Cover Story: Lucille Sider is sharing the spiritual resiliency she describes in ‘Light Shines in the Darkness’

Enjoy These Stories of Resilience, Now

And Meet the Author in September

AUTHOR LUCILLE SIDER already has inspired readers nationwide with Light Shines in the Darkness, her memoir about spiritual resilience in the aftermath of life-shattering trauma. Now, she is debuting a series of columns about the many ways men and women find themselves confronting trauma, every week in neighborhoods everywhere. These new columns focus on finding the spiritual strength to keep living in a meaningful and hopeful way. The series will run through September, when Lucille is organizing an online opportunity to gather readers for a virtual conversation. Please, read this Cover Story, which is Lucille’s first column in this series—a true story focused on overcoming the wake of flood waters—and share this news with friends. This is a valuable opportunity to connect with a wise spiritual guide whose hard-earned wisdom has helped so many, already.

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As We Approach 9/11

Check in with Journalist Bill Tammeus

MAJOR MEDIA PROJECTS are coming our way as we approach the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. For example, on Sunday, August 29, The National Geographic Channel will roll out a six-part documentary series, 9/11: One Day in America, which will feature interviews with many of the people involved on that momentous day. Our publishing house also recommends that you check in with journalist Bill Tammeus, who lost a loved one in those attacks, which you can do through Bill’s inspiring book and his insightful online columns. A veteran religion writer, the goal in many of Bill’s columns is to provide religious and cultural context and balance to the weekly news. Here is a look at what you will find in Bill’s writings.

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We Are Caregivers

Parenting: Pushing back on the pressures from youth sports

In our We Are Caregiving section, we publish a wide array of stories that are helpful to America’s millions of caregivers, including parents. This week we are recommending a story for parents by journalist Martin Davis, who specializes in covering the deeper personal dynamics of sports.

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Holidays & Festivals

Paryushan Parva

JAIN families around the world renew the core tenets of their tradition in this annual period of religious reflection and fasting. This might be a good opportunity to talk with a friend, neighbor or colleague who is Jain, wishing them well and asking them about this special time of year. Stephanie Fenton has the story.

Krishna Janmashtami

KRISHNA is one of the most popular and revered of Indian deities, so the festival honoring his birth sometimes last a full week, depending on community customs. When this annual milestone rolls around, observances vary widely around the world—including the visually spectacular human towers of young people vying to reach a suspended pot of buttermilk. Stephanie Fenton has the story for us.

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WANT TO SEE ALL THE UPCOMING HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS?—It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just visit  InterfaithHolidays.com

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Click on this image to read Ed McNulty’s review of Vivo.

Faith & Film

Click on this image to learn more about the August 2021 issue of Visual Parables Journal.

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:

  1. THE GOSPEL OF LUKE—Ed McNulty writes, “This Lumo Project film is the last of the four filmed gospels directed by the prolific director/producer David Batty. It is a wonderful addition to any pastor or educator’s video library, bringing to life the words either of the KJV or the NIV translations of the Bible—viewer’s choice. British actor Richard E. Grant reads the NIV text; Sir Derek Jacobi the KJV.”
  2. VIVO—”Move over Pixar and make room for this toe-tapping musical from Sony Pictures Animation studio. The fact that Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the songs and voices the main character ought to attract a large audience.”
  3. OPHELIA—”Australian director Claire McCarthy gives us love story based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. We need to add that the script by Semi Chellas is based on Lisa Klein’s 2006 young adult novel of the same title.”
  4. MINARIEd also writes, this week, about the Oscar-winning drama about an immigrant family carving out a new life in rural America.
  5. PRAY AWAYEd reviews Kristine Stolakis’ documentary film about evangelical “conversion therapy.”
  6. LUPIN—”The French writer George Kay has created a truly thrilling escapist adventure series with more than a touch of social commentary. He has taken a classic series of French novels revolving around Arsène Lupin as a “Gentleman Thief” and transferred them to a modern day outsider.”
  7. EROICA—Ed McNulty reaches back to 2003 for a wonderful film about the arts, Eroica. In short, it’s a carefully reconstructed drama about Beethoven debuting the piece that people at the time considered a milestone in music history—a unique delight in moviemaking.
  8. AN AMERICAN RHAPSODY—Written and directed by Eva Gardos, this film is based on the filmmaker’s own experience as a young immigrant Hungary.”
  9. STREET FLOW—”Writer/co-director/star Kery James’ film is set in France, the story of three brothers of African descent who live in one of the huge projects just outside of Paris.”
  10. JOE BELLEd recommends this film, “based on a true story,” written by the same team that contributed to the 2005 film, Brokeback Mountain, a writing partnership that included the late novelist Larry McMurtry.

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Cover Story: Author Bill Tammeus marks 20th anniversary of 9/11 with a Wired Word discussion guide

Already thinking about this looming anniversary?

Let a Veteran Religion Writer Guide Your Reflections

FOR THE NEXT MONTH, we’re all going to be thinking about the legacy of 9/11. That turning point in world history launched U.S. forces into foreign wars, forever changed many global relationships—and raised the horrific specter of how explosively dangerous extremist groups can become. Over the next month, we will see countless TV programs, read newspaper and magazine stories—and witness memorial events. Please read our Cover Story about veteran journalist Bill Tammeus’s inspiring and very practical book that explores the legacy of 9/11—and Bill’s upcoming discussion guide for the online service Wired Word. And, please, share this story with friends to help focus our community reflections on the kind of practical peacemaking that Bill is encouraging.

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Anchor Dan Harris Gives Up ABC for Meditation

This Meditation Skeptic Already Has Helped Millions

SUZY FARBMAN devotes her column this week to the delightfully humble teachings of ABC newsman Dan Harris, who just announced he’s quitting his network job to devote himself full time to learning about—and teaching others about—the healing power of meditation.

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And, Meditating in The Field of Dreams

Celebrating the Spiritual Practice of Baseball

MARTIN DAVIS brings us this fun and inspiring look at how the spiritual practice of baseball can lift our spirits—especially a dramatic broadcast this week from The Field of Dreams. And, yes, he’s got a video link!

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Holidays & Festivals

Special Bread Celebrates Mary’s Dormition

MARY THE MOTHER OF JESUS is trending these days across a surprisingly broad group of cultural influencers, writes Holidays & Festivals columnist Stephanie Fenton. However, the traditions surrounding Mary stretch back nearly two millennia and are expressed in a wide range of customs—including a special spiced bread that many Christian bakers prepared this week in Orthodox Christian communities in the Middle East. Kevin Vollrath, who is based in that region currently, reports this story about some of those ancient stories concerning Mary’s death—and the breads prepared to mark what the Orthodox call Mary’s Dormition.

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Raksha Bandhan

Festival of Sibling Love Now Is Bigger than Bracelets

DESPITE COVID RESTRICTIONS, popular culture in India already is focused on the colorful festival of Raksha Bandhan, when brothers and sisters traditionally renew their bonds with bracelets. The celebration falls on August 22 this year and now is commonly marked in Indian communities around the world. Holidays & Festivals columnist Stephanie Fenton has the story.

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Krishna Janmashtami

KRISHNA is one of the most popular and revered of Indian deities, so the festival honoring his birth sometimes last a full week, depending on community customs. When this annual milestone rolls around, observances vary widely around the world—including the visually spectacular human towers of young people vying to reach a suspended pot of buttermilk. Stephanie Fenton has the story for us.

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WANT TO SEE ALL THE UPCOMING HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS?—It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just visit  InterfaithHolidays.com

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Click this image to read Ed McNulty’s review of the movie, The Gospel of Luke.

Faith & Film

Click on this image to learn more about the August 2021 issue of Visual Parables Journal.

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:

  1. THE GOSPEL OF LUKE—Ed McNulty writes, “This Lumo Project film is the last of the four filmed gospels directed by the prolific director/producer David Batty. It is a wonderful addition to any pastor or educator’s video library, bringing to life the words either of the KJV or the NIV translations of the Bible—viewer’s choice. British actor Richard E. Grant reads the NIV text; Sir Derek Jacobi the KJV.”
  2. VIVO—”Move over Pixar and make room for this toe-tapping musical from Sony Pictures Animation studio. The fact that Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the songs and voices the main character ought to attract a large audience.”
  3. OPHELIA—”Australian director Claire McCarthy gives us love story based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. We need to add that the script by Semi Chellas is based on Lisa Klein’s 2006 young adult novel of the same title.”
  4. MINARIEd also writes, this week, about the Oscar-winning drama about an immigrant family carving out a new life in rural America.
  5. PRAY AWAYEd reviews Kristine Stolakis’ documentary film about evangelical “conversion therapy.”
  6. LUPIN—”The French writer George Kay has created a truly thrilling escapist adventure series with more than a touch of social commentary. He has taken a classic series of French novels revolving around Arsène Lupin as a “Gentleman Thief” and transferred them to a modern day outsider.”
  7. EROICA—Ed McNulty reaches back to 2003 for a wonderful film about the arts, Eroica. In short, it’s a carefully reconstructed drama about Beethoven debuting the piece that people at the time considered a milestone in music history—a unique delight in moviemaking.
  8. AN AMERICAN RHAPSODY—Written and directed by Eva Gardos, this film is based on the filmmaker’s own experience as a young immigrant Hungary.”
  9. STREET FLOW—”Writer/co-director/star Kery James’ film is set in France, the story of three brothers of African descent who live in one of the huge projects just outside of Paris.”
  10. JOE BELLEd recommends this film, “based on a true story,” written by the same team that contributed to the 2005 film, Brokeback Mountain, a writing partnership that included the late novelist Larry McMurtry.

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Cover Story: A prophetic chorus calls us to become ‘dangerous’ peacemakers

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It’s ‘Dangerous’ to Open Our Hearts

Three Peacemakers Remind Us of This Transformative Power

OUR COVER STORY presentation begins with this story about the prophetic wisdom in Quaker writer J. Brent Bill’s new book, Hope and Witness in Dangerous Timeswhich is echoed by two other writers this week.

Then, to understand how these transformative principles can show up in everyday life, we take you to a family owned farm in mid-Michigan where children working at a late-summer sweetcorn stand wound up sharing their own wisdom about the challenges of peacemaking.

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Circling the Christian World

Dr. Gushee’s Book Reaches a Milestone 

IN OUR FRONT EDGE PUBLISHING COLUMN, this week, David Crumm tells a remarkable spiritual story. A translation team in the nation of Georgia worked with Dr. David Gushee and our publishing house to release an edition of Dr. Gushee’s Changing Our Mind in the ancient Georgian language. In this column, we explain why this unusual publication is such a historic and spiritual milestone!

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Holidays & Festivals

 

Assumption, Dormition of Mary

MARY THE MOTHER OF JESUS is trending these days across a surprisingly broad group of cultural influencers, writes Holidays & Festivals columnist Stephanie Fenton, citing an intriguing new story in the Canadian magazine Broadview. In mid-August, millions of Western and Eastern Christians will mark unique traditions about Mary’s death and her transition to Heaven.

 

 

Raksha Bandhan

Festival of Sibling Love Now Is Bigger than Bracelets

DESPITE COVID RESTRICTIONS, popular culture in India already is focused on the colorful festival of Raksha Bandhan, when brothers and sisters traditionally renew their bonds with bracelets. The celebration falls on August 22 this year and now is commonly marked in Indian communities around the world. Holidays & Festivals columnist Stephanie Fenton has the story.

 

WANT TO SEE ALL THE UPCOMING HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS?—It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just visit  InterfaithHolidays.com

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Click on this image to learn more about the August 2021 issue of Ed McNulty’s Visual Parables Journal, which includes full discussion guides to Vivo, Eroica, The Gospel of Luke, Minari, Ophelia and more!

Faith & Film

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:

  1. THE GOSPEL OF LUKE—Ed McNulty writes, “This Lumo Project film is the last of the four filmed gospels directed by the prolific director/producer David Batty. It is a wonderful addition to any pastor or educator’s video library, bringing to life the words either of the KJV or the NIV translations of the Bible—viewer’s choice. British actor Richard E. Grant reads the NIV text; Sir Derek Jacobi the KJV.”
  2. VIVO—”Move over Pixar and make room for this toe-tapping musical from Sony Pictures Animation studio. The fact that Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the songs and voices the main character ought to attract a large audience.”
  3. OPHELIA—”Australian director Claire McCarthy gives us love story based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. We need to add that the script by Semi Chellas is based on Lisa Klein’s 2006 young adult novel of the same title.”
  4. MINARIEd also writes, this week, about the Oscar-winning drama about an immigrant family carving out a new life in rural America.
  5. PRAY AWAYEd reviews Kristine Stolakis’ documentary film about evangelical “conversion therapy.”
  6. LUPIN—”The French writer George Kay has created a truly thrilling escapist adventure series with more than a touch of social commentary. He has taken a classic series of French novels revolving around Arsène Lupin as a “Gentleman Thief” and transferred them to a modern day outsider.”
  7. EROICA—Ed McNulty reaches back to 2003 for a wonderful film about the arts, Eroica. In short, it’s a carefully reconstructed drama about Beethoven debuting the piece that people at the time considered a milestone in music history—a unique delight in moviemaking.
  8. AN AMERICAN RHAPSODY—Written and directed by Eva Gardos, this film is based on the filmmaker’s own experience as a young immigrant Hungary.”
  9. STREET FLOW—”Writer/co-director/star Kery James’ film is set in France, the story of three brothers of African descent who live in one of the huge projects just outside of Paris.”
  10. JOE BELLEd recommends this film, “based on a true story,” written by the same team that contributed to the 2005 film, Brokeback Mountain, a writing partnership that included the late novelist Larry McMurtry.

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Cover Story: Pour a cup of your favorite beverage and enjoy this conversation on Aging Today with Mark Turnbull and David Crumm

You’ll be inspired—and might wind up inspiring others

THIS WEEK, Editor David Crumm appeared on Mark Turnbull’s popular podcast Aging Today, which brings fresh news to listeners about the gifts and challenges of aging. Every one of us is aging all the time, host Mark Turnbull reminds listeners. That’s why his podcasts are intended to be both inspiring and helpful to listeners who are choosing to age on their own terms, as Mark puts it. Please, enjoy the podcast. We suggest pouring a cup of your favorite beverage and relaxing as you listen. Plus, you may find a section of this podcast that you’ll want to share with friends later, perhaps in a class or small group you attend. After you’ve listened, it’s easy to reopen this audio at whatever section you prefer.

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How Can We Summon Resilience?

A NEW FRONT EDGE PUBLISHING VIDEO—Our publishing house is a community—and community fosters personal resilience, authors Howard Brown and Mindy Corporon say in a new video hosted by goal-setting expert Debra Eckerling. We’ve got a link to their inspiring conversation for you to enjoy and share with others. After all, sharing is a building block of community.

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Holidays & Festivals

Assumption, Dormition of Mary

MARY THE MOTHER OF JESUS is trending these days across a surprisingly broad group of cultural influencers, writes Holidays & Festivals columnist Stephanie Fenton, citing an intriguing new story in the Canadian magazine Broadview. In mid-August, millions of Western and Eastern Christians will mark unique traditions about Mary’s death and her transition to Heaven.

 

Raksha Bandhan

Festival of Sibling Love Now Is Bigger than Bracelets

DESPITE COVID RESTRICTIONS, popular culture in India already is focused on the colorful festival of Raksha Bandhan, when brothers and sisters traditionally renew their bonds with bracelets. The celebration falls on August 22 this year and now is commonly marked in Indian communities around the world. Holidays & Festivals columnist Stephanie Fenton has the story.

 

WANT TO SEE ALL THE UPCOMING HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS?—It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just visit  InterfaithHolidays.com

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From Suzy Farbman—

Simon Wiesenthal Poses a Moral Question

ARE THERE LIMITS TO OUR FORGIVENESS? In this week’s column by Suzy Farbman, she recalls the famous moral dilemma described by Simon Wiesenthal in the book Sunflower. 

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Click here to read Ed McNulty’s review of the movie Joe Bell.

Faith & Film

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:

  1. LUPIN—”The French writer George Kay has created a truly thrilling escapist adventure series with more than a touch of social commentary. He has taken a classic series of French novels revolving around Arsène Lupin as a “Gentleman Thief” and transferred them to a modern day outsider.”
  2. EROICA—Ed McNulty reaches back to 2003 for a wonderful film about the arts, Eroica. In short, it’s a carefully reconstructed drama about Beethoven debuting the piece that people at the time considered a milestone in music history—a unique delight in moviemaking.
  3. AN AMERICAN RHAPSODY—Written and directed by Eva Gardos, this film is based on the filmmaker’s own experience as a young immigrant Hungary.”
  4. STREET FLOW—”Writer/co-director/star Kery James’ film is set in France, the story of three brothers of African descent who live in one of the huge projects just outside of Paris.”
  5. A RAINY DAY IN NEW YORKBased on its on-screen merits, Ed recommends this Woody Allen story set in New York City.
  6. AWAKEAnother Apocalyptic thriller with some unusual twists.
  7. NINE DAYSDirector/writer Edson Oda’s film at first seems to be about a busy man conducting interviews over a nine day period. But as it unfolds we realize this is a metaphysical tale about birth and the appreciation of and celebration of life in all its details.”
  8. MR. PIG—”Mexican director/writer Diego Luna tackles both animal rights and father-daughter issues in this 2016 film that NetFlix has picked up.”
  9. FATHERHOOD—“Appropriately this new Kevin Hart film opened during this year’s Father’s Day weekend. Were it not for a brief bedroom shot it would make for ideal family viewing, with its tender depictions of a father-daughter relationship.”
  10. JOE BELLEd recommends this film, “based on a true story,” written by the same team that contributed to the 2005 film, Brokeback Mountain, a writing partnership that included the late novelist Larry McMurtry.
  11. ONE NATION, ONE KING—”French writer/director Pierre Schoeller’s epic will enlarge our truncated view of the French Revolution. Schoeller attempts to give us a view of events from the perspective of those at the bottom of society.”

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Cover Story: Martin Davis on reports that American evangelicals are in decline

News Analysis: PRRI’s new report on evangelical decline

What Values Could Help Us Bridge the Religious Chasm?

IN SUMMER 2021, many of our colleagues nationwide are asking: What values could help Americans to find common ground, especially with militant groups of evangelicals continuing to throw their weight into national politics? This week, veteran Washington DC-based journalist Martin Davis shares his analysis of recent headlines suggesting evangelical numbers actually may be declining. We know you’ll want to read and share this story with friends across social media and email. Please, help us encourage this important national conversation.

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We Are Caregivers

Help Us Save Lives by Sharing this Vaccination Advice

BENJAMIN PRATT sent us this short column from his home in Virginia, a word of encouragement about battling the COVID epidemic that he hopes many of our readers will share with friends. Benjamin’s We Are Caregivers column this week includes the latest advice from his denomination—plus a moving account of Benjamin Franklin’s hard-earned wisdom about vaccines.

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Holidays & Milestones

Remembering Martyrs with Assyrian Christians

OUR SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT continues with scholar Kevn Vollrath, who has reported several stories for us about Christians who are part of the ancient churches of the Middle East. In this issue, Kevin reports on the heartfelt connection between martyrs and the remaining members of the Assyrian Church of the East in Iraq. This is a story largely unknown among American Christians.

 

WANT TO SEE ALL THE UPCOMING HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS?—It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just visit  InterfaithHolidays.com

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Indian Boarding Schools

A SEARCH FOR HEALING ACROSS NORTH AMERICA

OUR ONLINE MAGAZINE has been closely following this unfolding story, because our commitment to Native voices was part of our founding principles back in 2007. THIS WEEK, readers recommended that we share two new reports:

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Videos from our authors

The Challenges of Bridging Divides

TWO OF OUR POPULAR AUTHORS took part in video conversations that now are streaming across social media. In our Front Edge Publishing column this week, we highlight the video-streaming of Col. Clifford Worthy, retired, and Victor Begg. In the videos we are sharing today, both authors agreed to talk about their lives and their published memoirs. They also offer their hard-earned wisdom about navigating the turbulent conflicts we see around us.

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Click this photo to read Ed McNulty’s review of the Netflix series LUPIN.

Faith & Film

Click on this image to learn about the July 2021 issue of Visual Parables Journal.

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:

  1. LUPIN—”The French writer George Kay has created a truly thrilling escapist adventure series with more than a touch of social commentary. He has taken a classic series of French novels revolving around Arsène Lupin as a “Gentleman Thief” and transferred them to a modern day outsider.”
  2. EROICA—Ed McNulty reaches back to 2003 for a wonderful film about the arts, Eroica. In short, it’s a carefully reconstructed drama about Beethoven debuting the piece that people at the time considered a milestone in music history—a unique delight in moviemaking.
  3. AN AMERICAN RHAPSODY—Written and directed by Eva Gardos, this film is based on the filmmaker’s own experience as a young immigrant Hungary.”
  4. STREET FLOW—”Writer/co-director/star Kery James’ film is set in France, the story of three brothers of African descent who live in one of the huge projects just outside of Paris.”
  5. A RAINY DAY IN NEW YORKBased on its on-screen merits, Ed recommends this Woody Allen story set in New York City.
  6. AWAKEAnother Apocalyptic thriller with some unusual twists.
  7. NINE DAYSDirector/writer Edson Oda’s film at first seems to be about a busy man conducting interviews over a nine day period. But as it unfolds we realize this is a metaphysical tale about birth and the appreciation of and celebration of life in all its details.”
  8. MR. PIG—”Mexican director/writer Diego Luna tackles both animal rights and father-daughter issues in this 2016 film that NetFlix has picked up.”
  9. FATHERHOOD—“Appropriately this new Kevin Hart film opened during this year’s Father’s Day weekend. Were it not for a brief bedroom shot it would make for ideal family viewing, with its tender depictions of a father-daughter relationship.”
  10. JOE BELLEd recommends this film, “based on a true story,” written by the same team that contributed to the 2005 film, Brokeback Mountain, a writing partnership that included the late novelist Larry McMurtry.
  11. ONE NATION, ONE KING—”French writer/director Pierre Schoeller’s epic will enlarge our truncated view of the French Revolution. Schoeller attempts to give us a view of events from the perspective of those at the bottom of society.”

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Cover Story: Reframing our hopes may take us farther than we dreamed

Celebrating the 80th birthday of ‘Paddle to the Sea’

What if that beloved story came to life?

We’ve got a delightful Cover Story grouping this week, thanks to our authors Suzy Farbman and Larry Buxton—all about how reframing our hopes can lead us farther than we ever dreamed. What we love about the convergences in these stories (Suzy likes to call them God Signs, the name of her memoir) is that neither writer had talked before sending us stories this week. Their themes simply connected. What’s more, this Cover Story also connects to an ongoing theme in ReadTheSpirit this summer, which is awareness of Native American issues. In 1941, the original Paddle to the Sea was published to celebrate the close connection to nature among Native peoples.

Please, share these stories with friends via social media, this week. Sharing these stories represents true rays of sunshine in this often overcast world.

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When Our Favorite Theater Goes Dark

RODNEY CURTIS writes this week for all of us who have lost a theater where some of our fondest moments have been spent through the years.

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We Are Caregivers

A New Approach to the Unique Needs of Latino Caregivers

Our Front Edge Publishing team is collaborating with a nationwide network of journalists reporting on solutions for caregiving challenges. This week, we are highlighting important news on a fresh approach to serving the unique challenges of Latino caregivers.

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Introducing a New Publishing House: Lake Drive Books

IN OUR FRONT EGDGE PUBLISHING COLUMN, this week, David Crumm introduces a friend and colleague: David Morris, a long-time veteran in this profession who is opening what he expects will become a mid-sized independent publishing house specializing in uplifting books built around authentic storytelling.

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Holidays & Festivals

Wishing Our Muslim Neighbors a Happy Eid

OF THE 2 MUSLIM EIDS EACH YEAR, this week’s Eid al-Adha is known as the Greater Eid and normally is a time when crowds gathering for community prayers literally spill out the doors of mosques into nearby streets and fields. Stephanie Fenton has the story of what is likely to unfold this week—and why it is so timely to wish Muslim friends well this week.

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Click on this image to read Ed McNulty’s review of Eroica.

Faith & Film

Click on this image to learn about the July 2021 issue of Visual Parables Journal.

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:

  1. EROICA—Ed McNulty reaches back to 2003 for a wonderful film about the arts, Eroica. In short, it’s a carefully reconstructed drama about Beethoven debuting the piece that people at the time considered a milestone in music history—a unique delight in moviemaking.
  2. AN AMERICAN RHAPSODY—Written and directed by Eva Gardos, this film is based on the filmmaker’s own experience as a young immigrant Hungary.”
  3. STREET FLOW—”Writer/co-director/star Kery James’ film is set in France, the story of three brothers of African descent who live in one of the huge projects just outside of Paris.”
  4. A RAINY DAY IN NEW YORKBased on its on-screen merits, Ed recommends this Woody Allen story set in New York City.
  5. AWAKEAnother Apocalyptic thriller with some unusual twists.
  6. NINE DAYSDirector/writer Edson Oda’s film at first seems to be about a busy man conducting interviews over a nine day period. But as it unfolds we realize this is a metaphysical tale about birth and the appreciation of and celebration of life in all its details.”
  7. MR. PIG—”Mexican director/writer Diego Luna tackles both animal rights and father-daughter issues in this 2016 film that NetFlix has picked up.”
  8. FATHERHOOD—“Appropriately this new Kevin Hart film opened during this year’s Father’s Day weekend. Were it not for a brief bedroom shot it would make for ideal family viewing, with its tender depictions of a father-daughter relationship.”
  9. JOE BELLEd recommends this film, “based on a true story,” written by the same team that contributed to the 2005 film, Brokeback Mountain, a writing partnership that included the late novelist Larry McMurtry.
  10. ONE NATION, ONE KING—”French writer/director Pierre Schoeller’s epic will enlarge our truncated view of the French Revolution. Schoeller attempts to give us a view of events from the perspective of those at the bottom of society.”

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Cover Story: Music we’ve loved all our lives can help to settle our souls in the end

‘Where words fail, music speaks.’

AS THE WORLDWIDE PANDEMIC has risen and fallen in 2021, we are receiving more columns from writers around the world about the challenges of aging, caregiving and the end of life. Each week, our ReadTheSpirit magazine offers stories that can inspire individuals and build healthier communities. That certainly is true of this week’s Cover Story by Lori Brady-Neuman, a retired school social worker who has been using her life-long skills, especially her talents as a musician, to bring music to hospice patients. That kind of work by Certified Music Practitioners has been growing nationwide in recent years, including at major teaching hospitals. Lori explains to us how she got involved in this work and how music has touched the lives of families she has met.

If you are following this global conversation about caregiving, you may also want to look back at last week’s cover story from journalist Elisa Di Benedetto in Italy, about resources for promoting positive images of aging.

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Sometimes, Great Ideas Remain Great Ideas

THIS WEEK, we got an email from author Debra Darvick, exclaiming: “We were way ahead of the curve!” Turns out, nearly a decade ago, Debra was among our authors who hosted public events to promote Dr. Wayne Baker’s book, United America. These events were designed to showcase how much all Americans share. Among the several formats was a Show-and-Tell designed for adults, which proved to be more inspiring than anyone expected. What’s so remarkable about Debra’s email this week is that everything about Debra’s 2013 story about her particular Show-and-Tell night is still true. Yes—still true. Read the story and see what we mean. You’ll want to share this story with friends. This program is a great idea that obviously remains popular all these years later. Grab this idea and run with it in your community!

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Indian Boarding School Investigations

A Search for Healing across North America

OUR ONLINE MAGAZINE has been closely following this unfolding story, because our commitment to Native voices was part of our founding principles back in 2007. THIS WEEK, an alert reader suggested we share a link to this National Public Radio report on July 11 that presents a fairly in-depth overview of the story to date. If you are just catching up to this story, you may also want to read our original ReadTheSpirit cover story about this unfolding news. Also, we published a personal viewpoint by Madonna Thunder Hawk of the Lakota People’s Law Project.
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Ever Hear of ‘School Lunch Shaming’?

Our Author Is Raising Awareness

AUTHOR ANNI REINKING wrote one of the most timely books we have published, Not Just Black and WhiteShe is one of the nation’s leading scholars exploring the many ways we shape the lives of our children about race and diversity. This week, she was the focus of a fascinating story in ALESTLE, the student-run newspaper at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville by Brandon Wells, headlined: Alumnus takes initiative in fight against lunch shaming.

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Holidays & Festivals

Celebrate Japanese Culture in Obon, Ullambana

STEPHANIE FENTON previews one of the most colorful Japanese festivals each year, writing: A festival of ancient dances, intricate costumes and a celebration of Japanese culture commences, as the spirit of Obon circles the globe. Worldwide, this festival spans an entire month: “Shichigatsu Bon,” celebrated in Eastern Japan, begins in mid-July; “Hachigatsu Bon” commences in August; “Kyu Bon,” or “Old Bon,” is observed annually on the 15th day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar.

 

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A Very Different Hajj—

A Perfect Opportunity to Meet Our Muslim Neighbors

AMERICAN MUSLIMS CANNOT MAKE THE PILGRIMAGE for the second straight year in the COVID pandemic, Saudi authorities have announced (and the U.S. CDC agrees). Stephanie Fenton’s Holidays column about the Hajj begins with that news (with links to learn more from the Saudi and CDC perspectives). Stephanie also urges our American readers to make a commitment, this year, to get to know more about our many Muslim co-workers and neighbors. In our Front Edge Publishing column this week, we recommend three fascinating books that can help non-Muslims learn more about their many connections with Muslim neighbors.

 

WANT TO SEE ALL THE UPCOMING HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS?—It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just visit  InterfaithHolidays.com

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Click on this cover image to learn about the July 2021 issue of Ed McNulty’s Visual Parables Journal.

Faith & Film

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:

  1. NINE DAYSEd McNulty writes, “Director/writer Edson Oda’s film at first seems to be about a busy man conducting interviews over a nine day period. But as it unfolds we realize this is a metaphysical tale about birth and the appreciation of and celebration of life in all its details.”
  2. MR. PIG—”Mexican director/writer Diego Luna tackles both animal rights and father-daughter issues in this 2016 film that NetFlix has picked up.”
  3. FATHERHOOD—“Appropriately this new Kevin Hart film opened during this year’s Father’s Day weekend. Were it not for a brief bedroom shot it would make for ideal family viewing, with its tender depictions of a father-daughter relationship.”
  4. JOE BELLEd recommends this film, “based on a true story,” written by the same team that contributed to the 2005 film, Brokeback Mountain, a writing partnership that included the late novelist Larry McMurtry.
  5. ONE NATION, ONE KING—”French writer/director Pierre Schoeller’s epic will enlarge our truncated view of the French Revolution. Schoeller attempts to give us a view of events from the perspective of those at the bottom of society.”
  6. DISNEY’S HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME—For the 25th anniversary of this animated feature, Ed reaches back into his vault of past faith-and-film reviews to share this thoughtful column.
  7. DOUBTING THOMAS—”Will McFadden’s film is about trust as well as systemic racism, making it of double interest. The story involves a young white couple, Jen and Tom, and their best friend, Ron, a black bachelor who works at the same law firm as Tom.”
  8. LUPIN—Ed McNulty writes, “The French writer George Kay has created a truly thrilling escapist adventure series with more than a touch of social commentary.”
  9. RITA MORENO: JUST A GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT—”Miriem Pérez Riera’s sparkling documentary not only chronicles the rise of Puerto Rico’s most popular emigrant to the US but also espouses her fight against racism that limited her movie roles and the rights of survivors of sexual abuse, the latter also something she had experienced.”
  10. IMPERIAL DREAMS—”Director/co-writer Malik Vitthal’s father-son film unfolds largely in the streets of the Los Angeles Watts neighborhood and illustrates what advocates for ex-prisoners have long been telling us: The odds for rehabilitated criminals are stacked against them.”

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