“Read the Spirit” – religion and spirituality global gathering place

Read the Spirit Logo 

The Turtle Island Project and its new North American Theology share a vision with a religion and spirituality portal that uses 21st-Century technology to spread the word – to a globe of faithful – who believe we can all learn from each other – while living in peace and respecting the planet that was given to all of us by the divine creator (God, Allah etc.)

It’s all about communications:

Read the Spirit:
Turtle Island Project:
TIP Sacred Places website – Upload your own Sacred Place:

Communications collage

When historians look back on 2007, we hope that two significant developments in religion will be the creation of the “Read the Spirit” portal and the Turtle Island Project’s new North American Theology – both are a modern way of returning to the roots of religion.

On August 11, 2007 – the founders of the Turtle Island Project – Rev. Dr. Lynn Hubbard and Rev. Dr. George Cairns – participated in a national conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan organized by the founders of Read the Spirit – David Crumm, the longtime religion writer/editor for the Detroit Free Press and John Hile, a man who puts the spirit in technology.

Founders Read the Spirit

The Founders of the “Read the Spirit” portal 

The conference included numerous other writers, editors, photographers, artists, clergy, scholars and people from other disciplines who agree it’s important to keep up the internet and other new ways to spread the message of religion.

The founders of the Turtle Island Project are developing the new North American Theology and have open a website for Sacred Places – where the public is encouraged to upload their own Sacred Places – and explain why these sites should be respected and protected.

TIP Founder-NA Theology graphic

Founders: Turtle Island Project & new Northern American Theology

Here’s how to read and contact Read the Spirit:


Read the Spirit Director:

David Crumm

Read the Spirit Technical Genius:

John Kile

Here are some photos from the interfaith Read the Spirit conference in Ann Arbor followed by the 10 Principles that were “nailed” by those attending:

collage 3


Collage 1 

Collage 4 

The Founders of Read the Spirit say:

We are a new kind of media network.

We are David Crumm Media LLC, a multi-media publishing company focusing on religion and spirituality that is headed by partners David Crumm and John Hile.

But, ReadTheSpirit also is a network of professionals — writers, editors, photographers, artists, clergy, scholars and people from other disciplines, as well, who are building cooperative partnerships to produce books, Web content and videos.

Seventy of our friends gathered for a national conference in Ann Arbor in August and collectively we “nailed” these 10 Principles to a portal, a deliberate echo of the nailing in Europe half a millennium ago. As our new portal, ReadTheSpirit, expands through early 2008, we will become a global gathering place for people who find these voices helpful in their daily lives.

The principles that we “nailed to a 21st-Century portal” on August 11, 2007:

The Ten 21st-Century Principles of Religious Publishing

Principle 1: It’s about the Voice, not the book.

This religious truth cuts across spiritual traditions. Our Scriptures talk about Voice, Message and Word. And, today, this principle remains profoundly true. In this new century, power lies in the message, not the specific packages, which are constantly evolving. So, we are not merely a community of writers; we are a community of Voices preparing ourselves to speak in a variety of media. Recognizing that the power is in the message, not any specific media product, gives us tremendous freedom and speed – because our messages begin to have impact the moment we voice them, not merely on some arbitrary, fleeting product-release date.

Principle 2: If we are people of Truth, then we have nothing to fear from creatively, vigorously searching for Truth.

Our books (or videos, broadcasts and Web sites) don’t need to answer every question. We’re not replacing the fullness of Scripture. That’s not our role. We only need to truthfully seek and helpfully point people along the journey with us. This gives us an enormous territory in which to work, because we can boldly and creatively look for truth anywhere – and we should do that, because other people are already out there in the most unlikely places – looking on their own. Ultimately, this principle relieves us of the impossible burden of trying to act and talk and write like gods ourselves. We can be humbly humorous about our own occasional failings – and that realization, in itself, is an expression of Truth, as well.

Principle 3: We must look for Truth in every stage and condition of life — and in every corner of our human family — because our traditions call us to overturn false assumptions about the vulnerable.

For example, just as Dr. Benjamin Spock overturned truths about child care at the dawn of the Baby Boom, it’s time to overturn the belief that aging is a disability to be suffered or, at best, a problem to be solved. There are spiritual gifts in every stage of life – and America is poised at the precise moment when millions will be searching for that new truth about “The Gifts of Aging.” Just as we have deceived ourselves about the spiritual nature of aging, we have fresh work to do in seeing the truths among millions of people within our so-called religious minorities. The 21st-century truth is that we are all religious minorities. And, contrary to popular belief, this strategy actually can be Good Business in media – as “Baby and Child Care” proved in 1946 by becoming the most successful English-language nonfiction bestseller other than the Bible itself.

Principle 4: It’s about connection, not competition. Our Voices should call people together, not separate them.

We’re building community, not marketing niches. During the boom of “church growth experts” in the 1980s and the explosion of religious publishing in the 1990s, we bought into marketing principles that may have helped us spread the word for a time – but that ultimately run counter to our core religious principles. All of our religious traditions call us to connection and cooperation. In religious publishing, fragmentation and competition has led us only to reduced margins, a confusing torrent of messages and an uncertain future.

Principle 5: The most powerful spiritual stories are in the lives of the ordinary people we meet.

This truth was demonstrated repeatedly by Jesus and the world’s other great religious teachers, but we have forgotten this enormously important lesson in our chase for tales of celebrities, powerful preachers and exotic heroes. As American media fragments and publishers cut back on their budgets to send reporters across the U.S. and around the world, we risk missing out on telling some of the greatest spiritual stories of our age – the stories of real people who may be sitting next to us – or may be living in villages half way around the world.

Principle 6: Millions of people are looking for the best path toward a spiritually satisfying Home.

As Americans, we’re a restless, rootless people searching for Home. Compared with the rest of the world, religion matters deeply to the vast majority of Americans – but a restless desire for individual choice and self-expression also is nearly universal. The good news is that this is the perfect opportunity for reintroducing highly motivated readers to the often-forgotten treasures of their own religious roots.

While all the principles are important – Number 7 means a lot to the Turtle Island Project founders as we promote respect for the environment and Native American culture.


Principle 7: We are in an era of profound cultural change that raises spiritual questions, across the spectrum, about our relationship to our planet – and the meaning of the place in which we live.

Americans are already asking – and answering – these questions for themselves. In our daily habits, we have transformed Starbucks coffee shops into the most successful new denomination of urban temples. Buzz words like green and eco-theology are rising from the Orthodox and Catholic churches all the way to the far end of the evangelical world. We need to explore what our religious traditions – including largely overlooked realms, such as Native American wisdom – can teach us about the sacred meaning of place. And, we need to creatively seize this opportunity to rethink spaces in our communities. Perhaps bookstores themselves, which are endangered in many areas, can be celebrated as sacred spaces – an idea that could transform the religious community’s relationship to many local stores.

Principle 8: The Spirit moves in community.

Scriptures echo this truth, but we don’t act like we believe it. Religious media currently segments and separates spiritual Voices, often rejecting promising work for a lack of resources to shape these voices and frequently boxing voices into preconceived niches, thus crippling them. Writers, filmmakers and artists usually work in relative isolation, in many cases experiencing real community only in brief periods like author tours or festivals, if they are so lucky. We believe that, in religious publishing, we can form diverse communities of Voices who work in different areas of our communities and explore widely divergent spiritual issues. This timeless principle of community also reflects emerging theories of social networking in this new century. Almost without realizing it, each of us carries a network of people wherever we go – and linking our networks into spiritual, creative community will produce wiser, more creative work that can reach a far larger audience than any one of us can reach alone.

Principle 9: Radical transparency is good business.

From Open Source software to crowdsourcing projects like Wikipedia, millions already are throwing open the doors and windows to flood the creative process with sunlight. We must do the same, because even the technology of book publishing is radically changing through tools that finally are democratizing even the printing, binding and distribution of books themselves. Publishers no longer control this means of production – even though the book remains a remarkably flexible, mobile, universally celebrated product. We intend to connect and promote important spiritual Voices both with existing publishers – and through these new means. We also intend to reinvent the way spiritual books are presented online with simple domains that are easy to remember, easy to access – and become places of community. In this new century, the doors and windows are opening already – and the truths of our religious traditions suggest that our calling is to bring light, not darkness.

Principle 10: Peace is possible.

This is The Ultimate among all the ultimate truths of faith. But, most often, we voice this claim only apologetically in media, especially after troubling religious claims are made in defense of some new hateful or violent act. Why don’t we boldly seize this truth and see where it leads us in religious publishing? We agree that there is value in exploring and understanding the nature of conflict so that we can chart fresh approaches toward making peace – but, too often, we merely publish shrill and angry voices or report suspenseful tales of religious conflict deliberately calculated to raise anxiety. There’s enough of that on bookstore shelves — and a new millennium ahead of us. Let’s form a vanguard of Voices, talking to the whole world about Peace.

From http://www.ReadTheSpirit.com, posted from the GreenWood Chapel gathering, Saturday, August 11, 2007.

Questions may be directed to David Crumm at David.Crumm@gmail.com

Some more photos from the Read the Spirit conference that kicked off this communications network in Ann Arbor, Michigan on August 11, 2007 – a day that will live in-family – in-spirit – in-religion – in-love – in-peace.

 Muslim woman at conference

Everyone is welcome at Read the Spirit and at the Turtle Island Project.

Living in Peace and Respecting the Earth while learning from each other – are a few of the goals of both Michigan-based groups that are reaching out from the heart of the Great Lakes to the world.

The will of Allah and the will of God can – and should – foster love for all mankind.

Inner city/big churches

The photo above shows that inner city and larger wealthier churches can work together for the betterment of people in both communities.

Guest speaker at the Read the Spirit national conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan was well-known author Rev. Grace Imathiu (pictured below), a United Methodist pastor from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Rev. Imathiu’s passionate delivery was as inspiring as her important heartfelt message about love and respect for others.Rev. Grace Imathiu at conference:African outreach

Pictured above are projects Americans are doing in Africa.  It’s easy for Americans to be so caught up with the problems at home like unemployment, homelessness, crime and politics – we forget about the rest of the world.

Even on a bad day in America, it is far better than in some countries around the world – where a glass of clean water is hard to find.

Speakers with a vast array of knowledge kept the audience interested during the one-day conference.

Read the Spirit Director David Crumm used Tinker Toys to explain a simple message to the media and writers gathered.

Communication in the 21st-Century is all about interconnecting .David Crumm tinker toys 1 David Crumm tinker toys 3 David Crumm tinker toys 2

Pictured in the above two photos is John Hile, who keeps the show rolling. The ever-changing technology in 21st-Century is complicated and running a smooth operation is impossible without experts like Hile.The moment it began – David Crumm (below) introduces his media plans for religion editors, writers and others.Followed by a photo – that’s a thousand words said in one picture – the official press release.


And finally – after checking out Read the Spirit – Dr. Cairns invites you to visit the Turtle Island Project’s new Sacred Places website – and please – upload your own Sacred Place:

North America Sacred Places:
Read the Spirit:


About yoopernewsman

I am a news reporter, writer and investigative journalist and began my career about 40 years ago as a young teenager in Augusta, GA after moving south during the middle of high school. I'm a news reporter, writer & investigative journalist specializing in street news, plus Indigenous, civil rights & environment reporting. Currently volunteer media advisor for numerous American Indian & environment related nonprofits that include the Navajo Lutheran Mission in Rock Point, AZ & its executive director Rev. Dr. Lynn Hubbard, the nonprofit Cedar Tree Institute (CTI) in Marquette, MI & its many projects founded by Rev. Jon Magnuson, Author Joy Ibsen of Trout Creek, MI, Celtic Christianity Today (CCT) founded by Rev. Dr. George Cairns, the Turtle Island Project founded by pastors Hubbard & Cairns. In its third summer, the CTI Zaagkii Wings & Seeds Project & its volunteers built a16-foot geodesic dome solar-powered greenhouse that was built in this summer at the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) in an effort to restore native species plants to northern Michigan. It's located at the tribe's Natural Resources Department north of L'Anse along Lake Superior. During the summer of 2010, Zaagkii Project teens built & painted 25 beautiful reliquaries that are boxes made from pine & cedar that are used to store seeds for planting & included samples of Native American medicine including sweetgrass, cedar, sage & tobacco. From April-June 2009, I promoted the EarthKeeper Tree Project that planted 12,000 trees across northern Michigan. Co-edited "Unafraid," the second book by Author Joy Ibsen of Trout Creek, MI that was printed in May 2009 based on her father's handwritten sermons she found in shoebox. I edited numerous videos for nonprofit CCT. Began career 35 years ago as teenager in Augusta, GA after moving south during middle of high school. I was co-coordinator of the 1986 original James Brown Appreciation Day in Augusta, GA, where the Godfather of Soul was always trashed by local media who didn't report anything positive about the music icon. Mr. Terence Dicks was the other co-coordinator & most recently served as chair of the Augusta Human Relations Commission and serves on the Georgia Clients Council. Mr. Brown taught us to "fight the good fight" by battling all forms of racism & evil while not uttering a bad word about those who try to block justice, respect, fairness & kindness to all. As a child, I lived in the Harbert, Michigan home built by late poet Carl Sandburg, where the legendary author penned some of his greatest works including his Chicago works & Lincoln papers. The four-story home had a sundeck on the top & a cool walk-in safe in the basement. The neighborhood (Birchwood) has numerous cottages used for other purposes by Sandburg like the milk house where they milked goats. My parents remodeled fourth floor of the home that stands atop the Lake Michigan sand dunes/bluffs. They found items that belonged to Mr. Sandburg concealed in the walls including prescription bottles with his name, reading glasses, & a small, thin metal stamp with his name. I've worked for dozens of newspapers & radio & TV stations in GA & MI. I'm volunteer media advisor for several interfaith environmental projects involving Native Americans across Upper Peninsula of MI including the Turtle Island Project, The Zaagkii Project, the Interfaith Earth Healing Initiative, EarthKeeper Initiative & the Manoomin (Wild Rice) Project. The Zaagkii Wings & Seeds Project restores bee & butterfly habitat to help pollination of plants following death of billions of bees. Keweenaw Bay Indian Community youth & Marquette teens built butterfly houses, planted/distributed 26,000 native plants to help pollinators. The Earth Healing Initiative assisted EPA Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge. EHI helped organize interfaith participation across eight states for the 100 plus recycling projects (April 2008) involving recycling millions of pounds of electronic waste & proper disposal of millions of pills/pharmaceuticals. EPA goals were exceeded by 500%. Under an EPA grant, EHI provided free media services for the cities/groups/tribes including videos & press releases. The EarthKeeper environment projects include an annual Earth Day Clean Sweep (2005-2007) at 24 free drop-off sites across a 400 mile area of northern Michigan that collected over 370 tons of household hazardous waste. The 2007 EarthKeeper Pharmaceutical Clean Sweep collected over one ton of drugs plus $500,000 in narcotics in only three hours. Some 2,000 residents participated & many brought in pharmaceuticals for their family, friends & neighbors. In 2006, 10,000 people dropped off over 320 tons of old/broken computers, cell phones & other electronic waste, all of which was recycled. In 2005, residents turned in 45 tons of household poisons & vehicle batteries. The Manoomin (Wild Rice) Project teaches teens to respect nature & themselves by having American Indian guides escort them to remote lakes & streams in northern Michigan to plant/care for wild rice. The teens test water quality to determine the best conditions for the once native grain to survive. The Turtle Island Project was co-founded in July 2007 by Rev. Lynn Hubbard of Rock Point, AR (Ex. Dir. of the Navajo Lutheran Mission) & Rev. Dr. George Cairns of Chesterton, IN, United Church of Christ minister & research professor for the Chicago Theological Seminary. TIP promotes respect for culture & heritage of indigenous peoples like American Indians. TIP is a platform for American Indians to be heard unedited by whites. Rev. Hubbard says whites don't have the knowledge or right to speak on behalf of Native Americans. I specialize in civil rights, outdoor, environmental, cops & courts reporting thanks to my late mentor Jay Mann (Jan Tillman Hutchens), an investigative reporter in Augusta, who lived by the books "Illusions" & "Jonathon Livingston Seagull." Love to fish, hunt, camp & skydive. Belong to Delta Chi national fraternity. I was active in Junior Achievement, band played cornet. With my dear friend, the Rev. Terence A. Dicks, we were the co-coordinators of the 1986 original James Brown Appreciation Day in Augusta, GA, where the Godfather of Soul was always trashed by the local media who found no reasons to print or report anything positive about the music icon. I am honored to help the human rights activist Terence Dicks - with some of his projects including the nonprofit Georgia Center for Children and Education - and the economic initiative he founded titled "Claiming A Street Named King." I am the volunteer media advisor for several environmental projects across Michigan's Upper Peninsula including EarthKeeper II - an Initiative of the nonprofit Cedar Tree Institute in Marquette, MI. EarthKeepers II is an Interfaith Energy Conservation and Community Garden Initiative across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Goals: Restore Native Plants and Protect the Great Lakes from Toxins like Airborne Mercury in cooperation with the EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, U.S. Forest Service, 10 faith traditions and Native American tribes like the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Previously known as the Earth Keeper Initiative - that project included many environmental projects including an annual Earth Day Clean sweep at two dozen free drop off sites across a 400 mile area of northern Michigan. The target of the 2007 Earth Keeper Pharmaceutical Clean Sweep are all kinds of medicines. In 2006, some 10,000 people dropped off over 320 tons of old/broken computers, cell phones and other electronic waste, all of which was recycled. In 2005, residents turned in 45 tons of household poisons and vehicle batteries. The Manoomin (Wild Rice) Project taught at-risk teens (just sentenced in juvenile court) to respect nature and themselves by having American Indian guides escort them to very remote lakes and streams in northern Michigan to plant and care for wild rice. The teens conducted water quality and other tests to determine the best conditions for the once native grain to survive. I have always specialized in civil rights, outdoor, environmental, cops and courts reporting thanks to my late mentor Jay Mann (Jan Tillman Hutchens), an investigative reporter in Augusta, who lived by the book "Illusions."
This entry was posted in Penobscot, poverty, relief, religion, religions, religious imperialism, Rosebud, salmon-Trout River, Sioux, Sioux Nation, streams, talk, television, Tourism, tree, trees, tribe, Turtle Island, TV, Uncategorized, United States, Upper Peninsula, world news, Wyandot, Yakima, Yokuts, Yuma, Yurok and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to “Read the Spirit” – religion and spirituality global gathering place

  1. i need to know more about the turtle project .

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