‘Jesus, Pope Francis and a Protestant walk into a bar …’
SURE, IT’S A JOKE—and we won’t spoil the punchline in our Cover Story. Regular readers are sure to enjoy this new interview with one of the nation’s leading religion writers: Bill Tammeus. And, there is a very serious side to this inspiring new book published by Tammeus and Kansas City pastor Paul Rock. Most of our readers are interested in hopeful news about peacemaking—ways that divided communities can come together. Tammeus and Rock think they’ve found such a pathway for two huge groups who have been at odds for more than 500 years: Protestants and Catholics.
FESTIVALS & FOOD
ALL THE HOLIDAYS—You’ll find all of our holiday coverage at the easy URL: www.InterfaithHolidays.com … including this overview of autumn holidays, festivals and special themes.
SIKHS CELEBRATE SCRIPTURES—Jewish friends recently enjoyed their annual celebration of the Torah. This week, Sikhs celebrate the installation of their scriptures as the Guru Granth, the central teaching in their religious tradition.
UNITED NATIONS DAY—This week marks the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, founded in October of 1945. In our column, this week, we suggest taking a moment to rediscover the inspirational work and writings of Dag Hammarskjold. We’ve got four related stories about Hammarskjold to help you get started.
ROLL YOUR OWN! One way to enjoy the complex flavors of the autumn harvest is blending and rolling in grape leaves, one of the world’s ancient food preparations. FeedTheSpirit columnist Bobbie Lewis writes about her own experiments with grape leaves—and she provides a delicious recipe to get you started.
FAITH and FILM
1,200 MOVIES—www.VisualParables.org is a treasure trove of free movie reviews by veteran faith-and-film expert Edward McNulty. Please consider the October issue of Visual Parables Journal, the only part of his work that he sells by subscription. The journal is packed with complete study guides to help small groups spark faith-and-film discussions.
- THE MARTIAN—What a wonderfully exciting and thought-provoking film about survival on Mars, says Ed McNulty. (5 out of 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)
- BRIDGE OF SPIES—Put this new Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg collaboration on your “must see” list, says Ed McNulty. (5 stars)
- A LEGO BRICKAMENTARY—No, it’s not an extended advertisement for the toy company. It’s a fascinating documentary, says Ed. (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 …
FROM ‘SCREAM’ to ‘MARGARINE WARS’—This week, GodSigns columnist Suzy Farbman tells the inspiring story of actress Gaylee Rubin who hasn’t let her advancing age keep her from acting. From a tiny role in Scream to working with famous performers in Margarine Wars, Gaylee finds fresh adventures with each new cinematic project.
RAINBOWS OR RUINATION?—Debra Darvick writes about encountering the story of Noah in the annual cycle of Torah readings—and reflects on the tragic conflicts that continue to roil the earth today. She wonders specifically about the legacy of Babel: “What a legacy for us all not to be able to understand one another’s speech!”
INTERFAITH PEACEMAKERS—Got ‘Socks’? Christmas is right around the corner! Order your copy now of Daniel Buttry’s new book packed with dozens of the most inspirational stories from his long career. Read about Dan’s adventure in writing this new book. And, in a short video, Dan tells the surprising story behind the title: We Are the Socks.
HEROES OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM—Daniel Buttry returns to the U.S. in his series of inspiring profiles: InterfaithPeacemakers. He writes: “This week, we feature three interfaith heroes who laid the foundations for religious liberty in our country. It would behoove us to keep these heroes in mind during our political campaigns!”
A PERSONAL NOTE FROM DAVID GUSHEE—Many of our readers have become readers (and supporters) of the inclusive work by Dr. David Gushee, prominent expert in Christian ethics and author of Changing Our Mind. This week, he sends readers a special note: “A wonderful visit with the hospitable people of First Baptist Columbia Missouri ends my domestic speaking tour. It was a great way to end. Next trip: Europe, for lectures on the sacredness of life book and just peacemaking. Then 4 talks in Atlanta just before Thanksgiving at AAR, Evangelical Theological Society, Word Made Fresh, and the Evangelical Philosophical Society. Then the joy of returning to my home church and preaching most of Advent.”
And, the Comedic Advisor to the Pope …
ROLLING LAUGHTER: 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 have circled the globe, including:
- PBS News Hour—Allison Moore reports.
- Christianity Today—Ruth Gledhill writes “Heard the one about the pope and the rabbi?“
- The Bennington Banner—Andrew McKeever has more details from a local Vermont perspective.
- And here’s a strange one—an attempt at humor about the pope and the rabbi from South Africa’s Puppet Nation ZA.
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.