Leaders at Cumming First United Methodist Church hope to remind residents of the important things in life Wednesday.
The church is holding a special program featuring Linda Schaefer, a former CNN editor and photojournalist who was the last professional journalist to interview and photograph Mother Teresa before her death in 1997.
Schaefer first met Mother Teresa after the Catholic Archdiocese asked her to document the nun’s 1995 trip to Atlanta.
Schaefer was so captivated that she later traveled to India, asking permission to photograph Mother Teresa at work.
Her request was initially denied. But then the Nobel Peace Prize-winning nun invited Schaefer to join her working in Calcutta orphanages and homes of the dying through her order, the Missionaries of Charity.
Mother Teresa eventually granted full journalistic access to Schaefer, who took numerous color photographs of her and other volunteers from the order.
The best of Schaefer’s work has been collected in her book, “Come and See: A Photojournalist’s Journey into the World of Mother Teresa.”
Wednesday, Schaefer will discuss her experiences working with the late nun, as well as her own charitable work in Calcutta, one of the poorest cities in the world.
“With the way the economy is and people having so many difficulties, we hope to remind people of all the things that are really important,” said Laurie Hintz, program director at the church. “I think we all need a little hope right now.”
Each year, Cumming First UMC holds one to two large community events. Last year, Hintz said the church drew about 500 people for a program featuring a Holocaust survivor.
“This year we would love to have at least that many people come out to hear Linda (Schaefer),” she said. “To me, this is one of those really special, once-in-a-lifetime things.”
Hintz said Schaefer will also sign copies of her book, which will be available for purchase for $15, before and after the program.
The program will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. at the church; cost is $5 for adults and children and students are free.
E-mail Crystal Ledford at email@example.com.