Our latest books are great gift ideas for friends and loved ones

We’re Sparking Creativity from Childhood through Old Age

Our Peacemakers Also Guide Us in Coping with Tragedy and Loss

THIS YEAR AS YOU SHOP FOR LOVED ONES, please consider some of the very timely books produced by our authors. In this Cover Story, Front Edge Publishing’s Susan Stitt describes a half dozen of these books. They are inspiring and several of them are packed with great ideas for families to explore in the new year. And, please, help all of our authors by sharing this story with friends on email and social media.

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From Our Writers

Suzy Farbman

Hard-earned Lessons from a Couple Who Survived a Tough Battle with COVID

Our God-Signs columnist returns to our magazine this week with the inspiring story of famous Indianapolis restaurateur Steve Huse and his months-long odyssey with COVID. Despite more than 100 days in a hospital, much of that time on a ventilator, Steve survived—then had to relearn basic life skills such as how to walk again. Through it all, his wife Lila rallied family and friends to boost Steve’s spirits. Now, Lila shares some of the lessons her family learned in helping to bring Steve through his life-and-death struggle.

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Mindy Corporon

How Can We Helpfully Respond after a School Shooting?

MINDY CORPORON is a nationally known advocate for the thousands of families affected by tragedies each year—drawing on hard-earned wisdom she has gathered after a terrorist attack struck her family. Now, Mindy’s life’s work has become a multi-faceted effort to share spiritual solace as well as very practical ideas for coping with trauma and loss. Her podcasts and programs already have helped men, women and young people nationwide. So, this week, when a 15-year-old gunman unleashed a shooting rampage inside a Michigan high school, Mindy immediately responded with examples of the many practical ways neighbors can respond. Please, read this timely column in our We Are Caregivers section and share it with friends.

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Bill Tammeus

In the Mysteriously Inspiring Flint Hills

JOURNALIST Bill Tammeus takes us this week to the Flint Hills. If you’ve never heard of this awe-inspiring stretch of America, here’s just one line from Bill’s column: “The plains, the Flint Hills, the prairie—these, too, are active mystery, fresh every minute.Enjoy! 

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Holidays & Festivals

Happy St. Nicholas Day!

ON MONDAY, DECEMBER 6, the man behind our beloved Santa Claus stories—St. Nicholas or Sinterklas or San Nicola—will be celebrated by Christians around the world. Our Holidays & Festivals columnist Stephanie Fenton reports on this festival, which a growing number of American Christian families are celebrating as a religious antidote to the commercialization of the Christmas holiday.

STEPHANIE ALSO REPORTS ON the start of the Western Christian Advent season, this year, on November 28. She includes a link to making a DIY Advent wreath with candles for each Sunday of Advent.

AND, she reports as well on the start of the Eastern Orthodox Nativity Fast, the traditional period of preparing for Christmas, which began even before American Thanksgiving this year.

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WANT TO SEE ALL THE UPCOMING HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS?—It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just visit  InterfaithHolidays.com

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Click on this photo to read Ed McNulty’s review of “Passing.”

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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.

THIS WEEK, Ed McNulty also adapted his coverage of the thought-provoking film Sons and Daughters of Thunder for the audience at the Presbyterian Church-USA’s international website, focusing on how the film’s themes of racial justice are directly connected to Presbyterians.

Among Ed’s free reviews and columns:

  1. PASSING—Ed writes, “Actress Rebecca Hall steps behind the camera to co-write and direct this adaptation of Nella Larsen’s 1929 Harlem Renaissance novel about two light-skinned black women able to fool a racist society by passing as white.”
  2. TED LASSO—In this column, Ed does what he does best: He draws parallels between pop culture and our spiritual traditions. In this case, Ed writes about how the popular TV series Ted Lasso could be enjoyed as a series of illustrations of Jesus’ Beatitudes.
  3. TICK, TICK … BOOM—Lin-Manuel Miranda directs Steven Levenson’s adaptation of the autobiographical one-man stage show by Rent writer Jonathan Larson.
  4. FINCH—Ed writes, “If Tom Hanks and a volley ball can hold our attention in Castaway, then how much more will this be so when you replace his buddy ‘Wilson’ with a cute dog named Goodyear and a sentient robot? Be prepared to laugh and cry while watching this dystopian film.”
  5. MIDNIGHT MASS—Ed writes, “Director Mike Flanagan’s 7-part horror series is a bloody but fascinating tale of misplaced faith, heroism and sacrifice that provides plenty of food for thought and discussion, even if it fizzles out a bit with the director/writer’s pantheistic view over-riding the Christian faith of the story’s characters. I was intrigued that a Biblical book is used for the name of each episode.”
  6. KING RICHARD—Ed gives 5 stars to this film that focuses on the father behind the Williams sisters’ careers in tennis.
  7. CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG—Ed writes, “Based on beloved Scholastic book characters, this new adventure films will be enjoyed by families looking for nonviolent but exciting entertainment.”
  8. BELFAST—”Director/writer Kenneth Branagh joins a long line of filmmakers who find rich treasure in mining their childhood experiences.
  9. THE FRENCH DISPATCH—”The director of The Grand Budapest Hotel is back, and with another film even more quirky that serves as an homage to The New Yorker Magazine.”
  10. THE HEROEd urges fans of the venerable Sam Elliott not to miss this film.

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Mark Giving Tuesday, this week, by helping the courageous, creative students in MSU’s Bias Busters team

Do a Good Deed This Week by Donating to the Work of These Remarkable Students!

THE BIAS BUSTERS TEAM CONFRONTS BIGOTRY WITH TRUTH

AS A PUBLISHING HOUSE, the Michigan State University School of Journalism Bias Busters project is one of our proudest accomplishments. Working with our long-time colleague MSU Professor Joe Grimm, we have helped a long list of MSU Journalism students research, write and publish 18 Bias Busters guides to understanding ethnic, racial, religious and gender minorities. Please, make a donation. The MSU giving interface also allows you to give your gift in honor or memory of someone you love.

This is a rare request from our publishing house team. Every Monday for 14 years, a new issue of our online magazine always has been free of charge—and will continue to be so—but today we urge our readers to mark Giving Tuesday 2021 with a donation to this important cause, the ongoing work of the MSU Bias Busters. Please follow this link—where you will learn more about the project in text and video—and can make your donation. You also can help this effort by pasting this link into your own social media or emails this week: https://givingto.msu.edu/crowdpower/support-bias-buster-guides

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From Our Writers

Bill Tammeus

Remembering Two American Tragedies

JOURNALIST Bill Tammeus is one of the nation’s most thoughtful writers about faith and American values. He is the author of Love, Loss and Endurance. Plus, he regularly writes online columns—including two in recent days that offer fresh perspectives on American tragedies. The first looks ahead to January 6 and asks: How should we commemorate the anniversary of Jan. 6? The second recalls a tragedy from 40 years ago, one that still sends chills up the spines of anyone who recalls the headlines that day. He headlines this column: Forty years later, a hard lesson in ethical behavior. Please, consider supporting Bill’s work—and enrich your own spiritual reflections—by ordering and reading a copy of Bill’s Love, Loss and Endurance. Then, share some of Bill’s wisdom with friends.

And, from Mindy Corporon

One Answer to Questions Bill Tammeus Poses

OUR AUTHORS share with us the hope that our collective work in media can help make the world a better place. One of those very active authors and public speakers is Mindy Corporon, whose memoir is Healing a Shattered SoulMindy’s current Podcast episode seems to provide one response to the troubling questions Bill raises in his two columns (linked above). Mindy headlines this podcast: Change Your Narrative with Knowledge, and her special guest for this audio conversation is Jiao Jiao Shen.

Care to learn more about Mindy’s work across many forms of media? Visit her home online for her ongoing series of podcasts and, while you’re there, click on links to follow Mindy on social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linked-in.

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Maj. Gen. James Dozier

40th Anniversary of His Kidnapping

THIS YEAR is the 40th anniversary of the kidnapping of Major General James Dozier, who survived that ordeal by Italian terrorists and wrote a memoir to highlight the spiritual and moral values that have sustained him throughout his long life. His memoir is called Finding My Pole Star. Then, as the anniversary of that international incident approaches, news reporters are looking back at Dozier’s life. Here is one news-profile of Dozier, headlined simply: Story of Service.

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Holidays & Festivals

Happy Hanukkah!

Hanukkah runs until December 6, this year. Rabbi Lenore Bohm writes about a challenge millions of families  share as we approach the year-end holidays: How do we rediscover the meaning of these festivals beneath the weight of the holiday industry? Please read her column and share it with friends.

And, Books to Guide Your Reflections

As you read Rabbi Bohm’s column, you will discover that the powerful themes she lifts up are challenges faced by millions of families all year ’round. In our Front Edge Publishing column, Susan Stitt recommends some inspiring books to help guide your reflections. Please, take a moment to check out Susan’s column as well—and share it with friends on social media.

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Christmas Is Coming

Are You Ready for St. Nicholas Day?

ON MONDAY, DECEMBER 6, the man behind our beloved Santa Claus stories—St. Nicholas or Sinterklas or San Nicola—will be celebrated by Christians around the world. Our Holidays & Festivals columnist Stephanie Fenton reports on this festival, which a growing number of American Christian families are celebrating as a religious antidote to the commercialization of the Christmas holiday.

STEPHANIE ALSO REPORTS ON the start of the Western Christian Advent season, this year, on November 28. She includes a link to making a DIY Advent wreath with candles for each Sunday of Advent.

AND, she reports as well on the start of the Eastern Orthodox Nativity Fast, the traditional period of preparing for Christmas, which began even before American Thanksgiving this year.

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WANT TO SEE ALL THE UPCOMING HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS?—It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just visit  InterfaithHolidays.com

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GIVE YOURSELF A HOLIDAY GIFT OF FAITH AND FILM! Click on this image to learn about the November 2021 issue of Ed McNulty’s Visual Parables Journal. For many years, Ed has published this monthly journal, which subscribers nationwide enjoy for individual reflection and for sparking group discussion. Each issue is jam-packed with discussion guides. PLUS, subscribers get access for an entire year to more than 100 back issues of the journal—more than 1,000 discussion guides in all! Please, help to support Ed’s thought-provoking work by purchasing a Journal subscription.

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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.

THIS WEEK, Ed McNulty also adapted his coverage of the thought-provoking film Sons and Daughters of Thunder for the audience at the Presbyterian Church-USA’s international website, focusing on how the film’s themes of racial justice are directly connected to Presbyterians.

Among Ed’s free reviews and columns:

  1. TED LASSO—In this new column, Ed does what he does best: Draw parallels between pop culture and our spiritual traditions. In this case, Ed writes about how the popular TV series Ted Lasso could be enjoyed as a series of illustrations of Jesus’ Beatitudes.
  2. TICK, TICK … BOOM—Lin-Manuel Miranda directs Steven Levenson’s adaptation of the autobiographical one-man stage show by Rent writer Jonathan Larson.
  3. FINCH—Ed writes, “If Tom Hanks and a volley ball can hold our attention in Castaway, then how much more will this be so when you replace his buddy ‘Wilson’ with a cute dog named Goodyear and a sentient robot? Be prepared to laugh and cry while watching this dystopian film.”
  4. MIDNIGHT MASS—Ed writes, “Director Mike Flanagan’s 7-part horror series is a bloody but fascinating tale of misplaced faith, heroism and sacrifice that provides plenty of food for thought and discussion, even if it fizzles out a bit with the director/writer’s pantheistic view over-riding the Christian faith of the story’s characters. I was intrigued that a Biblical book is used for the name of each episode.”
  5. KING RICHARD—Ed gives 5 stars to this film that focuses on the father behind the Williams sisters’ careers in tennis.
  6. CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG—Ed writes, “Based on beloved Scholastic book characters, this new adventure films will be enjoyed by families looking for nonviolent but exciting entertainment.”
  7. BELFAST—”Director/writer Kenneth Branagh joins a long line of filmmakers who find rich treasure in mining their childhood experiences.
  8. THE FRENCH DISPATCH—”The director of The Grand Budapest Hotel is back, and with another film even more quirky that serves as an homage to The New Yorker Magazine.”
  9. THE HEROEd urges fans of the venerable Sam Elliott not to miss this film.
  10. NO TIME TO DIE—While Ed is ambivalent about the violence and overall message of the latest Bond thriller, he does heartily recommend that viewers read Benjamin Pratt’s book about Ian Fleming and James Bond. Use this link to read Ed’s review of No Time to Die.

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‘Happy Hanukkah!’ Rediscovering the meaning behind today’s holiday industry.

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A Time to Ponder Some Powerful Themes

IN OUR COVER STORY, this week, Rabbi Lenore Bohm writes about a challenge millions of families  share as we approach the year-end holidays: How do we rediscover the meaning of these festivals beneath the weight of the holiday industry? Please read her column and share it with friends.

And, Books to Guide Your Reflections

As you read Rabbi Bohm’s column, you will discover that the powerful themes she lifts up are challenges faced by millions of families all year ’round. In this week’s Front Edge Publishing column, Susan Stitt recommends some inspiring books to help guide your reflections. Please, take a moment to check out Susan’s column as well—and share it with friends on social media.

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And, more Holidays & Festivals

 

Rethinking Thanksgiving

Just as Rabbi Bohm explains in our Cover Story this week, rediscovering the roots of our holidays is a huge challenge in the face of America’s holiday industry. In this column, we look at the complicated and often heart-breaking Native American roots of Thanksgiving—and share resources for remembrance and reconnection. Please share this cover story with friends, this week.

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Christmas Is Coming

Sooner Than You Think

OUR HOLIDAYS COLUMNIST Stephanie Fenton writes about the start of the Western Christian Advent season, this year, on November 28. She also includes a link to making a DIY Advent wreath with candles for each Sunday of Advent.

STEPHANIE also reports on the start of the Eastern Orthodox Nativity Fast, the traditional period of preparing for Christmas, which begins even before American Thanksgiving this year.

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WANT TO SEE ALL THE UPCOMING HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS?—It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just visit  InterfaithHolidays.com

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GIVE YOURSELF A HOLIDAY GIFT OF FAITH AND FILM! Click on this image to learn about the November 2021 issue of Ed McNulty’s Visual Parables Journal. For many years, Ed has published this monthly journal, which subscribers nationwide enjoy for individual reflection and for sparking group discussion. Each issue is jam-packed with discussion guides. PLUS, subscribers get access for an entire year to more than 100 back issues of the journal—more than 1,000 discussion guides in all! Please, help to support Ed’s thought-provoking work by purchasing a Journal subscription.

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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.

THIS WEEK, Ed McNulty also adapted his coverage of the thought-provoking film Sons and Daughters of Thunder for the audience at the Presbyterian Church-USA’s international website, focusing on how the film’s themes of racial justice are directly connected to Presbyterians.

Among Ed’s free reviews and columns:

  1. MIDNIGHT MASS—Ed writes, “Director Mike Flanagan’s 7-part horror series is a bloody but fascinating tale of misplaced faith, heroism and sacrifice that provides plenty of food for thought and discussion, even if it fizzles out a bit with the director/writer’s pantheistic view over-riding the Christian faith of the story’s characters. I was intrigued that a Biblical book is used for the name of each episode.”
  2. KING RICHARD—Ed gives 5 stars to this film that focuses on the father behind the Williams sisters’ careers in tennis.
  3. CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG—Ed writes, “Based on beloved Scholastic book characters, this new adventure films will be enjoyed by families looking for nonviolent but exciting entertainment.”
  4. BELFAST—”Director/writer Kenneth Branagh joins a long line of filmmakers who find rich treasure in mining their childhood experiences.
  5. THE FRENCH DISPATCH—”The director of The Grand Budapest Hotel is back, and with another film even more quirky that serves as an homage to The New Yorker Magazine.”
  6. THE HEROEd urges fans of the venerable Sam Elliott not to miss this film.
  7. NO TIME TO DIE—While Ed is ambivalent about the violence and overall message of the latest Bond thriller, he does heartily recommend that viewers read Benjamin Pratt’s book about Ian Fleming and James Bond. Use this link to read Ed’s review of No Time to Die.
  8. SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF THUNDER—In recommending this film, Ed writes, “Director Kelly Rundle’s film about the students’ debates in 1834 over slavery at Cincinnati’s Lane Seminary is based on the play by Earlene Hawley and Curtiss Heeter.
  9. FLAG DAYEd praises this film in which three members of the Penn family portray the family of a con man.
  10. REMINISCE—Ed McNulty writes, “Writer-director Lisa Joy blends film noir with science fiction in this tale set in a near future Miami whose streets are being flooded as climate change causes the ocean to rise. Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman) is the jaded detective whose specialty is the past.”

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Cover Story: Rethinking Thanksgiving to Remember our Native Neighbors

Resources for Remembrance and Reconnection

Perhaps the American culture surrounding Thanksgiving now is so far from its roots in the 1600s that questions about our “American” relationships with our continent’s original residents have become irrelevant. There’s a strong argument that American Thanksgiving culture now focuses overwhelmingly on food, family, sports and early Christmas shopping. At this point, for millions of Americans, our moral responsibility to our Indigenous neighbors is far from the front of our hearts and minds on the holiday. In this week’s ReadTheSpirit Cover Story, we look at the roots of that disconnection—and share resources for remembrance and reconnection. Please share this cover story with friends, this week.

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From our writers …

Shauna Weil

Looking for Joy, When Grief Bowls Us Over—Again

IN OUR WE ARE CAREGIVERS SECTION, this week, musician and writer Shauna Weil explores the long tail of grief, which can remain with us long after we experience a loss. In writing about the death of her mother a year ago, Shauna also urges us to look for moments of joy that can break through such somber memories. She urges readers not to be afraid of sharing such memories—and such occasional surprises when a joyous moment shines through.

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Bill Tammeus

How far Americans have traveled (and haven’t) on race.

JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR BILL TAMMEUS regularly writes one of the most insightful online columns about the interconnections between religion and headline news. One column you will want to share with friends manages to cover two themes related to race in America. This column begins with a salute to the wisdom of James Weldon Johnson, whose many accomplishments included the “Black National Anthem,” Lift Every Voice and Sing. Bill quotes from a commentary Johnson wrote about the painful chasm of racial attitudes in this country. Then—Bill shifts gears and writes about the many wise gifts our Indigenous neighbors can give us when it comes to strategies for coping with climate change. That section of his column also links to news coverage of an Indigenous COP26 event that most American news media did not cover. Also, he recommends a great book for further reading, Braiding Sweetgrass. Yes, indeed, there’s a wealth of wisdom in this one column! Go share it with friends, please.

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Larry Buxton

‘Character Is a Movie’

LEADING WITH SPIRIT is the name of Larry Buxton’s weekly series of short videos, which are guaranteed to give us all a fresh perspective on the moral challenges of daily living. This week, Larry gives us a fascinating metaphor for “character” that provides compassionate room to forgive all of us for occasional failings as we struggle toward doing good in the world. You’ll likely want to share this video with friends, which is easy to do because Larry hosts them on his website—and also offers them through YouTube for easy connection to your social media.

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Ken and Kathy Whitt

Making Applesauce with Grandma Kathy

AND—SPEAKING OF MOVIES! Our author Ken Whitt and his wife Kathy live in Ohio in a home that they are rapidly adapting for natural sustainability. If you want to learn more about that fascinating project, just get a copy of Ken’s book God Is Just Love from Amazon. Meanwhile, Ken and Kathy have been experimenting with a whole series of videos that they hope families will watch together—kids and their parents. They refer to themselves as “Grandpa Ken and Grandma Kathy” and, in this new video, Kathy makes applesauce that she will can for the winter—while also adding to their compost pile. And that’s not all! The video shows them firing up their wood fireplace and drying clothes on “old-fashioned” wooden drying racks. This is a pretty intriguing series as one family tries to live out the goal of becoming as naturally sustainable as possible.

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Dmitri Barvinok

Making Audio Books with Front Edge Publishing

IN OUR FRONT EDGE PUBLISHING column this week: A book is far more than bound ink on paper. For example, our latest Audible audiobook is Mindy Corporon’s Healing a Shattered Soul. Since our founding in 2007, we have published in many formats: hardcover, paperback and in various eBook formats. Increasingly, we are adding audio and video resources both as an integral part of publishing our books—and as part of the long-term outreach of our authors after a book has been released. In this column, Dmitri Barvinok explains how, with each new season, we continue to adapt to the latest in multimedia publishing.

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Holidays & Festivals

 

Christmas Is Coming

Sooner Than You Think

STEPHANIE FENTON also reports on the start of the Eastern Orthodox Nativity Fast, the traditional period of preparing for Christmas, which begins even before American Thanksgiving this year.

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WANT TO SEE ALL THE UPCOMING HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS?—It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just visit  InterfaithHolidays.com

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Click on this photo to read Ed McNulty’s review of the movie, King Richard.

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.

THIS WEEK, Ed McNulty also adapted his coverage of the thought-provoking film Sons and Daughters of Thunder for the audience at the Presbyterian Church-USA’s international website, focusing on how the film’s themes of racial justice are directly connected to Presbyterians.

Among Ed’s free reviews and columns:

  1. KING RICHARD—Ed gives 5 stars to this film that focuses on the father behind the Williams sisters’ careers in tennis.
  2. CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG—Ed writes, “Based on beloved Scholastic book characters, this new adventure films will be enjoyed by families looking for nonviolent but exciting entertainment.”
  3. BELFAST—”Director/writer Kenneth Branagh joins a long line of filmmakers who find rich treasure in mining their childhood experiences. His new film is based on his memories of his 9th year when, in August of 1969, militant Protestants erupted in anger against their Catholic neighbors.”
  4. THE FRENCH DISPATCH—”The director of The Grand Budapest Hotel is back, and with another film even more quirky that serves as an homage to The New Yorker Magazine.”
  5. THE HEROEd urges fans of the venerable Sam Elliott not to miss this film.
  6. NO TIME TO DIE—While Ed is ambivalent about the violence and overall message of the latest Bond thriller, he does heartily recommend that viewers read Benjamin Pratt’s book about Ian Fleming and James Bond. Use this link to read Ed’s review of No Time to Die.
  7. SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF THUNDER—In recommending this film, Ed writes, “Director Kelly Rundle’s film about the students’ debates in 1834 over slavery at Cincinnati’s Lane Seminary is based on the play by Earlene Hawley and Curtiss Heeter.
  8. FLAG DAYEd praises this film in which three members of the Penn family portray the family of a con man.
  9. REMINISCE—Ed McNulty writes, “Writer-director Lisa Joy blends film noir with science fiction in this tale set in a near future Miami whose streets are being flooded as climate change causes the ocean to rise. Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman) is the jaded detective whose specialty is the past.”
  10. COME FROM AWAY—”The horrific events that occurred 20 years ago on 9/11 reveal the evil depths that humanity can sink to, but this filmed version of David Hein and Irene Sankoff’s Broadway play celebrates the heights to which humanity can rise.”

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Cover Story: Violence is not the answer, if we hope to ‘unplug extremism,’ Bill Tammeus writes

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News of American torture prompts fresh opposition

Beyond Moral Outrage, Torture Is Counterproductive

COVER STORY—Since our publishing house was founded in 2007, many of our authors and columnists have written about their commitments toward world peace. The first author we published is international peace trainer Daniel Buttry, whose books include Blessed Are the Peacemakers. As a community of writers, we have pursued these themes for 14 years. Flash forward to 2021, and we have just published David Edwards’ What Belongs to God: Reflections on Peacemaking by a Conscientious Objector and Bill Tammeus’ Love, Loss and Endurance: A 9/11 Story of Resilience and Hope in an Age of Anxiety.

For many years, Bill also has been one of the leading American journalists covering religion, and writing commentaries about the complex interrelationship between faith and culture. When news broke in the case of detainee Majid Kahn this week, Bill reported this Cover Story for our readers. Please read this story and share it with friends.

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Why We Can’t Look Away

Larry Buxton: On The Temptation of Simply ‘Moving On’

AVOIDING UNCOMFORTABLE ISSUES will not bring us peace, Larry Buxton explains this week in his Leading with Spirit video. As you visit Larry’s website to watch that short video, take a moment to sign up for his free email reminders about new videos. Larry also posts his videos to YouTube, which means they are easy to share with friends. They can be shared with your small group or Sunday School class. They’re great for individual reflection and for sparking discussions.

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Holidays & Festivals

Veterans Day

OUR PUBLISHING HOUSE also has published a series of books sharing the stories of American veterans, including the memoir of the oldest living Black graduate of West Point—plus the memoir of a Vietnam-era Conscientious Objector. Susan Stitt writes a Front Edge Publishing column this week that describes those remarkable stories and include links if you care to learn more about these books from Amazon.

Then, our official Holidays & Festivals columnist Stephanie Fenton writes about the origins of this holiday, which has parallel observances around the world—including Remembrance Day in Canada.

Christmas Is Coming

Sooner Than You Think

STEPHANIE FENTON also reports on the start of the Eastern Orthodox Nativity Fast, the traditional period of preparing for Christmas, which begins even before American Thanksgiving this year.

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WANT TO SEE ALL THE UPCOMING HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS?—It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just visit  InterfaithHolidays.com

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And from our authors …

Lucille Sider

Do you have an animal friend in your life?

LUCILLE SIDER writes, this week, about the remarkable way her beloved cat PJ wound up connecting her with family, neighbors and even two local congregations in new ways.

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On LGBTQ Inclusion

OUR BIAS BUSTERS TEAM, based at the Michigan State University School of Journalism, was honored this week to find their books recommended in articles posted in the Pretty Progressive online magazine. Please, read the following and consider recommending some of these books to friends.

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OUR AUTHOR RODNEY CURTIS also occasionally writes about TV and film. Click on this image to read his dual review of Only Murders in the Building and Squid Games. He titles this review “One’s delightful; one’s disgusting.” Can you guess which is which? Thanks Rodney!

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.

THIS WEEK, Ed McNulty also adapted his coverage of the thought-provoking film Sons and Daughters of Thunder for the audience at the Presbyterian Church-USA’s international website, focusing on how the film’s themes of racial justice are directly connected to Presbyterians.

Among Ed’s free reviews and columns:

  1. NO TIME TO DIE—While Ed is ambivalent about the violence and overall message of the latest Bond thriller, he does heartily recommend that viewers read Benjamin Pratt’s book about Ian Fleming and James Bond. Use this link to read Ed’s review of No Time to Die.
  2. SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF THUNDER—In recommending this film, Ed writes, “Director Kelly Rundle’s film about the students’ debates in 1834 over slavery at Cincinnati’s Lane Seminary is based on the play by Earlene Hawley and Curtiss Heeter.
  3. THE GUILTY—Ed writes, “Director Antoine Fuqua  and writer Nic Pizzolatto have done a fine job of adapting a 2018 Danish film to the American scene. The film is a thriller, a very intense one, but one with a social conscience that deserves to be seen and discussed widely.”
  4. MASS—”This is one of the best films I have seen this year. It includes one of the most powerful scenes of grief and reconciliation that I have seen in a film.”
  5. FLAG DAYEd praises this film in which three members of the Penn family portray the family of a con man.
  6. THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951)—”This is the 70th anniversary of the release of this classic science fiction film. It stood out at the time as the most intelligent film of the genre, carrying a message of peace and tolerance during the onslaught of the Cold War. Unlike other sci-fi films, the menace to Earth came not from alien monsters but from humans themselves.”
  7. SON OF THE SOUTH—”Writer-director Barry Alexander Brown’s film is based on Bob Zellner’s well-received 2008 autobiography The Wrong Side of Murder Creek: A White Southerner in the Freedom Movement.”
  8. REMINISCE—Ed McNulty writes, “Writer-director Lisa Joy blends film noir with science fiction in this tale set in a near future Miami whose streets are being flooded as climate change causes the ocean to rise. Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman) is the jaded detective whose specialty is the past.”
  9. COME FROM AWAY—”The horrific events that occurred 20 years ago on 9/11 reveal the evil depths that humanity can sink to, but this filmed version of David Hein and Irene Sankoff’s Broadway play celebrates the heights to which humanity can rise.”
  10. DAYS OF GLORY—”Co-writer/director Rachid Bouchareb provides a very different perspective on World War II in this tale centering on four North African Muslims who enlist to free what they regard as their fatherland, France.”

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Cover Story: In ‘How to Be,’ a Monk and a Journalist Reflect on Living & Dying, Purpose & Prayer, Forgiveness & Friendship

How shall we live in such tumultuous times?

Letters between friends form a spiritual path through universal challenges

In our Cover Story this week, we welcome back poet Judith Valente, who has been a frequent visitor to our online magazine over the past 14 years. This time, she has both a very traditional and a refreshingly new idea for us: Writing letters to find spiritual clarity. The idea is as old as the New Testament, of course, but millions of us have forgotten the power of letters to convey heart-felt connections with friends. We may frequently share one-liners, photos and video clips, but Judith and her friend discovered that letters allow us to go one, two, three and sometimes many steps further down pathways together. Please, enjoy this cover story and share it with friends.

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Calling All of Our Writers and Authors!

Please connect with us (and with each other) via Linked In

SPEAKING OF THE POWER OF CONNECTION, one way to reach us and our writer friends across North America and around the world is via Linked In. Our Marketing Director Susan Stitt has prepared this column, which makes it super-easy for you to connect with us.

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And from our authors …

Ken Whitt

Our magazine has been publishing stories about the quest to understand justice issues raised by Native peoples across North America especially this year. If you click on this map, you will read a recent story by Bill Tammeus about the emerging practice of “land acknowledgement.”

Native American Story: ‘The Man Who Stood Up from Ashes’

ADDING TO OUR NATIVE AMERICAN COVERAGE, author Ken Whitt shares his own experience with “land acknowledgment” and also a short video of the Native American story, The Man Who Stands Up out of Ashes.

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Mindy Corporon

‘Best Books about Perseverance’

TO SHARE GOOD NEWS FROM OUR AUTHORS, our Susan Stitt participates with many other online magazines, blogs and news sites. Recently, she nominated Mindy Corporon’s book, Healing a Shattered Soul, for a Pretty Progressive roundup of “Best Books about Perseverance.” That online magazine’s team included Mindy’s book along with some very famous books about resiliency. Take a look at Pretty Progressive by clicking on this link and you may find some inspiring reading—plus you’ll see Mindy in the mix as you scroll down.

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Holidays & Festivals

Lighting Up the Night for Diwali!

 

COMING NOVEMBER 4—In her Diwali column, Holidays & Festivals expert Stephanie Fenton writes, “In recognition of the triumph of light over darkness, Diwali bears great significance for Hindus, Jains and Sikhs alike; as awareness of Indian culture spreads, major celebrations now are hosted around the world.”

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WANT TO SEE ALL THE UPCOMING HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS?—It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just visit  InterfaithHolidays.com

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Click on this photo to read Ed McNulty’s review of the new James Bond film, No Time to Die. While Ed is ambivalent about the violence and overall message of the latest Bond thriller, he does heartily recommend that viewers read Benjamin Pratt’s book about Ian Fleming and James Bond.

Faith & Film

ED McNULTY, for decades, has published reviews, magazine articles and books exploring connections between faith and film. Most of his work is freely published. Ed supports his work by selling the Visual Parables Journal, a monthly magazine packed with discussion guides to films. This resource is used coast-to-coast by individuals who love the movies and by educators, clergy and small-group leaders.

Among Ed’s free reviews and columns:

  1. NO TIME TO DIE—While Ed is ambivalent about the violence and overall message of the latest Bond thriller, he does heartily recommend that viewers read Benjamin Pratt’s book about Ian Fleming and James Bond. Use this link to read Ed’s review of No Time to Die.
  2. SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF THUNDER—In recommending this film, Ed writes, “Director Kelly Rundle’s film about the students’ debates in 1834 over slavery at Cincinnati’s Lane Seminary is based on the play by Earlene Hawley and Curtiss Heeter.
  3. THE GUILTY—Ed writes, “Director Antoine Fuqua  and writer Nic Pizzolatto have done a fine job of adapting a 2018 Danish film to the American scene. The film is a thriller, a very intense one, but one with a social conscience that deserves to be seen and discussed widely.”
  4. MASS—”This is one of the best films I have seen this year. It includes one of the most powerful scenes of grief and reconciliation that I have seen in a film.”
  5. FLAG DAYEd praises this film in which three members of the Penn family portray the family of a con man.
  6. THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951)—”This is the 70th anniversary of the release of this classic science fiction film. It stood out at the time as the most intelligent film of the genre, carrying a message of peace and tolerance during the onslaught of the Cold War. Unlike other sci-fi films, the menace to Earth came not from alien monsters but from humans themselves.”
  7. SON OF THE SOUTH—”Writer-director Barry Alexander Brown’s film is based on Bob Zellner’s well-received 2008 autobiography The Wrong Side of Murder Creek: A White Southerner in the Freedom Movement.”
  8. REMINISCE—Ed McNulty writes, “Writer-director Lisa Joy blends film noir with science fiction in this tale set in a near future Miami whose streets are being flooded as climate change causes the ocean to rise. Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman) is the jaded detective whose specialty is the past.”
  9. COME FROM AWAY—”The horrific events that occurred 20 years ago on 9/11 reveal the evil depths that humanity can sink to, but this filmed version of David Hein and Irene Sankoff’s Broadway play celebrates the heights to which humanity can rise.”
  10. DAYS OF GLORY—”Co-writer/director Rachid Bouchareb provides a very different perspective on World War II in this tale centering on four North African Muslims who enlist to free what they regard as their fatherland, France.”

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Cover Story: ‘Land Acknowledgment’ is a first step toward justice for our Native American neighbors

Learning from Our Native American Neighbors, today

Land Acknowledgment as A Small First Gesture

This year, our online magazine is highlighting emerging stories about relationships with our Native American neighbors. We have been reporting on both the tragic history and the multi-faceted opportunities, today, in establishing such cooperative relationships. As residents of North America, we have an enormous amount of work ahead of us, including coming to terms with centuries of trauma in North American Indian boarding schools.

For this week’s Cover Story, we asked journalist and author Bill Tammeus to report on an important nationwide effort to open up these relationships by taking a small first step: land acknowledgment. His story not only explains the practice of land acknowledgment. Bill also provides many links to great reading and online resources—including a very useful Native Land app for smartphones. Please, read this story and share it with friends.

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From Our Correspondents—

Larry Buxton: ‘Dear Prudence’

Rediscovering the Cardinal Virtues

IN THIS WEEK’S ‘LEADING WITH SPIRIT’ video, author Larry Boxton reminds us: Next to the Seven Deadly Sins, the Cardinal Virtues are apt to look pale and unenterprising—but appearances are notoriously untrustworthy. Larry zeroes in on Prudence and points out how that virtue, alone, can be both a huge challenge and a very helpful guide. Note: In the illustration above from the Vatican palace, Raphael painted (from left) the Cardinal Virtues of Fortitude petting a lion, Prudence holding a mirror and Temperance holding reins. If you’re curious, here’s a higher res version.

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Susan Stitt: National Family Caregivers Month

 

Helpful Tips for Caregivers

FRONT EDGE PUBLISHING Marketing Director Susan Stitt shares two helpful columns this week as we all prepare for National Family Caregivers Month.

WE ARE CAREGIVERSIn this special section of our online magazine for caregivers, Susan shares links to two of the most important websites that act as national clearinghouses for helpful information about caregiving.

In our Front Edge Publishing column, this week, Susan also specifically invites our authors and contributing writers around the world to send us news items about your own work related to caregiving.

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Holidays & Festivals

Happy Halloween—and related holidays!


WE’VE GOT the story about Halloween 2021, plus related observances at this time of year. Plus, in that story, you’ll find helpful links to tips for parents and ideas for parties and family fun.
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Lighting Up the Night for Diwali!

COMING NOVEMBER 4—In her Diwali column, Holidays & Festivals expert Stephanie Fenton writes, “In recognition of the triumph of light over darkness, Diwali bears great significance for Hindus, Jains and Sikhs alike; as awareness of Indian culture spreads, major celebrations now are hosted around the world.”

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WANT TO SEE ALL THE UPCOMING HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS?—It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just visit  InterfaithHolidays.com

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Click on this image to read Ed McNulty’s review of the new movie, Sons and Daughters of Thunder.

Faith & Film

Click on this image to learn more about the OCTOBER issue of Visual Parables Journal, which includes full discussion guides for many movies including Mass, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Sons & Daughters of Thunder, Son of the South and The Guilty.

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:

  1. SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF THUNDER—In recommending this film, Ed McNulty writes, “Director Kelly Rundle’s film about the students’ debates in 1834 over slavery at Cincinnati’s Lane Seminary is based on the play by Earlene Hawley and Curtiss Heeter.
  2. THE GUILTY—Ed writes, “Director Antoine Fuqua  and writer Nic Pizzolatto have done a fine job of adapting a 2018 Danish film to the American scene. The film is a thriller, a very intense one, but one with a social conscience that deserves to be seen and discussed widely.”
  3. MASS—”This is one of the best films I have seen this year. It includes one of the most powerful scenes of grief and reconciliation that I have seen in a film.”
  4. FLAG DAYEd praises this film in which three members of the Penn family portray the family of a con man.
  5. THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951)—”This is the 70th anniversary of the release of this classic science fiction film. It stood out at the time as the most intelligent film of the genre, carrying a message of peace and tolerance during the onslaught of the Cold War. Unlike other sci-fi films, the menace to Earth came not from alien monsters but from humans themselves.”
  6. SON OF THE SOUTH—”Writer-director Barry Alexander Brown’s film is based on Bob Zellner’s well-received 2008 autobiography The Wrong Side of Murder Creek: A White Southerner in the Freedom Movement.”
  7. THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE—Ed praises the new film about the lives of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker and says it’s likely to surprise many viewers.
  8. REMINISCE—Ed McNulty writes, “Writer-director Lisa Joy blends film noir with science fiction in this tale set in a near future Miami whose streets are being flooded as climate change causes the ocean to rise. Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman) is the jaded detective whose specialty is the past.”
  9. COME FROM AWAY—”The horrific events that occurred 20 years ago on 9/11 reveal the evil depths that humanity can sink to, but this filmed version of David Hein and Irene Sankoff’s Broadway play celebrates the heights to which humanity can rise.”
  10. DAYS OF GLORY—”Co-writer/director Rachid Bouchareb provides a very different perspective on World War II in this tale centering on four North African Muslims who enlist to free what they regard as their fatherland, France.”
  11. RESPECT—”Director Liesl Tommy and writer Tracey Scott Wilson’s film biography of Aretha Franklin certainly deserves our respect—and gratitude.

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