COVER STORIES: LET BARBARA MAHANY GUIDE YOU
MEET A NEW FRIEND—Chicago Tribune readers have loved columns by Barbara Mahany. Now, she’s sharing her talents as a writer and spiritual guide with all of us through Slowing Time: Seeing the Sacred Outside Your Kitchen Door. Our interview with Barbara explores many challenges she faced in preparing this unusual, almanac-like book.
- DISCOVER A NEW SEASON— Mahany opens her book with a reference to the little-known Jewish festival of Tu Bi’Shvat or “New Year of Trees.” Two of our own popular writers help Mahany explain this hope-filled, mid-winter observance. Bobbie Lewis has a delicious FeedTheSpirit column about Tu Bi’Shvat. Then, Bobbie’s husband Joe Lewis provides another perspective on the holiday.
- FEBRUARY BRINGS … The tenderness of the human heart is a major theme in February with both Valentine’s Day and special programs for American Heart Month. Read all about these themes and more in Stephanie Fenton’s special February column. And see all the holidays anytime at our master calendar.
- GROUNDHOG DAY aka IMBOLC—Stephanie reports on these traditions that foreshadow spring by looking for signs from nature.
LOOKING TO AFRICA—Millions of Americans are marking Black History Month, so Daniel Buttry’s Interfaith Peacemakers looks to Africa for three heroes.
- KING NEGUS—In the 7th Century, an Ethiopian Christian king gave sanctuary to Muslim refugees.
- STEPHEN BIKO—We all knows Nelson Mandela but other heroes contributed to shattering South Africa’s color barrier, including Stephen Biko.
- DESMOND TUTU—Still making a difference in the world in his mid-80s.
- ALL THE HEROES—Interfaith Peacemakers is a gateway to more than 150 inspiring profiles.
AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN HERO—Did you know that Jerry Craft is one of the few successful African-American cartoonists and he also illustrates children’s books? He began with Marvel and Harvey comics, then was a top editor at Sports Illustrated for Kids. He’s now a full-time cartoonist with King Features. Craft travels widely and encourages kids to pursue their professional dreams.
- ENJOY HIS COMIC—Our Bullying Is No Laughing Matter project features Jerry Craft’s Mama’s Boyz cartoon.
BABY BOOMERS … BUMMED?
OUR VALUES—Each week, University of Michigan sociologist Dr. Wayne Baker, author of United America, brings readers a fascinating look at the values that shape American life. This week, he turns to research by Gallup into our biggest generation: the Baby Boomers. Right now, the first Boomers are 69, preparing for their 70th birthdays.
- PART 1—So, why are Boomers so depressed?
- PART 2—They’re all liberals, right?
- PART 3—Will they ever retire?
- PART 4—Why do they distrust banks?
- PART 5—Are they bored with work?
BUILDS HEALTHY COMMUNITIES
DOING GOOD IN THE WORLD—Our writers’ share this goal through the news they publish (and their public appearances, as well). Here are some news items that may encourage you to join in …
WE ARE CAREGIVERS—Last week, we revived this popular department with a column by Wayne Baker on Sparks of Kindness. This week …
- ‘TOUCH HAS A MEMORY’—Benjamin Pratt, author of Guide for Caregivers, reminds us that the work we do as caregivers really does matter. (You’ll want to share this column with friends.)
DEBRA DARVICK—Author of This Jewish Life, Debra is a master of many genres. Once a month, she gives us all a multi-media boost with His Lens/My Pen. In Michigan’s Jewish News, she’s also advice columnist Dear Debra.
DAVID GUSHEE—The author of Changing Our Mind continues to travel across the U.S. preaching Christian-LGBT inclusion.
- MEDIUM.COM—A wide-ranging interview with Ryan Kenji Kuramitsu is featured in Medium.com, a magazine started in 2012 by Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone. The interview is posted in a section that explores justice issues raised since the shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.
- ‘MORAL CONFLICT’—He weighed in himself in Baptist News Global in a column headlined, “The Painful Inevitability of Moral Conflict.”
- ON THE MOVE—To see if he is coming to a city near you, check www.davidpgushee.com. To schedule an appearance, contact Susan Stitt at [email protected].
#WhatsTheFuss—Our publishing house is based in Michigan where we work with the InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit (the IFLC).
- SNAP A PHOTO with a friend from another religious background and post it to Facebook (or your own favorite social media) with the hashtag #WhatsTheFuss to salute UN Interfaith Harmony Week. Here’s the IFLC Facebook page explaining the idea.
SUZY FARBMAN—Like Barbara Mahany, Suzy is a veteran journalist with an eye and ear for stories that often rank as the most popular columns in our online magazine. Last week’s GodSigns column about an unusual organ donor drew a big wave of readers. This week, Suzy writes about a woman who recalls her late Mom—with a flourish of music.
VISUAL PARABLES—Faith-and-film writer Edward McNulty covers a wide range of movies.
- CAKE—Jennifer Aniston leaves comedy to star in a moving drama about a woman facing chronic pain. (4 out of 5 stars)
- MORTDECAI—Johnny Depp and Gwyneth Paltrow, on the other hand, try their hands at comedy. (3.5 stars)
- THE INTERVIEW—Ed offers his commentary on the controversial movie. (And for much more on this film, see the FaithGoesPop item below.)
- PADDINGTON—We do mean “a wide range,” as Ed gives 5 stars to this fanciful movie for the whole family.
RODNEY CURTIS—He’s our expert at leaping cultural chasms with a single humorous bound as he has proven in books like Spiritual Wanderer and A ‘Cute’ Leukemia. This week, he spans old-school and cutting-edge America in …
- PRIUS PRIORITY—Can you believe “$12 a month”?
- PRE-DIGITAL ERA—Many of our readers are familiar with old-school newsrooms. If you’re one of “us,” you’ll laugh at Rodney’s ode to the frustrations of 1980s photography.
FAITH GOES POP—There’s no one with a sharper eye for the intersection of Faith and Popular Culture than Ken Chitwood—who Tweeted his way through the Super Bowl. If you missed it, Ken has a recap posted this week. Keep an eye on this writer! You’ll be buzzing about the stuff he keeps finding (use #FaithGoesPop when you share Ken’s columns).
- EVER HEARD OF ‘JUCHE’? Ken investigates the religious angle behind the controversial movie The Interview and discovers that at least one source lists Juche as the world’s 10th largest religion.
- IS NORTH KOREA ALONE? Americans find state-sponsored religion contrary to our national values, but did you know this? One third of the world’s nations feature religious symbols on their flags! Ken guides us through a whirlwind tour.