Why We Need Our Coaches
COVER STORY—”My concern about the forthcoming season goes far beyond athletes missing games and communities missing reasons to gather together,” writes journalist (and football coach) Martin Davis. “What I worry about most are the critical life lessons these young athletes aren’t getting from their coaches: lessons about character, humility, dedication, commitment and living for more than yourself. We are not talking about just a few privileged athletes who play football and basketball. About half of all high school students take part in athletics in some way during their teenage years.”
Please, enjoy this cover story. This is a perfect column to share with all those friends who love sports. In reading the handful of short true stories about athletes in Martin’s column—you’ll likely smile. You’ll find wisdom here. Maybe you’ll recognize yourself—or a friend—in these stories. Please, share this inspiring story with others.
Holidays & Festivals
STEPHANIE FENTON’S Holidays & Festivals column reminds us: “It’s Memorial Day. The unofficial start of summer in America began, less than two centuries ago, as a solemn observance for the war that had consumed more lives than any other U.S. conflict.”
ORIGINS IN THE SOUTH—In 2010, we published this restored history of Memorial Day’s origins, based on research by Yale historian David Blight. Over the past decade, this has been one of the most-Googled columns in our online magazine. Although written 10 years ago, the sources in this column are both fascinating and inspiring to this day.
Wisdom from Abraham Lincoln
A SPECIAL ‘QUIET FIRE’—Wherever you stand on the political spectrum, we all respect Lincoln’s wisdom—and his articulation of American values. That’s why Lincoln scholar Duncan Newcomer writes: “Abraham Lincoln is the soul of America, calling us to our best as Americans.” That certainly was true as Lincoln redefined the way we all would remember the tragedy of the Civil War.
- THIS WEEK’s episode 8: Duncan Newcomer’s Abraham Lincoln Quiet Fire: ‘Four Score and Seven—’
Care to see all of our Holidays & Festivals columns? It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just remember the address InterfaithHolidays.com
‘SOLUS JESUS’ WINS ERIC HOFFER AWARD
FRONT EDGE PUBLISHING, this week, is celebrating a major book award. Solus Jesus, a theological call for LGBT inclusion in Christian churches, wins the Eric Hoffer Spiritual Book Award for authors Ken Wilson and Emily Swan. “I hope the ideas of Solus Jesus will percolate in the wider Christian community for years to come,” Emily Swan said when she got the news. Want to help them spread that news of Christian inclusion? Please, read Susan Stitt’s column about this award—and share it via social media or email with friends.
FAITH & FILM
INSPIRING AND SIMPLY GOOD FUN—What did Jesus look like? Sacred images of Jesus grace churches worldwide, but millions of moviegoers picture Jesus from classic films. In his book Jesus Christ, Movie Star, Ed McNulty invites readers on an inspiring journey, meeting Jesus again through a dozen big-screen stories of Christianity’s founder. His book is available from Amazon, from Barnes & Noble—and also from our own bookstore.
LIFT YOUR SPIRITS WITH STREAMING
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 these 10 recommending videos available for streaming right now.
- REDISCOVERING ‘INSIGHT’—One of the great gems of classic TV was the Insight series produced by Paulist Productions. This week, Ed looks back at that remarkable and long-running series, which included a Who’s Who of top Hollywood talent. Through its 250 episodes, viewers saw performances by stars including Carroll O’Connor, Ed Asner, Bob Newhart, June Lockhart, Celeste Holm, Meg Tilly and Patty Duke. Best of all, Ed shares with us the YouTube link to enjoy many of these classic episodes.
- RETURN TO ME—Ed writes, “Director/co-writer Bonnie Hunt’s 20-year-old romantic film could easily have gone astray were it not for its solid cast and attention to details of character. The main characters—two lovers Bob Rueland and Grace Biggs, played by David Duchovny and Minnie Driver—are so appealing that we can overlook some of the film’s sentimental excess.” (4 out of 5 stars)
- PROLONGED EXPOSURE—“This film might seem slow moving by anyone who has been misled by the false posters that imply this is an action thriller. Mr. Thoms’ insightful script is more of a character study.” (4 stars)
- HALA—”Writer/director Minhal Baig brings us a very unusual version of the teenager coming of age story. Who has ever filmed this from the perspective of a 17-year-old Muslim girl, daughter of strict Pakistani parents who are only half acclimated to their new country? Although the pace of the film might try the patience of some viewers, it offers a rewarding time for those concerned about a young woman on the cusp of discovering her freedom.” (4 stars)
- THE ELEPHANT QUEEN—”Documentary filmmakers Mark Deeble and Victoria Stone treat us to some of the most beautiful and intimate shots of African elephants ever made. Shot over a 4-year period in Kenya’s Tsavo East National Park, the film focuses upon an extended family headed by the long-tusked Athena as she guides them in their quest for food and water.” (5 stars)
- DICKINSON—”Those of us who enjoyed A Quiet Passion might well have mixed feelings about Alena Smith’s Apple TV+’s series Dickinson. The approach is very different from that of British filmmaker/writer Terence Davies in his 2016 biopic.”
- COME SEE THE PARADISE—Want to learn more about the wartime treatment of Japanese-Americans? Ed gave 5 stars to this 1990 feature. “Alan Parker’s film puts human faces on the dark, tragic era of American history when an entire people were uprooted and moved inland into concentration camps. (Streaming on Amazon)
- A HIDDEN LIFE—Want to learn more about courageous peacemakers? “Terrence Malick raises important questions about faith and loyalty to one’s country versus loyalty to one’s conscience. And how do you know that you are right when most everyone else is of the opposite view? These are universal questions, applicable here today as well as in 1940s Europe.” (The Franz Jagerstatter story is streaming from Amazon; also from Netflix’s DVD service.)
- TIGERTAIL—Ed writes, “The past is not something we leave behind, but, as long as we have memory, is always with us, inside our heads and hearts. Or so writer-director Alan Yang seems to be saying in the title of his remarkably acted story centering on a failed father-daughter relationship.” (4.5 out of 5 stars)
- ALONE IN BERLIN—”Most WW 2 era films about resistance to Nazi tyranny are set in France, Poland, or some other occupied country, so Vincent Perez’s story of a middle-aged German couple becoming disillusioned with Hitler is most welcome. Based on Hans Fallada’s novel Jeder stirbt für sich allein (Every Man Dies Alone), it is a fictionalized version of what happened to the real-life Otto and Elise Hampel.” (4.5 stars)