Cover Story: ‘Unstuck’—How wise leaders are strengthening their communities even in COVID-19 isolation




COVER STORY—How can overwhelmed leaders hope to cope with a pandemic? One of the nation’s top business consultants—Craig Lemasters of GXG in Atlanta—is sharing his answers to that question.

His book Unstuck was underway before any of us had heard the term “coronavirus”—but Craig’s long experience with global disruption had taught him that catastrophic upheavals are inevitable. From hurricanes to technological transformations that can devastate entire industries, Craig has seen tidal waves of change move faster and faster. In Atlanta, his team helps Fortune 500 executives grapple with such seemingly insurmountable challenges every day.

Craig decided to write this book and publicly share his hard-earned wisdom, because he believes we all will be better off if we learn to adapt, survive and thrive—if we face each new challenge and know how to get … Unstuck, together.

Please, read our cover story this week and share it with friends via email or social media. Want to know more? There’s a link in this column to visit Craig’s website, connect with Craig and get a free update when the book is ready to launch. We’re sure you’re going to want to read it—and give a copy to a friend.



READERS ARE WAITING FOR YOU! Are you a writer feeling stuck in the midst of this pandemic? Or are you a reader who wants to help a writer you love? If so, our Marketing Director Susan Stitt shares 10 Tips for Authors in the Midst of COVID—because now is a time that millions of men and women are waiting for books.




THE GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE—Our friends at the International Association of Religion Journalists—Elisa Di Benedetto from Italy and Larbi Megari from Algeria—have just published a remarkable, inspiring report about research into the connections between religious communities and health. Their conclusion: “Social and medical sciences are increasingly finding evidence to support how religion promotes better health, including living longer.” This is a story you’ll want to share with friends.

JOURNALISTS AROUND THE WORLD are reporting on the unique challenges and adaptations from religious groups coping with isolation and the lethal threat of COVID-19. Elisa DiBenedetto published this roundup of fascinating headlines that circle the globe. This is a rare invitation to look into our world’s diverse spiritual cultures, thanks to these journalists who shared their headlines and links from many countries.


Yes, We Need a Little Lincoln

Remembering All We Share

WHAT WOULD LINCOLN DO? Wherever you stand on the political spectrum, we all respect Lincoln’s wisdom—and his articulation of American values. That’s why Lincoln scholar Duncan Newcomer writes: “Abraham Lincoln is the soul of America, calling us to our best as Americans.”



Holidays & Festivals: Ramadan

DID YOU KNOW? Dates are a traditional way to break the fast each night for Muslims. Learn more in Stephanie Fenton’s Ramadan column.

A Perfect Time to Learn about Our Neighbors

A SIMPLE GREETING MEANS SO MUCH! We heard this week from a reader who simply asked her Muslim physician how the start of Ramadan was affecting his family—and that simple, kind question was deeply appreciated by him to the point that she shared the story with us. Consider wishing a Muslim friend, neighbor or co-worker: “Ramadan Mubarak.” Jews and Christians recently completed their first-ever Easter and Passover with COVID-19 social distancing. Now, the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims are just entering the fasting month when they usually enjoy big family dinners and visits to local mosques after sundown.

VICTOR BEGG REPORTS ON FAITH COMMUNITIES, including Jews, Christians and Muslims generously reaching out—from a safe distance—to help the world even in the midst of their own holidays.

Click to visit the book’s Amazon page.

MEET THE NEIGHBORS—Victor is the author of Our Muslim Neighborswhich is available in all formats, including audio, from Amazon. Or you can order from Barnes & Noble as well as our own bookstore in hardcover as well as paperback.

LEARN ABOUT THE NEIGHBORS—The Michigan State University School of Journalism Bias Busters series offers two very helpful books, designed for non-Muslim readers. Their motto: “We answer the questions everyone is asking, but nobody is asking.


Care to see all of our Holidays & Festivals columns? It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just remember the address




Click the cover to visit the book’s Amazon page. Ed’s book also is available through Barnes & Noble.

INSPIRING AND SIMPLY GOOD FUN—What did Jesus look like? Sacred images of Jesus grace churches worldwide, but millions of moviegoers picture Jesus from classic films. Ed McNulty invites readers on an inspiring journey, meeting Jesus again through a dozen big-screen stories of Christianity’s founder. His book is available from Amazon, from Barnes & Noble—and also from our own bookstore.



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 these 10 recommending movies that are available for streaming right now via Amazon and/or Netflix. 

  1. J.E.S.U.S.A.—Ed writes, “Writer/director Kevin Miller’s film is a polemical documentary that provides an excellent history of what some regard as the fall of Christianity, and others its perversion. The filmmakers are disturbed by the antics of conservative Evangelicals who would wrap Jesus in the American flag and pretend that this is a ‘Christian nation.’ ” (5 out of 5 stars)
  2. JUMP SHOT—This 2020 documentary can be rented directly from the filmmakers—so you can stream it right now. The story of Kenny Sailors, the inventor of the jump shot, is lots of fun, especially for sports fans dying for some fresh fun. (5 stars)
  3. AMERICAN FACTORY—”In their Oscar-winning documentary directors Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert return to the same Moraine, Ohio plant where they filmed their acclaimed short film The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant back in 2008.” (5 stars)
  4. I, THE WORST OF ALL—”Thanks to someone on YouTube, Argentinean director Maria Luisa Bemberg brings to us gringos the enlightening biographical film of one of Mexico’s early and still read poets, the 17th century nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651-1695). It is a beautifully costumed and acted historical drama about a woman still very relevant on a universal basis—she was the first writer in the Americas to defend the rights of women.” (5 stars)
  5. ALONE IN BERLIN—”Most WW 2 era films about resistance to Nazi tyranny are set in France, Poland, or some other occupied country, so Vincent Perez’s story of a middle-aged German couple becoming disillusioned with Hitler is most welcome. Based on Hans Fallada’s novel Jeder stirbt für sich allein (Every Man Dies Alone), it is a fictionalized version of what happened to the real-life Otto and Elise Hampel.” (4.5 stars)
  6. THE LAUNDROMAT—Have you seen the advertisements for it on your Netflix account? The movie co-stars heavyweights: Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas. Ed recommends the movie and writes, “Steven Soderberg and writer Scott Z. Burns provide perspectives on the 2016 release of the Panama Papers, the release by a whistle blower of over 11 million documents from the Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca that shook up wealthy businessmen and officials of several governments.” (4 stars)

    Click this image to read Ed’s review of this unusual Netflix feature film.

    Ed writes, “French director Jérémy Clapin’s inventive I Lost My Hand is his first film. Though it is animated, it is not for children, though with adults present to talk it over, I believe older children will find it appealing to their imaginative minds. The title refers to a severed hand, but this is not a horror story.” (4.5 stars)

  8. THE KING—”If you find yourself tongue twisted by Shakespeare’s Elizabethan language, then David Michôd’s exciting The King might be for you. It’s based on Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2 and Henry V. Far deeper in character study than the most medieval action films, this could be seen as a thinking person’s medieval spectacle, with maturing of a character, the folly of war, and a sharp criticism of imperialism at its core.” (4 stars)
  9. REVOLUTION OF THE HEARTEd’s review urges us all to watch this documentary by Martin Doblmeier. Ed writes: “Dorothy Day, lived such a long and eventful life that his film is brimming with photos, narratives by those who knew her, and archival footage, much of which features her speaking for herself.
  10. BARRY—”Director Vikram Gandhi’s wonderful film, paired with the 2016 film Southside With You, would make a great double feature. This Netflix film focuses upon Barack Obama’s (Devon Terrell) life as a student of political science at Columbia University in 1981 New York City, a time when the city and its subways looked scruffy due to graffiti and litter.” (4.5 stars)








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