The text in Ecclesiastes 3:1 says: “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (NKJV). I am humbled and honored as I write this editorial because the time for this season is closing for me, and this will be my last official editorial in my capacity as editor of The Atlantic Union Gleaner.
It is hard to believe that just about 27 years ago, I was invited to serve as the editorial assistant for the Gleaner, the official publication for the Atlantic Union Conference since 1902. My responsibilities then included handling the inner workings of putting the magazine together, cover to cover. I was fortunate to experience a lot of firsts that helped to bring things to where they are today. It was also a time of title changes and additional responsibilities as we moved into the world of computers and Internet-based technology. I had no idea, then, that the transition to that season would lead to my serving in this capacity for so many years.
As I took on the assignment, it was my goal and greatest desire to make God look good in the work He had assigned me to do. I moved quickly from a place of fear and apprehension to confidence and trust in my God. After all, who was I to be given such a tremendous responsibility? It was apparent then that it was God’s choice, even with my limited experience in the field at the time.
Over time, I learned to keep my focus on Him regardless of the challenges, and there were many. I believe the most significant hurdle I faced was working without a secretary or assistant for about 18 years. Thankfully, God was by my side through the process, motivating and guiding me. What kept me going was knowing that to Him, all that I did mattered, and He appreciated what I was doing for Him. He gave me the strength to move forward, challenge by challenge.
As I look back, there are so many people to extend thanks and appreciation to, including every conference communication director, development director, administrator, support staff, and all those I had the opportunity to work with over the years. I have met some wonderful people whose work was reflected in the magazine at some point. Then there are those I met because of contracts, magazine design, copy editing, proofreading, research, collecting information, and more. To all the individuals who, in one way or another, helped to contribute to the magazine, I say “thank you.”
It is a bitter-sweet moment making this transition, but I believe God has something else for me to do. It is time to pass the “reins” on to the person who will carry the magazine to a new level. I am honored to be one of the stepping stones in what has made The Atlantic Union Gleaner an excellent magazine for the constituents of the Atlantic Union Conference and beyond.
I say “thank you” to the faithful readers, to those who just skimmed through the pages, and to all the other constituents. We are blessed with tools to help us communicate the love of Christ to others and learn about what is going on in this field. Let’s take advantage of them while they are available to us.
For now, my time in this area is up. I have completed this assignment and am moving on to the next “season.” Effective January 1, 2024, I will serve the Atlantic Union Conference as the undersecretary, working in the Secretariat department. And, if you know me, I will let God lift me to the occasion for the “new season” and focus on my new assignment. In the meantime, I encourage you all to hold fast as the seasons approach. Remember, the “best season” is yet to come, where we will live with Jesus, our Savior, forever. Let’s plan to meet there!