Cover Story: Two environmental giants return to inspire us

FATE OF NATURE IN OUR HANDS

benjamin_d-_maxham_-_henry_david_thoreau_-_restoredTHOREAU’S 200th BIRTHDAY—In the dawn of this new era in American environmental policy, we all should enjoy celebrating Henry David Thoreau’s 200th birthday this year. A well-received new biography of Thoreau’s spiritual life by Kevin Dann reveals that Thoreau was a warm-hearted man who envisioned broad spiritual connections in the world he was exploring. This week, we have this overview of the biography—plus, an interview with Kevin Dann about the surprises he uncovered in exploring Thoreau’s private writings.

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rachel-carson-dvd-cover-pbs-american-experience-2RACHEL CARSON LAUNCHED A MOVEMENT—Are you thinking you can’t do much as an individual to help protect the environment? Then, you need to see this inspiring two-hour documentary about the life and courageous work of Rachel Carson, the shy woman who stepped out of an obscure government office into a blinding national spotlight with her 1962 book, Silent Spring. She is credited with launching our modern environmental movement. PBS is airing the new film on January 24—or you could order a copy of the documentary on DVD. Please, read our review of PBS’s Rachel Carson.

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tools-on-a-workbench-1IN OUR HANDS—THE WORKBENCH—Columnist and author Benjamin Pratt brings us a reflection on the daily work we do—coupled with a bit of inspiration from Thoreau, as well. In The Workbench, Ben writes about the importance of balance as we labor over our own workbenches—in whatever forms they may take.

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gary-and-kelly-rosenberg-1A CARING CAREER

GOD SIGNS—This week, Suzy Farbman brings us the true story of Gary Rosenberg, who worked his way up from busing tables to managing world-famous resorts. Among Gary’s insights is his code of caring for others as a hospitality professional: “a matter of inviting someone into your home.” Enjoy this week’s column from Suzy.

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HOLIDAYS / MILESTONES

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE—The older Yom Hashoah memorial of the Holocaust comes later each year. The United Nations launched this newer January milestone and global reminder to be vigilant. Columnist Stephanie Fenton has the story.

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CHECK OUT ALL OF 2017’s SPECIAL DAYS—It’s as simple as visiting www.InterfaithHolidays.org where you’ll find all of 2017’s major observances listed. Please, alert us if you spot an occasion we’ve missed.

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wpid-Chinese_New_Year_Stamp.jpgCHINESE NEW YEAR—The actual date is January 28, but millions of Chinese already are on the move in the largest annual human migration on the planet. Stephanie Fenton has the story about this new Year of the Rooster, the scope of the migration—and the traditions within Chinese homes.

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GROUNDHOG DAY—And it’s much more than that! Stephanie Fenton describes the complex array of traditions on display February 2, this year. There’s Candlemas and honoring of St. Brighid and in the pagan world, it’s Imbolc in the Northern Hemisphere and Lughnassadh in the Southern Hemisphere.

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FILM, FAITH
& POPULAR CULTURE

ED McNULTY—Enjoy all of the free resources from Ed McNulty’s faith-and-film website: VisualParables.org. In addition, please consider supporting Ed’s ongoing work by subscribing to his long-running magazine, Visual Parables Journal. Widely used by clergy, teachers and individuals who want to reflect on the spiritual themes in movies, the new January 2017 issue is packed with complete study guides.

Among Ed’s latest movie reviews are:

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