GET READY FOR NOVEMBER …
DARKNESS & LIGHT—For centuries, men and women have paused at All Hallows Eve in awe of the “thinness” between this world—and whatever we envision in an other-world. We’re humbled by the souls, saints, spirits—however we define them—that may be close at hand as All Saints Day dawns on November 1. Or, consider this viewpoint: “After a long summer, Americans are eager to embrace fall and all of the celebrations that come with it.” Think that’s a sociologist or an expert on religion? Nope! That’s a marketing expert talking. The National Retail Federation predicts that 157 million Americans will spend nearly $7 billion on Halloween this year. (Read more in Stephanie Fenton’s Halloween/Samhain holiday column.)
AS HALLOWEEN WINDS DOWN—FALL BACK! It’s easy to remember the end of Daylight Savings Time, this year (assuming you live in a part of the world that follows the policy). As Halloween hoopla winds down, simply roll back your clocks and you’ve got an extra hour to sleep.
DANCING LIGHTS IN THE DARKNESS—November is a month when the world reflects on the eternal interplay of light and darkness, especially in the darkening Northern Hemisphere. This week, a new November-themed column looks at a number of observances coming up, including Diwali and Kristallnacht as well as Thanksgiving.
DON’T MISS ONE! Just remember this simple Web address www.InterfaithHolidays.com to find all of the upcoming holidays, festivals and anniversaries.
FEED THE SPIRIT—“As soon as there’s a nip in the air, I know it’s chili season,” FeedTheSpirit’s Bobbie Lewis writes this week. Bobbie’s distinctive approach as a columnist is to tell us the larger story behind each food and, this week, she reminds us that chili is one of the oldest culinary traditions in the Americas dating back to the Incan, Aztec and Mayan civilizations. Plus, of course, she also provides a delicious recipe—this one adding butternut squash to a bean-based chili.
It’s not too soon to order the perfect book for loved ones on your year-end holiday list. Check out our ReadTheSpirit Bookstore for dozens of gift-giving ideas. We’ve got books that inspire, challenge and prepare readers for a better new year.
FAITH and FILM
1,200 MOVIES—www.VisualParables.org is a treasure trove of movie reviews by veteran faith-and-film expert Edward McNulty.
- BRIDGE OF SPIES—Put this new Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg collaboration on your “must see” list, says Ed McNulty. (5 out of 5 stars)
- FREEHELD—Julianne Moore and Ellen Page co-star in this moving drama based on the experiences of a real-life gay couple struggling with tough challenges. (4.5 stars)
- COMING HOME—A terrific new film from the director of To Live and House of Flying Daggers. (5 stars)
- 99 HOMES—Ripped from headlines of the housing crisis, this is suspense without car chases or shootouts. (4.5 stars)
- THE MARTIAN—What a wonderfully exciting and thought-provoking film about survival on Mars, says Ed McNulty. (5 stars)
- THE WALK—You’ll love this movie about the real-life 1974 attempt by a high-wire artist to walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York. (4 stars)
- HE NAMED ME MALALA—The new film about the world’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize honoree is wonderful. (5 stars). Earlier, Interfaith Peacemakers profiled Malala’s daring pursuit of peace.
IN THE WORLD
One of our guiding principles: Good media builds good community. What does that mean? Enjoy these stories …
SUZY FARBMAN—This week, GodSigns columnist Suzy Farbman writes about a former classmate: Merrill “Mimi” McLoughlin whose career as a famous journalist (she and her husband were co-editors of US News) has taken her far and wide. Her great vocation has been sharing the stories of remarkable men and women, including Alaskan Willie Hensley who grew up along the Bering Sea.
STORIES CIRCLING THE GLOBE—The couple in this photo are Lance and Christina Muteyo, whose names greet readers on the dedication page of Daniel Buttry’s inspiring new book We Are the Socks. They just received their copy in Zimbabwe as the book continues to make its way around the world. Order your Socks now to discover dozens of inspirational stories about peacemakers worldwide. Read about Dan’s adventure in writing this new book. And, in a short video, Dan tells the surprising story behind the title.
And, the Comedic Advisor to the Pope …
GOOD NEWS TRAVELS FAR & WIDE: If you’re just catching up with our newsletter—here’s our story about Rabbi Bob Alper beating out 4,000 comics around the world to become Honorary Comedic Advisor to the Pope. Since that big “win,” news stories keep popping up, including:
- Arizona Jewish Post publishes the news.
- PBS News Hour—Allison Moore reports.
- Christianity Today—Ruth Gledhill writes “Heard the one about the pope and the rabbi?“
- The Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Australia, posted the news to its Facebook page.
Want to catch one of Bob’s shows? He’ll be performing November 7 at the South Huntington Jewish Center in Melville, New York (on Long Island). Information about this event is on the center’s website.