife Judith traveled in the hills of Tuscany through a unique pilgrimage program called JazZen. Please, if you enjoy this story, share it with friends—and consider sending us your own inspiring letter from the road.

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Holidays & Festivals

 

Labor Day

STEPHANIE FENTON writes about some of the religious history connected with this major American holiday.

The Equinox is coming (and for some Mabon)

STEPHANIE ALSO WRITES, this week, about the change-of-season milestone coming later in September.

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WANT TO SEE ALL OF THE UPCOMING HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS?—It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just remember the web address: InterfaithHolidays.com

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From Suzy Farbman

Sarah discovers that 12 Steps are part of a life-long journey

IN HER GOD SIGNS COLUMNS, Suzy Farbman introduces us to remarkable people who face challenges in trying to make our world a better place. Our readers learn that spending a few minutes with one of Suzy’s stories makes their day a little better, as well. That’s certainly true this week as Suzy shares the story of a lifelong friend, Sarah, who wound up turning to two 12-Step programs in her long journey toward wellbeing.

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From Howard Brown

Want be part of Shining Brightly?

Watch the movie version.
(It’s less than 2 minutes!)

WE’RE EAGERLY SHARING THE GOOD NEWS about the upcoming launch of Howard Brown’s Shining Brightly—and, this week, we’re adding the book trailer. Don’t worry. It’s less than 2 minutes long!

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From Susan Stitt

What is a hybrid publisher?
We are joining with colleagues in strengthening our commitments.

SINCE THE FOUNDING OF A NATIONAL PLEDGE of “best practices” among hybrid publishers, the Independent Book Publishers Association has been monitoring our segment of the industry. Now, the IBPA and co-signers of the pledge are strengthening our commitment to helping authors produce timely, professional and successful books. Please read Susan Stitt’s new column about the latest list of principles we share with other top publishing houses across the nation.

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CLICK ON THIS IMAGE to learn more about the September 2022 issue of Ed McNulty’s Visual Parables Journal, packed with discussion guides of movies including: A Love Song, Peace by Chocolate, My Name is Sara, Breaking, Emily the Criminal and Extraordinary Attorney Woo.

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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.

Here are some of Ed’s most recent free reviews and columns:

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Cover Story: ‘Enchanting stories’ welcome us into the adventure of Howard Brown’s new ‘Shining Brightly’

‘Learn anew about the American Dream’

Please, welcome and support the debut of this inspiring memoir

THE TWO QUOTATIONS IN OUR HEADLINES, this week—”enchanting stories” and “learn anew about the American Dream”—come from the Foreword to Shining Brightly, a new memoir by Howard Brown that celebrates the resilient power of hope, friendship and family. The book’s Foreword was written by best-selling author and psychologist Dr. Robert J. Wicks, an internationally sought-after expert on building resilience as we try to cope with life’s traumas.

Right now, we already are promoting this book that will be released officially at Rosh Hashanah this year in late September. That’s perfect timing because this is an uplifting vision of new hope that is perfect for a new year. So, this week, we are encouraging all of our readers to visit Amazon and order your copy either in paperback or hardcover. If you pre-order now, your book should be on your doorstep on September 27.

In the weeks leading up to that launch, we also are going to take readers inside our publishing house for glimpses of the many ways we share such good news with the world. So, over in our Front Edge Publishing website this week, we are sharing a sample email we encourage authors to send to their readers to build excitement about a new book.

This is a perfect moment to become one of Howard’s growing global circle of friends by ordering your copy of his book.

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Bill Tammeus on …

Timely News from Rabbi James Rudin

FOR MANY DECADES, journalists who specialize in covering religious diversity have known Rabbi James Rudin as a wise and helpful interpreter of global news events. In this review of Rabbi Rudin’s new book, The People in the Room, author and journalist Bill Tammeus writes about the urgency of Rudin’s concern about the current rise in hatred. “How Christian-Jewish relations play out on Main Street America is now more decisive and important than ever,” Rudin writes. At age 87, Rabbi Rudin still is an important voice guiding community leaders and peacemakers.

And another tip for the peacemakers in our community of readers: This is a timely moment to order your own copy of Bill Tammeus’s own memoir—and his approach to “unplugging extremism.” It’s available from Amazon, titled: Love, Loss and Endurance: A 9/11 Story of Resilience and Hope in an Age of AnxietyThis week, we just learned that Bill’s memoir was nominated for the prestigious Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award. We won’t know if Bill won the prize until October 1, but the nomination is a significant honor.
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Holidays & Festivals

Paryushan

HOLIDAYS COLUMNIST STEPHANIE FENTON, this week, brings us the story of Paryushan, the most important festival in the Jain religious calendar.

Labor Day

STEPHANIE FENTON also writes, this week, about some of the religious history connected with this major American holiday.

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WANT TO SEE ALL OF THE UPCOMING HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS?—It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just remember the web address: InterfaithHolidays.com

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CLICK ON THIS LOGO to read Ed McNulty’s special column highlighting two of Leonard Cohen’s most memorable spiritually themed songs. One of Ed’s recommendations is especially timely as we approach the Jewish High Holy Days in late September.

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Faith & Film

Click on this movie still to read Ed McNulty’s review of the delightful new South Korean series Extraordinary Attorney Woo.

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.

Here are some of Ed’s most recent free reviews and columns:

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Cover Story: Reflecting on our lives as Elul prepares us for New Year 5783

Illustration generated by AI via DALL-E 2

Elul reveals not what we want but what we need: spiritual grounding.

RABBI LENORE BOHM wrote our Cover Story this week, reflecting on an annual milestone that most of our readers overlook—Elul, the final month of the Jewish year. Rabbi Bohm’s thoughtful column reaches out across religious boundaries. All of us can learn lessons from Elul, which “is about widening our horizons and releasing our dis-eases and our mis-takes.” As summer draws toward its close and a busy autumn looms on the horizon, please enjoy this column and share it with friends via social media or email.

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Dr. David Gushee—

Four opportunities to join Dr. Gushee online

THIS WEEK, Dr. David Gushee is inviting all of our readers to join him at upcoming events. The author of the best-selling call for the inclusion of LGBTQ Christians, Changing Our Mind, writes: “The following are events where you might enjoy finding a new network of people, organizations you want to support, and insights and information that will bring light to your life.”

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Suzy Farbman—

A love born in sharing spiritual adventures

IN HER GOD SIGNS COLUMN, this week, Suzy Farbman introduces us to Ross Quigley, a former monk, and the love of his life, Suzanne Duca, whose relationship now includes bringing the best of Americana music to intimate crowds.

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Click on this movie still to read Ed McNulty’s review of the documentary, Hallelujah—Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song.

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Click this image to learn more about the August 2022 issue of Visual Parables Journal, offering complete discussion guides to films that include Everything Everywhere All at Once, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, Resurrection and Vengeance.

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.

Here are some of Ed’s most recent free reviews and columns:

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Let’s circle the globe, asking: How can our world move from ‘I’ to ‘We’?

From Ukraine and Scotland to India and Detroit, Michigan—

Enjoy this multimedia reminder of our global connections!

Sharon Buttry and Ukraine—’The Myriad Roles of Women’

SHARON and her husband DAN BUTTRY are longtime friends of our publishing house. Check out Dan Buttry’s Amazon Author Page to learn more about their shared efforts on global peacemaking. This week, Sharon has completed an inspiring painting and online column about solidarity with the women of Ukraine. Please visit the Buttrys’ Global Peace Warrior website to see Sharon’s remarkable work.

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Rodney Curtis and Scotland—a union and a reunion

RODNEY CURTIS is one of our most popular authors, columnists and photographers over the past decade. Check out Rodney’s Amazon Author Page to learn more about his books. This week, he’s telling us—and showing us—about highlights of his family’s recent sojourn in Scotland for a union of families in a Scottish castle. Please enjoy this column—and gorgeous photos—at Rodney’s website.

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MSU Bias Busters and India—Let’s help stop anti-Sikh treatment in the U.S.

THIS WEEK, Michigan State University School of Journalism Bias Busters founder Joe Grimm writes about the timely need for all of us to help stop anti-Sikh bigotry that is cropping up in the U.S. this summer. This award-winning Bias Busters team of journalism students just recently published their 19th guidebook, 100 Questions and Answers about Sikh Americans. Please, read Joe Grimm’s column about recent troubling cases involving the treatment of Sikhs in the U.S.

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MSU Bias Busters and Detroit—How can our world move from ‘I’ to ‘We’?

YOU’LL DEFINITELY ENJOY this short video from Michigan State University School of Journalism’s Joe Grimm that shows the Rev. Robert Jones demonstrating the roots of the famous protest song We Shall Overcome. Jones leaves us with the question: How can our world move from “I” to “We”? This is a video you’ll want to share with friends this week.

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Suzy Farbman and Detroit—The Arts of the Cass Corridor

THE JEWISH NEWS has just published a profile of our columnist and author Suzy Farbman, focusing on her new book Detroit’s Cass Corridor and Beyond. “This is the story of the art world I knew,” Suzy tells journalist Suzanne Chessler. And, please, we also invite you to check out Suzy’s newest book on Amazon.

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Holidays & Festivals

Krishna Janmashtami

AND ON AUGUST 18Across India and in Hindu communities worldwide, celebrations of Lord Krishna are planned—including, in some cities, those amazing human pyramids that are unique to this holiday.

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Book Birthdays

PUBLISHERS and AUTHORS CELEBRATE “BOOK BIRTHDAYS,” the anniversaries of our books’ debuts. Among our August book birthdays are several that continue to be popular with readers.

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WANT TO SEE ALL OF THE UPCOMING HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS?—It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just remember the web address: InterfaithHolidays.com

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august visual parables

Click this image to learn more about the August 2022 issue of Visual Parables Journal, offering complete discussion guides to films that include Everything Everywhere All at Once, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, Resurrection and Vengeance.

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.

Here are some of Ed’s most recent free reviews and columns:

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Cover Story: What are the Big Five publishers? And why does it matter if they become the Big Four?

What’s behind the Penguin Random House purchase of Simon & Schuster?

As Book Sales Rise, Could Authors’ Access Shrink?

COVER STORY—When we founded our publishing house in 2007, we were determined to rank among the hundreds of mid-sized “independent publishers” in the U.S.—because our staff and our authors wanted the freedom to publish books that might never climb over the hurdles set up by the Big Five publishers. Now, in 2022, a landmark court case will determine whether the Big Five can increase their power by becoming the Big Four. In our Cover Story, Editor David Crumm outlines the essential issues at stake and provides links to further reading about this milestone in book publishing. Please, read this story and share it with friends via social media and email.

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From our writers—

Martin Davis

Remembering Vin Scully

MARTIN DAVIS, author of 30 Days with America’s High School Coaches, is an expert journalist at covering all aspects of sports. He also writes for the Editorial page of The Free-Lance Star in Virginia. Last week, he published a moving remembrance of the veteran sportscaster Vin Scully. As Martin puts it, Scully “plumbed the human experience and nurtured our hearts, imaginations, and emotions from places most people who listened would never visit.

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Victor Begg

Faiths vary on start of life

THANKS TO OUR LONG-TIME COLUMNIST—and the author of Our Muslim Neighbors—Victor Begg, the IslamiCity online magazine has published his overview of basic concepts of “the start of life” from a number of religious traditions. The current political upheavals in the U.S. about abortion are largely based on various Christian assumptions. Victor provides a broader perspective. Please, read his column and share it with friends.

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Holidays & Festivals

Raksha Bandhan

AND ON AUGUST 11Across India and in Hindu communities worldwide, the sacred bonds between brothers and sisters are honored on Raksha Bandhan.

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Book Birthdays

PUBLISHERS and AUTHORS CELEBRATE “BOOK BIRTHDAYS,” the anniversaries of our books’ debuts. Among our August book birthdays are several that continue to be popular with readers—and this is a great opportunity for us to remind everyone of these valuable volumes:

With the MSU School of Journalism Bias Busters’ team, in August 2018, we published 100 Questions and Answers About Police Officers. This guide has sections on training and  certification, special assignments, police culture, use of force, community policing, police jargon and police funeral etiquette. All the guides in this series are designed to help improve relationships across communities.

Earlier, in 2016, with the Bias Busters and their professor Joe Grimm, we published To My Professor. Teaching college is difficult and this book has some potential solutions. More than 50 chapters cover situations including expectations, communication, technology, race, gender and religion, mental and physical health. This is a perfect gift for the young person in your life who is heading off to college this fall.

Then, in August 2017, we published a book that has helped readers around the world learn more about American History Made Easy. This overview of American history was developed by veteran English as a Second Language instructor Kathleen Gripman to help men and women attain this crucial educational milestone. What began as a book primarily for ESL students also has become a popular choice for anyone who quickly wants to learn about the broad sweep of American history.

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WANT TO SEE ALL OF THE UPCOMING HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS?—It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just remember the web address: InterfaithHolidays.com

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Click on this photo to read Ed McNulty’s review of the new Showtime series, The First Lady.

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.

Here are some of Ed’s most recent free reviews and columns:

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