Mystery Book Author Larry Winebrenner Supports Homeless Ministry With Gift

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Author Larry Winebrenner was praised today for his support of the extensive ministry in Miami by the downtown church. Even the sacrosanct Board of Trustees welcomes the homeless by electing a homeless man to the Board. The gift is in the form of books highly acclaimed by readers throughout the United States. The unique and fascinating feature of Winebrenner's book is a 92 year old wheelchair bound woman who uses her computer and telephone to gather information to solve cases that puzzle police. In spite of her age, the book is lively and contains many twists.

When Larry Winebrenner provided sufficient volumes of his book to provide free bibles to the homeless, Dr. Cynthia Weems of First United Methodist Church [FUMC] in downtown Miami FL announced the fact in an interesting way. She said that it is no mystery that homeless folk need food for the soul as well as for the body. She went on, a smile on her lips, “But it is a mystery how they will obtain it, a mystery entitled The Case of the Locked Drawer. A gift has been given by author Larry Winebrenner of autographed copies of his latest book, a cozy mystery, by that title. All proceeds from the sale of these books will be used to buy bibles for free distribution to the homeless."

The proceeds from this gift will be used by THE BOOK FUND, a resource for buying bibles for homeless folk. This, of course, is the “soul food” referred to by Dr. Weems. FUMC also has food for the physical body. Thrice weekly the church is involved in feeding programs at the church. Sunday morning provides an opportunity for voluntary worship.

Some Sunday worshipers attend a service provided especially for the homeless. Some join in discussion groups of adult church members. Some attend regular worship services. Some choose all three opportunities, warmly welcomed wherever they attend.

FUMC is one of the few, perhaps the only, churches that elect homeless folk to the board of trustees. “They are part of our constituency,” explains Dr. Weems. “Their numbers fluctuate, but so does our regular membership. We’ve had over 200 on a Sunday morning. Last spring, we had over 300 at our foot-washing ceremony.”

The “foot-washing ceremony” is actually a community event. Members from churches fifty miles away have attended to help. The Roman Catholic Barry University provides podiatry students, closely supervised by professors, examining the feet of the homeless who attend the event. The feet are first washed by volunteers. Then attended by podiatrists. New socks and shoes are provided. The newly shod are then feted with hot dogs, fixings, and accompaniments.

Food, fellowship, and spiritual gifts are not all that is provided by the church in downtown Miami. In cold winter, blankets. In emergencies, health care, and where verified, cash. Toilet needs such as soap, razors, and shaving cream. For social life, haircuts. For self-worth, hugs.

It’s no wonder Larry Winebrenner wanted to do something to help. The book is highly acclaimed by readers from across the nation – just a few examples: John Clinton in Maryland, Kristi Sayles in Tennessee, Genie Ragan in California, Hester Price in Georgia, Paul Andrew in Alabama, and Ceal and Tom Diaz, Karen Biles, Wilma Hoy, Gloria Bolen, and Kay Oleson all in Florida.

The detective is unique and fascinating. She uses the name Henri Derringer, presumably a swashbuckling Chief of Security for the Derringer Foundation. Actually this is a convenient fiction used by Henrietta Derringer for a number of reasons. Etta herself, is a 92-year-old wheelchair bound woman living in a retirement community in Florida. But don’t let that fool you. As the present case opens, she has previously solved seven other cases.

Don’t expect her to ride a jet-propelled scooter to gather the information she needs. She uses her computer, Mephistopheles, [wait until you meet him!] and her phone to gather information used by her sharp wit to solve cases police are unable to solve.

If you want action, there is action. If you want humor, the story floats on humor. One person who knows the author personally, made her first comment, “Larry, I didn’t know you were funny.” If you want loveable characters, you have a bookful. And if you want a puzzling, well plotted mystery, just climb aboard.

If you want to support the work being done by FUMC Miami with the homeless, just Google Miami Methodist. You will find the church’s site on the first page toward the top. There is outstanding information there. And an opportunity to buy the book if desired.

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