Cover Story: 2 billion Christians share Lenten season

GET SPIRITUALLY ‘GROUNDED’

Diana Butler Bass GroundedLENTEN COVER STORY—Just in time for the season, Diana Butler Bass’s Grounded is available in a less-expensive paperback edition. Regular readers know that we have been recommending this important book over the past year. This week, Christian educator Debbie Houghton writes about why the message of Grounded is more important than ever.

Of course, we also welcome our readers to consider books by our own authors, as well, which you can explore in our ReadTheSpirit Bookstore, including Editor David Crumm’s own signature book for the season, OurLent.

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HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

CHECK OUT ALL OF 2017’s SPECIAL DAYS—It’s as simple as visiting www.InterfaithHolidays.org where you’ll find all of 2017’s major observances listed. Please, alert us if you spot an occasion we’ve missed.

ONE EASTER! 
This is one of the unusual years when the Eastern and Western branches of Christianity converge on a single date for Easter: April 16. As of Wednesday, March 1, the entire Christian world of more than 2 billion souls will be in the midst of Lent.

Mardi-Gras-Ash-Wednesday (1)FAT TUESDAY / ASH WEDNESDAY—While Eastern Christians begin their Lenten season with Clean Monday on February 27, Western Christians start Lent on Ash Wednesday March 1. Unlike their Eastern brothers and sisters in the faith, most Western Christians don’t observe traditional fasting customs during Lent. However, that older tradition remains alive in the customs of festivities before Lent begins. Stephanie Fenton has the story about Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, including some fascinating links to holiday resources.

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April Glasco at her Second Chance Last Opportunity in Florida (1)HARD-EARNED LESSONS

GOD SIGNS—This week, Suzy Farbman brings us the inspiring story of April Glasco—who nearly died as a victim of domestic abuse. After a series of tragedies early in her adult life, April transformed herself and developed a shoestring program that today trains men and women in a wide range of life skills. You’ll be inspired by April’s amazing journey.

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Bobbie Lewis in Puerto Rico (1)BOBBIE IN PUERTO RICO!

FEED THE SPIRITBobbie Lewis reports from Puerto Rico this week about her culinary and cultural adventures. And, yes, she’s got a delicious recipe! But this one will surprise you. It’s Turkish!

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SEE YA LATER, GRANDMA

RODNEY CURTIS—Author, columnist and photographer Rodney Curtis offers this heart-felt note to his beloved grandmother. Go on—read the story. You’ll be glad you did.

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COVERING RELIGION FAIRLY

Elisa Di Benedetto of Italy from International Association of Religion JournalistsIMPORTANT RESOURCE—Many ReadTheSpirit readers are asking us: “What can we do to defend the importance of journalism in this era when there seems to be a war aimed at traditional media?” There are many things you can do: Subscribe to a newspaper or news magazine, contribute to public radio and TV, and share responsible journalism across social media. Here’s another important resource: The International Association of Religion Journalists is making experts available to talk with students about the basic principles of covering religious diversity. Here is a new column by IARJ’s Elisa DiBenedetto about helping to teach a university class in Ohio via Skype.

 

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th-msu-journalism-students-who-published-to-my-professorMSU STUDENTS, AGAIN!

‘TO MY PROFESSOR’—Last week, we thanked MediaShift magazine for covering Michigan State University Journalism students’ popular book about interactions between students and teachers. This week, EdSurge adds more news coverage of this innovative bookEdSurge is a six-year-old online magazine serving the growing “EdTech” community of educators and innovators. Care to learn more about the book? Here is a description of this unique book.

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FILM, FAITH
& POPULAR CULTURE

Movie still I Am Not Your Negro (4)ED McNULTY—Enjoy all of the free resources from Ed McNulty’s faith-and-film website: VisualParables.org. Among Ed’s latest free movie reviews are:

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