MEET JANE AND ELLEN KNUTH
COVER STORY—Our author interview this week welcomes Jane Knuth, the popular inspirational writer, and her daughter Ellen who have just published a memoir about their relationship called, Love Will Steer Me True. Their true story follows Ellen half way around the world and eventually to the aftermath of a nuclear disaster in Japan. Jane writes half of the book from her home in the Midwest; Ellen writes the other half of the story. But the real magic in their story is its potential to help you think in fresh ways about loved ones close to your home.
THIS WEEK, OurValues creator (and United America author) sociologist Wayne Baker looks at some troubling implications of Americans’ financial insecurity. He asks readers: “The economy is making a comeback, but are you? How financially secure or insecure do you feel? Today, find out from a new poll what insecurity means for the political process and democracy.”
- PART 1—Does it drive our political choices?
- PART 2—Does insecurity make you a Democrat?
- PART 3—Do the insecure hate business?
- PART 4—Are financially insecure whites apathetic?
- PART 5—Better times ahead? But, for whom?
A ‘NATURAL’ COMMUNITY—One of our goals in 2015 is publishing occasional stories of peacemakers who build healthier communities around their concern for the natural world and especially for animals. Today, Daniel Buttry’s Interfaith Peacemakers section begins with three profiles.
- RICHARD ST. BARBE BAKER—Learn about the famous “Man of the Trees.”
- LAURA HOBGOOD-OSTER—She’s a leading voice in connecting faith with a love of animals.
- HOLMES ROLSTON III—He works with scientists around the world in building appreciation for the values in nature.
- MARC BEKOFF—You’ll enjoy our new 2015 interview with this compassionate scientist.
- KEN CHITWOOD—In a wide-ranging column, FaithGoesPop columnist Ken Chitwood looks for positive steps we might take after the horrifying violence by terrorists in France in recent days. A religious-studies scholar at the University of Florida, Ken explains some of the potent forces playing out across Europe and suggests that a novel about the detective Wallander might provide some inspiration.
HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS
CELEBRATE 2015—Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton has completely updated our diverse 2015 “master calendar” of holidays from around the world plus milestones and anniversaries, as well. Remember the easy link: www.InterfaithHolidays.com New stories this week …
- MAGHI—Sikhs recall the sacrifice of 40 heroes centuries ago.
- MAKAR SANKRANTI—This Indian festival varies by region, but is widely celebrated with kites filling the air.
- WORLD RELIGION DAY—Baha’is celebrate religious diversity around the world.
- WEEK OF PRAYER—This ecumenical effort began a century ago and now is known as “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.” This year, participants are asked to look to Brazil and consider giving a drink of water as a symbolic act.
- MLK DAY—Plan ahead for next week’s nationwide celebration of Dr. King and the call to make this a day of service to others.
FOOD, FILM AND POPULAR CULTURE
- VISUAL PARABLES—Faith and film writer Edward McNulty prepares for MLK Day by urging people to go see Selma, giving the movie 5 out of 5 stars.
- DON’T MISS THESE MOVIES—This week, Ed also is recommending that we catch these terrific films before they vanish from theaters: Big Eyes (5 stars); The Imitation Game (5 stars); and Unbroken (4 stars).
- BULLYING IS NO LAUGHING MATTER—Our comics section, this week, brings you an anti-bullying page from the long-running Gasoline Alley. (Did you know that Gasoline Alley will mark its centennial in 2018?) Please, help us spread word about our on-going effort to use popular comics in an effort to combat bullying.
- FEED THE SPIRIT—Bobbie Lewis welcomes guest columnist Neil Steinberg for a fascinating story called Gaga for Grapefruit. You’ll find all sorts of cultural connections with grapefruit and, in the end, a recipe for turning the tart citrus fruit into a poppyseed cake!
- SUZY FARBMAN—We close this new week’s issue with yet another way creative and compassionate people are building peaceful new communities. Godsigns columnist Suzy Farbman writes about the Miksells, a young couple in Florida who have transformed their own lives to include hundreds of visiting artists.