Cover Story: In a world of conflict, Dr. Gustavo Parajón shows us a better way to live

A New Book with Leadership Lessons We All Can Use

COVER STORY: In an era when a Russian dictator can declare a war that kills thousands—and when angry political factions around the world routinely touch off deadly violence—millions of us are wondering: Is there a better way to live?

Indeed, there is: We can look to the life of Gustavo Parajón (1935-2011), a Nicaraguan doctor and pastor whose life as a courageous peacemaker unfolds in a new biography Healing the World—Gustavo Parajón, Public Health and Peacemaking Pioneer. 

Our Cover Story this week is a conversation with the book’s co-authors, one in the U.S. and one in Nicaragua, about life lessons we all can learn from Parajón’s deep love of the people he met each day. Please, read this story and share it with friends via social media and email. At the end of this new story, we also feature links to four videos about Parajón to enjoy and share, as well.

.

.

‘Shining Brightly’

Howard Brown’s new book is a chorus of 365 voices

INSPIRATION FOR EACH DAY OF THE YEAR—Need a boost each morning—a kick-start message to encourage you to get out there and become active in your community? This month, Howard Brown and 364 other inspiring writers are launching The Art of Connection, a day-by-day reader that you can start anytime you feel you need a bit of encouragement to engage others in positive ways.

.

.

Holidays & Festivals

Lunar New Year of the Rabbit

Holidays & Festivals columnist Stephanie Fenton reports on one of the world’s biggest festivals: the Lunar New Year celebrated in China and many other Asian nations—as well as in Asian communities around the world. Among the questions she answers is: If this is the Year of the Rabbit, why are we showing an illustration of a lion?

.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

NOW MORE THAN EVERWe all need to be aware of the rising tide of antisemitism, a problem that Stephanie Fenton points out in this week’s column about this global observance, marked each year on January 27.

AND, FOR MORE ON WHAT EACH OF US CAN DO: Journalist and author Bill Tammeus has written and spoken extensively about Holocaust education. In this recent column, Bill writes about the 30th anniversary of the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education as well as other resources you may want to check out. (And, if you read that column, you will find Bill’s review of the new Gustavo Parajón biography right after Bill’s Holocaust coverage.)

.

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

.

.

.

CLICK ON this movie poster to read Ed McNulty’s review of the Guillermo Del Toro movie.

Click on this image to learn more about the January 2023 issue of film critic Ed McNulty’s Visual Parables Journal. In this issue are complete faith-and-film discussion guides to movies, including Avatar: The Way of Water, Babylon, I Heard the Bells and The Whale.

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:

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Cover Story: In an era when hateful lies parade as truths, we need ‘The Arc of Truth—The Thinking of Martin Luther King Jr.’

Marking the Meaning of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday

COVER STORY—In a world where flat-out lies are celebrated as “alternative truths” and a rising tide of racist and antisemitic myths are paraded as “a matter of opinion” by certain celebrities—we all should read and share with friends: The Arc of Truth—The Thinking of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Dr. Lewis V. Baldwin. This week’s Cover Story is an interview with Dr. Baldwin—a long-time King biographer who writes about the urgency of Dr. King’s message today. Please read our cover story and share it with others via social media and email.

.

How are you marking the 2023 Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?

Holidays & Festivals expert Stephanie Fenton has found a whole host of helpful information for our readers, including tips about finding King events nationwide and even a recipe for one of Dr. King’s favorite desserts!

.

Ethiopian Christian Festival

UN calls Timkat as part of our ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’

Holidays & Festivals columnist Stephanie Fenton reports on the colorful Ethiopian festival marking the baptism of Jesus.

.

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

.

..

Calling All Authors—

What Is Amazon Doing to Its Author Pages?

THIS WEEK, Susan Stitt, David Crumm and author Howard Brown report on Amazon’s dramatic changes to Author Pages featured within the retail giant’s website. If you are an author—or you like to follow favorite authors online—you will want to read this column and share it with friends.

.

.

.

Click on this image to learn more about the January 2023 issue of film critic Ed McNulty’s Visual Parables Journal. In this issue are complete faith-and-film discussion guides to movies, including Avatar: The Way of Water, Babylon, I Heard the Bells and The Whale.

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:

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Cover Story: Tamron Hall broadcasts the inspiring story of ‘Struck by Hope’

You’ll enjoy this video, which already has drawn millions of viewers

To kick off 2023 with a dose of inspiration, Emmy-winning journalist Tamron Hall featured Jeanine Patten-Coble on her ABC-network talk show. Jeanine is the author of Struck by Hope, which tells the remarkable story of her nonprofit: Little Pink Houses of Hope, which helps families struggling with cancer.

After the Tamron show aired, the YouTube version of the story is drawing more viewers. We have that video for you to enjoy—and to share with friends who could use a dose of hope this January.

.

.

Want to do some good in the world yourself?

Contact Sharon Buttry and help war-torn Ukrainian families

Global peace activist and artist Sharon Buttry launches a project to spread awareness of and assistance to war-torn families in Ukraine. She calls it “artful prayer and prayerful art.

.

.

Try carrying ‘Hope’ with you, each day

Roger Babson carried words of ‘Good Cheer’ in his pockets

IN HIS COLUMN THIS WEEK, Howard Brown kicks off 2023 with potent words full of hope—from the wisdom of his mentor, Babson College founder Roger Babson.

.

.

In the News—

Tammeus reviews new Parajón memoir: ‘Can help shape young lives today’

Award-winning journalist Bill Tammeus reviews the upcoming biography Healing the World and especially urges younger readers to pick up this inspiring biography of Gustavo Parajón.

.

.

Also in the News—

Coverage of MSU’s stereotype-busting book project.

MSU’s Bias Busters combat bigotry one book at a time

Our community of writers and readers was pleased, as January 2023 dawned, to read coverage of MSU Professor Joe Grimm’s Bias Busters team in the mid-Michigan-based news journal called City Pulse.

.

.

And from Baptist Global News—

Dr. Gushee ranks among the world’s most-read Christian writers

HELPING THOUSANDS OF INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES—Among columns published internationally in 2022, Baptist Global News (BGN) finds that Dr. David Gushee ranks among the most-read writers. This column has links to the BGN report, to Dr. Gushee’s most popular BGN column in 2022 and to two of Dr. Gushee’s most influential books.

.

.

Holidays & Festivals

How are you marking the 2023 Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?

Holidays & Festivals expert Stephanie Fenton has found a whole host of helpful information for our readers, including tips about finding King events nationwide and even a recipe for one of Dr. King’s favorite desserts!

.

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

.

..

.

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:

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Cover Story: Remembering our past prepares us to build a healthier future.

Marking the Centennial of the Rosewood Massacre

Let’s launch a new era of care for people in need.

TO START 2023, author and pastor Henry Brinton writes about the centennial of the Rosewood Massacre, January 1-7, 1923. Remembering this traumatic tragedy might help spark a renewed commitment to compassion and justice in our New Year. Please, after reading this story, share it with friends via social media and email.

.

.

What difference can 1 person make?

Gustavo Parajón showed us how to multiply the power of justice.

Each week in January 2023, our Read The Spirit online magazine will be publishing inspiring true stories from Gustavo’s life. In this short video, the book’s co-author Daniel Buttry tells about one such moment in which a seemingly small intervention by Gustavo spurred people toward courageous action.

Want to encourage peacemaking in 2023? Start by pre-ordering your own copy of this inspiring book about Gustavo’s courageous life as a prophetic public health and faith leader. (There’s an easy Amazon link in this column.) Then, share this column, along with its short video, with friends, as well. These good deeds only take a few moments and you’ve already started on your 2023 peacemaking resolution!

.

.

From Suzy Farbman—

The remarkable life of Shelley Golden

IN HER FIRST GOD-SIGNS column of 2023, Suzy writes about her friend Shelley Golden, who died in December. She begins: “Our friend Shelley was so full of wit, grit, dazzle and spunk, I can’t come close to describing the supernova she was. But I owe it to her to try.”
.

.

Holidays & Festivals

Please help us fine tune our 2023 calendar!

Holidays & Festivals expert Stephanie Fenton is internationally known for her reporting on major holidays, festivals and milestones that shape community life around the world. After 15 years as our Holidays & Festivals columnist, Stephanie’s work is widely shared by individuals, nonprofits and institutions (including by interfaith chaplains). We welcome that!

As we publish the 2023 list of holidays and festivals, please look over this calendar and alert us if you have questions or if you wish we would add a milestone close to your heart.

It’s simple to find these columns. Just go to the master year-long calendar via InterfaithHolidays.com

 

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

.

..

.

 

.

Click this image to read Ed McNulty’s review of The Whale.

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:

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

COVER STORY: ‘Hope!’ That’s the one-word headline for the Best Stories of 2022.

Our annual ‘Best of the Year’ Issue

We all can give a dose of ‘HOPE’ to friends by sharing these stories.

FOR OUR COVER STORY—IN THE FINAL WEEK OF EACH YEAR, your faithful editor David Crumm reserves the front page of Read the Spirit magazine to look back over the previous 12 months and share links to those stories that sparked the most reader interest, the most communal conversations and the most all-around joy. Often, we have limited this to the year’s “10 Best” but this year, so many wonderful stories have touched readers’ lives that we are sharing a few more than 10.

Want to increase the sheer amount of hope in the world right now? Choose a couple of stories from the following list to share with friends via social media and email!

And, here’s the 2022 ‘Best’ List!


Suzy Farbman—

Every year, the columnist who is most consistently celebrated by our readers month after month is Suzy Farbman, whose God Signs columns introduce us to inspiring men and women doing remarkable things. Among her dozens of columns this year, there were two that especially stood out:

Celebrating the creative life that sprang from Detroit’s First Generation Cass Corridor Artists Suzy describes this story as: “How we invited Detroit’s first avant-garde art movement into our home.” It’s an introduction to Suzy’s new, beautifully illustrated coffee table book about her passion for Detroit and the fine arts.

An entire community contributes to bringing golf pioneer Ann Gregory’s life to the screen in “Playing Through” Readers were fascinated by this story of the first Black woman to play in a U.S. Open.


Stephanie Fenton—

Every single week of every year since 2007, Stephanie Fenton has chronicled the holidays, festivals and other milestones that define our communities around the world. This year, as always, we heard from loyal readers who share her columns with others. A chaplain at an East Coast hospital shares Stephanie’s stories with his staff to encourage cultural sensitivity. A cluster of churches near Seattle post links to Stephanie’s columns in a quarterly newsletter they share. Why are readers so intrigued by her coverage? Two main reasons: First, Stephanie celebrates diversity (examples include her Halloween Trio, her Haile Selassie, and her Declaration of the Bab columns). Second, Stephanie enjoys collecting valuable links to DIY crafts, activities and recipes (check out her Raksha Bandhan and her Lammas columns).


Martin Davis—

Journalist and author Martin Davis surprises readers with his columns on a wide range of issues. Now that Martin is the Editor of the Fredericksburg, VA, newspaper’s editorial page, we sometimes share links to his Fredericksburg columns on our magazine’s front page—and Martin occasionally shares columns by our other authors in his newspaper section. In 2022, Martin wrote two columns for us that stood out in the level of enthusiastic reader response we received at our home office:

Martin Davis shows us how great high school coaches shape the lives of millions of young Americans This column introduced Martin’s new book, 30 Days with America’s High School Coaches.

Feeding mind, body and spirit by ‘falling love with cooking again’ About once every year, Martin writes something about food and our readers always find those stories—delicious!


Howard Brown—

IN THE SECOND HALF OF 2022, Howard Brown began appearing as a weekly columnist in Read the Spirit, coinciding with the debut of his inspiring memoir Shining Brightly. Because “Hope” is a central theme of his new book—how to recover your own sense of hope and share it with others—he instantly became one of our most-shared columnists. Among his most talked about columns:

What am I thankful for this year? Millions of families like ours that don’t let disability keep anyone from the Thanksgiving table Howard’s columns are widely shared because he always tries to add valuable information that can help individuals and their families, as in this Thanksgiving column.

And the same is true in the following column: Howard Brown’s New Year’s Resolution: Kicking cancer is a team sport, so let’s all get involved.


Dr. David Gushee—

ONE VALUE shared by all of our writers is the goal of helping others. Our publishing house’s founding motto is “Good media builds healthy community.”

That is especially true of this column by Dr. David Gushee: The success of Dr. David Gushee’s ‘Changing Our Mind’ is measured in 25,000 lives inspired

Another major milestone was: ‘Introducing Christian Ethics’ welcomes us with multimedia storytelling We could have included a number of Dr. Gushee’s 2022 columns in this year-end “Best” roundup, because his compassionate voice consistently touches lives in a way that leads people to share his writing. However, this second Dr. Gushee headline actually was written by Ken Wilson—explaining why Dr. Gushee’s new book Introducing Christian Ethics is so important today.


Rabbi Lenore Bohm—

IN 2022, we launched Rabbi Lenore Bohm’s Torah Tutor: A Contemporary Torah Study Guide and Rabbi Bohm also contributed a series of columns on Jewish holidays and milestones.

One of her most timely holiday columns touched readers around the world: Passover’s power to inspire action—This year, we will be thinking of Ukraine Her contemporary rewording of Dayenu in this column summoned our collective heartbreak over the tragic Russian invasion of Ukraine—and focused Dayenu as a pledge of promoting peace and justice wherever we may live.


E. Stanley Jones—

AND SPEAKING OF PEACEMAKERS—Suddenly in 2022—thanks to author John E. Harnish’s research and writing of 30 Days with E. Stanley Jones—men and women nationwide rediscovered an evangelist with a uniquely inclusive vision of the world. Jones’ approach to welcoming colleagues from other faith traditions certainly was “unique” for his era, which is why he wound up playing a key role in connecting the wisdom of Gandhi with the young Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Here’s the story that introduced Harnish’s new book about Jones: Can the prophetic voice of E. Stanley Jones revive a life-giving love of Jesus?


Benjamin Pratt—

SINCE WE PUBLISHED Benjamin Pratt’s first book Ian Fleming’s Seven Deadlier Sins and 007’s Moral Compass in 2008, Benjamin has consistently been one of our most beloved columnists. His style varies widely from prayers and parables to poems and even brief meditations connected with images.

One of his most-talked-about columns in 2022 was: ‘What did you do this summer?’ Benjamin Pratt sends us postcards from his JazZen Journey

AND SPEAKING OF JAZZ—Benjamin Pratt is not alone in his taste of music. There are several jazz lovers among our publishing house staffers, so one of our special pleasures in 2022 was featuring this Cover Story about a new biography of jazz pioneer Mary Lou Williams, headlined: Deanna Witkowski invites us to immerse ourselves in the spiritual jazz of Mary Lou Williams


Native Americans—

COLLECTIVELY IN 2022, our writers shared an interest in emerging Native American stories, since across North America there is a fresh effort by American and Canadian leaders to address unresolved injustices.

The single story that drew the most reader interest was a story by Carol Trembath about the Native American women known as Water Walkers. Carol Trembath on a Native Perspective on the Spiritual Wonders of Water 


Brian McLaren—

WHEN WE WRITE ABOUT “OUR COMMUNITY OF WRITERS” we include a wide circle of friends who have been supporters of our publishing efforts over many years. One of those friends is best-selling author Brian McLaren who writes and speaks frequently about themes close to the hearts of our publishing house. Brian is a man of deep faith who understands the importance of asking the hard questions about truth and justice in our troubled world.

We were pleased, this year, to feature a Cover Story with Brian, headlined: Brian McLaren asks ‘Do I Stay Christian?’ Then, he explains why that question is so urgent in our world.


Laura Smith—

COMING IN 2023 is our publishing house’s first cozy mystery by Georgia-based author Laura Smith.

Our preparatory work with Laura in 2022 sparked a column that has been widely shared by mystery fans and prospective authors since this headline appeared: What is a cozy mystery? And how can I write a cozy mystery? 


Edward McNulty—

AT THE BOTTOM OF EACH  WEEKLY ISSUE of Read the Spirit is our Faith & Film section, which is the realm of long-time film critic Edward McNulty. His specialty for many years has been helping readers to see the connections between our spiritual roots and the movies that debut each month. Two of Ed’s most popular columns in 2022 were reflections on a documentary about the late Leonard Cohen’s most famous song, Hallelujah. Those two columns were headlined:

Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song  

AND: Some Thoughts on Two Leonard Cohen Songs


Now What?

ONE OF OUR MOST VALUABLE BOOKS for the millions of Americans grappling with issues related to aging is called Now What? A Guide to the Gifts and Challenges of Aging

In 2022, we published a free chapter of that book under a headline that caught the eyes of readers around the world: ‘Now What?’ Join a congregation. Research shows that simple step encourages health and wellbeing.


Have a Happy (and Safe) New Year!

AND PLEASE COME BACK TO ENJOY OUR JANUARY 2, 2023, first issue of the new year!

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

COVER STORY: Remembering that holiday spirits range from fluffy, happy clouds to dark nights

For millions, the simple joys of the season are muted by somber memories.

‘GUIDE FOR CAREGIVERS’ AUTHOR BENJAMIN PRATT reminds us that dark memories can resurface at the holidays for many people—and that healing from grief and trauma can be a very, very long journey. Please read his thoughtful column, which includes his sage advice about coping with grief. And, there’s more: Ben closes his column with a short music video you won’t want to miss.

.

And from Bill Tammeus—

‘Even scientists find that religion has many benefits’

FOLLOWING ON BEN PRATT’S COLUMN, veteran religion reporter Bill Tammeus reports on the growing scientific consensus that being part of “a church, synagogue or temple” contributes to our health, wellbeing and lifespan.

Bill’s new reporting echoes a cover story we published in October in Read the Spirit, which points to even more research on the health benefits of congregations.

.

.

Holidays and Festivals

 

Merry Christmas X 3!

IT’S CHRISTMAS WEEK so we decided to share with you three of the favorite Christmas stories we have received from our writers over the years. We selected two from 2020 and one that just popped into your “inbox” this very week. There’s definitely some thoughtful Christmas wisdom in:

So, what’s Christmas all about? The wisdom of Linus, Everett Dagué and 1 in 4 Americans This 2020 column by Martin Davis captures the enduring power of Christmas—even for the 1 in 4 Americans who don’t have any “religious affiliation” these days.

Duncan Newcomer’s Abraham Lincoln Quiet Fire—’A Christmas Carol’ with Abraham Lincoln This 2020 column by Lincoln scholar Duncan Newcomer combines two of the all-time favorite themes of our Read the Spirit team: Abraham Lincoln and holidays. (Plus, you can’t beat a column where the Ghost of Thomas Jefferson makes a cameo appearance.)

The Spiritual Wanderer’s Holiday Wish This brand new December 2022 column was written by Rodney Curtis—the photographer and author sometimes known as “The Spiritual Wanderer”—and his collaborator: Artificial Intelligence. No kidding! AI wrote half of the column. Check it out!

.

.

Hanukkah lights are glowing

RABBI LENORE BOHM explores the Jewish legacy of greetings for holidays, festivals and special occasions in our life. Perhaps, she argues, “Happy” isn’t the most meaningful word to choose.

STEPHANIE FENTON writes about Hanukkah customs and, as always, provides links to DIY crafts you can enjoy at home as well as delicious recipes. One link points to 14 different latke recipes!

.

.

Making Your New Year’s Resolutions?

Include Kicking Cancer! 

If we all get involved, beating cancer can be: ‘In the bag!’

HOWARD BROWN shares the latest news about the need—especially right now—to encourage our loved ones to get involved in cancer screening and donations. He includes a dramatic, inspiring story you can share with others to help get them involved. After all, as Howard knows all too well: Kicking cancer is a team sport!

.

PLEASE, ‘GIVE THE GIFT OF WISDOM, HOPE AND RESILIENCE’—

IN THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, PLEASE check out our 2022 Holiday Gift Guide featuring great choices for Hanukkah and Christmas giving. If you act now, there’s still time to receive these books to make your friends and loved ones smile at the holidays.

.

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

.

..

.

 

Click on this movie still to read Ed McNulty’s review of “The Fablemans.”

.

Click on this image to learn about the December issue of Ed McNulty’s Visual Parables Journal. To learn more about this inspiring monthly guide for individual reflection and group discussion, please read our earlier story, headlined:  Celebrate our 10th anniversary with Visual Parables by giving yourself and friends a gift of Faith & Film

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:

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Cover Story: Gustavo Parajón shows us the art and courage of peacemaking

His courage was astonishing,
then his empathy built communities

OUR WORLD DESPERATELY NEEDS TO LEARN FROM PEACEMAKERS! That’s why our publishing house is launching: Healing the World—Gustavo Parajón, Public Health and Peacemaking Pioneer. In this inspiring, true biography, readers will meet this seemingly ordinary fellow who stepped into situations that the most courageous warrior would fear—except that Gustavo Parajón was armed with his faith in his God-given talent to defuse confrontation with empathy.

TAKE HEART: This week, our Cover Story is a 3-minute video in which co-author Daniel Buttry tells about one such confrontation—and how Gustavo turned it into a moment of communal grace. Stay tuned, because we will be sharing more videos about Parajon’s remarkable and daring life in coming weeks.

THE TAKE AWAY: Yes, peace is possible, if we act together as Parajon did. Please support this effort to spread Gustavo Parajón’s wisdom around the world. Readers in North America, Central America and Europe already are pre-ordering copies via Amazon. Please join them and you’ll discover a wise model for overcoming our fears and building healthy relationships. Then, consider discussing this book with your small group.

 

Holidays and Festivals

What star are you following?

OUR LONG-TIME FRIEND, JOURNALIST JUDITH VALENTE shares this Advent-season reflection that explores wise questions raised by spiritual sages. Please enjoy and share this column with others.

.

AND THE LATIN-AMERICAN FESTIVAL OF LOS POSADASwhich celebrates the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, is back in full swing now that pandemic limitations have been lifted. Holidays & Festival columnist Stephanie Fenton has the story along with links to delicious holiday recipes.

.

The Lights of Hanukkah soon will glow

RABBI LENORE BOHM explores the Jewish legacy of greetings for holidays, festivals and special occasions in our life. Perhaps, she argues, “Happy” isn’t the most meaningful word to choose.

.

STEPHANIE FENTON writes about Hanukkah custom and, as always, provides links to DIY crafts you can enjoy at home as well as delicious recipes. One link points to 14 different latke recipes!

.

PLEASE, ‘GIVE THE GIFT OF WISDOM, HOPE AND RESILIENCE’—

IN THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, PLEASE check out our 2022 Holiday Gift Guide featuring great choices for Hanukkah and Christmas giving. If you act now, there’s still time to receive these books to make your friends and loved ones smile at the holidays.

.

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

.

And more from our community of writers—

From Suzy Farbman

A family story of love and resilience

THIS WEEK IN HER GOD-SIGNS COLUMN, Suzy Farbman introduces us to William Dash and his remarkably resilient Mom, who have lived with William’s cerebral palsy and autism for many years, focusing on the moments of joy that keep coming their way.

.

From Cordoba, Spain, to an Amish community in the American heartland

OUR WRITERS ARE ACTIVE in many media networks around the world, including the International Association of Religion Journalists (IARJ)—and a network of American educators in communication. The IARJ website includes this new story about two of our colleagues who report on a global conference of journalists in Cordoba, Spain, and on a Michigan State University Bias Busters reporting trip to learn more about Amish communities.

.

David Gushee

Why Christian extremism endangers all of us

THE POPULAR PODCASTER KNOWN AS “Unconventional Pastor Paul” interviewed Dr. David Gushee this week. Paul begins the podcast this way: “So why do people twist themselves to make their Christian ethics fit their political ideas and political desires?” Click here to see that entire podcast video and learn more about both Pastor Paul and Dr. Gushee.

.

Howard Brown

Try “leading with kindness”

THIS WEEK, Howard Brown appears on the I AM CEO podcast series that focuses on leadership and resiliency. This 17-minute podcast opens with a brief audio excerpt of Howard talking about “leading with kindness,” then unfolds as an interview with Howard. Please enjoy this podcast as a bright spot in your day, available from Apple Podcasts and from Spotify Podcasts.

..

.

.

Click on this image to learn about the December issue of Ed McNulty’s Visual Parables Journal. To learn more about this inspiring monthly guide for individual reflection and group discussion, please read our earlier story, headlined:  Celebrate our 10th anniversary with Visual Parables by giving yourself and friends a gift of Faith & Film

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:

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.