Here’s the latest from the crossroads of faith and media:

A ride through the real life of foster care and adoption. As National Foster Care Awareness Month draws to a close, the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture and the National Review Institute are presenting a virtual conversation with foster care/adoption advocates, including John Buultjens, an adoption ambassador and real-life inspiration for the upcoming major motion picture The Ride (Roadside Attractions). The event, happening today (5/27) at 3:00 PM (ET), will feature a “sneak peek” of clips from the movie due which the studios hope to open in theaters on July 31. That’s right, in theaters! The Ride is one of the first movies set to do so since the pandemic threw the movie industry and the entire economy for a loop.  For more information, and to register, you can click here.

The Ride is based on the inspirational true story of Buultjens, who was in foster care, adopted, and is now a highly successful BMX professional bike rider. You can learn more about Buultjens’ remarkable story here.

Note: The above story has been updated to reflect the fact that the July 31 opening date is an aspiration but is not yet locked down due to the current unpredictability of the COVID situation.

Meanwhile, there’s this from my inbox…

After 100,000 COVID-19 Deaths in U.S., Interfaith Leaders, Mayors Call for Day of Mourning and Lament. As we mark the death of 100,000 people in the U.S. from COVID-19, an unprecedented group of 100+ national faith leaders—from Christian, Jewish and Muslim traditions representing major denominations, national faith-based organizations, local congregations, and millions of people of faith across the country—call for a National Day of Mourning and Lament. Together, they look to federal, state, and local elected officials to observe Monday, June 1 as National Day of Mourning and Lament, a day marked by moments of silence, lowering of flags, interfaith vigils, ringing of bells, and civic memorials.

This call is being supported by the U.S. Conference of Mayors who represent over 1,400 mayors across the country. Mayors lead on the frontline of the COVID-19 response effort and continue to model critical local leadership amid this difficult time.

Together, interfaith leaders and mayors across the nation will call us to mourn, lament, and honor the dead, acknowledge the unequal nature of our suffering, pray together for the healing of the nation, and recommit to the difficult work ahead.

“One hundred thousand people, citizens, friends, and family dead is a terrible marker we must not miss or pass by quickly or easily. We must stop. We must weep. We must mourn. We must honor. And we must lament which is to feel and bear great grief and sorrow, and to reflect upon it,” said president and founder Rev. Jim Wallis“To pray for the healing of the nation is to go even deeper than our horrible sickness; we must also see the national brokenness and signs of hope the virus continues to reveal. Our suffering has been painfully unequal and racially disproportionate, but our healing must be in unison.”

“As a nation we can’t afford to be numbed or desensitized by this staggering milestone. Every one of the over 100,000 lives in the U.S. lost to COVID-19 is precious and sacred. While the need for social distancing has precluded funerals and other traditional forms of mourning, we can and must find ways to grieve and lament together as a nation,” said executive director Rev. Adam Taylor“These tragic deaths include so many heroic frontline and essential workers who risked their lives to heal, protect, and serve others.”

The National Day of Mourning and Lament will follow a weekend of services from Muslim, Jewish and Christian houses of worship—including Protestant, Catholic, Evangelical, African American, Hispanic, Asian American, and Native American—all united in times of lament and mourning for the dead. Remembering unites across religions and traditions, transcending our politics.


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