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Woman to sign books at church

A Holland native will speak and sign copies of her first book at Piney Grove Baptist Church this Sunday.

Mary F. Copeland wrote “Inspired by Love: Poetry, Prose and Passages for Pondering the Passion of Love’s Embrace.”

“I really want people to get closer to God in an intentional way,” she said.

The book is based on a poem Copeland wrote in 1990. She kept the poem private for many years, but when she started sharing it with people, they encouraged her to write more about it.

“I wrote this poem in between a writer’s block while I was finishing my dissertation,” she said. “I put it aside and finished my work. About three years later, I shared the poem with many people, and they liked it.”

Encouraged by the readers, Copeland wrote the book based on the poem. Each page features a line of the poem, related scriptural verses and questions encouraging the reader to reflect, pray and journal.

“It makes it more intimate and personal,” Copeland said. “It can encourage journaling and quiet time. That’s what the responses have been about.”

Copeland said she has been encouraged by the book as well as by others’ responses to it.

“I have some very good responses from people who have been my clients and people I meet at venues,” she said. “It’s been very encouraging and inspiring for me. I didn’t know at the time that I wrote it what it could be. I just wrote it.”

Copeland has had an ecumenical ministry for about 31 years. She calls herself a spiritual director and life coach, she said.

“This book has its own journey along with mine,” she said.

Copeland will speak at the 10 a.m. service Sunday at Piney Grove Baptist Church to celebrate its Founders Day. She has strong family connections at the church, as her grandfather was one of its first deacons.

She also plans to sell her books at the Christian Bookstore in Suffolk.