Cover Story: The Pope Francis environmental encyclical


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.


MULTIRACIAL AMERICANS—This week, sociologist Wayne Baker looks at a major new study about our growing multiracial population. You’ll be surprised by some of these findings.


DON’T MISS A HOLIDAY! Tell friends about, 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!’

1.6 BILLION FASTING—Learn more about your Muslim friends, neighbors and co-workers who are in the midst of the Ramadan fast.


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 so please tell your friends. (And, yes, you’re free to share these stories with your class or small group.)

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.


1,200 is a treasure trove of faith-and-film reviews by Edward McNulty.

FAITH GOES POP—The creative mind of columnist Ken Chitwood serves up a mixed bag of religion sightings.


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 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.






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