Cover Story: Pour a cup of your favorite beverage and enjoy this conversation on Aging Today with Mark Turnbull and David Crumm

You’ll be inspired—and might wind up inspiring others

THIS WEEK, Editor David Crumm appeared on Mark Turnbull’s popular podcast Aging Today, which brings fresh news to listeners about the gifts and challenges of aging. Every one of us is aging all the time, host Mark Turnbull reminds listeners. That’s why his podcasts are intended to be both inspiring and helpful to listeners who are choosing to age on their own terms, as Mark puts it. Please, enjoy the podcast. We suggest pouring a cup of your favorite beverage and relaxing as you listen. Plus, you may find a section of this podcast that you’ll want to share with friends later, perhaps in a class or small group you attend. After you’ve listened, it’s easy to reopen this audio at whatever section you prefer.

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How Can We Summon Resilience?

A NEW FRONT EDGE PUBLISHING VIDEO—Our publishing house is a community—and community fosters personal resilience, authors Howard Brown and Mindy Corporon say in a new video hosted by goal-setting expert Debra Eckerling. We’ve got a link to their inspiring conversation for you to enjoy and share with others. After all, sharing is a building block of community.

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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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From Suzy Farbman—

Simon Wiesenthal Poses a Moral Question

ARE THERE LIMITS TO OUR FORGIVENESS? In this week’s column by Suzy Farbman, she recalls the famous moral dilemma described by Simon Wiesenthal in the book Sunflower. 

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Click here to read Ed McNulty’s review of the movie Joe Bell.

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. 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.”
  2. 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.
  3. AN AMERICAN RHAPSODY—Written and directed by Eva Gardos, this film is based on the filmmaker’s own experience as a young immigrant Hungary.”
  4. 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.”
  5. A RAINY DAY IN NEW YORKBased on its on-screen merits, Ed recommends this Woody Allen story set in New York City.
  6. AWAKEAnother Apocalyptic thriller with some unusual twists.
  7. NINE DAYSDirector/writer Edson Oda’s film at first seems to be about a busy man conducting interviews over a nine day period. But as it unfolds we realize this is a metaphysical tale about birth and the appreciation of and celebration of life in all its details.”
  8. MR. PIG—”Mexican director/writer Diego Luna tackles both animal rights and father-daughter issues in this 2016 film that NetFlix has picked up.”
  9. FATHERHOOD—“Appropriately this new Kevin Hart film opened during this year’s Father’s Day weekend. Were it not for a brief bedroom shot it would make for ideal family viewing, with its tender depictions of a father-daughter relationship.”
  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.
  11. ONE NATION, ONE KING—”French writer/director Pierre Schoeller’s epic will enlarge our truncated view of the French Revolution. Schoeller attempts to give us a view of events from the perspective of those at the bottom of society.”

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Cover Story: Martin Davis on reports that American evangelicals are in decline

News Analysis: PRRI’s new report on evangelical decline

What Values Could Help Us Bridge the Religious Chasm?

IN SUMMER 2021, many of our colleagues nationwide are asking: What values could help Americans to find common ground, especially with militant groups of evangelicals continuing to throw their weight into national politics? This week, veteran Washington DC-based journalist Martin Davis shares his analysis of recent headlines suggesting evangelical numbers actually may be declining. We know you’ll want to read and share this story with friends across social media and email. Please, help us encourage this important national conversation.

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We Are Caregivers

Help Us Save Lives by Sharing this Vaccination Advice

BENJAMIN PRATT sent us this short column from his home in Virginia, a word of encouragement about battling the COVID epidemic that he hopes many of our readers will share with friends. Benjamin’s We Are Caregivers column this week includes the latest advice from his denomination—plus a moving account of Benjamin Franklin’s hard-earned wisdom about vaccines.

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Holidays & Milestones

Remembering Martyrs with Assyrian Christians

OUR SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT continues with scholar Kevn Vollrath, who has reported several stories for us about Christians who are part of the ancient churches of the Middle East. In this issue, Kevin reports on the heartfelt connection between martyrs and the remaining members of the Assyrian Church of the East in Iraq. This is a story largely unknown among American Christians.

 

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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Indian Boarding Schools

A SEARCH FOR HEALING ACROSS NORTH AMERICA

OUR ONLINE MAGAZINE has been closely following this unfolding story, because our commitment to Native voices was part of our founding principles back in 2007. THIS WEEK, readers recommended that we share two new reports:

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Videos from our authors

The Challenges of Bridging Divides

TWO OF OUR POPULAR AUTHORS took part in video conversations that now are streaming across social media. In our Front Edge Publishing column this week, we highlight the video-streaming of Col. Clifford Worthy, retired, and Victor Begg. In the videos we are sharing today, both authors agreed to talk about their lives and their published memoirs. They also offer their hard-earned wisdom about navigating the turbulent conflicts we see around us.

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Click this photo to read Ed McNulty’s review of the Netflix series LUPIN.

Faith & Film

Click on this image to learn about the July 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. 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.”
  2. 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.
  3. AN AMERICAN RHAPSODY—Written and directed by Eva Gardos, this film is based on the filmmaker’s own experience as a young immigrant Hungary.”
  4. 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.”
  5. A RAINY DAY IN NEW YORKBased on its on-screen merits, Ed recommends this Woody Allen story set in New York City.
  6. AWAKEAnother Apocalyptic thriller with some unusual twists.
  7. NINE DAYSDirector/writer Edson Oda’s film at first seems to be about a busy man conducting interviews over a nine day period. But as it unfolds we realize this is a metaphysical tale about birth and the appreciation of and celebration of life in all its details.”
  8. MR. PIG—”Mexican director/writer Diego Luna tackles both animal rights and father-daughter issues in this 2016 film that NetFlix has picked up.”
  9. FATHERHOOD—“Appropriately this new Kevin Hart film opened during this year’s Father’s Day weekend. Were it not for a brief bedroom shot it would make for ideal family viewing, with its tender depictions of a father-daughter relationship.”
  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.
  11. ONE NATION, ONE KING—”French writer/director Pierre Schoeller’s epic will enlarge our truncated view of the French Revolution. Schoeller attempts to give us a view of events from the perspective of those at the bottom of society.”

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Cover Story: Reframing our hopes may take us farther than we dreamed

Celebrating the 80th birthday of ‘Paddle to the Sea’

What if that beloved story came to life?

We’ve got a delightful Cover Story grouping this week, thanks to our authors Suzy Farbman and Larry Buxton—all about how reframing our hopes can lead us farther than we ever dreamed. What we love about the convergences in these stories (Suzy likes to call them God Signs, the name of her memoir) is that neither writer had talked before sending us stories this week. Their themes simply connected. What’s more, this Cover Story also connects to an ongoing theme in ReadTheSpirit this summer, which is awareness of Native American issues. In 1941, the original Paddle to the Sea was published to celebrate the close connection to nature among Native peoples.

Please, share these stories with friends via social media, this week. Sharing these stories represents true rays of sunshine in this often overcast world.

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When Our Favorite Theater Goes Dark

RODNEY CURTIS writes this week for all of us who have lost a theater where some of our fondest moments have been spent through the years.

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We Are Caregivers

A New Approach to the Unique Needs of Latino Caregivers

Our Front Edge Publishing team is collaborating with a nationwide network of journalists reporting on solutions for caregiving challenges. This week, we are highlighting important news on a fresh approach to serving the unique challenges of Latino caregivers.

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Introducing a New Publishing House: Lake Drive Books

IN OUR FRONT EGDGE PUBLISHING COLUMN, this week, David Crumm introduces a friend and colleague: David Morris, a long-time veteran in this profession who is opening what he expects will become a mid-sized independent publishing house specializing in uplifting books built around authentic storytelling.

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Holidays & Festivals

Wishing Our Muslim Neighbors a Happy Eid

OF THE 2 MUSLIM EIDS EACH YEAR, this week’s Eid al-Adha is known as the Greater Eid and normally is a time when crowds gathering for community prayers literally spill out the doors of mosques into nearby streets and fields. Stephanie Fenton has the story of what is likely to unfold this week—and why it is so timely to wish Muslim friends well this week.

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

Faith & Film

Click on this image to learn about the July 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. 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.
  2. AN AMERICAN RHAPSODY—Written and directed by Eva Gardos, this film is based on the filmmaker’s own experience as a young immigrant Hungary.”
  3. 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.”
  4. A RAINY DAY IN NEW YORKBased on its on-screen merits, Ed recommends this Woody Allen story set in New York City.
  5. AWAKEAnother Apocalyptic thriller with some unusual twists.
  6. NINE DAYSDirector/writer Edson Oda’s film at first seems to be about a busy man conducting interviews over a nine day period. But as it unfolds we realize this is a metaphysical tale about birth and the appreciation of and celebration of life in all its details.”
  7. MR. PIG—”Mexican director/writer Diego Luna tackles both animal rights and father-daughter issues in this 2016 film that NetFlix has picked up.”
  8. FATHERHOOD—“Appropriately this new Kevin Hart film opened during this year’s Father’s Day weekend. Were it not for a brief bedroom shot it would make for ideal family viewing, with its tender depictions of a father-daughter relationship.”
  9. 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.
  10. ONE NATION, ONE KING—”French writer/director Pierre Schoeller’s epic will enlarge our truncated view of the French Revolution. Schoeller attempts to give us a view of events from the perspective of those at the bottom of society.”

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Cover Story: Music we’ve loved all our lives can help to settle our souls in the end

‘Where words fail, music speaks.’

AS THE WORLDWIDE PANDEMIC has risen and fallen in 2021, we are receiving more columns from writers around the world about the challenges of aging, caregiving and the end of life. Each week, our ReadTheSpirit magazine offers stories that can inspire individuals and build healthier communities. That certainly is true of this week’s Cover Story by Lori Brady-Neuman, a retired school social worker who has been using her life-long skills, especially her talents as a musician, to bring music to hospice patients. That kind of work by Certified Music Practitioners has been growing nationwide in recent years, including at major teaching hospitals. Lori explains to us how she got involved in this work and how music has touched the lives of families she has met.

If you are following this global conversation about caregiving, you may also want to look back at last week’s cover story from journalist Elisa Di Benedetto in Italy, about resources for promoting positive images of aging.

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Sometimes, Great Ideas Remain Great Ideas

THIS WEEK, we got an email from author Debra Darvick, exclaiming: “We were way ahead of the curve!” Turns out, nearly a decade ago, Debra was among our authors who hosted public events to promote Dr. Wayne Baker’s book, United America. These events were designed to showcase how much all Americans share. Among the several formats was a Show-and-Tell designed for adults, which proved to be more inspiring than anyone expected. What’s so remarkable about Debra’s email this week is that everything about Debra’s 2013 story about her particular Show-and-Tell night is still true. Yes—still true. Read the story and see what we mean. You’ll want to share this story with friends. This program is a great idea that obviously remains popular all these years later. Grab this idea and run with it in your community!

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Indian Boarding School Investigations

A Search for Healing across North America

OUR ONLINE MAGAZINE has been closely following this unfolding story, because our commitment to Native voices was part of our founding principles back in 2007. THIS WEEK, an alert reader suggested we share a link to this National Public Radio report on July 11 that presents a fairly in-depth overview of the story to date. If you are just catching up to this story, you may also want to read our original ReadTheSpirit cover story about this unfolding news. Also, we published a personal viewpoint by Madonna Thunder Hawk of the Lakota People’s Law Project.
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Ever Hear of ‘School Lunch Shaming’?

Our Author Is Raising Awareness

AUTHOR ANNI REINKING wrote one of the most timely books we have published, Not Just Black and WhiteShe is one of the nation’s leading scholars exploring the many ways we shape the lives of our children about race and diversity. This week, she was the focus of a fascinating story in ALESTLE, the student-run newspaper at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville by Brandon Wells, headlined: Alumnus takes initiative in fight against lunch shaming.

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Holidays & Festivals

Celebrate Japanese Culture in Obon, Ullambana

STEPHANIE FENTON previews one of the most colorful Japanese festivals each year, writing: A festival of ancient dances, intricate costumes and a celebration of Japanese culture commences, as the spirit of Obon circles the globe. Worldwide, this festival spans an entire month: “Shichigatsu Bon,” celebrated in Eastern Japan, begins in mid-July; “Hachigatsu Bon” commences in August; “Kyu Bon,” or “Old Bon,” is observed annually on the 15th day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar.

 

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A Very Different Hajj—

A Perfect Opportunity to Meet Our Muslim Neighbors

AMERICAN MUSLIMS CANNOT MAKE THE PILGRIMAGE for the second straight year in the COVID pandemic, Saudi authorities have announced (and the U.S. CDC agrees). Stephanie Fenton’s Holidays column about the Hajj begins with that news (with links to learn more from the Saudi and CDC perspectives). Stephanie also urges our American readers to make a commitment, this year, to get to know more about our many Muslim co-workers and neighbors. In our Front Edge Publishing column this week, we recommend three fascinating books that can help non-Muslims learn more about their many connections with Muslim neighbors.

 

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 cover image to learn about the July 2021 issue of Ed McNulty’s Visual Parables Journal.

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. NINE DAYSEd McNulty writes, “Director/writer Edson Oda’s film at first seems to be about a busy man conducting interviews over a nine day period. But as it unfolds we realize this is a metaphysical tale about birth and the appreciation of and celebration of life in all its details.”
  2. MR. PIG—”Mexican director/writer Diego Luna tackles both animal rights and father-daughter issues in this 2016 film that NetFlix has picked up.”
  3. FATHERHOOD—“Appropriately this new Kevin Hart film opened during this year’s Father’s Day weekend. Were it not for a brief bedroom shot it would make for ideal family viewing, with its tender depictions of a father-daughter relationship.”
  4. 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.
  5. ONE NATION, ONE KING—”French writer/director Pierre Schoeller’s epic will enlarge our truncated view of the French Revolution. Schoeller attempts to give us a view of events from the perspective of those at the bottom of society.”
  6. DISNEY’S HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME—For the 25th anniversary of this animated feature, Ed reaches back into his vault of past faith-and-film reviews to share this thoughtful column.
  7. DOUBTING THOMAS—”Will McFadden’s film is about trust as well as systemic racism, making it of double interest. The story involves a young white couple, Jen and Tom, and their best friend, Ron, a black bachelor who works at the same law firm as Tom.”
  8. LUPIN—Ed McNulty writes, “The French writer George Kay has created a truly thrilling escapist adventure series with more than a touch of social commentary.”
  9. RITA MORENO: JUST A GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT—”Miriem Pérez Riera’s sparkling documentary not only chronicles the rise of Puerto Rico’s most popular emigrant to the US but also espouses her fight against racism that limited her movie roles and the rights of survivors of sexual abuse, the latter also something she had experienced.”
  10. IMPERIAL DREAMS—”Director/co-writer Malik Vitthal’s father-son film unfolds largely in the streets of the Los Angeles Watts neighborhood and illustrates what advocates for ex-prisoners have long been telling us: The odds for rehabilitated criminals are stacked against them.”

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Cover Story: Celebrating Gifts of Aging with Positive Words and Images

Get involved in the Decade of Healthy Aging

Check Out These Resources for Encouraging Healthy Aging

OUR COVER STORY THIS WEEK represents a treasure trove of online resources, shared with us courtesy of our Italian-based contributing columnist Elisa Di Benedetto. The United Nations has declared this the “Decade of Healthy Aging.” Now that we are a good year into the effort, lots of programs and resources are emerging! There are research reports packed with facts you can share, free discussion guides, ideas for community organizers, social media graphics to share—and even a huge new database of positive images of aging courtesy of a UK-based nonprofit. In this cover story, Elisa guides us through these online treasures. This certainly is a cover story you’ll want to share with friends.

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Christian Creation-Care Initiative

American Baptist leaders launch creation-care resources

IN KEEPING WITH OUR COVER-STORY THEME OF “FREE RESOURCES,” we also recommend a visit to a new online portal focused on “Christian Creation-Care”—a web page that was recommended by our author Ken Whitt, head of Traces of God Ministries. In 2017, a group of progressive Baptists (including some folks from Alliance of Baptists and American Baptist Churches) began meeting to encourage faith-based teaching and ideas for public service that would promote creation care. (Want to know more about who they are? Here’s the group’s current Board of Directors.) Recently, this group organized and launched an online Baptist Creation-Care Initiative Resource Page. If you visit that hub, you’ll find a list of recommended curricula, newsletters, books and related nonprofits that are committed to this cause. Because ReadTheSpirit magazine is based in metro-Detroit, we were pleased to find Michigan’s Interfaith Power & Light among the recommended nonprofits this group supports. We also were pleased to find that Ken Whitt’s new book God Is Just Love is recommended in the “Books” section of this resource page. We hope that many of our readers will add a link to this new resource page to your own personal, community or congregational websites. Look around in this new web portal and you’re likely to find connections with your part of the country, as well.

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Emerging Truths about Indian Boarding Schools

Listen to the Voices from our First Nations

LAST WEEK’s ReadTheSpirit cover story examined the emerging North American search for truth about children who died in the infamous, government-run Indian “boarding schools” over a century of state and federal efforts to wipe out Native American culture. This week, a chorus of voices continues to rise across Indian tribes—and through news media covering those communities—about efforts in the United States to investigate the deaths of these children. This week, we chose to publish—with her permission—a short column by Madonna Thunder Hawk of the Lakota Peoples Law Project, headlined: The Intergenerational Trauma We Live With.

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And Speaking of Resiliency …

… in the Wake of Family Trauma

JOURNALIST and AUTHOR BILL TAMMEUS appears in the Miami Herald this week with a gripping personal reflection on the long wait for answers after a mass disaster like the collapse of the Surfside condominium tower. Bill lost his nephew in the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Now that two decades have passed, Bill tells his family’s story of grief and resilience in the new memoir, Love, Loss and EnduranceOne timeless piece of advice he shares with loved ones of the men, women and children who perished in Florida is that telling their stories is a vital part of resilient living. He writes, “Family members of the Surfside dead may not write books, but they can share stories, photos and letters. News reports say many of those caught in the collapse were Jewish, and one of the grounding articles of faith in Judaism is the importance of memory.” This Miami Herald column is inspiring to read and to share with friends.

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Holidays & Festivals

Obon, Ullambana—

Ancient dances, visitations mark traditional Japanese festival

STEPHANIE FENTION previews one of the most colorful Japanese festivals each year, writing: A festival of ancient dances, intricate costumes and a celebration of Japanese culture commences, as the spirit of Obon circles the globe. Worldwide, this festival spans an entire month: “Shichigatsu Bon,” celebrated in Eastern Japan, begins in mid-July; “Hachigatsu Bon” commences in August; “Kyu Bon,” or “Old Bon,” is observed annually on the 15th day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar.

 

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This Summer’s Hajj Is Limited—

A Perfect Opportunity to Meet Our Muslim Neighbors

AMERICAN MUSLIMS CANNOT MAKE THE PILGRIMAGE for the second straight year in the COVID pandemic, Saudi authorities have announced (and the U.S. CDC agrees). Stephanie Fenton’s Holidays column about the Hajj begins with that news (with links to learn more from the Saudi and CDC perspectives).

Stephanie also urges our American readers to make a commitment, this year, to get to know more about our many Muslim co-workers and neighbors. In our Front Edge Publishing column this week, we recommend three fascinating books that can help non-Muslims learn more about their many connections with Muslim neighbors.

 

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 film Nine Days.

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. NINE DAYSEd McNulty writes, “Director/writer Edson Oda’s film at first seems to be about a busy man conducting interviews over a nine day period. But as it unfolds we realize this is a metaphysical tale about birth and the appreciation of and celebration of life in all its details.”
  2. MR. PIG—”Mexican director/writer Diego Luna tackles both animal rights and father-daughter issues in this 2016 film that NetFlix has picked up.”
  3. FATHERHOOD—“Appropriately this new Kevin Hart film opened during this year’s Father’s Day weekend. Were it not for a brief bedroom shot it would make for ideal family viewing, with its tender depictions of a father-daughter relationship.”
  4. 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.
  5. ONE NATION, ONE KING—”French writer/director Pierre Schoeller’s epic will enlarge our truncated view of the French Revolution. Schoeller attempts to give us a view of events from the perspective of those at the bottom of society.”
  6. DISNEY’S HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME—For the 25th anniversary of this animated feature, Ed reaches back into his vault of past faith-and-film reviews to share this thoughtful column.
  7. DOUBTING THOMAS—”Will McFadden’s film is about trust as well as systemic racism, making it of double interest. The story involves a young white couple, Jen and Tom, and their best friend, Ron, a black bachelor who works at the same law firm as Tom.”
  8. LUPIN—Ed McNulty writes, “The French writer George Kay has created a truly thrilling escapist adventure series with more than a touch of social commentary.”
  9. RITA MORENO: JUST A GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT—”Miriem Pérez Riera’s sparkling documentary not only chronicles the rise of Puerto Rico’s most popular emigrant to the US but also espouses her fight against racism that limited her movie roles and the rights of survivors of sexual abuse, the latter also something she had experienced.”
  10. IMPERIAL DREAMS—”Director/co-writer Malik Vitthal’s father-son film unfolds largely in the streets of the Los Angeles Watts neighborhood and illustrates what advocates for ex-prisoners have long been telling us: The odds for rehabilitated criminals are stacked against them.”

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Cover Story: Why Native American news is so close to the heart of our publishing house

These are just some of the Indian children who were captured and forced to attend Indian boarding schools in the U.S., specifically the infamous Carlisle school in this case. The majority of these children survived this brutal approach to education with lifelong trauma that they passed down through generations of their descendants. However, thousands of children died in these schools—in many cases after assaults or abuse. Now, official forensic efforts to account for the children who died in these schools are sweeping across North America.

Stories of Trauma and Triumph as the World Learns of the Boarding School Tragedy

How Can We Help? Believe the storytellers.

THIS WEEK’s ReadTheSpirit Cover Story is actually a cluster of stories about Native Americans—both the trauma they have suffered over more than a century and the triumphant resilience among members of these tribes who are determined to thrive as vital communities within North America.

FIRST, read our opening story, headlined: Exposing the horrors of the Indian Boarding Schools—Why we need to read Warren Petoskey’s ‘Dancing My Dream’ in 2021. In this opening story, Editor David Crumm explains why global headlines in June 2021 about the discoveries of mass graves at these now-defunct boarding schools represent important news for all of us. You’ll learn why Native American concerns are so important to our publishing house team—and you’ll learn why you should read Warren Petoskey’s memoir this summer. Please, share this timely story with friends, as well.

SECOND, our publishing house team’s founding principle is: “Good media builds healthy communities.” And, indeed, some Native American communities have become successful models for public health responses to the COVID pandemic. No, not every tribe has been successful in combatting the pandemic. And, all tribes have lost beloved Elders. However, we want to lift up and celebrate the important work some tribes have done. In our weekly We Are Caregivers section this week, please read Native American caregiving for COVID ranges widely from tragedies to model public health responses.

THIRD, we take a closer look at two books we publish with Native American writers—of course Warren’s memoir and also 100 Questions, 500 Nations: A Guide to Native America, by the Native American Journalists Association. Please take a moment to check out both of these books in our Front Edge Publishing column, this week, headlined: Since our founding, Front Edge has been lifting up Native American voices.

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From Our Authors—

Larry Buxton: The Parable of Shane Jones

ONE KID, ONE MISSION—LOTS OF GOOD NEWS

LARRY BUXTON’S WEEKLY VIDEOS keep turning up both great stories and timeless wisdom that Larry gleans from his illustrations. This week, people are buzzing about Larry’s The Parable of Shane Jones, which you can watch right now on Larry’s website(And, while you’re there, sign up to get free email updates from Larry so you don’t miss any of his once-a-week doses of video inspiration.) This Rhode Island teenager hit upon a unique mission and, as a result, has been sparking “good news stories” in media all across the country. In fact, our publishing house staff reached out to Shane this week to let him know that Larry was retelling his story. Shane was thankful. He’s also finding himself showered with inquiries from people who would like to donate to his ongoing work. Shane says the easiest way to do that is through his Venmo account: Shane-Jones-202

Please, enjoy Larry’s version of Shane’s story—share it with friends—and let this young man’s compassionate light shine on others who might decide to do likewise in their parts of the country.

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Suzy Farbman: ‘Keep on Paddling’

IN HER GodSigns column this week, Suzy Farbman takes us way back to 1992 to the scene of her 25th wedding anniversary at their family farm in Michigan. She shares some colorful photos of friends—and reminds us of the memorable parable she shared that day about two frogs who … Well, please read her column and share it with friends.

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David Edwards: Raise awareness of ‘What Belongs to God’

THE FAMILY of the late David Livingston Edwards is working hard both locally—and globally—to raise awareness of David’s inspiring call to “Choose Peace” in his memoir titled, What Belongs to God. That appeal comes through in the story of David’s life, in the music he loved to write and perform—and in the step-by-step discussion guide that is a part of the book. The latest stop in that ongoing effort will be July 10, 2021, at a local bookstore in Lynchburg, Virginia—a date to mark for our readers who live in that part of the country. Here are the details for that event on the website for David’s book.

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Victor Begg: Sign up for a free July 18 interfaith conversation

OUR FRIENDS AT THE INTERFAITH CENTER at Miami University in Ohio have invited Victor Begg as the featured speaker at their July 18 online conversation. These events are wonderfully diverse dialogues—and they’re free of charge. Here is the EventBrite page to register for that event. Victor’s memoir is a delightful and inspiring story of an immigrant who arrived in America with high hopes, an entrepreneurial spirit and an eagerness to embrace our country’s vibrant diversity. If you’d like to prepare for the July 18 event by reading Victor’s book, here’s the Amazon page.

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Holidays & Festivals

Plan Ahead for Fourth of July

THE ADVICE IN OUR JULY 4 Holidays & Festivals column is to plan ahead because, while many public venues will bring back big fireworks displays this year—others still are cancelling them. We’ve got links in Stephanie Fenton’s column to find out much more about regional options for families. This is a column you’ll want to share with friends nationwide.

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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 photo to read Ed McNulty’s review of the new movie Fatherhood.

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. FATHERHOOD—Ed McNulty writes, “Appropriately this new Kevin Hart film opened during this year’s Father’s Day weekend. Were it not for a brief bedroom shot it would make for ideal family viewing, with its tender depictions of a father-daughter relationship.”
  2. 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.
  3. ONE NATION, ONE KING—”French writer/director Pierre Schoeller’s epic will enlarge our truncated view of the French Revolution. Schoeller attempts to give us a view of events from the perspective of those at the bottom of society.”
  4. DISNEY’S HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME—For the 25th anniversary of this animated feature, Ed reaches back into his vault of past faith-and-film reviews to share this thoughtful column.
  5. DOUBTING THOMAS—”Will McFadden’s film is about trust as well as systemic racism, making it of double interest. The story involves a young white couple, Jen and Tom, and their best friend, Ron, a black bachelor who works at the same law firm as Tom.”
  6. LUPIN—Ed McNulty writes, “The French writer George Kay has created a truly thrilling escapist adventure series with more than a touch of social commentary.”
  7. RITA MORENO: JUST A GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT—”Miriem Pérez Riera’s sparkling documentary not only chronicles the rise of Puerto Rico’s most popular emigrant to the US but also espouses her fight against racism that limited her movie roles and the rights of survivors of sexual abuse, the latter also something she had experienced.”
  8. IMPERIAL DREAMS—”Director/co-writer Malik Vitthal’s father-son film unfolds largely in the streets of the Los Angeles Watts neighborhood and illustrates what advocates for ex-prisoners have long been telling us: The odds for rehabilitated criminals are stacked against them.”
  9. WHERE HANDS TOUCH—”Writer/director Amma Asante hooked me for good by beginning her film about the Holocaust era in Germany with a quote from James Baldwin: ‘There are days when you wonder what your role is in this country and what your future is in it.’ “
  10. SPIRIT UNTAMED—DreamWorks Animation’s directors Elaine Bogan and Ennio Torresan have given families an enjoyable new film that should please the young and old with life messages conveyed in a non-preachy way. Our daughters will especially take to this film with its affirmation of sisterhood.”

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Cover Story: In ‘The Sandbox Revolution,’ Lydia Wylie-Kellermann helps us to raise kids for a just world

Care about children? Meet these ‘friends on the journey’—

KEN WHITT: ‘You Can’t Afford to Miss this Wisdom.’

THIS WEEK’s cover story was written by author Ken Whitt, whose global work as an author and educator focuses on multi-generational approaches to saving our planet. Ken’s multi-faceted work includes virtual collaboration with colleagues around the world on coping with climate change—and encouraging families to organize local, faith-based opportunities for children to learn about peace, justice and care for our planet. In this cover story, Ken writes about an inspiring new book on this theme, edited by journalist and peace activist Lydia Wylie-Kellermann and published by Broadleaf BooksPlease, read our cover story, get a copy of Lydia’s book and help support these important and prophetic projects. When you take the time to spread this news among friends and on social media, you really can help our world—one person and one relationship at a time.

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From Our Authors

Mindy Corporon: ‘God is love in all the faiths.’

THE INTERFAITH CENTER AT MIAMI UNIVERSITY hosted a conversation with Mindy Corporon, author of Healing a Shattered Soul, this week—and we’ve got the YouTube video. As Mindy continues to crisscross the country, participating in diverse events, these videos become a helpful way to spark discussion in your community, too. There’s not a more timely book, this year, than Mindy’s memoir about overcoming tragedy—the murders of her son and father in an anti-Semitic attack—by working to build stronger community relationships. Hearing from Mindy herself via these videos has been deeply reassuring to many viewers that, as she professes: Peace is possible.

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Suzy Farbman: from concerts to compassion for children

THIS WEEK IN HER GodSigns column, Suzy Farbman returns to a story she first reported several years ago—about a visionary new center for the care of at-risk children in Florida. Now, the center is up and running and a concert pianist, Steve Fancher, has found his way to the team behind this remarkable center.

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David Gushee: Protecting Our Most Vulnerable Students

OUR MAGAZINE has been following the furor at Baylor University over steps the Texas-based Baptist school has taken both to protect LGBTQ students—and to continue rebuking them—all at the same time. Last month, we recommended a very thoughtful analysis of the Baylor dilemma by a member of the Baylor faculty, author Greg Garrett. Now, author David Gushee weighs in on the damage Baylor’s leaders are doing to some of the school’s most vulnerable students. Gushee urges trustees at Baylor—and all universities—to “focus on student well-being.” Thanks to our journalistic colleagues at the Baptist Global News service for publishing both of these important columns!

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Holidays & Festivals

It’s Already Midsummer!

STEPHANIE FENTON WRITES, “Picnics on the beach, wreaths of wildflowers, bonfires and Midsummer parties—Scandinavian-style—abound: Across the Northern Hemisphere, June 20 brings the summer solstice; on June 24, countries across the globe celebrate Midsummer.” Her column even includes a link to a tutorial for making flower crowns!

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Learn about LGBTQ diversity in Pride Month 

For Pride Month, Susan Stitt tells the story of Front Edge Publishing’s long-standing commitment to LGBTQ inclusivity—highlighting some of the best books on LGBTQ inclusion that are used today in small groups nationwide.

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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 ON THIS COVER IMAGE to learn more about the June 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. LUPIN—Ed McNulty writes, “The French writer George Kay has created a truly thrilling escapist adventure series with more than a touch of social commentary.”
  2. RITA MORENO: JUST A GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT—”Miriem Pérez Riera’s sparkling documentary not only chronicles the rise of Puerto Rico’s most popular emigrant to the US but also espouses her fight against racism that limited her movie roles and the rights of survivors of sexual abuse, the latter also something she had experienced.”
  3. IMPERIAL DREAMS—”Director/co-writer Malik Vitthal’s father-son film unfolds largely in the streets of the Los Angeles Watts neighborhood and illustrates what advocates for ex-prisoners have long been telling us: The odds for rehabilitated criminals are stacked against them.”
  4. WHERE HANDS TOUCH—”Writer/director Amma Asante hooked me for good by beginning her film about the Holocaust era in Germany with a quote from James Baldwin: ‘There are days when you wonder what your role is in this country and what your future is in it.’ “
  5. SPIRIT UNTAMED—DreamWorks Animation’s directors Elaine Bogan and Ennio Torresan have given families an enjoyable new film that should please the young and old with life messages conveyed in a non-preachy way. Our daughters will especially take to this film with its affirmation of sisterhood.”
  6. BURNING CANE—”Writer-director Phillip Youmans’ feature film debut will test the patience of those who like action films because his film is more character-driven than plot propelled. Set in rural Louisiana, the film explores alcoholism, spouse abuse, child neglect, faith and the African American church, and the failure of even love to save a lost soul.”
  7. THE REUNITED STATES OF AMERICA—”Director Ben Rekhi’s irenic documentary, based on on Mark Gerzon’s nonfiction book The Reunited States of America: How We Can Bridge the Partisan Divide, is in itself a hopeful sign at a time of so much strife and despair.”
  8. BLUE MIRACLE—”Director Julio Quintana and his co-screenwriter Chris Dowling have just the tonic for movie lovers who might be a bit down in the dumps. Their Big Fish story, based on real people and a 2014 Mexican fishing competition is a formulaic sports story sure to raise your spirits—and with several of the characters children, a film the whole family can enjoy.”
  9. THE ONE I LOVE—The old question ‘Can this marriage be saved?’ runs throughout director Charlie McDowell’s 2014 film about a couple trying to regain the flame of the love that had brought them together.
  10. THE BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER—”Writer/director Osgood Perkins (son of Psycho’s Anthony Perkins) makes a worthy addition to the horror sub-genre of the exorcism film in this chilling tale of the supernatural.
  11. UNDERGROUND RAILROADEd McNulty gives us a comprehensive review of the new Amazon-streaming series, The Underground Railroad. He writes, “Barry Jenkins, who brilliantly captured the essence of James Baldwin’s polemical novel exposing the racism of our justice system, If Beale Street Could Talk, soars to even greater heights in this adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer-winning The Underground Railroad.”
  12. 2 WINDOWS/2 REVIEWS—If you read both of these reviews, you will discover the dramatic possibilities of a simple idea that has been explored by filmmakers for more than a century: What happens when we look out a window—and see what our neighbors are doing? First, Ed reviews The Woman in the Window, starring Amy Adams, a thriller that has been compared to Hitchcock’s Rear Window. Then, Ed reaches back to 2019 and reviews a short film, The Neighbor’s Window, which takes a very different approach to a similar dramatic situation.

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