Skip to main content

The Launch of Searching for Love

After asking five different bookstores to help me launch my book, two of them refusing because the point of view of Searching for Love might offend their customers, I decided to organize my own launch. But how? Where?

Thankfully my church, Winnipeg Centre Vineyard (what a community of supportive people!), was willing to let me use the building and the planning began. Invitations: to everyone in and near Winnipeg whose e-mail and/or postal address I have—about 300; Posters: in Christian bookstores, churches and parachurch ministries; Announcements: in Facebook, Winnipeg Free Press’ Faith Briefs and The Tab (a weekly insert listing what’s happening around town). I became well acquainted with the printing services of the UPS Store my son’s friend owns.

Who would come? I had no way of knowing. How many should I prepare for? I didn’t have a clue; it could be two hundred or it could be only five. I decided to be optimistic and plan for 200—it’s always better to have too much than too little.

Organizing an event like this, alone, required a lot of thought and energy and my family’s cooperation. I haven’t been well and become exhausted with the slightest stress or activity so all my attention for the month before was focused on the launch, leaving my family to pick up the pieces and endure the messes I made and the lack of attention I gave them.

My family was (and is) awesome. It took three vehicles to get everything to the church: sound system in Tom’s car; keyboard and computer in Mons’ car; books, food and miscellaneous items in my van. Tom and Mikael came with me to Sobey’s to pick up the food trays I’d ordered (fruit, veggies, pickles/olives and lots of dainties—very yummy at an excellent price) and everyone but me pitched in to carry everything from the house to cars to church, set it all up, take it all down, carry back to the cars, back into the house and put away. I had other helpers. Linda came early to run the kitchen and when Erik couldn’t come (his friend had an emergency), Bonnie stepped in to sit at the book table (thank you, Linda and Bonnie!). Mons provided incomparable background music before and after the speaking. My job was to stay as calm as possible until I stepped to the podium.

My pastor, Nathan, helped begin the launch by calling everyone to sit down (they were enjoying the goodies) and introducing me. He also prayed for me and the book and, because I had been concerned that some in attendance might be antagonistic or hostile (none were), spoke about the courage it takes to do something that is counter to society’s values. Thank you, Nathan. And thank you, God, for keeping all opposition away.

The crowd of guests was small (Tom estimated fifty) but they came from a wide variety of communities that I am or have been part of. If I had sent invitations only to those I thought would come, some of the guests wouldn’t have been there: a woman my mom knew before I was born and whose kids I’d played with as a little girl; my mom’s cousin and the cousin’s best friend, who is married to a very distant cousin of my dad, travelled from Portage la Prairie (over 50 miles away) and Starbuck; a Winnipeg publisher who had taken the time to suggest ways to launch and market my book; many from my church despite the fact they’d been at another church event all afternoon; the pastor from Tom’s church; a couple of women from the retreat I spoke at a few weeks ago and friends I rarely see. The advantage of the smaller group was that I had the chance to chat with each person. That was so much fun.

When it came time for me to get up, I read portions of my book with only enough commentary between each to assist the flow of the story.

Then I opened the floor to questions. Mons had expressed surprise that I was going to do that—what if someone asked a question I didn’t want to answer? Well, then, I’d say I don’t want to answer it. Easy! But there were no uncomfortable questions and I enjoyed the chance to interact with the guests as a whole. To my surprise, a number of people stood up and gave commentary about me—all positive. It was cool, except I feel awkward with praise. Mons recorded the whole thing, including the questions and comments, and I’m hoping to post it here when he sends me a copy and tells me how.

The talking, reading and questions took about an hour. When they were done, I directed people back to the food, drink (coffee and tea) and book table and then struggled to walk off the platform. It seems that when I’ve stood still for a length of time, my knees decide they don’t want to bend. It’s hard to walk that way! I found my way to the book table, kicked off my shoes and sat down until it was time to pack up and return home.

I had a great time and I think everyone else did too. It was a good evening and I had enough energy to go to church the next morning. For those of you who prayed, thank you.

Comments

Samantha said…
Congratulations! I would have loved to have crashed the party! :-)
Thanks! I would have invited you if you lived closer. Then you wouldn't have had to crash it!

Popular posts from this blog

Monogamous, Homosexual Unions--My Position and the Story behind it

I've been asked to be one of two participants at church each representing opposing views on the matter of monogamous, homosexual unions, moderated by the pastor.  In preparation, I have written the following.  In the comments, please do not post any vitriol--from either side. If I think any comment is hateful, I will delete it. Respectful disagreement or questions are welcome, however.















My Position and Values:
I believe that sexual relations between two people of the same sex is contrary to God’s will.I would like to say otherwise but I find nothing in Scripture that allows me to do so.BEING homosexual, having a longing or desire for someone of the same sex, is not condemned in the Bible.  We all have desires that are contrary to God’s will.  The sin occurs when we feed those desires, like Jesus talks about when he calls lust adultery (Matthew 5:28).Much cruelty to LGBTQ people has happened because of the stance of the Church. We have not acted with love, compassion and listening ear…

What Is Separating me from the Promise?

This is the question Andy Wood asked us each to consider this morning at the end of his sermon and it hit me like a thunderbolt.

Imagine the Jordan River on the eve of the Israelites crossing it into the Promised Land.  The river was at flood stage, so it was moving quickly (even the Red River here in Winnipeg moves quickly during flood season) but this particular stretch of the river near Jericho is narrower than the rest so that as the rushing flood waters reached the point where the people were waiting--all two million of them--it became even more turbulent.  Anyone who's witnessed a flood knows that it doesn't just carry water; there is debris like fallen trees, parts of sheds and houses and perhaps even animals unable to escape the river's grab.

Back in the days of Abraham, God had promised the land of Canaan to him and his descendants but during the days of Abraham's great-grandson, Joseph, the whole family had moved out of the Promised Land to Egypt because of f…

About the Author

DEBBIE HAUGHLAND CHAN
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA

I'm married (35 years in December 2008) with four grown sons. I love my city (Winnipeg) and my country (Canada) and promote them both to whoever will listen. God (through Jesus Christ) is the biggest part of my life. I am learning to let him take control of all areas--though I do better at this some times more than others.

I have written a book that's recently been published about part of my journey with God. In it I tell how God confronted me with the same-sex attraction issues I've struggled with all my adult life and how he led me through them to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with him. God is amazing—his forgiveness, his love, his movement in our lives when we allow him and so much more. I suspect God will never run out of things to teach me or ways to make me grow and that’s a good thing (though often very painful).

I suppose I can say that what gives me the greatest pleasure in life is telling others about…