CELEBRATE 2018 HOLIDAYS; STRENGTHEN COMMUNITIES
COVER STORY—What an appropriate week to unveil our 2018 Holidays & Festivals calendar by our columnist Stephanie Fenton! Last week, the world was horrified by the crude disparagement of nations of color coming from the White House. We are not a political magazine, but we do have readers in nations circling this globe and we have felt the tidal wave of righteous reaction coming from all sectors of our readership.
So, let’s focus our energies on a positive response that can help build stronger, healthier, more diverse communities. And, one of the best ways? Let’s enthusiastically share in Holidays & Festivals this year. It’s the easiest way to celebrate community. It’s fun! And, even if an occasion isn’t my holiday specifically—it’s always a great occasion to ask friends and neighbors about their traditions.
First, enjoy Stephanie Fenton’s story about the Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. Follow the links Stephanie recommends. There’s a lot to read here! Share it with friends. It’s such an easy way to mark King’s holiday—by suggesting to friends on social media that they read something like this column.
Then, learn about a more exotic festival: Timkat, which is the Christian Ethiopian celebration of Epiphany. There’s even a link in that column to watch a short Smithsonian Channel video about Ethiopian Christians.
EXPLORE OUR CALENDAR—Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton also is unveiling, this week, the entire 2018 array of festivals and observances. If you spot something missing in her calendar, please alert us! Have some fun today looking ahead at holidays you want to learn about this year. Reach out to friends, neighbors and co-workers from other traditions. There are countless ways—on a daily basis—that we all can strengthen what Dr. King called the “Beloved Community.” It’s easy. Simply remember: www.InterfaithHolidays.com
Police Promoting Awareness of Diversity
SURPRISED? That’s not a headline you’ll typically see in your daily newspaper, but it’s true. Law enforcement agencies in many parts of the U.S. are working hard to raise awareness of diversity and, this week, we’ve got such a real-life story from East Lansing, Michigan. Sgt. Florene McGlothian-Taylor and Cadet Downer collaborated on sending us this news, which includes a photo and their description of the many ways this sharing of information sparks positive conversations. Consider this: Become a book Angel yourself! Are you responsible for a community reception area where these books might be displayed? If you do start passing along these MSU guides as your small part of promoting diversity, please let us know your story.
FAITH & FILM
ED McNULTY, for decades, has published reviews, magazine articles and books exploring connections between faith and film. Most of his work is freely published. Ed supports his work by selling the Visual Parables Journal, a monthly magazine packed with discussion guides to films. This resource is used coast-to-coast by individuals who love the movies and by educators, clergy and small-group leaders.
Among Ed’s latest free movie reviews are:
- MUDBOUND—Ed writes, “This powerful Netflix drama shows why Martin Luther King, Jr. was so necessary for our nation—and why we all, whites and blacks, should join together in celebrating his day.” (5 out of 5 stars)
- FIVE CAME BACK—For those interested in film history and World War Two, Netflix has the perfect documentary, a rare one in that some critics have reversed their usual criticism and said they wished it were longer. (5 stars)
ROMAN J. ISRAEL—Ed writes, “In writer/director Dan Gilroy’s film Denzel Washington steps out of his comfort zone to play a socially awkward lawyer very different from the smooth, confident characters he has often played.” The result is 5 out of 5 stars
- WONDER WHEEL—Woody Allen’s latest is both visually beautiful and somber in tone. (4 stars)
- SHAPE OF WATER—Romantics ought to love this genre-combining film directed by the creative Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro. (5 stars)
- THE GREATEST SHOWMAN—The facts of P.T. Barnum’s life don’t matter too much in this ambitious, colorful musical. (4 stars)
- ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD—It’s a gripping tale of super-rich J. Paul Getty and the kidnapping of an heir that made headlines around the world. (4 stars)
- THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MO—Ed highly recommends this drama, writing: “It stars two actors at the top of their form, Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson, making this a real treat for film lovers!”
- THE DARKEST HOUR—Director Joe Wright’s film is a good complement to Dunkirk. (4 stars)