Religion News: Festive Event Features Books, Brunch, Best-Selling Author

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More than sixty people from four local churches joined an open-air service on Good Friday, April 2, to remember the events leading up to the crucifixion. Participating in the event were Crozet Baptist Church, Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Mission, Tabor Presbyterian Church and Holy Cross Anglican Church. People from those congregations and others moved through downtown Crozet, praying, singing and meditating. At each station, pastors and church members read from scripture and led the group in devotions. This was a new event for Crozet, and Pastor David Collyer of Crozet Baptist reported a good mix of people from each of the churches. Response was positive, and plans are underway to repeat the event next year, Collyer said. “Children and adults from Crozet Baptist found everything meaningful and inspiring.” Photo: Malcolm Andrews.

Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Greenwood invites anyone who is a child, a parent, a grandparent, or is simply interested in children, and any others who’d like to browse for books and have a great brunch in a beautiful outdoor setting to the church’s grounds on June 6. The event is held in conjunction with Bluebird Bookstop, the mobile book store housed in a vintage blue trailer. 

They’re sponsoring Roger Hutchison, author of Come In, Come In! Hutchison is an award-winning children’s author, and he creates a world in his latest book that’s the dream of children and their parents everywhere. It’s a world where absolutely everyone is welcome, no one is mocked, hurt or frightened, and any child can accomplish anything. Besides the children in this world, Hutchison promises elephant clouds, yogi giraffes, giggling moons, dancing tricycles, pirouetting porcupines and starfish wishes, all illustrated by noted children’s book artist Nicky Mills. 

Roger Hutchison will speak at Emmanuel Episcopal’s spring event. Submitted photo.

Hutchison became interested in the suffering and healing of children after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. He painted with and talked with some of the surviving and grieving students, and thought about ways that art can heal people. Hutchison works at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church in Houston and, with his team, led a popular class that explored how art and literature can help us all.

Hutchison discovered that some of the best tools available for parents are already on their bookshelves, or in Sunday School classes and libraries. In his classes, he began to focus more on the wisdom of traditional and modern children’s books, classic literature, and Holy Scripture. With time-honored and modern stories, he helps children learn the universal themes of grief, acceptance and mental health with picture books, resources that might be readily available to all parents.

At the Greenwood event, Hutchison will highlight a selection of these books and talk about ways children’s literature can be used as a guide for parenting. The event is open to the public, and Kathleen Capshaw of the Greenwood parish reminds everyone that it will be a delightful afternoon, even if they just want to enjoy the sunshine, buy a book or two, try the classic Swiss Raclette from “Raclette on the Run,” or munch on cake from “Sliced.” 

There may be time for some networking and advice on writing children’s books, as Hutchison is interested in engaging with aspiring writers, Capshaw said. He’s certainly qualified, having written the best-selling Faces: A Love Story, The Painting Table, My Favorite Color is Blue, Sometimes, as well as Come in, Come in!

There will be story times with Roger Hutchison, with questions for the author invited, at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. At 1 p.m., he’ll give a talk, “Where the Wild Things Are: Parenting in an Ever-Changing World,” where he’ll reveal some of the best parenting resources he’s found in children’s books.

Besides being a best-selling children’s author, Hutchison serves as the Director of Christian Formation and Parish Life at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas and is a member of the National Association of Grieving Children and Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. He lives with his wife and daughter just outside of Houston.

To learn more about Hutchison and follow his story, find him on Instagram @rogerhutchisonbooks or on his website www.rogerhutchisonbooks.com. To pre-order his book and have it signed June 6, contact bluebirdbookstop.com. 

“Come In, Come In!” Is Roger Hutchison’s latest book.

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