Cover Story: Major General James Dozier, 40 years after his kidnapping, writes about ‘Finding My Pole Star’

What does courage look like?

Dozier writes about the spiritual core that helped him withstand captivity

In the wake of wars, catastrophic storms and an ongoing pandemic—millions of us around the world are asking: What does courage look like?

That question is answered with inspiring true stories in the new memoir by retired Major General James Dozier, Finding My Pole Star. Forty years ago, in late 1981, Dozier’s name and photographs circled the globe as he became the public face of European terrorist groups’ rage about America’s global power. Please read this week’s cover story about the launch of Dozier’s new book—and share this story with friends. It’s a great book for individual reading and for small-group discussion.

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We Are Caregivers

Caregiving Forum in Michigan Addresses Challenges and Solutions

OUR PUBLISHING HOUSE is part of an ongoing network of media and health care professionals promoting best practices for our nation’s more than 50 million caregivers. This week, we’re sharing a report from a statewide forum on caregiving held recently in Michigan.

 

Suzy Farbman:

The Remarkable Life of Charelvoix’s Steve Schaefer

IN HER GODSIGNS COLUMN, this week, Suzy Farbman tells the story of Steve Schaefer, who refused to let a tragic boating accident cut short the vitality of his life. As Suzy explains, a huge part of this inspiring story had to do with Stevie’s tireless mother Patty Runquist.

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Our Authors Tackle Cancer

THE ONLINE MAGAZINE ‘Improve Her Health’ selected four of our authors’ books about surviving cancer, including Suzy Farbman’s memoir, to feature in the latest installment of that website’s ongoing series of caregiving recommendations.

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The Annual Holiday Publishing Crunch Worsens

IN OUR FRONT EDGE PUBLISHING COLUMN, this week, our Director of Production Dmitri Barvinok forecasts an even tougher holiday publishing crunch this year. What does that mean? Publishers nationwide are pushing the release dates of new books into the early months of 2022—and book customers need to complete any holiday shopping much earlier this year.

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HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

Sukkot

STARTING ON MONDAY SEPTEMBER 20, Jewish neighbors may have set up fragile, leafy, outdoor shelters called sukkahs to celebrate the ancient harvest festival of Sukkot. As Stephanie Fenton reports in this holiday story, there’s not a more appropriate festival to spark reflections on living within a global pandemic.

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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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Faith & Film

Click this image to learn more about the September 2021 issue of Visual Parables Journal, which includes discussion guides to movies such as Respect, Pig, Coda, Days of Glory and more.

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. 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.
  2. BLUE BAYOU—Ed writes, “Actor/director Justin Chon throws light on a little-known aspect of ICE and its ruthless practice of deportation in this highly dramatic story set around and in a bayou near New Orleans. But be for warned—have on hand a handkerchief for the emotionally wrought ending!”
  3. 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.”
  4. 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.”
  5. THE FATHEREd writes about the acclaimed film by French director Florian Zeller, co-starring Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman.
  6. 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.”
  7. THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US—”Kate Winslet stars as Alex Martin and Idris Elba as Ben Bass. She is a daring-do photographer willing to take risks, whereas he is an overly cautious neurosurgeon, so their different temperaments fuel the conflict when the story kicks into high gear.”
  8. RESPECT—”Director Liesl Tommy and writer Tracey Scott Wilson’s film biography of Aretha Franklin certainly deserves our respect—and gratitude. Covering about 29 years of the singer’s life, it begins with her as a 10-year-old rousted out of bed to entertain her father’s guests to the recording of her greatest hit album, Amazing Grace.”
  9. PIG—”Director and co-writer Michael Sarnoski’s film about the reclusive supplier of truffles to Portland Oregon’s upscale restaurant presents Nicolas Cage with a role that rises far above what the actor has sunk into for a couple of decades.”
  10. CODA—This 2021 American coming-of-age comedy-drama follows a hearing teenage girl who is a child of deaf adults (CODA for short). The movie is a remake of a French film and currently has a 96 percent approval rating from film critics—including Ed McNulty in his review.

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COVER STORY Deanna Womack: Now, it’s time for ‘Neighbors: Christians and Muslims Building Community’

What’s Our Next Step?

Congregations Can Encourage Us All to Meet the Neighbors

IN OUR COVER STORY this week, we are focusing on next steps after the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the tragic end of the war in Afghanistan and a rise in COVID-sparked hate crimes. Please read this interview with Atlanta-based interfaith scholar Dr. Deanna Womack. Her new book, NEIGHBORS, is a custom-designed guide for individuals and small groups in congregations to encourage fresh interfaith relationships in communities nationwide.

A Chorus Calling Us to Community

Bill Tammeus reaches out through Goodreads, Newsweek and TV

JOURNALIST and AUTHOR BILL TAMMEUS is calling on Americans this autumn with an almost identical post-9/11 message of “unplugging extremism” by connecting with our neighbors to form healthy communities. Bill shares this message through his new book, Love, Loss and Endurance, and through his multi-faceted media appearances nationwide.

In our Front Edge Publishing column, this week, Editor David Crumm has links that show how Bill’s outreach begins from a solid base online in vital sites like Goodreads. Then, we’ve also got links to Bill’s latest appearance in Newsweek and on TV. Take a look at how one authors engages in the national conversation. There are valuable suggestions here that you might want to follow, as well. Of course, we know that most of our readers are not authors (yet) but your own outreach could include getting involved in Goodreads and helping other authors spread their messages by adding your own reviews.

LARRY BUXTON on ‘The Soul of America’

THIS WEEK’s LEADING-WITH-SPIRIT video by Larry Buxton asks viewers to reflect on our calling as Americans, and as people of faith, at such a troubling milestone in our history. Larry’s inspiring videos also are great to share with friends as well!

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HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

Yom Kippur

RABBI KRAKOFF: ‘Perfect Time to Concentrate on Relationships’

What a timely convergence! In a week when our ReadTheSpirit cover story is balancing a post-9/11 call to community conversations with coverage of the Jewish High Holiday of Yom Kippur, Rabbi Joseph Krakoff hits this same theme in his holiday message that was published this week in The Jewish News in a story by Karen Schwartz.

Of course, Krakoff is a nationally known voice for healing family and community relationships in his dual role as a rabbi—and as Senior Director of the Jewish Hospice and Chaplaincy Network. He also is the author of two books that encourage such healing conversations: First, there’s Never Long Enougha volume illustrated by Michelle Sider, then there’s Now What? A Guide to the Gifts and Challenges of Aging, a book for which he served as a consultant and co-author.

The Jewish News story begins: “Reflecting on relationships is a part of the High Holidays every year, but it’s taken on a new meaning in the context of this past year. The isolation brought about by the pandemic is challenging people to recalibrate and ask themselves what really matters at the end of the day: To reflect on what they can release and what overall relationships they can reengage with in a meaningful way.” You can read that entire story here.

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STEPHANIE FENTON: Yom Kippur, the holiest day

HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS columnist Stephanie Fenton writes about Yom Kippur, which is often called the holiest day in the Jewish year. She also reports on the mix of in-person and streaming services, this year, since many synagogues will not be filled to capacity this year due to the pandemic.

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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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Lucille Sider on Spiritual Resilience

We Are Caregivers

THIS WEEK, in her series of columns about overcoming the traumas that millions of us confront in life, Lucille writes about confronting her best friend’s life-threatening cancer and then the overwhelming demands of becoming a caregiver. AND—in addition to this column—Lucille will be visiting with readers this week on September 14, 2021, via Zoom. You can learn more about that Zoom opportunity at the end of this column.

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Click this image to learn more about the September 2021 issue of Visual Parables Journal, which includes discussion guides to movies such as Respect, Pig, Coda, Days of Glory and more.

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. 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.”
  2. 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.”
  3. THE FATHEREd writes about the acclaimed film by French director Florian Zeller, co-starring Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman.
  4. 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.”
  5. THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US—”Kate Winslet stars as Alex Martin and Idris Elba as Ben Bass. She is a daring-do photographer willing to take risks, whereas he is an overly cautious neurosurgeon, so their different temperaments fuel the conflict when the story kicks into high gear.”
  6. RESPECT—”Director Liesl Tommy and writer Tracey Scott Wilson’s film biography of Aretha Franklin certainly deserves our respect—and gratitude. Covering about 29 years of the singer’s life, it begins with her as a 10-year-old rousted out of bed to entertain her father’s guests to the recording of her greatest hit album, Amazing Grace.”
  7. PIG—”Director and co-writer Michael Sarnoski’s film about the reclusive supplier of truffles to Portland Oregon’s upscale restaurant presents Nicolas Cage with a role that rises far above what the actor has sunk into for a couple of decades.”
  8. CODA—This 2021 American coming-of-age comedy-drama follows a hearing teenage girl who is a child of deaf adults (CODA for short). The movie is a remake of a French film and currently has a 96 percent approval rating from film critics—including Ed McNulty in his review.
  9. LUPIN—”The French writer George Kay has created a truly thrilling escapist adventure series with more than a touch of social commentary. He has taken a classic series of French novels revolving around Arsène Lupin as a “Gentleman Thief” and transferred them to a modern day outsider.”
  10. EROICA—Ed McNulty reaches back to 2003 for a wonderful film about the arts, Eroica. In short, it’s a carefully reconstructed drama about Beethoven debuting the piece that people at the time considered a milestone in music history—a unique delight in moviemaking..

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Cover Story: Bill Tammeus shares 3 ways we can become healers at the 20th anniversary of 9/11

Echoing a Universal Call to Heal the World

Tammeus Says Learning and Compassion are Keys to Healing

“People of faith should be leaders in this effort to unplug terrorism, whether foreign or domestic, given the overwhelming messages about love and acceptance from the world’s great religions,” journalist and author Bill Tammeus writes in his Cover Story marking this week, marking the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In this column, he shares three of his recommendations for “unplugging terrorism” plus a long list of helpful links to learn more about the forces behind the rise in terrorism we are seeing today. And please consider sharing this article with friends via social media or email.

Looking deeper at 9/11’s Legacy …

Ethicist David Gushee:

‘There Were No Innocent Choices Available’

As the nation’s leading Christian ethicist, Dr. David Gushee writes in this column for Baptist News Global that the 20-year legacy of the 9/11 attacks in Afghanistan has turned out to be a spiral of ever-worsening choices. In this carefully balanced analysis of what has unfolded, Gushee warns against blaming any one individual for choices that were made from President Bush to President Biden. Then, he ends on a hopeful note, urging readers to continue pursuing peace. This column asks all of us to stop and think carefully before pointing fingers and assessing blame.

 

A Prayer for 9/11:

‘May We Mend What Has Been Broken’

Echoing themes from both Bill Tammeus’s and David Gushee’s columns, the United Methodist denomination has published this prayer that can be used by individuals and congregations marking the 9/11 anniversary this week. In part, it says: “On this day of solemn remembrance: May we build what has been torn down. May we mend what has been broken. May live your love when hate seems to reign. May we bear witness to the cause of peace.”

Leadership Coach Larry Buxton:

On Last Words

‘Last words can be a summing up of what really matters to you,” Larry Buxton says in this week’s Leading with Spirit video. Larry’s theme this week could be appropriate both for 9/11 reflections and for the Jewish High Holy Days that begin this week. How do we sum up the meaning of a life? Click the link and see where Larry takes you with this week’s 4-minute meditation.

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Rosh Hashanah:

Happy (Jewish) New Year 5782! 

THIS YEAR, STEPHANIE FENTON and JEWISH SCHOLAR JOE LEWIS herald the Jewish High Holy Days with this column on Rosh Hashanah. Joe’s sage advice is: “There’s no better time to try extra, extra hard to get along with others!” And, yes, as always Stephanie does include links to holiday recipes.

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Click on this movie image to read Ed McNulty’s review of Respect.

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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.

Among Ed’s free reviews and columns:

  1. RESPECT—Ed writes: “Director Liesl Tommy and writer Tracey Scott Wilson’s film biography of Aretha Franklin certainly deserves our respect—and gratitude. Covering about 29 years of the singer’s life, it begins with her as a 10-year-old rousted out of bed to entertain her father’s guests to the recording of her greatest hit album, Amazing Grace.”
  2. PIG—”Director and co-writer Michael Sarnoski’s film about the reclusive supplier of truffles to Portland Oregon’s upscale restaurant presents Nicolas Cage with a role that rises far above what the actor has sunk into for a couple of decades.”
  3. CODA—This 2021 American coming-of-age comedy-drama follows a hearing teenage girl who is a child of deaf adults (CODA for short). The movie is a remake of a French film and currently has a 96 percent approval rating from film critics—including Ed McNulty in his review.
  4. THE GOSPEL OF LUKE— “This Lumo Project film is the last of the four filmed gospels directed by the prolific director/producer David Batty. It is a wonderful addition to any pastor or educator’s video library, bringing to life the words either of the KJV or the NIV translations of the Bible—viewer’s choice. British actor Richard E. Grant reads the NIV text; Sir Derek Jacobi the KJV.”
  5. VIVO—”Move over Pixar and make room for this toe-tapping musical from Sony Pictures Animation studio. The fact that Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the songs and voices the main character ought to attract a large audience.”
  6. OPHELIA—”Australian director Claire McCarthy gives us love story based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. We need to add that the script by Semi Chellas is based on Lisa Klein’s 2006 young adult novel of the same title.”
  7. LUPIN—”The French writer George Kay has created a truly thrilling escapist adventure series with more than a touch of social commentary. He has taken a classic series of French novels revolving around Arsène Lupin as a “Gentleman Thief” and transferred them to a modern day outsider.”
  8. EROICA—Ed McNulty reaches back to 2003 for a wonderful film about the arts, Eroica. In short, it’s a carefully reconstructed drama about Beethoven debuting the piece that people at the time considered a milestone in music history—a unique delight in moviemaking.
  9. AN AMERICAN RHAPSODY—Written and directed by Eva Gardos, this film is based on the filmmaker’s own experience as a young immigrant in Hungary.”
  10. STREET FLOW—”Writer/co-director/star Kery James’ film is set in France, the story of three brothers of African descent who live in one of the huge projects just outside of Paris.”

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COVER STORY: Rochelle Calvert (and others) invite us into the spiritual solace of ‘Healing with Nature’

Click on this image to read the Rochelle Calvert story.

A Veteran Spiritual Guide Invites Us to Step Outside

Her New Book Shares Her Wisdom in Word and Audio

After nearly two years of pandemic, simply opening the door to the outside world and gathering with others may seem like a daring step.

Click on this image to read the Emily Brown story.

So, this week’s Cover Story presentation is actually three stories about three women who are doing just that.

ROCHELLE CALVERT LEADS US INTO NATUREFirst, read about the work of Rochelle Calvert, a psychologist and spiritual guide who now is sharing a lifetime of wisdom in her new book, Healing with Nature. For years, Rochelle Calvert had been leading groups of pilgrims into spiritual encounters with the natural world, then her own plans for gatherings were hit by COVID concerns. Now, she is inviting all of us to get a taste of these adventures through her new book. Rochelle also is planning new outdoor retreats and this story includes information about how to connect with her website and programs—plus, some free audio meditations she is offering as well.

EMILY BROWN IN THE MOUNTAINS: On the same theme of healing with nature—what a treat we are offering to our readers this week! Here is the first story from our newest contributing columnist, Emily Brown, a Creative Writing student at the University of Michigan who will be sending us occasional true stories from her adventures both in travel and in discovering the lives of the diverse people she meets. We call this first column: I Turned to Face the Mountain.

LUCILLE SIDER’S HEALING MEDITATIONS: In her second column about finding spiritual resilience in the midst of trauma, pastoral counselor and author Lucille Sider writes about the importance of friendship, of interacting with the natural world—and of trusting that (in the words of Julian of Norwich) “all manner of things shall be well.

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Bill Tammeus:

At the heart of the national conversation …

AUTHOR BILL TAMMEUS is at the heart of the national conversation on 9/11’s legacy with a nationwide Bible-study discussion guide and also a Sunday sermon that will stream online on September 5. In this Front Edge Publishing news story, we have a free-of-charge link to Bill’s Wired Word Bible-study discussion guide. The staff at Wired Word kindly agreed to offer Bill’s work free of charge, because of the importance of spreading this message. Then, this column also has a link to stream Bill’s Sunday morning sermon on this theme on September 5.

Henry Brinton:

‘Standing Together’

PASTOR and AUTHOR HENRY BRINTON offers what could be a model sermon for Sunday, September 5, 2021, services. All too often, Henry points out, Americans claim we are “standing together,” when—in fact—we are isolating and endangering others. Henry draws on wisdom from the prophet Isaiah, a sacred figure in Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions.

Victor Begg:

‘Meet Our Neighbors’

MUSLIM AUTHOR and PEACEMAKER VICTOR BEGG published his 9/11-themed appeal via Gannett newspapers through the TCPalm news website, which serves his region of Florida. His headline is: Expand circles, meet neighbors to end destructive divisiveness in United States. There also is a gripping and inspiring account of 9/11 and its aftermath in Victor’s memoir, Our Muslim Neighbors: Achieving the American Dream, An Immigrant’s Memoir.

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Holidays & Festivals

Paryushan Parva

JAIN families around the world renew the core tenets of their tradition in this annual period of religious reflection and fasting. This might be a good opportunity to talk with a friend, neighbor or colleague who is Jain, wishing them well and asking them about this special time of year. Stephanie Fenton has the story.

Krishna Janmashtami

KRISHNA is one of the most popular and revered of Indian deities, so the festival honoring his birth sometimes last a full week, depending on community customs. When this annual milestone rolls around, observances vary widely around the world—including the visually spectacular human towers of young people vying to reach a suspended pot of buttermilk. Stephanie Fenton has the story for us.

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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 movie CODA.

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Faith & Film

Click on this image to learn more about the August 2021 issue of Visual Parables Journal.

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. CODA—This 2021 American coming-of-age comedy-drama follows a hearing teenage girl who is a child of deaf adults (CODA for short). The movie is a remake of a French film and currently has a 96 percent approval rating from film critics—including Ed McNulty in his review.
  2. THE GOSPEL OF LUKE—Ed writes, “This Lumo Project film is the last of the four filmed gospels directed by the prolific director/producer David Batty. It is a wonderful addition to any pastor or educator’s video library, bringing to life the words either of the KJV or the NIV translations of the Bible—viewer’s choice. British actor Richard E. Grant reads the NIV text; Sir Derek Jacobi the KJV.”
  3. VIVO—”Move over Pixar and make room for this toe-tapping musical from Sony Pictures Animation studio. The fact that Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the songs and voices the main character ought to attract a large audience.”
  4. OPHELIA—”Australian director Claire McCarthy gives us love story based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. We need to add that the script by Semi Chellas is based on Lisa Klein’s 2006 young adult novel of the same title.”
  5. MINARIEd also writes, this week, about the Oscar-winning drama about an immigrant family carving out a new life in rural America.
  6. PRAY AWAYEd reviews Kristine Stolakis’ documentary film about evangelical “conversion therapy.”
  7. LUPIN—”The French writer George Kay has created a truly thrilling escapist adventure series with more than a touch of social commentary. He has taken a classic series of French novels revolving around Arsène Lupin as a “Gentleman Thief” and transferred them to a modern day outsider.”
  8. EROICA—Ed McNulty reaches back to 2003 for a wonderful film about the arts, Eroica. In short, it’s a carefully reconstructed drama about Beethoven debuting the piece that people at the time considered a milestone in music history—a unique delight in moviemaking.
  9. AN AMERICAN RHAPSODY—Written and directed by Eva Gardos, this film is based on the filmmaker’s own experience as a young immigrant Hungary.”
  10. STREET FLOW—”Writer/co-director/star Kery James’ film is set in France, the story of three brothers of African descent who live in one of the huge projects just outside of Paris.”
  11. JOE BELLEd recommends this film, “based on a true story,” written by the same team that contributed to the 2005 film, Brokeback Mountain, a writing partnership that included the late novelist Larry McMurtry.

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Cover Story: Lucille Sider is sharing the spiritual resiliency she describes in ‘Light Shines in the Darkness’

Enjoy These Stories of Resilience, Now

And Meet the Author in September

AUTHOR LUCILLE SIDER already has inspired readers nationwide with Light Shines in the Darkness, her memoir about spiritual resilience in the aftermath of life-shattering trauma. Now, she is debuting a series of columns about the many ways men and women find themselves confronting trauma, every week in neighborhoods everywhere. These new columns focus on finding the spiritual strength to keep living in a meaningful and hopeful way. The series will run through September, when Lucille is organizing an online opportunity to gather readers for a virtual conversation. Please, read this Cover Story, which is Lucille’s first column in this series—a true story focused on overcoming the wake of flood waters—and share this news with friends. This is a valuable opportunity to connect with a wise spiritual guide whose hard-earned wisdom has helped so many, already.

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As We Approach 9/11

Check in with Journalist Bill Tammeus

MAJOR MEDIA PROJECTS are coming our way as we approach the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. For example, on Sunday, August 29, The National Geographic Channel will roll out a six-part documentary series, 9/11: One Day in America, which will feature interviews with many of the people involved on that momentous day. Our publishing house also recommends that you check in with journalist Bill Tammeus, who lost a loved one in those attacks, which you can do through Bill’s inspiring book and his insightful online columns. A veteran religion writer, the goal in many of Bill’s columns is to provide religious and cultural context and balance to the weekly news. Here is a look at what you will find in Bill’s writings.

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We Are Caregivers

Parenting: Pushing back on the pressures from youth sports

In our We Are Caregiving section, we publish a wide array of stories that are helpful to America’s millions of caregivers, including parents. This week we are recommending a story for parents by journalist Martin Davis, who specializes in covering the deeper personal dynamics of sports.

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Holidays & Festivals

Paryushan Parva

JAIN families around the world renew the core tenets of their tradition in this annual period of religious reflection and fasting. This might be a good opportunity to talk with a friend, neighbor or colleague who is Jain, wishing them well and asking them about this special time of year. Stephanie Fenton has the story.

Krishna Janmashtami

KRISHNA is one of the most popular and revered of Indian deities, so the festival honoring his birth sometimes last a full week, depending on community customs. When this annual milestone rolls around, observances vary widely around the world—including the visually spectacular human towers of young people vying to reach a suspended pot of buttermilk. Stephanie Fenton has the story for us.

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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 Vivo.

Faith & Film

Click on this image to learn more about the August 2021 issue of Visual Parables Journal.

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. THE GOSPEL OF LUKE—Ed McNulty writes, “This Lumo Project film is the last of the four filmed gospels directed by the prolific director/producer David Batty. It is a wonderful addition to any pastor or educator’s video library, bringing to life the words either of the KJV or the NIV translations of the Bible—viewer’s choice. British actor Richard E. Grant reads the NIV text; Sir Derek Jacobi the KJV.”
  2. VIVO—”Move over Pixar and make room for this toe-tapping musical from Sony Pictures Animation studio. The fact that Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the songs and voices the main character ought to attract a large audience.”
  3. OPHELIA—”Australian director Claire McCarthy gives us love story based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. We need to add that the script by Semi Chellas is based on Lisa Klein’s 2006 young adult novel of the same title.”
  4. MINARIEd also writes, this week, about the Oscar-winning drama about an immigrant family carving out a new life in rural America.
  5. PRAY AWAYEd reviews Kristine Stolakis’ documentary film about evangelical “conversion therapy.”
  6. LUPIN—”The French writer George Kay has created a truly thrilling escapist adventure series with more than a touch of social commentary. He has taken a classic series of French novels revolving around Arsène Lupin as a “Gentleman Thief” and transferred them to a modern day outsider.”
  7. EROICA—Ed McNulty reaches back to 2003 for a wonderful film about the arts, Eroica. In short, it’s a carefully reconstructed drama about Beethoven debuting the piece that people at the time considered a milestone in music history—a unique delight in moviemaking.
  8. AN AMERICAN RHAPSODY—Written and directed by Eva Gardos, this film is based on the filmmaker’s own experience as a young immigrant Hungary.”
  9. STREET FLOW—”Writer/co-director/star Kery James’ film is set in France, the story of three brothers of African descent who live in one of the huge projects just outside of Paris.”
  10. JOE BELLEd recommends this film, “based on a true story,” written by the same team that contributed to the 2005 film, Brokeback Mountain, a writing partnership that included the late novelist Larry McMurtry.

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Cover Story: Author Bill Tammeus marks 20th anniversary of 9/11 with a Wired Word discussion guide

Already thinking about this looming anniversary?

Let a Veteran Religion Writer Guide Your Reflections

FOR THE NEXT MONTH, we’re all going to be thinking about the legacy of 9/11. That turning point in world history launched U.S. forces into foreign wars, forever changed many global relationships—and raised the horrific specter of how explosively dangerous extremist groups can become. Over the next month, we will see countless TV programs, read newspaper and magazine stories—and witness memorial events. Please read our Cover Story about veteran journalist Bill Tammeus’s inspiring and very practical book that explores the legacy of 9/11—and Bill’s upcoming discussion guide for the online service Wired Word. And, please, share this story with friends to help focus our community reflections on the kind of practical peacemaking that Bill is encouraging.

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Anchor Dan Harris Gives Up ABC for Meditation

This Meditation Skeptic Already Has Helped Millions

SUZY FARBMAN devotes her column this week to the delightfully humble teachings of ABC newsman Dan Harris, who just announced he’s quitting his network job to devote himself full time to learning about—and teaching others about—the healing power of meditation.

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And, Meditating in The Field of Dreams

Celebrating the Spiritual Practice of Baseball

MARTIN DAVIS brings us this fun and inspiring look at how the spiritual practice of baseball can lift our spirits—especially a dramatic broadcast this week from The Field of Dreams. And, yes, he’s got a video link!

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Holidays & Festivals

Special Bread Celebrates Mary’s Dormition

MARY THE MOTHER OF JESUS is trending these days across a surprisingly broad group of cultural influencers, writes Holidays & Festivals columnist Stephanie Fenton. However, the traditions surrounding Mary stretch back nearly two millennia and are expressed in a wide range of customs—including a special spiced bread that many Christian bakers prepared this week in Orthodox Christian communities in the Middle East. Kevin Vollrath, who is based in that region currently, reports this story about some of those ancient stories concerning Mary’s death—and the breads prepared to mark what the Orthodox call Mary’s Dormition.

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Raksha Bandhan

Festival of Sibling Love Now Is Bigger than Bracelets

DESPITE COVID RESTRICTIONS, popular culture in India already is focused on the colorful festival of Raksha Bandhan, when brothers and sisters traditionally renew their bonds with bracelets. The celebration falls on August 22 this year and now is commonly marked in Indian communities around the world. Holidays & Festivals columnist Stephanie Fenton has the story.

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Krishna Janmashtami

KRISHNA is one of the most popular and revered of Indian deities, so the festival honoring his birth sometimes last a full week, depending on community customs. When this annual milestone rolls around, observances vary widely around the world—including the visually spectacular human towers of young people vying to reach a suspended pot of buttermilk. Stephanie Fenton has the story for us.

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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 this image to read Ed McNulty’s review of the movie, The Gospel of Luke.

Faith & Film

Click on this image to learn more about the August 2021 issue of Visual Parables Journal.

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. THE GOSPEL OF LUKE—Ed McNulty writes, “This Lumo Project film is the last of the four filmed gospels directed by the prolific director/producer David Batty. It is a wonderful addition to any pastor or educator’s video library, bringing to life the words either of the KJV or the NIV translations of the Bible—viewer’s choice. British actor Richard E. Grant reads the NIV text; Sir Derek Jacobi the KJV.”
  2. VIVO—”Move over Pixar and make room for this toe-tapping musical from Sony Pictures Animation studio. The fact that Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the songs and voices the main character ought to attract a large audience.”
  3. OPHELIA—”Australian director Claire McCarthy gives us love story based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. We need to add that the script by Semi Chellas is based on Lisa Klein’s 2006 young adult novel of the same title.”
  4. MINARIEd also writes, this week, about the Oscar-winning drama about an immigrant family carving out a new life in rural America.
  5. PRAY AWAYEd reviews Kristine Stolakis’ documentary film about evangelical “conversion therapy.”
  6. LUPIN—”The French writer George Kay has created a truly thrilling escapist adventure series with more than a touch of social commentary. He has taken a classic series of French novels revolving around Arsène Lupin as a “Gentleman Thief” and transferred them to a modern day outsider.”
  7. EROICA—Ed McNulty reaches back to 2003 for a wonderful film about the arts, Eroica. In short, it’s a carefully reconstructed drama about Beethoven debuting the piece that people at the time considered a milestone in music history—a unique delight in moviemaking.
  8. AN AMERICAN RHAPSODY—Written and directed by Eva Gardos, this film is based on the filmmaker’s own experience as a young immigrant Hungary.”
  9. STREET FLOW—”Writer/co-director/star Kery James’ film is set in France, the story of three brothers of African descent who live in one of the huge projects just outside of Paris.”
  10. JOE BELLEd recommends this film, “based on a true story,” written by the same team that contributed to the 2005 film, Brokeback Mountain, a writing partnership that included the late novelist Larry McMurtry.

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Cover Story: A prophetic chorus calls us to become ‘dangerous’ peacemakers

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It’s ‘Dangerous’ to Open Our Hearts

Three Peacemakers Remind Us of This Transformative Power

OUR COVER STORY presentation begins with this story about the prophetic wisdom in Quaker writer J. Brent Bill’s new book, Hope and Witness in Dangerous Timeswhich is echoed by two other writers this week.

Then, to understand how these transformative principles can show up in everyday life, we take you to a family owned farm in mid-Michigan where children working at a late-summer sweetcorn stand wound up sharing their own wisdom about the challenges of peacemaking.

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Circling the Christian World

Dr. Gushee’s Book Reaches a Milestone 

IN OUR FRONT EDGE PUBLISHING COLUMN, this week, David Crumm tells a remarkable spiritual story. A translation team in the nation of Georgia worked with Dr. David Gushee and our publishing house to release an edition of Dr. Gushee’s Changing Our Mind in the ancient Georgian language. In this column, we explain why this unusual publication is such a historic and spiritual milestone!

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Holidays & Festivals

 

Assumption, Dormition of Mary

MARY THE MOTHER OF JESUS is trending these days across a surprisingly broad group of cultural influencers, writes Holidays & Festivals columnist Stephanie Fenton, citing an intriguing new story in the Canadian magazine Broadview. In mid-August, millions of Western and Eastern Christians will mark unique traditions about Mary’s death and her transition to Heaven.

 

 

Raksha Bandhan

Festival of Sibling Love Now Is Bigger than Bracelets

DESPITE COVID RESTRICTIONS, popular culture in India already is focused on the colorful festival of Raksha Bandhan, when brothers and sisters traditionally renew their bonds with bracelets. The celebration falls on August 22 this year and now is commonly marked in Indian communities around the world. Holidays & Festivals columnist Stephanie Fenton has the story.

 

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 learn more about the August 2021 issue of Ed McNulty’s Visual Parables Journal, which includes full discussion guides to Vivo, Eroica, The Gospel of Luke, Minari, Ophelia and more!

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. THE GOSPEL OF LUKE—Ed McNulty writes, “This Lumo Project film is the last of the four filmed gospels directed by the prolific director/producer David Batty. It is a wonderful addition to any pastor or educator’s video library, bringing to life the words either of the KJV or the NIV translations of the Bible—viewer’s choice. British actor Richard E. Grant reads the NIV text; Sir Derek Jacobi the KJV.”
  2. VIVO—”Move over Pixar and make room for this toe-tapping musical from Sony Pictures Animation studio. The fact that Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the songs and voices the main character ought to attract a large audience.”
  3. OPHELIA—”Australian director Claire McCarthy gives us love story based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. We need to add that the script by Semi Chellas is based on Lisa Klein’s 2006 young adult novel of the same title.”
  4. MINARIEd also writes, this week, about the Oscar-winning drama about an immigrant family carving out a new life in rural America.
  5. PRAY AWAYEd reviews Kristine Stolakis’ documentary film about evangelical “conversion therapy.”
  6. LUPIN—”The French writer George Kay has created a truly thrilling escapist adventure series with more than a touch of social commentary. He has taken a classic series of French novels revolving around Arsène Lupin as a “Gentleman Thief” and transferred them to a modern day outsider.”
  7. EROICA—Ed McNulty reaches back to 2003 for a wonderful film about the arts, Eroica. In short, it’s a carefully reconstructed drama about Beethoven debuting the piece that people at the time considered a milestone in music history—a unique delight in moviemaking.
  8. AN AMERICAN RHAPSODY—Written and directed by Eva Gardos, this film is based on the filmmaker’s own experience as a young immigrant Hungary.”
  9. STREET FLOW—”Writer/co-director/star Kery James’ film is set in France, the story of three brothers of African descent who live in one of the huge projects just outside of Paris.”
  10. JOE BELLEd recommends this film, “based on a true story,” written by the same team that contributed to the 2005 film, Brokeback Mountain, a writing partnership that included the late novelist Larry McMurtry.

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