LINCOLN SAW HOPE FOR UNITY EVEN IN CIVIL WAR
A SEASON OF GRATITUDE—As Thanksgiving approaches, daily headlines herald deep divisions among Americans over the future of our nation and the world. Families coast to coast are wondering what fireworks might erupt over this year’s Thanksgiving table. That’s one reason our publishing house launched 30 Days with Abraham Lincoln in the autumn—so Lincoln’s wisdom would inspire families at this time of year. (Here’s the earlier news story about the launch of this inspiring book and national effort to promote unity).
This week’s Cover Story in ReadTheSpirit magazine collects all the helpful Thanksgiving-related Lincoln material we are sharing with readers:
- Live from Washington D.C.—Veteran journalist Martin Davis shares this heart-felt reflection from his home near Washington D.C. as Thanksgiving approaches. This year, Martin and his family are drawing fresh inspiration from Lincoln’s words—and Duncan’s words about Lincoln.
- Lincoln’s Proclamation of Thanksgiving. America’s destiny was at risk, Lincoln believed, because the nation that God destined to thrive was tearing itself apart. Read Lincoln’s original words and you will want to share them with friends this week.
- Get the Book! Duncan and our publishing professionals have pulled together 30 of the best reflections on Lincoln in 30 Days with Abraham Lincoln.
- Let Duncan Newcomer Guide Your Reflections. Watch and learn. In addition to creating the new book, 30 Days with Abraham Lincoln, Duncan produced an 11-minute video in which he explains the significance of Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation.
- Pray with Lincoln. Duncan has woven together some of Lincoln’s most famous phrases into a short Thanksgiving prayer.
- A Sample Sermon. Duncan also is a pastor with decades of experience speaking to congregations. Here is one of Duncan’s Thanksgiving-themed meditations that can be adapted or excerpted for your own late-November services.
- And so much more … In fact, Duncan and other writers at ReadTheSpirit magazine have focused on Lincoln’s message of unity so often, since our founding in 2007—we have assembled this rich array of columns, stories and historic materials into a special Lincoln Resource Page.
CHRISTMAS IS COMING!
ORTHODOX NATIVITY FAST BEGINS. In Stephanie Fenton’s Holidays & Festivals column this week, we look at a major branch of Christianity that always begins preparations for Christmas before American Thanksgiving—Orthodox churches that are starting the Nativity Fast this week.
ST. NICHOLAS DAY—Stephanie writes: “Santa Claus may be seen in malls across America, but the real St. Nick—the historical bishop of Myra, that is—makes his grand appearance around the world on December 6—St. Nicholas Day. From the Netherlands to France, Germany, Italy, Austria and Bulgaria, St. Nicholas Day is greeted with beloved customs, special baked goods, processions and reenactments. In many countries, St. Nicholas Day is an opportunity to move away from the commercialization of the holiday season and toward the ‘true meaning’ of Christmas—as a time of giving, reflection and gratitude.” Read her column and you will find lots of resources and helpful links.
Care to see all the holidays? It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances—just remember the address InterfaithHolidays.com
COMPASSIONATELY ENGAGING THE WORLD. In 4 words, that’s what our authors do.
This Front Edge column by Editor David Crumm is especially timely, because you’ve got an opportunity—through December 3—to vote for one of our heroic authors via the CNN network.
Learn about several inspiring examples of our authors engaged in urgent national conversations—and cast your vote to help Najah Bazzy, author and founder of a global charity helping women and children in need.
A Very Detroit Story of Rebirth, Recovery and Romance
SUZY FARBMAN brings us heart-felt stories of men and women she meets all over the world. This week, however, she’s very close to her beloved Detroit with the story of a couple who met—thanks to a photo taken in front of Diego Rivera’s famous murals.
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 are:
- JO JO RABBIT—Our readers have been waiting for Ed McNulty’s review of this controversial and eagerly anticipated movie. Here’s what he has to say …
- MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN—Ed writes, “Edward Norton is a triple threat in his new movie. He is director, writer, and star in this adaptation of Jonathan Lethem’s acclaimed 1999 novel. However, he made a lot of changes, beginning by moving the action back 40 years—from the 1990s to 1957, and thus into film noir territory.” Then, Ed gives the film 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommends it.
- THE REPORT—Ed also highly recommends this political thriller, writing: “This is an important film that every American should see, and especially because its sub-theme of the executive branch of government trying to override the legislative branch is as relevant as today’s Washington headlines.”
- THE CURRENT WAR—Ed is more critical of this historical fiction about the all-out struggle between Edison and Westinghouse to determine the nation’s approach to providing utilities nationwide. The segmented plot gets a bit confusing and the muddy soundtrack also may be a challenge for many viewers.
- MALEFICENT—Ed writes, “All in all, there is plenty to admire and enjoy about this re-invention of the old fairytale, but also plenty to be wary of. I would urge parents to see it first before exposing their younger children to its violence and dark perspective.” (4 stars)
- HARRIET—An important film every bit as exciting as any superhero blockbuster from Hollywood. Ed urges readers to go see this movie, giving it 5 out of 5 stars.
- LUCY IN THE SKY—The based-on-real-life story of an astronaut who gets caught up in a tragic earth-bound relationship is not as bad as some critics have claimed, Ed argues, giving it 3.5 stars.
- RAISING HELL—Ed writes: “Director Janice Engel’s documentary elicits lots of laughter, but this is not the story of a comedian, but rather that of a journalist who was sort of a combination of Mark Twain, Bernstein and Woodward, and an Old Testament prophet.” (5 stars)