July 28th, 2014

Gospel Choir Comes to Elkton Central Library 8/23

Wrights AME ChoirI was always curious about the word AME.  As a kid, I regularly saw various churches bearing the acronym and even visited a few with my grandmother. However, I never knew what the AME stood for, that is, until ten years ago. My sister began dating my soon-to-be brother-in-law and like any responsible, overprotective brother, I had to see if this guy was worthy of my sister. So I took a trip down to Fort Walton Beach, FL. I did not know at the time of my investigation that my now brother-in-law was a pastor of an AME church which stands for African Methodist Episcopal. During my visit, I attended church on Sunday, hearing him preach and listening to the various melodic hymnals sung by the church choir, uplifting the congregation’s spirit.

Between songs and the sermon, I read the rich history of the AME church on the back of the church program. Founded in the 1800’s by Richard Allen, a former Delaware slave, AME grew out of the Free African Society who worshiped at a St. George’s Methodist church in Philadelphia.  However, when members of the St. George Methodist church pulled blacks off their knees while praying, Allen and others members of the Free African Society willed and determined that they would form their own African Methodist church congregation.  The split from the main branch of the Methodist church was not a result of doctrinal differences, but rather the result of man’s intolerance of his fellow man based on the color of his skin.  The first church was called Bethel and Allen successfully sued the Pennsylvania courts for the right of his congregation to exist as an independent institution and formed the AME denomination whose principals are committed to those of Methodism.

The AME church continued to spread with major congregations in Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Pittsburgh, Washington, DC, Chicago, Detroit, and Baltimore, where the first general conference was held.  The church now has membership all over the US and in 39 countries on five continents.

If you would like to hear some great music that’s bound to move the soul, along with more about the AME rich history, then join us at the Elkton Central Library on August 23, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. as we host the Wrights AME Church Choir!

I look forward to seeing you there!

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July 23rd, 2014

Interview with Local Author Cathy Gohlke

Saving-AmelieLast summer, we had a Local Author’s Day at the Elkton Central Library and we were lucky enough that Cathy Gohlke was able to share some of her books with us. If you missed your chance last year, she’s back with her newest book, Saving Amelie, which just came out in June.

Cathy has published five historical and inspirational novels. Saving Amelie takes place in Germany in 1939. The book follows the story of Rachel Kramer, the daughter of a well-known eugenics scientist. During her father’s business trip to Germany, she makes a few discoveries of her own and is forced into hiding, even though she is an American citizen.

With The Book Thief just released on DVD and a movie based on Lauren Hillenbrand’s Unbroken coming out later this year, stories about World War II are finding renewed popularity at the library. I’ve added Saving Amelie to my “to-read” list and in light of her upcoming visits to the Cecil County Public Library, I had the opportunity to ask Cathy a few questions.

Your newest book Saving Amelie just came out in June. When did you start working on this project?
In the spring of 2012, after completing Band of Sisters.

Your books are set in different places in the past. Is there a specific time and place that you wish you could live?
I’d love to live (at least temporarily) in England during the early 1900s, before the Great War.  It was the world of my great-grandparents, and of my grandmother as a child—a world she shared through words and mannerisms throughout my young life.  That is the world of Promise Me This.

What books have you been reading this summer? Are there certain authors that you look to for inspiration?
I just returned from a research trip to England with sister author, Carrie Turansky, and from a group tour of Scotland’s Highland Castles and Gardens led by sister author Liz Curtis Higgs, so I’ve immersed myself in books about England, the Lake District, Beatrix Potter and Wordsworth, the poetry of Robert Burns, as well as Liz Curtis Higgs’ books.  In stark contrast I’m reading The Nuremberg Mind—The Psychology of the Nazi Leaders, by Florence R. Miale and Michel Selzer as research for my work in progress.

I’m daily inspired by the writings of Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest, and lately by Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship, and Corrie Ten Boom’s Each New Day.  I love it when authors, such as these, challenge my thinking and lift it higher.

When you are not writing, how do you like to spend your time?
When not writing, I spend most of my time caring for my sweet granddaughter while her parents work.  This fall we’ll all be moving into a house together. I couldn’t help but hum “The Walton’s” theme song after visiting the house for the first time!

I love to travel and investigate sites that time forgot—places that whisper story lines through my brain.  I love campfires at night and singing around the piano, spending time with my husband and family and friends, joining in worship services, and reading.  I used to garden a great deal, but these days I’m mostly planting synopses, pruning dialogue and weeding unnecessary verbiage.

Sign up for this opportunity to meet this award-winning local author at 3 library branches. Books will be available for purchase and signing.
Chesapeake City — August 4th @ 6:30pm
Elkton – August 7th @ 6:30pm
Rising Sun – August 12th @ 6:30pm

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