‘SEISMIC SHIFT’ IN CHRISTIANITY
ALL ABOUT FRANCIS’S LETTER—Secular news media zeroed in on political controversy in the remarkable new letter from Pope Francis, completely missing what RNS commentator Jay Michaelson calls “a seismic shift” and “a sea change” in “Western religious thinking on the relationship between human beings and the earth.” It’s such major news that, this week, ReadTheSpirit magazine is doing what we do best: Giving you—quickly, at a glance—important highlights from the encyclical and the best public responses to Francis’s letter.
- HIGHLIGHTS—Read our “best quotes” condensation of the 184-page letter by Pope Francis.
- WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING—We’ve also gathered quotes from some of the most important news commentaries about the encyclical.
- WHY ANIMAL-LOVERS ARE PLEASED—The Humane Society of the United States’s Christine Gutleben writes this open letter to all of us who care for animals.
- USE THE 2 “NEW” PRAYERS—Many families around the world are taking seriously Francis’s call to pray more regularly, including the 2 “new” prayers he provides. (Full text of both at the end of this story.) PLEASE, if you plan to use either of these prayers with family, friends or in your congregation, email us about it at [email protected]
CHANGING FACE OF AMERICA
- PART 1—Do you know how many Americans are multiracial?
- PART 2—Can you change your race?
- PART 3—Do biracial people feel closer to one race?
- PART 4—Who experiences the most racial discrimination?
- PART 5—Republicans or Democrats?
HOLIDAYS, FESTIVALS & FOOD
DON’T MISS A HOLIDAY! Tell friends about www.InterfaithHolidays.com, our master list of holidays, festivals and anniversaries—with links to dozens of fascinating stories you’ll want to share.
WHAT’S YOUR PLAN FOR THE 4TH? Whatever you’re planning for Independence Day, Stephanie Fenton’s column is packed with ideas and DIY resources that will enrich your holiday.
FEED THE SPIRIT! And, what’s better than fresh strawberries at this time of year!?! FeedTheSpirit columnist Bobbie Lewis tells us the story of America’s love affair with chocolate-dipped strawberries—then she leads readers step by step through the easy process of making them. Come on! Read this one, print it out—or share this column with a friend who loves to cook. Then, you’ll show up at your July 4 celebration with a treat!
ALSO, THIS WEEK, ‘THE FORERUNNER’—Stephanie Fenton tells us about one of the oldest Christian celebrations around the world, marking the birth of “The Forerunner,” another term for St. John the Baptist.
And, ‘Ramadan Mubarak!’
- HOLIDAY—Sacred traditions of the fasting month.
- MAKE FRIENDS—Want to reach out in a friendly way to Muslim friends, neighbors and co-workers? Start with this news from the Michigan State University School of Journalism.
- NEWS ABOUT ISLAM—Share this OurValues series with friends. Part 1: Why is Islam growing so rapidly?
- IN-DEPTH—For a more in-depth exploration, including health-care issues related to the fast, you’ll want Najah Bazzi’s Beauty of Ramadan.
WANT INSPIRATION? We’ve got hundreds of stories about heroic men and women who risked their lives to foster peace. It’s easy to remember www.InterfaithPeacemakers.com so please tell your friends. (And, yes, you’re free to share these stories with your class or small group.)
- JAMES LAWSON—In this tragic season when Americans are rethinking how far we’ve come with civil rights, learn about this towering figure often called an “architect” of the movement.
- DANIEL HUNTER—As a peace activist, Hunter is an innovator—especially talented at using humor to fuel public awareness.
- GEORGE LAKEY—He may not be a household name, but among peacemakers Lakey is respected as a master teacher—a trainer of trainers.
THE AMAZING LE CHAMBON STORY—Readers tell us they continue to be fascinated by the remarkable courage of the people in a tiny French town who saved thousands during the Holocaust. GodSigns author Suzy Farbman writes about what happened at Le Chambon-Sur-Lignon.
- MORE on ANDRE TROCME—Want more on this inspiring story? Interfaith Peacemakers profiles the priest who inspired this courageous idea in the village.
- THE FILM VERSION—Ed McNulty reviews the best film about what happened at LeChambon and links to a film clip.
FILM, FAITH AND POPULAR CULTURE
1,200 MOVIES—www.VisualParables.org is a treasure trove of faith-and-film reviews by Edward McNulty.
- INSIDE OUT—Incredibly imaginative! 5 out of 5 stars! Don’t miss this movie, says faith-and-film writer Edward McNulty.
- IRIS—This new documentary is “a tonic” for anyone worried about their age. At age 93, New York fashion icon Iris Afert is going strong! (4 stars)
- I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS—Blythe Danner lights up the screen in this late-in-life romantic comedy. (4 stars)
- BEYOND THE GATES OF SPLENDOR—Ed recommends we rediscover this inspiring 2002 documentary about missionaries slain in the Amazon—and what happened in response. (5 stars)
FAITH GOES POP—The creative mind of www.FaithGoesPop.com columnist Ken Chitwood serves up a mixed bag of religion sightings.
DOING GOOD IN THE WORLD
Good media builds healthy communities …
MEET THE VETS EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT—The Michigan State University veterans project is far bigger than a single new book: 100 Questions and Answers About Veterans. Read our first story about the project; and see some videos included in the book; and enjoy our story about “The Hat”—the baseball cap worn by an ever-shrinking number of WWII veterans.
BOB ALPER—The author of Life Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This continues to criss-cross the nation. On June 23, he’s performing this month at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater.
A MAJOR CONVERSATION—Ken Wilson and the Third Way Newsletter team welcome the major review of Ken’s book A Letter to My Congregation by Tim Keller, an influential “pastor of pastors,” as Ken puts it in his response to Keller’s piece. And, yes, Ken’s column includes a link to read Tim’s original article, as well. (The www.ThirdWayNewsletter.com is part of the changing Christian landscape that is welcoming diverse men and women.)
DR. DAVID GUSHEE—The author of Changing Our Mind spoke at the Atlanta Reformation Project Conference this past week and we’ve got a video link to his latest talk. Conference leaders posted this clip on YouTube with a running time of three hours. If you just want to hear Dr. Gushee, he starts at the 2-hour mark. ALSO—Dr. Gushee will be the dinner speaker for the Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists conference n Overland, Kansas, on June 28th.