MEETING MARCUS AGAIN …
MYSTERY OF FAITH—Of course, we lost our good friend and regular visitor to our online magazine when Marcus Borg died in 2015. Now, his team of editors at HarperOne and his wife Marianne Borg have collaborated on a volume with samples of his life’s work that we suggest could have been called, Meeting Marcus Borg Again for the First Time—Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary. Longtime readers of our magazine will recall the many interviews we published with this inspiring writer and thought-provoking scholar. Please, read our Cover Story this week, an overview of Marcus’s new book as well as an interview with Marianne Borg. AND NOTE: This is a terrific book for small-group discussion so share this story with friends.
WANT TO BE A BETTER WRITER?
One thing we know about our regular readers: Most of us enjoy writing as much as we enjoy reading, don’t we? Many of our readers are preachers, teachers, small-group coordinators, journalists, community leaders—and our professions require us to write all the time. This week, we’ve got two wonderful stories on the quest to improve our writing.
RODNEY CURTIS—The photo above is one of Rodney’s images from his column this week about a seminar he led on the theme: Express Yourself—The Role of Expressive Writing in the Healing Process. As our regular readers know, Rodney is a cancer survivor as well as a nationally known journalist, author and photographer. In this seminar led by Rodney, helping men and women to channel their experiences through writing was an inspiring opportunity for everyone—including the leader.
SUSAN STITT—In our Front Edge Publishing column this week, marketing expert Susan Stitt explores the rapidly growing world of podcasts—with a special focus on podcasts about writing and editing. The best part of her column? Susan reveals her own Top 5 list of great podcasts for writers and authors.
BILLIONS ARE FASTING—The vast majority of the world’s nearly 2 billion Muslims are observing the annual fast of Ramadan, which continues through mid June, some of the longest days of any calendar year. Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton has the story, including the background on this important month.
In addition, we have lots of other inspiring (and delicious) stories about Ramadan.
FAST & FEAST—When the sun sets, Muslim families traditionally gather for thankful feasts with relatives and friends. Our FeedTheSpirit column visits Parwan Anwar and her family, where Parwan talks about cooking for this special season—and shares a recipe for Bolani, Afghan stuffed bread.
WELCOMING CHRISTIANS—Christian ethicist Matthew Kaemingk’s new book addresses evangelical Christians, making the case that Christianity calls on the faithful to welcome our Muslim neighbors.
WHY WE FAST—Muslim educator and writer Najah Bazzy explains the benefits of the Ramadan fast in this chapter from her book The Beauty of Ramadan.
MUSLIM PUBLISHING—In our FrontEdgePublishing section, we take a look at the challenges Muslim writers and readers face in trying to get their books published in the U.S., these days.
ALL THE HOLIDAYS
MAKING MEMORIAL DAY PLANS? Stephanie Fenton’s column also turns back to the landmark essay by sociologist Robert Bellah—well worth a moment to read this week.
TRINITY SUNDAY—A Christian festival that dates back more than 1,000 years.
THROUGHOUT MAY—Two special national observances honor centuries of American Jewish history and Asian Pacific American heritage. Our column has links to resource-rich Library of Congress websites for both months.
Want to see all the holidays? www.InterfaithHolidays.com
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 free reviews and columns are:
- POPE FRANCIS: A MAN OF HIS WORD—Documentary filmmaker Wim Wenders presents an inspiring look at the work and travels of this pontiff, who is bringing hope to many around the world. (5 out of 5 stars)
- RED DUST—With an excellent cast, director Tom Hooper brings to life a fictional story that mirrors many dramas played out across South Africa as Apartheid ended and reconciliation was unfolding. (4.5 stars)
- AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR—The movie is so jam-packed with action and colorful characters that it certainly is exciting, if a bit disorienting as well, writes Ed. (4 stars)
- THE LEISURE SEEKER—You won’t want to miss this film if you’re a fan of Helen Mirren or Donald Sutherland. (4 stars)
- ANNIHILATION—This sci-fi suspense film may remind viewers if Alien. It’s notable because of its strong female cast. (4 stars)
- HEART OF NUBA—You’ll have to make a point of seeking out this deeply moving documentary, set in a war-torn region of Africa, but the search is well worth the effort, Ed writes this week. He gives the film 5 stars.