‘Finding God in the World’
COVER STORY—In her new book, and in her preaching coast to coast in 2016, Diana takes seriously the classic Wesleyan proclamation: “The world is our parish.” Long-time readers of this historian and congregational consultant may be surprised to open the cover of Grounded. It’s a powerful new blend of prose and personal reflection, moving from scholarly observation—to active participation in finding spiritual awakenings in everyday life. And the book intentionally starts close to our homes by exploring deep truths in the soil and the water around us. Please, enjoy this interview with Diana by ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm.
HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS
DON’T MISS A HOLIDAY! Just remember this simple Web address www.InterfaithHolidays.com to find all of the upcoming holidays, festivals and anniversaries.
NEW YEAR OF THE TREES—If you’re interested in connecting the spiritual and natural worlds, then you’ll be fascinated by the Jewish festival of TuB’shvat, also known as the new year of the trees. Stephanie Fenton explains the tradition.
URBAN FARMING (AND KALE SALAD)—Our FeedTheSpirit columnist Bobbie Lewis also digs into this week’s major theme—with an inspiring story about urban farming in Detroit. Recently, NYTimes headlines have been chronicling poverty in the troubled Motor City, so you may welcome this column about new life in the old city. And, of course, Bobbie shares a recipe: a kale salad with apples, walnut and sumac.
INTERNATIONAL OBSERVANCE—Although Israel and Jewish communities worldwide will mark Yom Hashoah this year in May, the United Nations annual observance of an international day of remembrance continues to spread a decade after it was declared by the UN. Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton reports on this year’s theme—and fascinating news about the world’s “oldest man.”
CANDLEMAS, IMBOLC …
AND THE RISING GROUNDHOG—Ancient cultures affirm it: Spring is just around the corner! In the depths of North American winter, that may seem ridiculous—but the ancients looked for signs of new life. In addition to writing about Imbolc and Groundhog Day, Stephanie Fenton also writes about a nearly 2,000-year-old Christian festival marking a milestone in the early life of the infant Jesus.
IN THE WORLD
One of our guiding principles: Good media builds good community. What does that mean? Enjoy these stories …
SUZY FARBMAN’S ‘GOD SIGNS’—Each week, GodSigns author Suzy Farbman brings us inspiring stories of men and women who demonstrate the huge potential life—if we open our eyes to new possibilities. This week, you’ll meet Nancy and Bill Barker who blended their families—even as Nancy continued her work on behalf of women around the world.
TRAVEL TO PANAMA WITH RODNEY—Author and photographer Rodney Curtis features a series of remarkable photographs from his recent journey to Panama.
HELP BIAS BUSTERS—The Bias Busters program at the Michigan State University School of Journalism is courageously stepping into the nationwide wave of anti-Muslim bigotry. Learn about this effort, spearheaded by MSU’s Joe Grimm and his students.
REDISCOVER HOPE—Daniel Buttry’s inspiring new book We Are the Socks is full of true stories about men and women who risked pursuing peace in the face of enormous challenges. Read about Dan’s adventure in writing this book. And, in a short video, Dan tells the surprising story behind the title.
& POPULAR CULTURE
FOR MOVIE FANS—Do you enjoy making connections between faith and film? Veteran-faith-and-film writer Edward McNulty’s brand new book—”Jesus Christ, Movie Star.”—is a lots of fun and it’s inspiring as well!
FIRST ISSUE OF 2016—For complete study guides to many popular movies, check out the current issue of his Visual Parables Journal.
- SIN NOMBRE—Ed McNulty writes: “I wish every American would see this film” about Honduran refugees. (5 out of 5 stars)
- CREED—Sylvester Stallone deserves the praise he’s been receiving for this movie. (4 stars)
- THE LIBERATOR—It’s worth looking around for showings if this Venezuelan-Spanish film about Simon Bolivar, Ed writes. (4 stars)
- 13 HOURS—Viewers should be wary of this controversial action film. (3 stars)
- BEASTS OF NO NATION—This film is shocking, but it’s also an important and timely story of child soldiers in Africa. (4.5 stars)
- YOUTH—If you like Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel and the thoughtful work of Italian director Paolo Sorrentino, Ed McNulty says: Don’t miss it! (5 out of 5 stars)
- CAROL—This unusual love story by Patricia Highsmith has been turned into a powerful film by Todd Haynes. (5 stars)
- THE BIG SHORT—It’s a bumpy ride as the financial crisis of 2008 becomes a sometimes bitterly funny movie. (4 stars)
- SPOTLIGHT—No question: It’s a deeply troubling true story. But, Spotlight—the story of the Boston Globe‘s investigation into abusive priests—is an important movie. (5 stars)
- IN THE HEART OF THE SEA—This movie related to Moby Dick is stirring storytelling with lots of Hollywood special effects to make the epic tale come to life. (4 stars)