B O O K S
Faith Works: Lessons from the Life of an Activist Preacher by Jim Wallis says a new age is dawning for faith-based efforts to address our society's most pressing problems. He writes: "Service and spirituality are the growing streams of energy, which as they begin to flow together, could create a mighty river of action." In this expansive and hopeful work, the publisher of Sojourners presents stories of Christians who've acted on a positive vision of their faith. He offers strategies for cooling youth violence, giving children a good start, helping welfare recipients succeed in work, creating more equitable institutions and moving beyond racism (Random House).
Healing the Soul of America: Reclaiming Our Voices as Spiritual Citizens by Marianne Williamson salutes the rich philosophical and political resources of democracy but laments our current era of passive citizenship. Williamson, a Unity Church minister, challenges us to "embrace the spirit of nonviolence and adopt a personal commitment to conscience, making what efforts each of us can to increase the power of good in the world." Among her ideas for turning spiritual conviction into a political force are prayer vigils and citizen salons to discuss issues (Touchstone).
M O V I E S
Return to Me is a beautifully done comedy about the love that blooms between two people who both need to be restored to life, one after his wife's death and the other after a heart transplant. In her directorial debut, actress Bonnie Hunt gives this couple a wonderful extended family of senior citizens to cheer them on. This film will educate your heart about the warmth and richness of life (MGM, PG).
Joe Gould's Secret is based on two stories in the New Yorker by Joseph Mitchell about a crazy bum in Greenwich Village during the 1940s who compiles "The Oral History of Our Time." Ian Holm gives a tour de force performance as Joe Gould, a lover of New York City's mystery, contradictions and complexity (USA Films, R--language, brief nudity).
V I D E O S
Music of the Heart is an inspirational and emotionally rich drama about a gifted violin player who takes on the challenge of teaching troubled inner-city kids to play this instrument. Meryl Streep gives a rousing performance as this dedicated and patient miracle worker (Miramax, PG).
The Red Violin is an inventive Canadian film about the fate of a red violin from its creation in the 17th century through its auction in Montreal in the 20th century. The drama presents a vivid and poignant meditation about our relationship to beauty--our shallow need to possess and control it, our soul's need to be nurtured by its radiance (Universal, R--sexuality).
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers