TREASURE HUNTERS IN EPISCOPAL TRADITION
A PILGRIMAGE—That’s what poet J. Chester Johnson invites us to discover in the pages of his new book, Auden, the Psalms and Me. Johnson unearths personal notes and records from half a century ago, when the world-renowned writer W.H. Auden briefly but passionately played a role in the revision of the Book of Common Prayer for Episcopal churches.
Yes, that description may sound like a pretty obscure chapter of history. But then, in Johnson’s artistic hands, we discover a circular narrative that takes us around and around this intriguing subject. Did you know that some of the phrases you may have texted to friends today come from the Book of Common Prayer?
It’s not a stretch to call this book a treasure hunt in the Episcopal tradition. Please, enjoy this week’s cover story about Auden, the Psalms and Me—and share it with friends. It’s entirely possible that this very unsuaul book might fit into your gift list for a tough-to-satisfy person on your holiday list.
We Wish You All …
A HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS—Anytime, visit …
Our columnist Stephanie Fenton begins her annual Thanksgiving report this way: “Join the millions of Americans giving thanks and expressing gratitude over a savory feast, as family and friends gather for the historical and beloved holiday of Thanksgiving. This year, news sources are reporting the biggest Thanksgiving weekend travel volume in 12 years, while the actual cost of Thanksgiving dinner itself will go down!”
Remember that millions of Eastern Christians already are in the official “Christmas season,” although it is more accurate to describe this period as the traditional Orthodox Nativity Fast in preparation for December 25. Stephanie reports that holiday story, as well.
Already we have recommended a trio of wonderful children’s books from our friends at Candlewick.
This week, we call your attention to the beloved “Spiritual Wanderer,” aka Rodney Curtis, who offers three books infused with his quirky humor and genuine wonderment at life’s blessings. Even facing a dire diagnosis of cancer, Rodney found that laughter was … yes, you know the phrase … the best medicine. Confronting the somber news millions of us have faced in recent years—that is, losing a job—Rodney once again managed to face that situation with a confident chuckle and the love of family and friends. You may find, though, that the best choice for holiday giving is his literary pilgrimage known as The Spiritual Wanderer. Please, take a moment to look over Rodney’s body of work. You may find a gem for someone you love.
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 latest free movie reviews are:
- WONDERSTRUCK—Ed writes, “You too might feel wonderstruck when you watch Todd Haynes new film based on Brian Selznick’s 2011 novel, the engaging story of two deaf children separated by some 50 years yet bound closely together by a mysterious bond.” (He gives the film 5 out of 5 stars.)
- LBJ—Ed gives this film about President Johnson’s sudden ascendancy to the White House 4.5 stars.
- BREATHE—”If you are looking for a feel-good film, this could be it, though you will have to search it out at an art house theater,” Ed writes. (4.5 stars)
- BLADE RUNNER—Director Denis Villeneuve certainly faced a big challenge when he agreed to make a sequel to the 1982 film that has an almost cult following. Enjoy Ed McNulty’s review of the film.
- SAME KIND OF DIFFERENCE AS ME—Ed writes, “First-time director Michael Carney’s race-relations film is a bit simplistic, but it easily beats out most faith-based films.” (4 out of 5 films)
- ONLY THE BRAVE—Ed likes the movie, which has divided film critics nationwide. Read his review, which awards 4.5 stars.
- COLUMBUS—Now here’s something most of our readers probably don’t know! Columbus, Ohio, is an international center of modernist architecture—and a filmmaker has created this moving drama about characters exploring their own lives in the context of those buildings. (5 out of 5 stars)
- BRAD’S STATUS—Ed writes, “If you have ever sunk into a funk while thinking about your more successful friends, you might find writer-director Mike White’s film therapeutic, as well as enjoyable. Ben Stiller is outstanding as middle-aged Brad Sloan.” (5 stars)
- BATTLE OF THE SEXES—Ed says: “Lots to cheer for and to discuss in this well-crafted film!” The story of the famous tennis match between Bobby Riggs and Billy Jean King reveals a lot about bias in American culture. (4.5 stars)
- MARSHALL—Ed writes: It’s an “excellent new film about Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.” (5 stars)