Narrative highlights Hafer’s journey along the Appalachian Trail, journey for faith, fitness
Pastor Tom Hafer, director of spiritual services for Gulf Coast Village in Cape Coral and ordained minister with Volunteers of America (VOA), has released his sixth book, titled Ramble On.
A nonfictional narrative inspired by Hafer’s personal hike along the Appalachian Trail, Ramble On highlights the journey to find physical and spiritual center while walking the trail. With only a backpack of worldly possessions, the distance hiker is acutely aware of need over want. Long silent contemplation through unspoiled woods allows him to reconnect with the Creator – shedding fears, doubts, and anxieties – while continuing his physical efforts to reduce his bodyweight, high blood pressure, borderline diabetes and other chronic ailments and chemical dependencies. He steps with purpose. He is freed. With this new-found freedom, he allows himself to be open and vulnerable with others. A supportive community forms among hikers who are experiencing the same freedom.
Hafer writes, “How do you teach a fish about water? Without it, he cannot eat, drink, breathe. Water is the essence of the fish world, so close and common that he cannot recognize it above, around, and in him. So, too, with God. The air we breathe, the nourishment we need, and the beauty we see every day scream “God!” So much the essence of our world that we don’t always recognize Him above, around, and in us.”
Ramble On is now available on Amazon, 40 percent off retail. Visit, www.tomhafer.com for special offer.
As a minister and a physical therapist for three decades, Tom Hafer has cultivated a unique approach to health and wellness through synergizing the physical and spiritual aspects of our lives. Since the original release of his first book, Faith & Fitness in 2007, Hafer has been traveling and leading workshops on the spiritual and physical health connection, speaking about ways to care for ourselves to better care for others. He offers workshops free of charge, compliments of Volunteers of America (VOA), in support of their efforts to prevent early disabilities for the nation’s seniors. Well Planet (2010), Aging Grace (2012), Soul Man (2016) and When You Pray Move Your Feet (2016) were Hafer’s follow-up titles.
Hafer received his bachelor’s degree from Florida A & M University in Physical Therapy and has been a licensed Physical Therapist in Florida for over 25 years. He attended the Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia and received a master’s degree in Religion in 2006. Tom and his wife of 27 years, Eileen, have three grown children. The oldest is a Special Education teacher in Lee County, the middle is a U.S. Marine, and their youngest is finishing up at Florida Gulf Coast University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology.
In addition to his pastoral duties at Gulf Coast Village, Hafer is an ordained minister with VOA and hosts a weekly interdenominational worship service at Gulf Coast Village that is streamed live every Sunday at 11 a.m. at VOA.org. Hafer offers free workshops and shares a weekly newsletter, entitled “My Weekly Ramble,” which is available for sign up on his website at www.tomhafer.com.