‘A story buries itself in your heart.’
MEET ROBERT WICKS—Longtime readers, please help us to welcome back internationally renowned counselor Robert Wicks. New readers: You’ll be glad to meet him this week in our interview and overview of his remarkable new book, Night Call. For many years, Wicks has circled the world as a counselor and teacher for professionals in helping professions, among them: preachers, teachers, doctors, aid workers, social workers, law-enforcement officers and men and women serving in the military. His specialty is rediscovering the resiliency that helps millions of men and women to arise each morning and face another day—emotionally and spiritually ready for the challenges they face.
In his new book, Night Call, Wicks shares a personal summation of his teachings in a narrative-style book full of stories—some as short as a paragraph and some as long as several page—about people grappling with nearly insurmountable problems.
Now, doesn’t that sound a lot like you and me in these troubling times in America and around the world? This book can be a perfect holiday gift for yourself—or for someone you love. PLUS—the book also contains a separate 55-page section packed with all the materials you’ll need for a self-directed “Resiliency Retreat.”
Yeah, that’s right. We need this now! Please, read this week’s cover story with Robert Wicks and share this with a friend.
FAMILY AND FRIENDS
EXPLORE A LIFE WELL LIVED
GodSigns—If you are drawn to Robert Wicks’ sage advice about overcoming life’s moments of darkness, then a perfect extension of that spiritually resilient approach to life is the publishing project developed by Rabbi Joseph Krakoff and illustrator Michelle Sider: Never Long Enough. This week, GodSigns columnist Suzy Farbman talks with these collaborators about the origins of this unique new book. (Suzy’s column also explains how to get the book and she has details on two upcoming author appearances in Michigan.)
AND, MORE TRUE STORIES OF HOPE & RESILIENCE
WOMEN RAISE their voices in more than 50 true stories about overcoming cultural, religious and racial barriers to make new friends in an inspiring book just released in October.
Here’s the story: A decade ago, women from eight religious traditions founded the network known as WISDOM: Women’s Interfaith Solutions for Dialogue and Outreach in MetroDetroit. Within three years, they had gathered and published a first collection of true stories from women about building diverse friendships. Now, they have doubled the size of this ground-breaking project. It’s called Friendship & Faith—the newly expanded edition of their book, which they launched nationally this month.
Their campaign promoting diverse friendships already has prompted other writers nationwide to lift their voices. Here are two women who already are adding their stories to this effort:
- RABBI MARLA HORNSTEN draws on Jewish tradition as well as practical spiritual wisdom in urging readers to explore the stories in this new book.
- MAGGIE ROWE is familiar to regular readers of our online magazine because of her wonderful new memoir, Sin Bravely, about welcoming religious diversity. Now, she in turn welcomes this new Friendship & Faith as a vision of what diverse friendships can become. Enjoy Maggie’s column—and please share it with friends.
HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS
Want to see all the holidays?
And, no it’s not all candy and costumes! Our Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton writes about the ancient roots of Halloween, including the centuries-old Gaelic and Irish seasonal festival known as Samhain. Did you know? In Gaelic Ireland, guising—donning a costume—was thought to “trick” ill-intentioned spirits roaming the byways near Samhain.
The word Halloween is of Christian origin, and many Christians visit graveyards during this time of year to pray and place flowers and candles at the graves of their deceased loved ones. The two days following All Hallows Eve—Hallowmas, or All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day—pay homage to the souls that Christians believe are now with God. Of course, these traditions vary across the many Christian denominations in the world today, but the holiday itself echoes these Christian origins.
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:
- COLUMBUS—Now here’s something most of our readers probably don’t know! Columbus, Ohio, is an international center of modernist architecture—and a filmmaker has created this moving drama about characters exploring their own lives in the context of those buildings. (5 out of 5 stars)
- REBEL IN THE RYE—This movie about J.D. Salinger deserves more credit than other critics seem to be giving it, Ed argues in his review. (4 stars)
- BRAD’S STATUS—Ed writes, “If you have ever sunk into a funk while thinking about your more successful friends, you might find writer-director Mike White’s film therapeutic, as well as enjoyable. Ben Stiller is outstanding as middle-aged Brad Sloan.” (5 stars)
- BATTLE OF THE SEXES—Ed says: “Lots to cheer for and to discuss in this well-crafted film!” The story of the famous tennis match between Bobby Riggs and Billy Jean King reveals a lot about bias in American culture. (4.5 stars)
- MARSHALL—Ed writes: It’s an “excellent new film about Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.” (5 stars)
- VICTORIA AND ABDUL—The movie is more fiction than fact, Ed concludes. (3.5 stars)
- I’LL PUSH YOU—”Stand up and cheer,” Ed writes as he gives this documentary a full 5 stars. In the film, one man pushes his friend’s wheelchair along 500 miles of the Camino de Santiago, The Way of Saint James.
- MENASHE—It’s an intriguing film about the relationship of an Orthodox Jewish father and his son as they try to navigate the pressures within their insular neighborhood. (5 stars)
- ALL SAINTS—“At last! Here is a faith-based film that seeks to entertain and inspire rather than convert its audience,” Ed writes. (5 stars)
- MOKA—A suspenseful drama about a mother grieving the loss of her son. (5 stars)