Author and experienced teacher Edith Close-Vaziri shared how her book “People of God – One and All Saints and Sinners” explored and pondered upon the ideas of faith, relationships with God and each other, and what is expected in carrying out one’s faith.
Edith taught for 41 years as an elementary school teacher in her native state of California and achieved National Board Certification in the area of Middle Childhood. Although she grew up in the rural community of Sutter in northern California, she taught her whole teaching career in Los Angeles with forty years at one small elementary school where she taught first through fifth grade over the decades.
“In the latter years of my teaching, I took a month-long writing course. The instructor, for one day, had us doodle and told us to write about our thoughts. I wrote a poem about the pressures I had at that time. Sometime later, I started writing poetry after hearing sermons. Another time, I wrote a poem about a daughter of a friend I have never met and wrote things I did not know,” Edith narrated. “After experiences like these, I finally realized that I had received a gift from the Holy Spirit. At first, the Holy Spirit dictated, and I wrote and edited for grammar. Later, the Holy Spirit became my encourager. Now, we take turns to write different parts,” she narrated. While the Holy Spirit inspires her poems, many times, there is an instructional focus as with incorporating synonyms to understand the topic further and stretch one’s education.
With “People of God – One and All Saints and Sinners”, Edith said different aspects of being a saint and a sinner are explored. Questions are asked, thoughts are provoked, and concepts are delved into in comprehending the reality of being both a saint and a sinner in order to help people more fully understand and have empathy for those who inhabit the world all through history.
“I came up with the title after weeks of hearing a pastor start the worship service with “Hello Saints” and “Hello Sinners.” It wasn’t easy for us to consider ourselves as both saints and sinners at that time, but we eventually realized that we’re both. We have trouble because we are prideful, destructive, deceiving, selfish, envious… Several examples of poems for saints and sinners are shared from Biblical examples. This title was selected from numerous categories for my poem after a serious informational session and conversation with a pastor, telling us we need to work with the 20-40 age group because they are the least likely to attend church. I selected this category after checking with my 30-year-old son as to his choice, which ended up being the same as mine.” Edith explained.
Throughout the book, scripture passages for further study and references are provided with most of the poems furthering personal questions and reflections on one’s faith; they allow one to mature oneself in the faith realm and to share it with others.
In retirement, besides continuing to compose spiritual poetry, Edith quilts, with many being sewn for philanthropy projects locally and around the world. Additionally, she reads, continues research on genealogy, does some gardening, cooks, bakes, and actively participates in church activities.
Those interested to buy the book can purchase them at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Writers’ Branding, a full-service self-publishing company, has led the pack in bringing out the book to the public, providing many authors exclusive access to publicity.
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