My seasons as Editor

hollis-for-hollistorial-adj-clippedI LOVE being an Editor.

It is fascinating to witness 26 letters and 10 numbers giving birth to innumerable words, sentences and paragraphs expressing happenings, ideas and opinions.

Don Cherry of Coach’s Corner described his analyst’s role as, “exciting and fun”. I feel the same way.

However, as the 19th century poet Lewis Carroll’s Walrus suggested, “The time has come”. 

Lewis was reflecting what the Preacher or Philosopher (Ecclesiastes 3:1) concluded twenty-two centuries earlier, “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity”.

I have been honoured and privileged to have had two “times” or “seasons” as Editor.

Pre-Season 

My pre-season began as an undergraduate student in University. A kernel was planted in my innermost being — not sure from whence it came — that someday I would like to be Editor of a Church paper.

Season one

My first opportunity came 16 years after ordination. I was teaching, as well as working as an administrator at Memorial University of Newfoundland, which I enjoyed immensely.

However, the kernel began to sprout. It appeared God was calling me back to parish ministry. Eventually, an Associate’s position at St. Thomas’ St. John’s — I was part-time there — became available, and the Editor of the tri-diocesan paper had recently resigned.

I approached the Bishop regarding both appointments. He replied, “I can make you Editor immediately, but I need to consult the parish about the Associate’s position”.

For 11 years and over 22,000 pages, we recorded church news, featured minor and major life issues, provided a forum for the exchange of varying opinions, garnered readership input, struggled through difficult times and renewed our zeal during the upbeat moments.

When season one concluded, the three Newfoundland-Labrador diocesan Bishops praised our team for our balanced approach, including all aspects and voices in the church, our sensitivity to all groups (especially minorities), our clearly stated editorials and our challenges which helped the church reassess where it was going. They concluded that we “enriched the life of the church in doing” a difficult job.

My first season ended.

“I view a Diocesan paper as ‘a sounding board’ and ‘a gathering place’. The latter enables the diocese, parishes and individuals to gather on the printed page to share happenings, experiences, ideas and suggestions.”

Season Two

My second season began with a phone call from Archdeacon Michael Patterson of Niagara Diocese during the summer of 2011.

I jumped for joy with the prospect of being Editor of the Niagara Anglican, a paper I had read and admired for decades.

Michael and I conversed about the paper’s direction and finalized various specifics. In my first issue (October 2011) I outlined my philosophy as Editor of a diocesan paper.

I decided to interview myself in an article called, “In Conversion with …” Responding to the query about my philosophy as Editor of a diocesan paper, I replied …

“I view a Diocesan paper as ‘a sounding board’ and ‘a gathering place’. The latter enables the diocese, parishes and individuals to gather on the printed page to share happenings, experiences, ideas and suggestions. The paper becomes a ‘sounding board’ when writers exchange different perspectives and challenge readers to think at a deeper level about issues facing God’s Church and world. Hopefully, the paper can be interactive for all ages, interests, groups and individuals.”

After reviewing the 8 years, 80 issues, 960 pages and nearly 2,000 items (news, photos and opinions), we have remained faithful to our Niagara Anglican mission and ministry.

Also, we have blossomed from the print kernel into the new realities of social media — websites, Facebook, Twittter, YouTube, email delivery and beyond.

My sincere gratitude and appreciation are extended to you for your contribution in making my second season as a diocesan paper Editor remarkable and memorable. 

A special shout out to my wife Helen, the best proofreader in the world, who ensured all mistakes (grammar, spelling, sentences, etc.) were corrected. Thanks Helen, I could not have done it without you.

Post season

Not sure what my future as an Editor will be, except to note I have indicated to the church decision makers that my skills and talents are available to be employed as God is calling us to do and be.