Filled with spiritual and theological publications, inspirational gifts, jewelry, toys, The Bookstore at Christ Church is a gateway to a different kind of exploration of our relationship with God.

Karol Mantz, Bookstore Director, explains that her personal ministry there is to help those seeking to grow closer to Christ, encourage outreach, and provide ongoing spiritual sustenance. “You could say our store is a continuation of church,” Karol says.

“Sometimes our priests mention books in the pulpit that are tied into their message. We aim to help people go deeper in their study of their Christian faith.”

Not everyone who visits the bookstore buys anything, but they are attracted by the peaceful surroundings. “When people come in seeking a special something, whether a book, a gift, a card, there is always a story to share, and a need to meet.”

Parishioner Debbie Cairns volunteers in the bookstore with Sharon Wilson. She notes that the greatest impact for her has been getting to know the different people she has been partnered with over the years —”all of those I can now count as friends. During slow periods we share moments of our daily lives, and I can always find an inspirational book to browse through when I’m there alone.”

She adds, “I feel like the bookstore is a valuable offering to our church community and I would love more people would come in to see what we have.”

Gretna Zerebny volunteers there one Sunday each month. “It’s a blessing to work with what Karol affectionately calls the “A Team”, Gretchen Swisher and Tucker Elliott,” Gretna reports. “We have developed a sweet relationship through our monthly fellowship in the store.”

“It’s also a blessing to assist the parishioners that are looking for a specific book or gift that will be given to a friend or relative that has a special need,” she says.

Robin Sheppard has been volunteering in the bookstore when it first opened and later was joined by her teenage son, James. “Being in the bookstore has been a great way for me to connect with other parishioners at Christ Church,” she says. “It’s been a way to provide outreach either through taking orders for name tags for new members, telling folks about all of the offerings that we have here, or just helping folks get connected at Christ Church.”

If you prefer to shop online, the bookstore also has a partnership with Amazon. When you go to Amazon through the link on the bookstore page on the Christ Church website, the bookstore receives a percentage of the profits on every item you purchase (not just books). Those proceeds are forwarded to local literacy programs.

Wednesday, Aug. 9 is National Book Lover’s Day. Why not stop by during dinner or visit Amazon and find your next read.