Exploring America’s Holy Ground
America’s Holy Ground: 61 Faithful Reflections on Our National Parks by Brad Lyons is the 2023 All St. Paul Reads book. This year marks the 20th anniversary of All St. Paul Reads.
All St. Paul Reads is encouragement for all to read and talk about a single book title in the same year. This dessert and discussion event will take place on Sunday, Feb. 12, 3-4:30 p.m. America’s Holy Ground is available in the St. Paul Book Corner for $20. To help with planning, please RSVP at stpaulqc.org/signups.
2023: God & Nature
This is a big year for All St. Paul Reads. Celebrating 20 years of bringing St. Paul people together to read the same book, and it will be Book Corner manager Karen Holden’s 10th and final year organizing the event as she plans to retire in February 2023. With the big milestones also comes change. A new type of book will be featured for the first time as well as a date and time change to accommodate more people.
This is the first time All St. Paul Reads has featured a devotional book. Over the years, the event has brought St. Paul people together to read theology books, fiction, books about contemporary issues, and more but not yet a devotional.
“Pastor Sara will be our speaker for the event,” Karen Holden said. “She’ll talk about God and nature. Sara is really gifted when it comes to tying together God and the natural world.”
Each chapter or reflection highlights a different national park and pairs the park with a word or theme: borders, unity, potential, etc. Three questions at the end of each devotional guide readers through a reflection surrounding each theme.
“The questions following each section are all-encompassing. They’re not only about the park but the theme or one-word topic so you don’t have to be someone who has traveled a lot or been to any of these parks.”
Another fun element of the event is the themed tables. Each table will represent a specific national park. That table will read the devotion from the book to begin the discussion.
“I hope that people look at the book and see how these places are all about God and just go see one national park.”
History of All St. Paul Reads
Over the past 20 years, many hands, hearts, and minds have contributed to making the event a success. From the selection of each year’s book to the planning of the event. And while the book selection first began with a more theological focus, it has branched out to include many genres. Over the years, many dedicated St. Paul people have been driving forces behind making the event such a success.
The 2023 ASPR team is made up of Karen Holden, Jan Bush, Jeanine Crockett, Georgeann Kreiter, Belinda Holbrook, Marcia Robertson, and Pam Crowe.
The event is meant to emulate All Iowa Reads, an initiative to encourage reading of the same book over the entire state of Iowa.