July 31, 2013

This issue of The Missouri Methodists is the second step in the development phase of your Conference magazine. Although you’ll see the publication continue to take shape, the beauty of working with periodical publications is that the development process never ends. Once an issue goes to press, I’m starting the next one with nothing but blank pages. The opportunity to refine and redesign is ever-present. 
    
As I adjust to the new format and publication schedule, I’m trying to be more intentional about living into my title as editor. I’ve always felt a little guilty when I’m asked what I do for a living, and I describe myself as editor. That title typically carries with it connotations of managing a staff. When I was editor at a daily newspaper, I guided reporters, photographers, proofers, designers and press men (there were no women in the press room) to bring the paper together. 
    
For the Missouri Conference newspaper, I generated much of the content myself, writing most of the stories and shooting most of the photos. But I recognize that there is a limit to what I can do, and bringing more people into the process can ultimately result in a better publication. I’m now working toward finding additional communication professionals that can make occasional contributions to this new endeavor. While I don’t have a staff of journalists, I do have a large number of United Methodists in Missouri who are willing to pitch in and contribute to sharing stories of how the church is transforming the world. 
    
We’re beginning to roll out some reoccurring features, like the Tech Talk on page 5, a holdover from the newspaper that many people requested we continue. You’ll see more regular features introduced in next month’s issue. 
    
Debuting in this issue is a book review feature that will be a regular occurrence. Most of the reviews will not be of autobiographies from people who died 50 years ago, but in this particular case we’re making an exception for an exceptional leader.
    
Another feature being introduced is the “I am the Missouri Conference,” building off of the theme introduced by the Values Team at Annual Conference Session in June. This will feature a wide range of United Methodists from across the state. The first is a multi-generational Methodist who has kept the faith, and kept the family tradition alive. 
    
Whether you’re reading this magazine on paper or online, don’t forget to share. Paper copies can be passed around, and links to the digital version can be e-mailed, posted on social media or posted on websites. If you are receiving this on paper and you would rather just read it online, email Lorraine Sanders at lsanders@moumethodist.org, and she will take you off the mailing list for the printed magazine. 
    
If you have anything you would like to share about the magazine, or if you want to connect me with a skilled writer, photographer or videographer in your congregation, please e-mail me at fkoenig@moumethodist.org. Thank you for reading. 
 



Fred Koenig, Editor
Missouri Conference Publications