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Radio Podcasts Highlight Book, Christ & Covid-19: Meditations for Peace in Times of Turmoil, by Reverend Dr. Robert L. Gram

Reverend Dr. Robert L. Gram, Author of Christ and Covid-19: Meditations for Peace in Times of Turmoil

Red Hook, NY— When Reverend Dr. Robert L. Gram first started experiencing the Covid lockdown, in a small town in upstate New York, his inability to personally minister to the congregation bothered him intensely. Not willing to sit idle, knowing many of his neighbors were infected, Rev. Gram decided to preach thru the written word in the form of short Meditations based on the eternal wisdom and knowledge of the Bible and his own life experiences. The response to those heartfelt Meditations brought urgings to compile them into a book and he was off and running. An accomplished writer with advanced degrees in Theology, Rev. Gram's innate desire to bring solace and peace to people beyond his local borders produced a book that will serve the same purpose after this crisis has passed. Christ and Covid-19: Meditations for Peace in Times of Turmoil has been well-received by people of different faiths or those with no faith whatsoever.

That process, his writing style, reactions to the book and what he desires for people to glean from the Meditations were recently explained on the James Lowe Radio Show:  

The longer the pandemic lingers, the more uncertainty it breeds. Hope backslides as the death count rises, and rates of infection increase. Experts debate when businesses and schools should reopen, and frontline workers in hospitals wonder whether they should find vocations safer for themselves, and their families. Today coronavirus exponentializes fear and doubt.  Into this foreboding new world, Rev. Dr. Robert L. Gram has written Christ and Covid-19: Meditations for Peace in Times of Turmoil. As an early reader noted, "I sleep better at night because of the book." This is the author's intention.

Although Dr. Gram retired from ministry in 2017, he was called back into part time service, when a pastoral colleague underwent serious surgery. During March, Covid-19 exploded in the mid-Hudson Valley of New York State, where Pastor Gram lives and serves. Worship in the sanctuary ceased, and he started preaching on YouTube and the lawn outside the church. Because of the virus, however, pastors couldn't perform tasks like hospital and home visitation. Thus the meditations compensated for the pastoral roles Covid-19 had stolen. The minister writes to comfort, and make sense of a period which makes little sense. He describes a compassionate God, and God's Son, Jesus, who understands our brokenness because he experienced it. Although Dr. Gram is a Christian, he hopes the book will help all who struggle with the pandemic whatever their belief system.

"With the world as it is, this book is sorely needed. The author has written with all the love and compassion you would expect from a man of God. His positive thinking and comforting reassurance that God does love us all." Susan Keefe, Midwest Book Review, 5 Stars

"This timely book features minimally edited versions of those daily devotions written during the pandemic. In nearly 50 pieces, ranging from short paragraphs to lengthy essays, Gram provides readers with inspirational notes. An uplifting, relevant devotional for finding hope in darkness." Kirkus Reviews

With wisdom derived from parables and stories from the Old and New Testaments, Rev. Gram fills his open-anywhere bedside table book with advice such as: "The world is providential rather than coincidental. Jesus always shows up the very moment he can do the most good.  So do our front line workers.  And, if we move beyond the parameters of pandemic, so do we."  In another meditation he writes about the need to be gentle with ourselves. We may not be able to accomplish tasks with the same facility we possessed in pre-pandemic days. He writes: "It's better to reach beyond our grasp than to bend the arm, unless, of course, the former unleashes an unhealthy dose of negative thinking when we fail to meet expectation and begin to self-lacerate. Stop condemning yourself."

Like a shining light through a dark tunnel, Christ and Covid-19 seeks to provide a path when reality grows dark, and Covid-19 shadows muddles our thinking.  Dr. Gram writes about clinical depression which is on the rise, and how the Old Testament prophet, Elijah, is representative of that malaise. He discusses ways to manage grief, negativity, and self-defeating behaviors. He also writes about the connection between epidemics and discriminatory behavior. The reader is challenged to simplify life, like Jesus, so that overlooked daily blessings can be celebrated. Dr. Gram holds four theological degrees and an M.S. from Columbia University School of Social Work. He is a therapist as well as a pastor.

"These meditations are a cool balm to soothe the soul and keep those of faith on the right track. They offer peace, better decision-making and compassion for all." John Kelly, Detroit Free Press, 5 Stars.

"Not only is this book a welcome resource for calm during this period of our history, but it also is an important hallmark of how the world is reacting and communicating while in quarantine." Grady Harp, Amazon Hall of Fame Top 50 Reviewer, 5 Stars

"No matter if you already know Christ, want to know more about Christ, or know nothing at all, Rev. Gram seeks to offer hope through his meditations." —Rachael Song, Writer & Editor, 5 Stars

Christ and Covid-19, ISBN, 978-1951937447, (Paperback) $14.95, 978-1951937447 (ebook) $1.99, Devine Destinies, an imprint of eXtasy Books Inc., 210 pages, available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads.

About Rev. Dr. Robert L. Gram: I retired from full time ministry in 2017. Some pastors end their careers publishing sermons, prayers, or meditations. When I left the parish I overslept for the first three months, catching up for the gradual depletion most clerics experience after decades of service. Fully awake, I still believed I had nothing to write which would interest me, let alone a passing reader. This still may be the case. But Covid-19 provided a challenge, like an onrushing train, which couldn't be ignored. In the wake of the terror, a hope dispensing Jesus needed proclamation.   

Media Contact: For a review copy of Christ and Covid-19 or to arrange an interview with Rev. Dr. Robert L. Gram contact Scott Lorenz of Westwind Communications Book Marketing at scottlorenz@westwindcos.comor by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on twitter @abookpublicist

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Scott Lorenz
Group: Westwind Communications
Dateline: Plymouth, MI United States
Direct Phone: 734-667-2098
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