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Editorial

July 18, 2018 | Editorial | Volume 22 Issue 15
Tobi Thiessen | Publisher
Tobi Thiessen

“I enjoy the magazine very much. Will you keep printing it? I don’t have a computer,” wrote a reader in British Columbia this June. She was responding to our spring fundraising appeal. A reader in Ontario also said, “We do not have a computer, so we enjoy the printed CM.”

Thank you for letting us know!

These two respondents were not alone. Another person wrote, “... the only way I get info about the Mennonite church is in the CM via mail. I can’t drive and we don’t have a conference Mennonite church here, so please keep the magazine coming.”

Meanwhile, there are other voices who urge us to “go digital or go home” (I para­phrase). We hear you.

Thank you to everyone who responded to the spring letter, sent to print subscribers in May. Hundreds of you sent in donations and comments, raising $50,000 for our ministry to connect Mennonites across Canada in conversations about faith and life, both in print and online. We are grateful for every comment and every financial gift because it gives us insight into what people value—or do not value—in this magazine.

People tell us that they use CM articles as topics for adult education classes or small groups at church. Another cautioned us to not to get too academic. “We are not all students of CMU,” she wrote. A good reminder. Thank you.

Some people sent notes of encouragement and affirmation. “What we appreciate so much ... is that you cover the varied bases so well. This gives the reader a wonderful understanding of what Anabaptists believe,” wrote one person. Another said, “the magazine keeps me in touch with churches, workers and volunteers across Canada and around the world. It’s good, in fact, inspiring, to hear how other Anabaptists are living out their faith.”

This is certainly what we strive towards. Thank you very much!

Concerns are just as valuable. In the letter, I wrote that CM wants to increase its involvement on social media, to “actively encourage and moderate conversations about faith and life.” A couple of people challenged whether this was possible. Social media is infamous for uncivilized discourse and allowing false information to spread. Someone asked what guidelines we would use for moderating such conversations. This is a critical question. Still, there are many Mennonites who happily converse on social media, including on issues that pertain to the church. It is appropriate for us to be involved.

In this digital age, when people get infor­mation and connect with one another in many different ways, Canadian Mennonite can play a role in sharing information across different streams. Stories that we print or post on the website might lead to conversations on social media, which might spark ideas for new stories that we publish for the web or print audience. In this way, even as our church family might have different preferred media, we can offer some continuity and points of connection between the streams.

A reader from Saskatchewan said, “We value the information [CM] gives us about what is going on in our conference, in various congregations and abroad. It widens our horizons and truly does offer ‘a thread of continuity.’ ”

Thank you for letting us know.

Next issue August 27
Please note that the next issue will be dated August 27. We use the slower production cycle in the summer for staff training, technology upgrades and vacations. We will return to the biweekly cycle in September. In the meantime, feel free to visit CM on the web, where new stories will be posted, and add your voice in a comment there.

 

Introducing Michael Hostetler, Advertising representative

Michael Hostetler’s first selling experience happened in his early teens, when he sold ads for a magazine he and friends in Brazil published as a school assignment. Later he went on to sell ideas, leading to the creation of projects such as the Sisters & Brothers production, The Radicals and Nazareth Village in Nazareth, Israel. Advertising in Canadian Mennonite helps communicate the work, vision and mission of church members and organizations, and so Michael sees advertising in Canadian Mennonite as part of the magazine’s “vision and mission.” Michael loves travel, people, culture, and photography.

Tobi Thiessen

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