Hope and inspiration seem to always be brimming when local author and pastor Greg Asimakoupoulos is near, and he’s got a new book out in time for the holiday season that explores the spiritual lessons in one of his favorite Christmastime films.
The idea for the book, “Finding God in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’” came about while Rev. Asimakoupoulos, a former senior pastor at Mercer Island Covenant Church, was ministering a suburban Chicago church about six years ago. Asimakoupoulos met Karolyn Grimes, a former child actor who played the part of Zuzu Bailey in the 1946 film, and wrote a few magazine articles about her.
“When a publisher in Chicago discovered my friendship with "Zuzu" they contacted me and asked if I'd be open to writing a book about spiritual lessons embedded in the "most inspirational movie of all time," he said.
Two weeks ago, the pair reunited at the Victorian Country Christmas at the Puyallup Fairgrounds where he was signing copies of the new book.
“Our friendship has grown (since then),” he said.
In the book, which was finished and published earlier this year, observes that the movie — a Christmas tradition TV audiences around the US — was not made as a religious piece, but God is at work in most every scene.
Chapters feature titles such as “Broken Banister Knobs,” “Learning to Dance with Adversity,” “Reclaiming 320 Sycamore Street,” and “When God Sends an Angel instead of Money”. Each chapter ends with “Questions for Reflection” to spur the reader into considering their own lives, or as a jumping-off point for a group to discuss the ideas of spirituality he sees in the movie.
An online review of his book applauds it as “concise and written in an engaging style—an easy read.”
According to a biography posted at Amazon.com, Rev. Asimakoupoulos was raised in Wenatchee, Washington, graduated from Seattle Pacific University and received a Masters of Divinity from North Park Theological Seminary.
Over the past three decades he has served congregations in California, Illinois and Washington State and is also the author of ten books and more than three hundred magazine articles, and countless poems about current events. He and his wife Wendy were married in 1982, live in the Mid-Island area of Mercer Island and have three daughters.
“Finding God in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’” is available for sale at Island Books.