Cover Story: Celebrating the 20th guide by MSU School of Journalism’s Bias Busters: ‘100 Questions and Answers about The Black Church’

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‘To understand America, you need to understand the Black Church’

Please Help Spread this Good News Now

IN THIS WEEK’S COVER STORY, we are celebrating the upcoming publication of the 2oth guide by the Michigan State University School of Journalism’s Bias Busters team: 100 Questions and Answers about The Black Church.

TIME magazine put it simply: “To understand America, you need to understand the Black Church.” This new book will be officially released in just a few weeks—but is listed for pre-sale on Amazon right now. We are asking our readers to support this effort—and spread this good news—by reading our cover story, pre-ordering a copy now, and sharing this news with friends via social media and email. C’mon! It’s an easy way to help make our troubled world a little more hospitable place for all of us.

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And on Native American Peoples—

Vatican photo provided for media use.

Pope Francis’s Pilgrimage

OVER THE PAST WEEK, Pope Francis circled the world to continue a process of Truth and Reconciliation for the centuries of trauma inflicted on Native Peoples by church-sponsored “schools” that were designed to destroy Native culture. We have been covering this historic milestone in our weekly magazine, offering periodic updates to our readers. Among this week’s links you may want to visit are:

The Vatican has provided both photos of the event and a complete text of Francis’s remarks in English.

The New York Times initially published front-page coverage by Jason Horowitz and Ian Austen. Then, on July 30, Horowitz published a follow-up report as well.

Religion News Service also covered these events.

To learn more, please order a copy of the guidebook in the MSU Bias Busters series: 100 Questions, 500 Nations from Amazon.

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Dr. David Gushee

Two Opportunities to Hear from Dr. Gushee—

There are two new opportunities to hear from best-selling Christian ethicist Dr. David Gushee this week.

First, the progressive Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) Conversations podcast talks with Dr. Gushee.

Then, the Future Christian podcast talks with Dr. Gushee about why Christian ethics matter in today’s world.

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Holidays & Festivals

 

Tisha B’Av

A day to remember, mourn and ‘restart the journey.’

PLEASE DON’T MISS RABBI LENORE BOHM’S thoughtful reflection on what is sometimes described as the saddest day of the Jewish year. Tisha B’Av is far more than that, the rabbi tells us. In fact, it can be a helpful occasion on which to restart the journey home. Please, share Rabbi Bohm’s thoughtful column with friends via social media.

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Lammas, Lughnasadh

ON AUGUST 1, each year, many families with cultural roots in the UK mark this beginning-of-the-harvest festival.

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Feast of the Transfiguration

AUGUST 6An event revered by St. Thomas Aquinas as “the greatest miracle” is recalled by both Eastern and Western Christians today, on the centuries-old Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord.

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Raksha Bandhan

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

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

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Click this movie image to read Ed McNulty’s review of Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down.

Faith & Film

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

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

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Cover Story: The dangerous roots of our American obsession with who’s “in” and who’s “out” of our herd

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What happens when our polarization becomes ‘an existential threat’?

Searching our religious heritage for solutions

WE ARE PROUD TO WELCOME BACK Virginia-based columnist Henry Brinton, who always brings us a fresh perspective on challenges we all face in embracing America’s growing diversity. Henry has been teaching and writing about this theme for many years—from his books, public appearances and ongoing columns. This week, you’ll likely be startled by a chapter of American history you’ve never heard about before Henry’s reporting. Please, read this column and share it with friends via social media and email.

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From our writers

Pedro Brieger:

The Pope and Latin America

OUR FRIENDS TRULY FORM A GLOBAL NETWORK! ReadTheSpirit magazine is an active part of the International Association of Religion Journalists. This week, we assisted with the bilingual publication of award-winning Argentinian journalist Pedro Brieger’s news-analysis, El Papa Francisco y America LatinaHis column appears on the IARJ website in both Spanish and English.

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Bill Tammeus:

Imagine if all our houses of worship—vanished?!

THIS WEEK, veteran journalist Bill Tammeus offers readers a 3-for-the-price-of-1 news roundup that you won’t want to miss. First, he poses a provocative idea: “Suppose all the faith communities just—disappeared.” Then, he offers a fascinating news item about “Monsters in the Bible.” And, wait! There’s more! He even offers a third item about reflections on the astonishing images from the new Webb telescope. Don’t miss this column! (and consider sharing this with friends)

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Carol Trembath:

Remember to Review?

WERE YOU AMONG OUR READERS, last week, who read our Cover Story about the remarkable new Native American story by Carol Trembath? Carol’s book, Pass the Feather, continues her inspiring series of books about the real-life group of Native American women who have walked more than 20,000 miles around the Great Lakes, praying for our waters as they walk. If you were among those who decided to order a copy—please remember to be supportive of Carol’s work by visiting Amazon and adding a review!

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Dmitri Barvinok:

What’s new in the 56th edition of the AP Stylebook? 

IMPORTANT NEWS FOR ALL THE WRITERS AMONG USAs Dmitri Barvinok explains in our Front Edge Publishing column this week, “The Associated Press Stylebook is the trusted companion of writers and editors around the world.” It’s the guide we use in editing this online magazine—and in editing the books we publish through Front Edge. This new guide includes “300 new and revised entries”—so Dmitri highlights a few of the most important for our community of writers and includes links to learn more about this new Stylebook. If you know other writers, please share this column with them via social media or email.
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Holidays & Festivals

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Lammas, Lughnasadh

Yes, autumn is coming …

ON AUGUST 1, each year, many families with cultural roots in the UK mark this beginning-of-the-harvest festival.

Feast of the Transfiguration

AUGUST 6An event revered by St. Thomas Aquinas as “the greatest miracle” is recalled by both Eastern and Western Christians today, on the centuries-old Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord.

Raksha Bandhan

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

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

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Click this photo to read Ed McNulty’s review of the film Brian and Charles.

 

Click this image to learn more about the July 2022 issue of Visual Parables Journal, which includes complete discussion guides to Elvis, Lightyear, 1776, The First Lady and many more films.

Faith & Film

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

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

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Carol Trembath debuts her latest Native American book ‘Pass the Feather’

‘It’s for the water.’

‘Pass the Feather’ continues the Native American walk around the Great Lakes

IN THIS WEEK’S COVER STORY, author and educator Carol Trembath returns to our online magazine with the remarkable story of Pass the Feather. This is the latest book in her series about the real-life Native American Water Walkers, focusing this time on a journey around Lake Erie. In this incredible, years-long project Native American women have walked 20,000 miles around the Great Lakes and waterways, prayerfully lifting up awareness of the water that is essential for all life on our planet. Please, read Carol’s story and help out with this timely effort. Share her story with friends and invite them to help, as well.

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From our authors

Suzy Farbman

GodSigns galore when artists connect

IN SUZY’S MEMOIR AND HER COLUMNS, she often describes startling connections as “GodSigns,” especially when they lead to inspiration and new friendships. In this week’s columns, generations of artists wind up experiencing such moments as they connect—and now plan to brighten up a Detroit high school.

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Joe Grimm and the MSU Bias Busters:

Help spread the good news

WERE YOU AMONG THE READERS, last week, who read our Cover Story about the launch of 100 Questions and Answers about Sikh Americans? Were you among the readers who immediately ordered a copy of the paperback or the Kindle edition? Well, here’s a friendly reminder from Joe Grimm and the remarkable MSU Bias Busters team of students: If you ordered a book, please return to the book’s Amazon page and add a review. Positive reviews are very helpful in spreading awareness of important new books like this one.

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Bill Tammeus:

An Orthodox dome rises in wake of 9/11

IN A NEW COLUMN THIS WEEK, veteran journalist Bill Tammeus writes about a development near to his heart: “The most important victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 were, of course, people. Nearly 3,000 of them died that day, including my own nephew, a passenger on the first plane to smash into the World Trade Center. I tell that family story and I explore the roots of extremism (and what to do about it) in my last book, Love, Loss and Endurance. But as well know, there were non-human victims of the terrorists, too—and not just the tall twin towers. In fact, one of the structures severely damaged that day was a Greek Orthodox Church, St. Nicholas.” Please, read and share Bill’s column this week. It’s a sign of hope in our troubled world.

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Holidays & Festivals

Birthday of Haile Selassie

As we honor Native peoples around the world …

ETHIOPIAN leader Halie Selassie’s courage—in the face of deadly European aggression—is remembered each year on Selassie’s July 23 birthday. Stephanie Fenton shares the story with us.

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Lammas, Lughnasadh

Yes, autumn is coming …

ON AUGUST 1, each year, many families with cultural roots in the UK mark this beginning-of-the-harvest festival.

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

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Click this image to learn more about the July 2022 issue of Visual Parables Journal, which includes complete discussion guides to Elvis, Lightyear, 1776, The First Lady and many more films.

Faith & Film

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

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

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Cover Story: Celebrating with MSU Journalism ‘Bias Busters’ the publication of ‘100 Questions & Answers About Sikh Americans’

Want to help make our world a little better?

Share the good news about this award-winning series of bias-busting books

COVER STORY—Front Edge Publishing and Michigan State University’s School of Journalism are proud to announce the publication of 100 Questions & Answers About Sikh Americans: The Beliefs Behind the Articles of Faith. In our Cover Story this week, Susan Stitt writes about this timely new guide that is part of the diverse, award-winning series of “Bias Busters” guides created by the Michigan State University School of Journalism. Please, share this good news with friends this week via social media and email. Despite the conflict and hatred we find surfacing in daily headlines, it is possible to help spread the hospitality and compassion that all of our faith traditions proclaim.

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From our authors

Suzy Farbman:

Former Catholic priest finds a new vocation helping people

IN HER GOD SIGNS COLUMN THIS WEEK, Suzy Farbman introduces us to Dino Silvestrini, whose long-time vocation to the Catholic priesthood continued as a vocation to ministry even after he formally left the priesthood and married.

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Bill Tammeus:

Puzzled by the Supreme Court? You’re not alone.

VETERAN JOURNALIST BILL TAMMEUS is widely respected for balanced reporting and analysis of the news shaping our world. Bill wrote two of the most thoughtful news-analysis columns on recent Supreme Court rulings, which we now recommend to our readers. (And, if you want more wisdom from Bill about “unplugging extremism,” get a copy of his book Love, Loss and Endurance from Amazon.) Here are his two recent high-court headlines:

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Holidays & Festivals

The Hajj

And speaking of crowds …

THE ANNUAL MUSLIM PILGRIMAGE is at its peak. Stephanie writes about this gathering that spans the globe and is considered the world’s largest annual gathering.

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

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Click this image to learn more about the July 2022 issue of Visual Parables Journal, which includes complete discussion guides to Elvis, Lightyear, 1776, The First Lady and many more films.

Faith & Film

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

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

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Cover Story: Celebrating our July 4 Independence Day with the best of America!

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Join the national shouting match …
or these conversations …

AS AMERICA APPROACHES JULY 4, this year, the home office of our online magazine is awash in deeply felt emails from our readers and writers concerned about the future of our nation. Particularly, we are hearing deep concern about the revelations of extremist groups’ involvement in the “January 6” attacks. We’re hearing about new Supreme Court decisions limiting laws that control guns and slashing the government’s power to control pollution and slow climate change. Of course, the high court also threw our whole nation into years of bitter state-by-state legal disputes over abortion. “It feels like our experiment with democracy is falling apart—pitting Americans against one another in ways we haven’t seen since before the Civil War,” one reader wrote.

Well, we can’t resolve all of the issues raised over the last month in the pages of this online magazine. However, what we can do is underline our 2007 founding motto: “Good media builds healthy communities.” We are journalists—reporting true stories that remind us of our better angels.

TO MARK JULY 4, this year, we are publishing this special issue of Read The Spirit magazine, inviting you to step back with us to 2010 when we presented a 40-day, 9,000-mile exploration of America.

There are two ways to enjoy this adventure

START WITH OUR FIRST COLUMN from July 28, 2010, then simply keep using the “next post” links at the top right of each column to continue reading every story in the series. By the end of the adventure, you will have circled our nation, discovering inspiring true stories from families coast to coast. If you’ve got some “reading time” over this long weekend, this is a great opportunity to reacquaint yourself with the best of our nation.

OR, TO SEE JUST A HALF DOZEN HIGHLIGHTS from the 40-story series, here’s a recap we published that showcases some of the most popular columns in the entire 40-day adventure.

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Holidays & Festivals

Fourth of July

The crowds are back!

HOLIDAYS and FESTIVALS COLUMNIST Stephanie Fenton reports: “After two years of socially distanced Independence Day celebrations, festivities appear to be ramping up this year, with crowds expected to line streets for parades; the scent of barbecue drawing family and friends; and, finally, fireworks lighting up the night sky.” Read her entire column, which includes links to recipes, DIY holiday party tips and even some recommended movies.

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The Hajj

And speaking of crowds …

THE ANNUAL MUSLIM PILGRIMAGE is coming soon. Stephanie writes, “Arriving via every mode of transportation available and from countries that span the globe, this annual Islamic pilgrimage is widely considered the largest annual gathering in the world.”

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

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From Our Authors—

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John Harnish

An ‘Amazing’ E. Stanley Jones Podcast

THIS WEEK JAMES HOWELL features John Harnish on his Maybe I’m Amazed podcast to talk about the “amazing” career of E. Stanley Jones–an American Christian pioneer who journeyed to India a century ago and who recognized Gandhi as a kindred spirit. As Howell says in his introduction to this conversation: Whatever your faith background may be, learning about Jones’s life and message reminds us of the potential hope in our troubled world. If you are interested in reading Harnish’s book yourself, hop over to Amazon and get a copy of 30 Days with E. Stanley Jones.

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Larry Buxton

‘Happy 4th of July!’

AND IN KEEPING WITH OUR HOLIDAY THEME, Larry Buxton’s Leading with Spirit video this week is about his ancestor who was part of the American Revolution. “My having become an official son of the American Revolution, this year, helps me appreciate the courage of these barely known patriots,” Larry says. Then, he talks about another current “patriot” whose identity may surprise you. Please, click over to Larry’s short video and listen to what he has to say this week. You’ll be glad you did.

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Click this movie poster to read Ed McNulty’s review of the new ELVIS movie.

Faith & Film

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

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

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Cover Story: How can I write my own Cozy Mystery?

These mysteries prove that ordinary folks can make a difference!

COVER STORY: After years of encouraging authors to consider the cozy mystery genre, our publishing house is planning to launch our first book in this genre in 2023. So, we thought we would open up the invitation to the entire readership of our online magazine. Yes, even you—you reading these words right now—could plan and write such a tale. In our Cover Story this week, we explain the Cozy Mystery genre and offer some tips for first-time mystery writers just like—you. Please, enjoy this story and share it with friends via social media and email. Who knows which friend just might have a vocation to spin such a yarn?

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From Our Authors—

Suzy Farbman

An entire community contributes to producing a golf pioneer’s story

SOON, the movie Playing Though will begin making its way through theaters across the U.S.—telling the inspiring story of ground-breaking athlete Ann Gregory’s remarkable success in the privileged world of golf. Suzy Farbman’s tells us the story about how an entire community found ways to contribute to making this feature film possible.

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Howard Brown

Visit his website and get a pair of sunglasses!

COMING SOON TO AMAZON is our newest book: Howard Brown’s hope-filled memoir of resilience and community-building called Shining Brightly. Stay tuned for the start of the “pre-sale” ordering period for that remarkable book. MEANWHILE, Howard already is part of many national conversations about the core themes in his new book. For a sample of his message: Visit YouTube to see his talk at the national Kindness and Gratitude conference through June 25. Even more importantly, if you have not yet visited Howard’s new online home—ShiningBrightly.com—please visit that website right now. Howard just posted a special greeting to newcomers, offering to send you a pair of his trademark Shining Brightly sunglasses if you’ll sign up for his free email updates. They’re fun to wear! Go on! Get your glasses.

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Bill Tammeus

And for another word of hope …

After a traumatic week of news events, we can count on veteran religion journalist Bill Tammeus to offer helpful context and constructive ideas. And that’s precisely what Bill has written in two columns we highly recommend. Here are his headlines:

Thank you Bill for your wisdom and thoughtful reporting! (Want a true “gift” from Bill as well? Jump over to Amazon, buy a copy of his Love, Loss and Endurance—and you’ll find that his thoughtful storytelling in that memoir is also an inspiring “gift” to us all.)

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Larry Buxton

Leading with Spirit also involves—Following

FAR TOO OFTEN, we’re so eager to have our voices heard and our preferences dominate that our quest for authentic “leadership” becomes a selfish desire, leadership expert Larry Buxton warns us in this week’s short Leading with Spirit video. Please, go enjoy this short message from Larry and you may find you want to share this particularly thought-provoking message with friends.

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Holidays & Festivals

Fourth of July

The crowds are back!

HOLIDAYS and FESTIVALS COLUMNIST Stephanie Fenton reports: “After two years of socially distanced Independence Day celebrations, festivities appear to be ramping up this year, with crowds expected to line streets for parades; the scent of barbecue drawing family and friends; and, finally, fireworks lighting up the night sky.” Read her entire column, which includes links to recipes, DIY holiday party tips and even some recommended movies.

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The Hajj

And speaking of crowds …

THE ANNUAL MUSLIM PILGRIMAGE is coming soon. Stephanie writes, “Arriving via every mode of transportation available and from countries that span the globe, this annual Islamic pilgrimage is widely considered the largest annual gathering in the world.”

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

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Click this image from the movie to read Ed McNulty’s review of Lightyear.

Faith & Film

Click on this cover image to learn more about the June 2022 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.

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

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COVER STORY: Brian McLaren asks ‘Do I Stay Christian?’ Then, he explains why that question is so urgent in our world.

 

The 11 Splinters of the Christian Brand—
And Why Brian’s Book Ends with Hope

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MILLIONS OF “CHRISTIANS” are heading to the exits of their churches until more than 1 in 4 Americans now answer “none” when they are asked by pollsters to name their religious affiliation. Their reasons for leaving vary widely, but the experience nearly always is marked by regret and often by anger. This week, we welcome best-selling Christian author Brian McLaren for an interview about his new book that asks the question so many are asking: Should I Stay Christian? Brian’s book is both a fresh and insightful analysis of why Christianity is splintering—and an inspiring overview of why millions are choosing to remain. Please, enjoy this cover story that ultimately is marked by Brian’s relentless hope—and share this column with friends via social media or email.

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From Our Authors—

Bill Tammeus

And on a related note …

THREE OF OUR REGULAR COLUMNISTS have posted thoughtful commentaries this week that are related to Brian McLaren’s analysis of the crisis within Christianity. First, there’s veteran religion journalist Bill Tammeus with two columns about global spiritual challenges:

Then, also related to the theme of Christian conflict, this week, we have this thought-provoking column from Dr. David Gushee …

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David Gushee

Is the Far Right in America ‘Fascist’?

IN HIS BAPTIST NEWS GLOBAL column this week, best-selling Christian ethicist Dr. David Gushee addresses a question we are hearing frequently these days: Is the term “Fascist” accurate when describing America’s Far Right? Dr. Gushee’s approach to finding an answer to this question is very much in keeping with his principles as a scholar. In his column, he asks: “Is it possible for scholars to help us answer this question analytically rather than emotionally?” If you would like to learn more about Gushee’s approach to analyzing controversial contemporary issues, please read his book Introducing Christian Ethics: Core Convictions for Christians Today.

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Lucille Sider

‘You teach me how to be when I grow up.’

THEN, YES, LUCILLE’S CAREGIVING column, this week, also relates to themes found especially in the second half of Brian McLaren’s new book in passages such as Chapter 21: Include and Transcend. As if embodying some of the principles McLaren summarizes in that chapter, Lucille’s column describes how she moved from serving as a pastor for seniors to serving as a senior herself. Please, enjoy and share this column with friends.

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Holidays & Festivals

HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS columnist Stephanie Fenton reports on this second year that Juneteenth is an official national holiday across the U.S.

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

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Click on this photo to read Ed McNulty’s review of the documentary The Book Keepers.

Faith & Film

Click on this cover image to learn more about the June 2022 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.

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

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