This just in!
Rabbi Alper wins the papal comedy prize
We’re all celebrating the international honor bestowed on Rabbi Bob Alper, author and full-time standup comic, whose 11-second joke beat out 4,000 comedians from around the world to win the title: Honorary Comedic Advisor to the Pope. No kidding! It’s true. Our latest story tells: Why did the rabbi cross the finish line? And, we reveal other news, including the joke itself.
Peacemaker Daniel Buttry inspires readers
COVER STORY—After years of circling the globe to foster peace in some of the world’s most dangerous conflicts, Daniel Buttry publishes a book packed with dozens of the most inspirational stories from his long career. He shares lots of good news—stories you’ll want to savor and share with friends. This week, our Cover Story tells about Dan’s adventure in writing this new book. And, in this accompanying short video, you can hear Dan himself tell you the surprising story behind the new book’s title: We Are the Socks.
REAL-LIFE HEROES—This week, to coincide with the publication of We Are the Socks, Daniel Buttry is showcasing three of the real-life heroes you will meet in the pages of his new book. He has reorganized the front page of his online collection of stories (which you can reach anytime at www.InterfaithPeacemakers.com) to feature these three profiles …
- VISIT GEORGIA—Dan takes us halfway around the world to the republic of Georgia to meet Rusudan Gotsiridze, who now serves as a bishop after her courageous efforts to foster peace and inspire families in her homeland.
- VISIT KENYA—After many years of deadly violence around national elections, Wilson Gathungu—who was merely a seminary student—launched a peacemaking initiative that contributed to peaceful elections.
- VISIT ASIA—You may have never heard of Nagaland, but Dan worked for years with courageous men and women like Wati Aier to resolve violent clashes between ethnic groups.
FESTIVALS & FOOD
AUTUMN HOLIDAYS—The natural world is a global focus in many fall holidays. Already, our regular Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton reported on Mabon/Equinox. FeedTheSpirit writer Bobbie Lewis added a story about Mabon that features a delicious apple cake.
AND, Stephanie adds this fascinating overview of the holidays, festivals and special themes unfolding during the autumn months.
CANADIAN THANKSGIVING—Our friends to the North hold their Thanksgiving celebration a month earlier than American families. Stephanie Fenton has the story—and links to 10 Canadian tips from the CBC for making Thanksgiving dinner easier this year. (If you’re American, read ’em now and you’ve got more than a month to prepare.)
COLUMBUS DAY—As we report, “few holidays expose the friction in U.S. history as much as Columbus Day.” Our story covers the beloved Italian-American festival as well as the growing interest in an Indigenous People’s Day. (Both observances are Monday October 12 this year, but check local calendars as some communities are celebrating on Sunday October 11.)
WHAT TO DO WITH AN ETROG—One of the world’s oldest harvest festivals Sukkot ends at sundown on Monday October 5. And, in a Holidays column we published earlier, Stephanie Fenton covered the Jewish observances of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, a time of “rejoicing in the Torah.” This week, as a follow-up on this important Jewish season, FeedTheSpirit columnist Bobbie Lewis writes about the unique Jewish Sukkot symbol: the etrog. This big, bumpy, ancient cousin to our modern lemons is used as a symbol during Sukkot and then—well, that’s the question. Bobbie’s recipe this week is for a potent and flavorful Etrog Liqueur.
ALL THE HOLIDAYS—You’ll find all of our holiday coverage at the easy URL: www.InterfaithHolidays.com
‘What’s for dinner, America?’
AMERICAN FOODWAYS—Sociologist Dr. Wayne Baker serves up a fascinating series, this week, about our American food customs—what we love to eat and what we avoid—in other words, our foodways. They’re constantly changing, of course, and today Wayne starts with a poll. You can compare your preferences with the rest of the country on 15 items. So, come on—take the poll yourself.
- Part 1—Which of these 15 foods do you avoid?
- Part 2—Is fat OK now? How about salt?
- Part 3—Try a quiz: Every bribe someone for a table at a restaurant?
- Part 4—Is sugar in everything?
- Part 5—Is the soft drink industry ‘schizophrenic’?
FAITH and FILM
1,200 MOVIES—www.VisualParables.org is a treasure trove of movie reviews by veteran faith-and-film expert Edward McNulty.
- PAWN SACRIFICE—There’s much more than the single famous chess match in this story of the disturbing life of chess genius Bobby Fischer. Don’t miss it, says Ed McNulty. (4.5 out of 5 stars)
- SECOND MOTHER—Here’s a rare chance to enjoy a thoughtful film from Brazil about the complex relationships between mothers and daughters. (4.5 stars)
- MISTRESS AMERICA—Director Noah Baumbach and writer Greta Gerwig open a window into the lives of young adults. (4 stars)
- HE NAMED ME MALALA—The new documentary film about the world’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize honoree is wonderful. (5 stars). AND, it just opened for a U.S. run in theaters. (Earlier, Interfaith Peacemakers profiled Malala’s daring pursuit of peace.)
- STONEWALL—This drama about the birth of the gay-rights movement has some flaws, but it’s still worth watching, says Ed. (4 stars)
IN THE WORLD
One of our guiding principles: Good media builds good community. What does that mean? Enjoy these stories …
WITH HELP FROM DR. PEALE—This week, GodSigns columnist Suzy Farbman tells a true story you won’t want to miss: Media expert David Crouse was struggling to discover his true vocation—when he had a remarkable encounter with Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. The result was a series of inspirational documentary films, including one on Peale as well as a film on C.S. Lewis. (If you missed last week’s column, Suzy wrote about a California teacher who restored a historic one-room school house to provide special enrichment experiences for kids.)
WILSON & GUSHEE TOGETHER
NEAR MICHIGAN? COME AND SEE—On Sunday October 11, Ken Wilson (author of A Letter to My Congregation and co-founder of the Third Way Newsletter) is welcoming Dr. David Gushee (the author of Changing Our Mind) to Ken’s home base: Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ken is one of a number of church leaders in Ann Arbor co-sponsoring Gushee’s talk near the University of Michigan campus.
If you missed it, we recently published a Cover Story catching up on the world-wide impact of Dr. Gushee’s work in the year since Changing Our Mind first was published. He has given talks at universities, seminaries, nonprofit groups and churches across the U.S. and as far away as New Zealand. Are you anywhere near Michigan this coming weekend? In one setting, you’ll see both Ken and David.
Visit the website for Ken’s church, Blue Ocean Faith of Ann Arbor, to learn more about the October 11 event. Here’s the colorful handout that Blue Ocean has designed for the event.