'Where is God?' Book Launch
Where is God?
Where is God? the first in a series of books for young children by Thérèse Ferry and David Doran, was launched by Pat and John Hume in St John's PS in Derry on the 24th May. As guests gathered they were welcomed by beautiful music provided by pupils from St John's PS orchestra accompanied by Miss Dearbhla Bradley on harp.
The inspiration for the book came from the author's three year old nephew who one day asked the question "Where is God" Aware that often children have an image of a distant God, the author decided to write a book that would help young children know that God is not distant but lives in each one of us, that God is in everything we see, in everything we do and in everyone we meet.
As the Canticle of Daniel was the basis for the book, the evening began with the Procession of Creation reflecting the fact that all God has created reveals who God is and also gives glory to God. As Mrs Mary Murphy read from the book, pupils from St John's carried forward different aspects of the created world to complete a backdrop based on the front cover of the book. Mary's giftedness in bringing the book to life by her beautiful reading held children and adults captive as they were transported back to story time in the classroom when they were infants themselves.
The audience was then treated to a beautiful rendition of 'Where is God?' - a specially commissioned piece of music which was composed by Mr Brendan Mc Ginn, Head of Music at St Columb's College in Derry. The song was performed by the Hickey School of Music, led by their director, Miss Anne Marie Hickey. The innocent voices of the children provided a peaceful, prayerful interpretation of the book.
In her address the author told the story of how the book came to be published-from the writing of the rhyme, to the modern, colourful, appealing illustrations provided by David Doran, a talented, aspiring young artist from Derry - to the professional involvement of Columba Press, represented on the evening by Mr Fearghal O Boyle, their Managing Director. She noted the important example children provide to adults through their endless questions and their need to understand about God, about the world and life.
Keynote speaker for the evening was Mrs Pat Hume, wife of Nobel Laureate John Hume. In the foreword to the book Pat speaks about how, "children in their openness, perceptiveness and curiosity remind us constantly of the wonder of the created world." She hopes the book will be, a "reminder to people of all ages of the need to stop, be still and just notice," if they are really to see and hear "the miraculous wonder of life-the Kingdom of God which is all around us everyday."
The children of the Hickey School of music brought the formal part of the launch to a close as they led all gathered in "Bring Flowers of the Rarest," such a fitting hymn for a beautiful sun-field evening in May. Guests then went to the school canteen for a magnificent spread provided by the staff of St John's Ps.