Halloween’s Christian history

Here’s my October 29 newsletter. To receive my latest article, favorite religion reads and other updates in your inbox every Saturday, sign-up here

“Spotlight” is one of my favorite movies, so I was thrilled to have an opportunity to participate in an investigative journalism workshop yesterday. Experts on deep data dives and tough interviews spoke to a roomful of writers about how to produce articles that change people’s lives.

When I wasn’t daydreaming about solving a decades-old murder case or spending quiet afternoons digging through library records, I was thinking about how to bring an investigative mindset to my daily work. Sometimes I am too confident in my knowledge of a situation when I start writing about it, which makes the reporting process feel more like a chore than a grand adventure.

Yesterday’s workshop helped me connect with the spirit of “Spotlight.” Each new article is a new investigation, and each one really can change lives, even if it doesn’t deal with murder or corruption or tax records. I can dig into the mystery of religious practice, connecting the dots between new data and people’s experiences.

FRESH OFF THE PRESS FROM ME

Faith and fitness: Why workouts have become a reason to go to church

What couples may not realize about religion and marriage

TOP RELIGION READS

Vatican issues guidelines on cremation, says no to scattering ashes, CNN

Feds drop Muslim outreach program, USA Today

United Way is not the largest charity anymore, U.S. News & World Report

How natural burial can conserve land in Middle Tennessee, The Tennessean

Guess what? Halloween is more Christian than pagan, The Washington Post

JUST FOR FUN

‘The Good Place’ imagines an eternity of ethics lessons, Christianity Today

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