Building the ‘Beloved Community’
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. envisioned a “beloved community” where all people are welcomed and treated with dignity. For King, religion was not a cause of division but an avenue to the deeper unity of love that should be expressed in justice for all. That’s an excerpt from Daniel Buttry’s profile of Dr. King in our Interfaith Peacemakers department.
- THE HOLIDAY—Holidays & Festivals columnist Stephanie Fenton has her new master calendar for 2015. This week, she reports on the importance of the King holiday.
- THE LEGACY—Daniel Buttry writes about a century of teaching on nonviolence from Mohandas “Mahatma” Gandhi, through Dr. King and on to Aung San Suu Kyi.
- THE MOVIE—Faith and film writer Edward McNulty gives Selma 5 out of 5 stars. Ed says no film this year is so inspiring—and so relevant to America’s challenges today.
- YOUR OWN FILM FESTIVAL—Ed McNulty has been reviewing films in Visual Parables for decades. Drawing on his database of 1,000-plus reviews for this special week, Ed urges viewers to take a fresh look at Angela Bassett in The Rosa Parks Story (2002), and also at Paul Winfield starring in King (1978), Whoopi Goldberg in The Long Walk Home (1990), and Terrence Howard (who just returned to prime-time TV in Empire) co-starring as Ralph Abernathy in Boycott (2001).
In this special week, I hope to extend our global conversation. … Peacemakers around the world continue to risk their lives and I want to remind readers of three lesser-known martyrs. That’s Daniel Buttry’s introduction to three inspiring stories featured in our Interfaith Peacemakers department:
- TOM FOX—After retiring from the Marines, Tom Fox became a pacifist and gave his life as a member of a Christian Peacemaking Team.
- CHRISTIAN DE CHERGE—The story of this Trappist priest also has become part of a moving feature film.
- IMAM al-SADR—An advocate for the poor in the midst of dangerous conflict, he eventually gave up his own life.
Setting Off Sparks of Kindness
OUR VALUES—Sociologist Dr. Wayne Baker, creator of the OurValues project, looks at “Sparks of Kindness,” the many ways we can foster healthier, happier communities through the small, daily choices we make.
- PART 1—Wanna Spark someone?
- PART 2—Try a small experiment?
- PART 3—What about big experiments?
- PART 4—Is generosity a paradox?
- PART 5—How far will the wildfire spread?
OUR WRITERS KNOW:
BUILDS HEALTHY COMMUNITIES
“Media” means connection and, at ReadTheSpirit, we are proud to work with a wide array of columnists and authors who understand that healthy media builds healthy communities. The following news items showcase recent work by some of our writers:
JOE GRIMM & MSU ‘BIAS BUSTERS’—At the Michigan State University (MSU) School of Journalism, Joe Grimm is leading the cheering section this week for his talented crew of students known as “Bias Busters.” Joe wrote this column about the unusual project and his students’ latest book.
- NEW THIS WEEK—At MSU, students and alumni are abuzz about a story on the university’s website about the Bias Busters’ new book. And, we all are proud to see this news story about their work by Detroit Free Press staff writer Niraj Warikoo.
DAVID GUSHEE & ‘CHANGING OUR MIND’—Known as one of the nation’s leading Christian ethicists, Dr. David Gushee is helping evangelical families and congregations nationwide to welcome LGBT men and women. Many readers have shared this interview with Dr. Gushee.
- NEW WHAT REPUBLICANS CAN LEARN—A front page story in the Jan. 19 NY Times offers a good reason for conservative Republicans to snap up a copy of Dr. Gushee’s book. The Times reports that the Supreme Court’s decision to settle the issue of gay marriage is a cause for celebration by the GOP, because the hot-button issue will be resolved before the next election. Throughout 2015, Dr. Gushee is making appearances across the U.S. and, in his public events, conservatives may want to listen to his story and learn about how to discuss this issue in a welcoming way with their evangelical constituencies.
- NEW COMING TO A CITY NEAR YOU—Dr. Gushee already appeared in Chicago in early January; soon, he will be speaking at an evangelical pastors conference in Denver. In February he will speak at New York’s Fordham University and Union Theological Seminary. Check out his schedule at http://davidpgushee.com/speaking.html
- NEW LATEST HEADLINES—Here is an overview of news headlines about Dr. Gushee’s work. Among the newest headlines: Robert Cornwell’s Ponderings on a Faith Journey names Changing Our Mind one of the Best Books of 2014. In the Huffington Post, author and religious leader Steve McSwain published this story about Dr. Gushee and McSwain also posted this Vimeo video of their interview.
WAYNE BAKER & ‘UNITED AMERICA’—Sociologist Dr. Wayne Baker is the Robert P. Thome Professor of Business Administration at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. His major book, United America, is the result of his years of research into American values.
- NEW A BOOST FOR ‘POSITIVE BUSINESS’—This week, Detroit Free Press business columnist Tom Walsh reports that Stephen Sanger, former head of General Mills, and his wife Karen are making a $20-million gift to create a new Ross School center “with the aim of developing leaders who not only succeed at business but also make a positive impact on the world and their communities.” In his work at Ross, Dr. Baker also is part of building “positive business” as one of Ross’s central pillars. Here is a series Dr. Baker wrote about “positive business.“
BOBBIE LEWIS & FEED THE SPIRIT—This week, food columnist Bobbie Lewis is knitting together community memories—one knish at a time. Bobbie’s columns comprise the most deliciously inviting departments within our online magazine. One week, she’s sharing a Swedish cookie tradition; another week, she’s writing about the hospitable customs of English tea.
- NEW CRAZY ABOUT KNISHES—No, the photo with this news item is not Bobbie Lewis. It’s a 1935 photo from Brighton Beach of a woman who is fondly remembered for her knish bakery. This week, Bobbie explains this heart-warming tradition and, of course, offers a yummy recipe!
SUZY FARBMAN & GODSIGNS—Veteran journalist and author Suzy Farbman finds stories about hope and healing in unlikely places—usually involving unexpected twists and turns in the lives of men and women nationwide.
- NEW GO BLUE—Since ReadTheSpirit’s home office is in Ann Arbor, now, you’ll forgive us for a bit of “Blue” bias. (We also are proud to work with MSU here in Michigan!) This week, in Suzy Farbman’s GodSigns column, you’ll meet a who woman fondly recalls her father from—well, from an unlikely sign of blue.