MEET KEN AND EMILY …
AT THE FOREFRONT in welcoming gay and lesbian Christians to evangelical churches are authors Ken Wilson with A Letter to My Congregation and David P. Gushee with Changing Our Mind. (This week, Gushee is releasing an expanded 2nd Edition of his book as he continues to headline events in this transitional effort.) Meanwhile, Ken Wilson has touched off a nationwide movement called “third way churches” that is included in the January 26 TIME magazine report “Change of Heart.”
- TODAY, Ken and his co-pastor Emily Swan, leaders in America’s newest Christian denomination, Blue Ocean Faith, are launching an online magazine they call The Third Way Newsletter. Please tell friends about their simple Web address www.ThirdWayNewsletter.com
- MEET THEM—Ken and Emily introduce their newsletter and describe their lives as pastors.
- WHAT IS IT? Ken explains Third Way in a Nutshell.
- HOW DOES IT WORK? In a video, Emily tells why this is like “new wine” in the church.
- READING THE BIBLE AGAIN—Caleb Brokaw explains the challenge evangelicals face in reading the Bible, these days.
- FEMINIST PERSPECTIVE—Caroline Kittle analyzes Third Way from a feminist point of view.
- KEEP IN TOUCH—On the right-hand side of their new website, enter your email address in the “Get Email Updates” box to keep in touch with this helpful, healing movement.
FROM VALENTINES—TO ASHES
- THE HOLIDAY—Colunnist Stephanie Fenton explores the mysterious figure known as St. Valentine and shares some valuable links to do-it-yourself resources.
- CHOCOLATE LOVERS—FeedTheSpirit columnist Bobbie Lewis writes a delicious history of holiday chocolates.
- SEE ALL THE HOLIDAYS—Check our master calendar www.InterfaithHolidays.com anytime. That includes a holiday observed by many Buddhists this week focused on their founder’s entry to Nirvana.
- TO ASHES and FASTING—This year, the world’s 2 billion Christians are divided, once again, by their traditional Western vs. Eastern calendars. Most churches in the U.S. are Western and, this week, prepare for their final Sunday before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent on February 18. Most Eastern Orthodox churches, this week, are planning for Meatfare Sunday, when the faithful give up meat in preparation for the fast of Great Lent. This year, the Eastern fast of Great Lent begins with Clean Monday on February 23.
- YOUR OWN INSPIRATIONAL JOURNEY—Plan ahead and, today, order a copy of Our Lent: Things we Carry, a popular 40-day inspirational reader by ReadTheSpirit editor David Crumm. The book invites readers on a journey through the final days of Jesus’s life—with visits by a host of men, women and animals drawn from popular culture. (You’ll even meet the Cat in the Hat.)
PAYING IT FORWARD
OUR VALUES—What a timely topic for a week when millions of men and women are thinking about love! OurValues founder, sociologist Wayne Baker, turns to a theme beloved by our readers “Paying it Forward”—and reports that there are many benefits to expressing our gratitude to others.
- PART 1—Ever heard of a “Gratitude Gram”? Read this column and you may start sending them to friends, today!
- PART 2—A Valentine of food for the hungry?
- PART 3—Pizza for the homeless?
- PART 4—Free college? They’re considering it in New Jersey.
- PART 5—Is receiving help psychologically harmful?
25 YEARS OF FAITH AND FILM
CELEBRATE WITH US! Faith-and-film columnist, journal editor and author Edward McNulty has been serving readers for a quarter of a century with Visual Parables.
- DISCOVER THE JOURNAL—In addition to more than a thousand free reviews and columns, Ed supports his work through paid subscriptions to the Visual Parables Journal, packed with study guides for individual and small-group use. And, of course, Ed also continues publishing free reviews …
- A MOST VIOLENT YEAR—A troubling, suspenseful film raises important questions. (4 out of 5 stars)
- JUPITER ASCENDING—Pulp fiction meets science fiction. (3 stars)
- PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR—Animated adventure at a madcap pace in the Looney Tunes genre. (3 stars)
- STRANGE MAGIC—Some critics have panned this fanciful film, but Ed says it may be a good choice for a family outing. (3.5 stars)
- FILM CAPSULES—Readers are free to print, repost and use these intriguing mini-reviews in your own newsletters or websites.
DOING GOOD IN THE WORLD …
INTERFAITH PEACEMAKERS—Global peacemaker and author Daniel Buttry continues to help our readers celebrate Black History Month by looking to Africa for some truly remarkable heroes—men and women largely unknown on this side of the Atlantic.
- SEE ALL THE HEROES—Visit Interfaith Peacemakers for more than 150 inspiring profiles. And new this week …
- WANGARI MUTA MAATHAI—A Kenyan peace and environmental activist.
- HIZKIAS ASSEFA—Americans may know him as a university-based scholar, but this Ethiopian-American also is on the front lines of peacemaking efforts in Africa.
- EPHRAIM ISSAC—An Ethiopian Jewish scholar courageously works for peace.
GODSIGNS—Columnist Suzy Farbman always ranks among our most popular writers, because her true stories always involve signs of hope, often with unexpected twists. This week, Suzy writes about a woman, Lori Simon, who explored her vocation as an artist—and found a welcome invitation from Saks.