By SHERRY VAN ARSDALL
THE GOSHEN NEWS
GOSHEN — A year ago, the Rev. Andrew Wollman decided to compile 108 of his newspaper columns into a book.
The pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church has been writing about different topics for 12 years for The Goshen News.
“I hope to maybe bless somebody. Even though the topics are dated, they are still pertinent. I used every one of the columns and seemed to be about right,” Wollman said. “I’m hoping to get the word out.”
He said people have asked him about making his columns available for others as a reason for publishing his book, “This Pastor’s Pen.”
“I hope to complete a novel someday and I’m told it helps if I’m a published author,” Wollman said.
The topics for his columns have come from various sources throughout the years.
“I’ve pleaded with people to write ideas, but that doesn’t happen much,” he said. “I try to write one column a month and will go to ‘USA TODAY’ or online to see what news is going on. I try to hit local news first because it’s a local newspaper and then I’ll hit the United States second and globally if I have too (for a topic).”
During the first years of his column writing, Wollman said he received feedback from the Amish community.
“I didn’t know it appealed to them,” he said. “I’ve received feedback from people who call me out of the blue or email me. I’ve had people stop me in a restaurant and thank me. Generally, I get positive responses.”
Sometimes, he’ll get negative responses from individuals and after some communication with them, the negative turns into positive, instead.
How does he feel about being a published author?
“It’s very exciting and pleased to see it done. I have had poems and articles published. It’s a love of mine,” Wollman said, smiling. “The title in my book is not from the newspaper column ‘Pastor’s Pen’ but it is my title of this pastor (pointing to himself). The columns in the book are unedited versions. With very few exceptions, I’ve always appreciated Goshen News limiting their editing so my original piece was published as I wrote it.”
He’s enjoyed the process of putting his book together.
“I’ve organized and compiled. It’s been fun and fun with my name out there,” Wollman said. “I designed the cover and chose the template for the layout.”
With a laugh, the author said he was surprised at some of his columns and the topics.
“I wondered how I came up with a topic or where it came from,” he said. “God has inspired me to do a good job. I am an extension of his voice. I speak what God says and what it implies to today’s world. Sometimes my opinion will creep in though. I have to keep in mind if they disagree with the whole column they disagree with God and if they agree, praise God, they are agreeing with him. It keeps me safe from pride and despair.”
His book is available at the front desk of The Goshen News for $16 or can be ordered online at http://www.fastpencil.com//publications/5512-This-Pastor-s-Pen.