Vol 22 No 1 January/February 2007
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I read an interesting item in the paper some months ago. A pastor in Kansas City, Missouri, challenged his congregation to not complain for an entire month. I like it. For a "no New Year's resolution" kind of person, it's not a bad challenge for the beginning of a year. Cultivating a "gratitude attitude" is definitely something to strive for.
I am currently midway in the process of breast cancer recovery—I've had the surgery and I'm waiting for radiation treatments. And it's a circuitous and convoluted process. This whole world of cancer has made an extraordinary impact on my life—and marks a profound new beginning: that of a cancer survivor. It's certainly not a road I would have chosen—who would—but it has afforded me exposure to a world I've only fleetingly encountered. The stalwart support of friends and family has been enormously comforting, and my "gratitude attitude" grows with every kindness and proffered prayer.
In this issue of Canada Lutheran, we look at a different kind of gratitude—how clergy and their congregations handle the change from one pastor to another. Gratitude isn't always in the mix. Clergy transition is a touchy subject, and it's significant that the author of this article requested anonymity. I think you'll find "Post Pastoring" very interesting.
We will also be highlighting another aspect of clergy: the diaconate. Deaconess Joan Cole-Heine has written an article about the history and current status of diaconal ministry in our church. To continue our focus on this important ministry, throughout the year each synod will focus on one or two of their diaconal ministers. These are some of the unsung heroes of our church, and it's good to find out more about their wide variety of service.
Michael Rodgers returns to the magazine this year, sharing his spot with three or four other writers, under a new column name, "Reflections". Our first contributor is Tim Wray, a third-year seminary student completing his Internship at Trinity Church in Port Alberni, BC.
And we bid a fond good-bye to Viola Burkett, who has been our MNO Synod editor for more than five years. Thank you Viola, for your faithful, conscientious work. The MNO Synod has engaged a communications person, Rick Scherger, who, as part of his portfolio, will take on the job of MNO Synod editor. Rick will introduce himself and give Viola a more fulsome farewell in our March issue.
And so, what will 2007 bring us all? Challenges certainly. And hopefully, a modicum of joy, fulfillment and, perhaps, "a gratitude attitude". Blessings to you all.
Ida Reichardt Backman