Cover Story: Carrie Newcomer reminds us of thankfulness

WHAT CAN WE BE THANKFUL FOR?

carrie_everything_is_everywhere_black_jacket_guitar_0-1COVER STORY—As Thanksgiving approaches in 2016, all Americans are anxious. Half of Americans are hurting. Even the half of our neighbors who “won” the White House, though, are deeply concerned about what comes next. In such an unsettling season, ReadTheSpirit does what we do best: We’re recommending a new book and a new album. This new set was created by Indiana-based Carrie Newcomer, the Quaker musician and writer whose persona is defined by the American heartland.

Countless readers have contacted our magazine over the past week, expressing a wide range of concerns about our lives as Americans—and the future of our world. A central theme of Carrie Newcomer’s music is returning to the solidity of our roots in personal relationships and local communities—and renewing our strength and inspiration to face the world. This is already “the holiday shopping season,” and we can think of no better gift for friends than this unique set from Carrie of music plus her slim book of poetry and essays.

Please, read our cover story this week, an interview with Carrie Newcomer.

Thanksgiving table with folks serving (1)What about the holiday?

THANKSGIVING—Sure, we’ve got the whole holiday story! That’s the specialty of our holidays expert Stephanie Fenton, who tells the whole story … and provides some wonderful links to recipes (including vegetarian options) and Thanksgiving crafts. Enjoy!

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GUSHEE: ‘Debunking an imagined past’

th-Changing-Our-Mind-cover-with-author-David-P-GusheeMISSING ‘CHRISTIANS’—Two top scholars of religion in American life—David Gushee and Stewart Hoover—are both stepping forward to talk publicly about “white Christian” nostalgia that fueled Donald Trump’s campaign. Gushee talked with Publishers Weekly magazine. Hoover posted columns on his own website. Here’s a roundup of what they’re saying.

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HOLIDAYS and FESTIVALS

Check out all the holidays! Tell friends about the simply Web address: www.InterfaithHolidays.com

NATIVITY FAST

nativity-orthodox-icon-1CHRISTMAS BEFORE THANKSGIVING? Millions of Orthodox Christians around the world begin thinking about the Nativity, better known as Christmas in the U.S., before American Thanksgiving rolls around. That’s because they are called to a lengthy Nativity Fast in preparation for the holiday. Stephanie Fenton has the story.

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‘Family Tree Will Always Grow’

fullsizerender-2GODSIGNSSuzy Farbman’s column this week is about how her family remembers a beloved member each year. Her inspirational stories always involve remarkable convergences; and this one involves a song you’ll be pleased to discover: The Family Tree.

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Of tombstones … and weddings …

debra-darvick-column-on-tombstonesDEBRA DARVICK—Advice columnist Debra Darvick specializes in advising Jewish families about everyday troubles in life—but, hey, we’ve all got troubles whatever our faith! This week, she responds to a question about a tombstone … and wedding invitations.

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visual-parables-journal-november-2016-issue-2FILM, FAITH
& POPULAR CULTURE

ED McNULTY—Enjoy all of the free resources from Ed McNulty’s faith-and-film website: VisualParables.org. The Visual Parables Journal, a monthly magazine packed with complete study guides on recent films—enjoyed by individuals and small groups—is the one resource Ed sells to support his ongoing work. The November 2016 issue is now available. Please consider subscribing.

Among Ed’s latest movie reviews are:

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