Cover Story: An inspiring tour from home plate to higher realms


COVER STORY—Journalist, educator and musician Charles Honey invites us to tour our spiritual world in new ways. And what an adventure this is!

He takes us from baseball diamonds and concert halls to religious realms that are hard to describe—that is, until we glimpse those realms through the lives of the men and women he introduces us to in Faith on First: Thoughts on  God, Nature and Sacrifice Bunts. They’re all true stories, collected over the years by this award-winning journalist. Today, please meet Charles Honey in this interview with David Crumm. Along the way, Charles will introduce you to Tigers great Hank Greenberg and the early ’60s Beatles. And that’s just a taste of this wide-ranging tour.



A TRUE STORY—This week, popular author Benjamin Pratt returns for an OurValues series that also involves a true story from Ben’s recent encounter while shopping for a car. You may already be shaking your head at this idea. The values of a salesman? Really? Isn’t the only real value the bottom line? In this series you’ll discover some fresh perspectives!



NEWS on the first-ever interfaith comedy tour of Israeli and Palestinian communities is mixed. The major Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reports that Rabbi Bob Alper was barred from performing on stage in the Ramallah stop on the tour by the organizer of this first-ever comedy revue. Ha’aretz correspondent Danna Harman says the producer of the show got nervous about featuring a funny rabbi in the lineup of comics before a large crowd in “Palestine’s de facto administrative capital.” However, Bob did travel to Ramallah with the group to support his friends; he sat in the audience—and did receive a “shout out” mid-show from his Muslim-Arab friends on stage. Other than that one disappointment, the Bob Alper and Ahmed Ahmed Laugh in Peace! tour appears to be a big hit.

Just discovering this news? Read our story about this historic interfaith comedy tour.


Inspired by our stories about Bob Alper, Ahmed Ahmed and their friends? Then your spirits will be lifted even higher by the wealth of stories about such courageous peacemakers, most of them written by global peace educator Daniel Buttry—at

This weekDan continues his “Summer Music Festival” (which brings us a collection of music-videos from peace movements around the world) with a special focus on the World War I centennial. Yes, that’s Paul McCartney in a version of Pipes of Peace in the photo. And that’s just one of the seven videos featured this week!

HONORING VIETNAMESE-AMERICANS—Peacemaking is a major theme at ReadTheSpirit and we were pleased to find an important new story about Vietnamese-American resilience 10 years after Hurricane Katrina in The New York Times on Sunday. In our 2010 American Journey series, we reported from that same community in New Orleans that was rebuilding from Katrina even at that 5-year anniversary. In the Sunday Times, scholar Mark VanLandingham reported on research into the cultural strengths of this community, which was one of the first of the poorer neighborhoods to rebuild after the disaster.

This week, Holidays and Festivals columnist Stephanie Fenton also writes about the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.


1,200 is a treasure trove of movie reviews.


The creative mind of columnist Ken Chitwood serves up a mixed bag of religion sightings.

This week, his new headline says it all: Religion Is Everywhere—we just have to know where to look for it. What does this fast-food illustration have to do with that theme?  You’ll have to click on over to Ken’s department to find out!





Don’t miss a holiday! Tell friends about our master calendar of festivals, observances and milestones.

MARCUS GARVEY’S BIRTHDAY—A forgotten footnote in African-American history? Hardly. Many men and women around the world still mark the birthday of this larger-than-life pioneer.

REMEMBERING KATRINA—Americans are looking back at the 10-year anniversary of the devastating hurricane. Stephanie Fenton marks the anniversary as well with this news column.

OBON—The colorful festival with Buddhist roots, mingled with Japanese-Shinto traditions, reaches its crescendo in mid August in many communities, including the festive Bon Odori dance.


FAMOUS BLACK-AND-WHITE COOKIE—Fans of Seinfeld remember when the popular New York cookie became fodder for comedy 40 years ago. This week, FeedTheSpirit columnist Bobbie Lewis reflects on this treat—and gives us a New York recipe for them, too!

TASTY BOUNTY OF SUMMER—Throughout the summer, FeedTheSpirit columnist Bobbie Lewis has been serving up some terrific columns like this recipe for berry bread pudding that she promises is “the greatest thing since sliced bread”—and columns she calls Just for the Kale of It and Dishes Pop with Paprika.



One of our guiding principles: Good media builds good community. What does that mean? Enjoy these stories …

SUZY FARBMAN—Summer is a good time to reconnect with friends you haven’t seen in many years. In this column, Suzy explores the life of a classmate who, today, is best known to the world as the anthropologist, feminist and educator Emily Martin. (If you’re traveling this summer and missed it—earlier, Suzy wrote about the life and career of ballet star Misty Copeland.)


KEN WILSON—Ken Wilson and his creative team at the Third Way Newsletter are opening doors at evangelical congregations coast to coast.

DR. DAVID GUSHEE—The author of Changing Our Mind is one of the regularly featured writers at Religion News Service (RNS).






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