Cover Story: Evangelicals join Pope Francis in call for animal care

Humane Society publishes ‘Every Living Thing’

COVER STORY—The nation’s most influential animal-care organization, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), publishes a book this week that is as timely and important as the front-page headlines trumpeting Pope Francis’s message of creation care. Every Living Thing is a book-length collection of religious teachings about animal care—not only by Francis—but also by a new nationwide coalition of evangelical leader who worked long and hard to hammer out their own religious manifesto on this important theme. The HSUS book also is perfectly timed to coincide with St. Francis Day, which is now an occasion for pet blessings in many congregations nationwide. At the end of this Cover Story, you’ll learn how to get a free kit: St. Francis Day in a Box.



CARING FOR CREATION—This week, international peace activist Daniel Buttry also is inspired by Francis’s recent visit and tells readers: “Given the new discussions about global warming and the environment stimulated by the visit to the U.S. of Pope Francis, we are sharing stories of some peacemakers with a special concern for care of the Earth.”



AUTUMN HOLIDAYS—The natural world is a global focus in many fall holidays. Already, our regular Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton has reported on Mabon/Equinox, the official start of autumn. And, FeedTheSpirit writer Bobbie Lewis added a story about Mabon that features a delicious recipe for apple cake.

THIS WEEK, Stephanie adds this new and fascinating fascinating overview of the holidays, festivals and special themes unfolding during the autumn months. Whatever your range of interests, you’ll find something to celebrate from Oktoberfest to Native American Heritage Month.

ST. FRANCIS DAYPlan ahead for this beloved Christian holiday recalling the saint who, among other things, has inspired annual blessings of animals in many parishes.

MICHAELMAS—If your family comes from areas of the UK, you may be especially familiar with these traditions involving special dishes of blackberries and goose.

SUKKOT—One of the world’s oldest harvest festivals is the joyous Jewish tradition of Sukkot, which involves building outdoor, temporary shelters with loosely thatched coverings that are open just enough to look up and see the autumn stars at night. Stephanie Fenton has the story. Stephanie also reports on the world’s most valuable fruit, the etrog, highly prized as a key symbol during Sukkot prayers. This year, many etrogs are coming across the Atlantic from Morocco, Stephanie reports.

CLAY OVEN COOKING—Whether you observe Sukkot, or not, you’ll enjoy reading this FeedTheSpirit guest column by an expert in medieval cooking. Then, adapted for modern cooks, the column ends with a delicious recipe for Clay-Oven Chicken.

TWO JEWISH FESTIVALS—Stephanie Fenton reports on the Jewish observances of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, a time of “rejoicing in the Torah” that includes lively singing and dancing in Jewish congregations.





OUR VALUES—University of Michigan sociologist Dr. Wayne Baker serves up a fascinating series, this week, guaranteed to start a lively discussion with friends. Have you heard of the growing crisis from “FOMO”? No? Wow, you’re missing out! (Kidding aside—this is a serious problem contributing, among other things, to highway fatalities from distracted drivers. It’s well worth starting a discussion.)




1,200 is a treasure trove of movie reviews by veteran faith-and-film expert Edward McNulty.



One of our guiding principles: Good media builds good community. What does that mean? Enjoy these stories …

A NEW KIND OF LEARNING—Every week, GodSigns author Suzy Farbman serves up inspiring stories about men and women whose lives are touched by unlikely moments of grace. This week, Suzy writes about a California teacher who restored a historic one-room school house to provide special enrichment experiences for kids. And one day? A very special child responded in an unexpected way. Here’s her story. Enjoy!





FAITH GOES POP—Pop Francis? No, that’s not a typo! FaithGoesPop columnist and religion scholar Ken Chitwood charts the cross-over from sacred to secular as he looks at Papal-mania. Ken’s ongoing FaithGoesPop column has lots of thought-provoking coverage of the many ways religion and popular culture mingle. AND, our readers also are enjoying this column by David Crumm about Francis.






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