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United Church of Christ

533 Route 28, Harwich Port, MA 02646 | Phone: 508-432-1668

Lobster buoy

Waves of Faith-January 12, 2018

Yesterday I met with a local author, Francoise Webb. I had read about her in the Cape Codder and decided to call her. She met me in my office and we talked about her new book, and how she came to write it. Francoise Webb lives in Harwich. But she grew up in Nazi-occupied Brussels where, for 6 years, she was a child in that city from the time she was 3 until she was 9 years old. During the war she saw many things that have haunted her all her life as she has tried to make sense of them as an adult. 

When she moved to Cape Cod some time ago she attended a writer’s group where people were talking about doing their memoirs. She had plenty of stories to tell but she had not thought seriously about  writing her memoir. However, several people suggested that she really had a story to tell and a story people needed to hear. So over the last ten years she has re-read some of her family diaries and re-called her memories while pondering their implications. For the last two years she has been writing while capturing the voice and feelings of the little girl she was at the time of the war. 

Like many stories from World War II, her book is full of  sadness, loss and even cruelty. But Ms Webb is not a pessimist or a victim of her past. She has a lovely buoyant quality and she is very down to earth.  She is also quick to point out many signs of grace, courage and even a few miracles along the way, both during her childhood  and in the writing of her book. Her memoir is entitled Safe from the Madness.  At the suggestion of the Adult Education Committee I have invited Ms Webb to be our speaker on the first night of our series on Forgiveness, Jan. 31 at 5 p.m.

On that night she will talk about her experiences especially in light of what it means to move on and experience some level of peace with the past. it will be the beginning of our series on Forgiveness which will be running on Wednesday evenings from Jan 31 through March 21. Each Wednesday we will provide supper at 5 p.m. and then I will lead a discussion using two books, Don’t Forgive Too Soon  by Matthew Linn and The Book of Forgiving by Desmond Tutu. This series will offer stories about forgiveness as well as suggestions for ways to work through the process of letting go of the past. 

We will finish by 7 p.m. so you have your evening or can attend Choir.  On that first night Ms. Webb will be happy to take your questions and then will be signing her book at the end of her talk. The books are for sale for $18. 

I hope you will save the date and plan to join us. 


Rev. Susan

Posted: Friday January 12, 2018