A New Year Is Coming for All of Us
FINDING HOPE WITH OUR JEWISH FRIENDS
NEW YEAR 5781 BEGINS with Rosh Hashanah at sundown on Friday September 18, this year. (And, for all Americans, the post-Labor Day season represents a kind of new year.) As we all enter this new year, let’s learn from the Jewish tradition of peacemaking, especially the annual call to reconcile with others across the many chasms that have formed over the past year.
For our Cover Story this week, we are pleased to debut the storytelling wisdom of a new author in our nationwide community of authors. He’s Howard Brown, who built his career as a Silicon Valley software and social media developer—while serving as a courageous advocate for the Jewish community and for interfaith peacemaking around the world.
In this inspiring story—which we’re sure you’ll want to share with friends—Howard tells about his favorite shofar, a symbol of the Jewish High Holy Days’ call to renewal. This shofar was carried halfway around the world for him by a Muslim friend. It’s a powerful reminder that, however divided our world may seem, peace always is possible.
Holidays & Festivals
Help Raise Cancer Awareness
AUTUMN IS THE TIME TO PLAN EVENTS
IN OUR FRONT EDGE PUBLISHING column this week, Susan Stitt writes about the more than three dozen cancer-awareness “days,” “weeks” and “months” that are spread through every month of our calendar. She also provides a handy link to download a complete American Cancer Society calendar of all these events. Of all the annual events, however, 15 of them fall in the autumn—including the major push for Breast Cancer Awareness, the famous “pink ribbon” campaign. Then—Susan describes the many books we publish to help families cope with the challenges of cancer. Please, read this important story and share it with friends this week.
HAVE YOU SEEN THE HEADLINES? Stephanie Fenton has been following the news about closings, cancellations—and some creative adaptations like a “drive in fireworks” show. Her best suggestion is that Americans use this once-in-a-lifetime Labor Day to look more deeply into the roots of this observance.
Why 9/11 Matters in Our Troubled World
EVEN NOW, quarantined work crews in New York City are preparing this year’s Tribute in Light for the 19th anniversary of 9/11. Award-winning journalist and author Bill Tammeus, based in Kansas City writes about why the lessons and legacy of 9/11 still are important—especially now.
Care to see all of our Holidays & Festivals columns? It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just remember the address InterfaithHolidays.com
Duncan Newcomer and Abraham Lincoln
Myths and wisdom in national conversation about rule of law
OUR WEEKLY QUIET FIRE SERIES suddenly jumped into national headlines this week, in The Atlantic magazine’s coverage of Donald Trump’s selective use of Lincoln’s texts. So, this week, Quiet Fire radio series host and Lincoln scholar Duncan Newcomer further clarifies why Lincoln’s wisdom remains relevant—if we understand his meaning and don’t manipulate it to serve our political preferences.
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:
- LOVECRAFT COUNTRY—In his review of the new HBO series, Ed McNulty writes: “I love road trip movies, and this series looks like it will rate right up there with the best, judging by the incredibly good first segment called Sundown!” Then, this new series transported Ed way back into the roots of his own fascination with science fiction—so he adds this personal column about early sci-fi fans he knew and the genre’s potential to expand our worlds in helpful ways.
- PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD—Ed writes, “Regarded as Charles Dickens’ most autobiographical novel, David Copperfield had been filmed 13 times before Armando Iannucci adapted it. Thoroughly enjoying his political satire, The Death of Stalin, I was looking forward to seeing this new version, noted for its color-blind casting and touch of surrealistic absurdity. I was not disappointed, the director and co-writer Simon Blackwell giving us a whimsical romp through the sprawling novel in just under two hours.”
- IRON JAWED ANGELS—Ed writes, “Although there are many good films dealing with the Civil Rights movement, there are relatively few about the struggle for women’s rights. Thus we should be glad that HBO saw fit to produce this film for Women’s History Month in March of 2004. … This is a film that should be seen by every American who treasures the progress that genuine democracy has made in this country.” (5 out of 5 stars)
- SUFFRAGETTE—”This film, set in England a few years before the First World War, could be considered a prequel to the 2004 movie Iron Jawed Angels. Alice Paul and Lucy Burns both gained experience in the women’s rights movement in England. This newer film mixes real characters with fictional ones.” (4.5 stars)
- FRANCESCO—”Italian director Michele Soavi serves up a very imaginative version of the life of Christendom’s most beloved saint, Francis of Assisi.” (4.5 Stars)
- A TIME FOR BURNING—”This documentary, shot in 1965, largely at the Augustana Lutheran Church in Omaha, Nebraska, is of interest to those concerned about the church and racism. Commissioned by a national office of the Lutheran Church in America and directed by Barbara Connell and Bill Jersey, the film focuses upon the Rev. William Youngdahl, Augustana’s pastor. It is a good example of the feebleness of the White church in dealing intelligently and forcibly with racism in America.” (5 out of 5 stars)
- JOHN LEWIS: GET IN THE WAY—Ed writes, “Director/writer Kathleen Dowdey does a fine job encapsulating John Lewis’s long life in its short running time of less than an hour.” (5 stars)
- CLEMENCY—Ed writes, “Director/writer Chinonye Chukwu has given us a prison film unlike most anything you have seen, in that her focus is not on a condemned prisoner, but on the person in charge of the execution of prisoners, the warden.” (5 out of 5 stars)
- HAMILTON—Ed gives 5 out of 5 stars to the film version of the award-winning Hamilton play.
- GREYHOUND—Ed gives 4.5 stars to Tom Hanks in Greyhound. Ed writes, “Hanks turns in an excellent performance as the rookie commander who feels the pressure of his baptism by fire.”
- THE RESISTANCE BANKER—“Dutch director Joram Lürsenfor shows us one more way in which an occupied people resisted Nazi tyranny. I love the way in which through the years such filmmakers manage to present a fresh view of WW 2 and of Nazi persecution.” (4.5 stars)