OUR HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
- THIS YEAR, make the world a better place—Whatever your faith, this is a season of gift giving. Everyone has a shopping list. So, why not give gifts that will move your loved ones to enjoy a better, more meaningful new year? Please, take a few moments to read our 2014 Holiday Shopping Guide. The books and other resources we recommend can light up someone’s life—and you’ll find them giving you a warm hug for your thoughtfulness.
- WHAT ARE THE HOLIDAYS? We’ve got you covered with fascinating, practical columns by Holidays & Festivals expert Stephanie Fenton. You can find all of the holidays listed at www.InterfaithHolidays.com
- RENAMING A HOLIDAY—Many Americans are using the phrase “Season of Gratitude” to celebrate the Thanksgiving season. This was Abraham Lincoln’s original idea when he inaugurated the annual practice of a nationwide Thanksgiving holiday—a surprising declaration in the depths of the Civil War. ReadTheSpirit has many resources to help you creatively celebrate a Season of Gratitude. Begin with our Lincoln Resource Page, which is packed with fresh ideas!
- HOW ONE TOWN IS CELEBRATING—Nestled along the Atlantic Ocean in Maine, the town of Belfast is hosting a community-wide Season of Gratitude potluck this year.
- LINCOLN PRAYER FOR THANKSGIVING—Here’s just one example of what you’ll find on that Resource Page: Lincoln scholar Duncan Newcomer drew on Lincoln’s own words to create this prayer you are free to use for your own Thanksgiving.
- NEW FROM PBS—Want to feel truly thankful? Just watch PBS’s startling documentary, Cold War Road Show, this week and you’ll discover that we truly can be thankful for a safer world today. You may ask: “Safer?!?” If that sounds like an odd claim, please read our review of this film about Nikita Khrushchev’s first visit to the U.S.
- THANKSGIVING: THE REAL STORY—Our popular Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton serves up a story about Thanksgiving that is packed with history, links to great recipes and news about Americans’ ever-changing attitudes toward the holiday.
OUR VALUES ON …
CHANGE IN WASHINGTON
- SPEAKING OF GLOBAL POLITICS—Sociologist Dr. Wayne Baker looks at new research on Americans’ attitudes expressed in the midterm elections. Where is the country going, now? Do you expect radical change—or stalemate?
- PART 1—Who wants to radically change America?
- PART 2—Which political party cares about you?
- PART 3—Why is the Tea Party so scared?
- PART 4—Should children go to the polls?
- PART 5—Will the American experiment fail?
FOOD and FUN
- ‘STIR UP SUNDAY’—Did you know that the Western Christian Sunday known as Christ the King is also known as “Stir Up Sunday”? Read all about it in Stephanie Fenton’s holiday column.
- BLACK FRIDAY DEBATE RAGES—Stephanie Fenton reports on the busiest shopping day in America and the role some retailers are playing in trying to keep that day from invading Thanksgiving.
- ADVENT BEGINS—Stephanie Fenton explains the beginning of the real “Christmas season” of anticipation and prayer for Western Christians—and, yes, her column does include links to Do It Yourself Advent wreaths.
- FEED THE SPIRIT—Food writer Bobbie Lewis returns to her love of making fresh challah—and reports on a special event called the Great Big Challah Bake. Yum!
- SUZY FARBMAN’S GODSIGNS—Science and fine arts merge in Amy Lamb’s photographs of flowers and other natural subjects.
AND POPULAR CULTURE
- VISUAL PARABLES JOURNAL—Faith-and-film writer Edward McNulty’s popular monthly magazine Visual Parables Journal is part of our Holiday Shopping Guide with a special year-end offer for new subscribers.
- SEE ALL THE REVIEWS—We have redesigned and simplified the front page of McNulty’s Visual Parables website—to make it easier for you to find the most recent free reviews, like Ed’s recommendation of Rosewater.
- GLENN CAMPBELL: I’LL BE ME—McNulty gives this moving Glenn Campbell documentary 5 out of 5 stars.
- WHIPLASH—It’s intense. And it’s good. This film about an extreme musical coach gets 4.5 out of 5 stars.
- FAITH GOES POP—Have you taken Ken Chitwood’s challenge to share a bumper sticker that may say something intriguing about a person’s faith? Check out what he has found already.
- WALLENDA VIDEO—It’s breathtaking—and a provocative claim—to consider that the famous tightrope walker says that God goes with him across the wire. Ken Chitwood has a 4-minute video about this amazing feat.
- REMEMBER—If you want to chime in with Ken Chitwood’s new department within ReadTheSpirit magazine, remember to use the hashtag #FaithGoesPop (There also is a convenient URL to find Ken’s latest news items: www.FaithGoesPop.com)
BULLYING IS NO LAUGHING MATTER
- NEW THIS WEEK! Due to requests from our readers, we’ve now added a helpful Resources section—conveniently linked from the front page of the comics department within our online magazine. That new area contains helpful definitions of bullying and tips to prevent it. There’s also an invitation to share your tips on how to end bullying.
- JUDGE PARKER—New this week is a comic activity guide to spark discussion based on a comic strip from the long-running Judge Parker series. This one focuses on that dreaded rite of passage for millions of kids: the locker room.
- SEE ALL THE STUDY GUIDES—We’ve got eight free study guides online, now.
- PLEAS FOR PEACE FROM WORLD WAR I—International peace trainer Daniel Buttry continues his series of inspiring stories about men and women who risked their lives and livelihood in pursuit of peace a century ago.
- NEW THIS WEEK—Buttry brings us true stories about Friedrich Siegmund-Schultze, a cofounder of the famous Fellowship of Reconciliation; Vera Brittain, who served in the war herself and wrote the still poignant Testament of Youth; and the controversial Peace Ship, which involved a major investment by Henry Ford.