Cover Story: Just Imagine, a Beatles 50th anniversary

How the Fab Four shaped our lives

DID THE BEATLES CHANGE YOU? With apologies to Sgt. Pepper, this week we’re celebrating a golden anniversary with readers around the world …

It was (50 years) ago today
Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play
They’ve been going in and out of style
But they’re guaranteed to raise a smile
So may I introduce to you
The act you’ve known for all these years …

THE BEATLES—At this milestone, first you’ll want to remember the ways the Beatles reshaped popular culture in the second half of 1965. Plus, to help you sense what it was like 50 years ago, this column includes two short videos of the Beatles taking the stage at Shea Stadium and then performing A Hard Day’s Night on that historic occasion.

ARE YOU SINGING A NEW SONG? That’s the question we asked readers in this related Cover Story, earlier this summer, which reported on inspiring new hymns—and the spiritual power of music.

THEN, we continue our Beatles celebration with …


Journalist, musician, educator—and Beatles expert—Charles Honey writes a five-part OurValues series about the many ways he has discovered Americans’ lives changed by popular Beatles tunes. Last week, we published an interview with Honey about his new book Faith on First in which a number of his inspiring real-life stories highlight American pop music. This week, we asked him to zero in on the music of the Beatles, a theme of classes he has taught over the years.



MELODIES OF PEACE—Global peace trainer Daniel Buttry has been showcasing music videos from worldwide peace movements all summer long. Last week, he even included Paul McCartney performing Pipes of Peace in this musical haunting tribute to the legacy of World War I.

This week, Dan writes: People won’t act for change without hope. Hope can come from all kinds of places—inside and out, but when it catches hold of a heart or a people, watch out! This week three of my favorite folk singers work the theme of hope in action. As Irish poet Seamus Heaney puts it: We need to believe that a further shore is reachable from here.

You’ll be moved by this latest collection of videos from Pete Seeger, Jan Krist and David LaMotte. Simply remember the easy web address:




1,200 is a treasure trove of movie reviews.


The creative mind of columnist Ken Chitwood serves up a mixed bag of religion sightings.

This week, he looks at TV host John Oliver’s claim of creating a new religion around the website: Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption. Chitwood knows his history and reports that in this razor-edged comedic campaign “Oliver joins a long list of parody religions, antibelief systems, and authentic fakes like Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Church of the Almighty Dollar, Disciples of the New Dawn, and the Discount House of Worship.”




Don’t miss a holiday! Tell friends about our master calendar of festivals, observances and milestones.

RAKSHA BANDHAN—Holidays & Festivals columnist Stephanie Fenton reports on the joyful Hindu holiday of Raksha Bandhan, an ancient festival that celebrates the bond between brother and sister.

REMEMBERING KATRINA—Americans are looking back at the 10-year anniversary of the devastating hurricane. Stephanie Fenton marks the anniversary with this newsy column. In our 2010 American Journey series, we reported from a Vietnamese-American community in New Orleans that still was rebuilding from Katrina even at that 5-year anniversary.


A NEW NOVEL (AND TASTY TREAT)—FeedTheSpirit columnist Bobbie Lewis writes about the humorous new novel, Kitchens of the Great Midwest, and serves up a recipe for one of the richest desserts in the book!

BOUNTY OF SUMMER—Throughout the summer, FeedTheSpirit columnist Bobbie Lewis has been serving up some terrific columns like this recipe for berry bread pudding that she promises is “the greatest thing since sliced bread”—and columns she calls Just for the Kale of It and Dishes Pop with Paprika.



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

SUZY FARBMAN—Sometimes, life poses challenges that seem to be insurmountable—but GodSigns author Suzy Farbman specializes in reporting true stories of transformation despite such long odds. This week, she writes about a woman she and her husband have known for many years. She calls this story Deborah Lemons-Jacksons steers her family toward a higher calling.


‘RADICAL TRANSPARENCY’—At ReadTheSpirit, we promote transparency and the cooperative power of readers and writers to improve our work—and our world. Writer Karla Huber recently attended a Michigan gathering of communicators, coordinated by Editor David Crumm, and wrote an online column about how communicators can use this principle.


KEN WILSON—Ken Wilson and his creative team at the Third Way Newsletter are opening doors at evangelical congregations coast to coast.

DR. DAVID GUSHEE—The author of Changing Our Mind is continues to travel widely. Coming up on Sunday August 30, he will preach in the 11 a.m. service at Southside Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. This congregation has prepared for that visit in a way that maximizes the impact of his teaching. Members read his book and discussed prior to his visit. Interested in learning more about Dr. Gushee’s work? Visit his author page.






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