GRANBY, CT (October 18, 2011) – After Karen Stanhope had what she calls a “more than a coincidence” experience, she thought there must be other members of Pilgrim Covenant Church who have stories to share about how God has moved in their lives.
She spoke with the church leadership and proposed pulling together a collection of stories from the congregation of 150 members. Stanhope never imagined 77 stories would be submitted.
The result was the recently published God is Alive! Trust Stories of God’s Active Presence in Our Lives.
“What struck me about this is that there are so many stories from such a small group of people,” says Jerry Gaylord, Pilgrim’s chair of the evangelism and invitation ministry, which sponsored the book.
Many of the stories had never been told. “It has drawn me closer to people in the book and helped me appreciate them more,” says Gaylord. She and Gaylord say several stories brought them to tears.
The book is divided into five common threads: God’s Voice, The Kindness of Strangers, Healing, Comfort, and Signs. The stories range from experiencing God’s presence amid tragedy to brief and what some might say are insignificant events, such as the placement of a Lifesaver into a collection plate.
“We’re trying to tell the world that, ‘He is here!’ and active in our everyday lives,” Stanhope says.
“The view of God’s plan became more real to me,” says Gaylord.
Four people edited the stories. Some of the congregation members shared their experiences with others who actually drafted the submissions.
The church hopes the book not only will be read by people who don’t attend Pilgrim, but that it also will inspire other congregations to engage in a similar process. They will sell the book during the community’s 125th anniversary.
The book is available through Covenant Bookstore. An e-book can be downloaded through Amazon.