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from the editor in chief

 UU World Main Page
J a n u a r y / F e b r u a r y   2 0 0 2

Major Reporter for a Major Story

Welcome to UU World's first special issue. How I wish it could have been on less grave a topic.

For many years this magazine routinely published issues whose features were all devoted to the same theme. We abandoned this more than a year ago when the redesigned UU World was introduced. We figured that readers uninterested in an issue's theme might not even open their copy, so we decided to reserve single-topic issues for those rare occasions when something so powerful came along that it crowded out everything else.

Donald E. Skinner

The terror attacks that crashed into our personal and national psyches certainly qualify. So from the Opening Words to Looking Back, the UU history feature on the magazine's back page, this issue is devoted to helping Unitarian Universalists come to grips with our changed world. We examine evil in light of our commitment to the inherent worth and dignity of every person, even those who crash hijacked airliners into office buildings. We present some clear thinking on how the U.S. should respond to terrorism. And, in a series of articles grouped under the heading of Living the Faith, we explore how the terrorism impacted UUs and their congregations and how they responded.

In less than three weeks, one person reported and wrote these stories, which total about 6,000 words. This is an extraordinary feat, so permit me to introduce you to the extraordinary writer who did it: Donald E. Skinner, a UU World contributing editor.

More than four years ago, Don started InterConnections, a UUA newsletter that helps lay leaders and professional staff build more vital congregations. It has been wildly successful. In part this is because Don is a passionate UU lay leader himself and loves finding and writing about exemplary solutions to common congregational problems. In part this is because Don is a nice, patient, and witty guy, and people love to tell him their stories. And in part this is because Don is as passionate a reporter as he is a lay leader.

Soon Don was writing for UU World, too. When the redesigned magazine was introduced, Don took charge of the UU News section in addition to his newsletter duties. It wasn't till this issue that I found out just how extraordinarily good he is, that his big-story skills from his years at the Orange County Register in California are still at the ready.

Don leapt into his assignment. From his home office in Leawood, Kansas, he sent a flurry of e-mails and made at least 100 phone calls. He found photos you'll see a few pages hence. He hurried people along, and kept the information flowing in. And he wrote and wrote and wrote. The result begins on page 30 (click here).

Another staff note: Robert Tarutis, our executive editor for less than a year, decided that he was working for the right magazine — but in the wrong capacity. So he has resigned, but remains on the masthead as a contributing editor. Bob's a fine writer, and I have high hopes for the articles he's planning to write for us.

Tom Stites
Editor in Chief

UU World XVI:1 (January/February 2002): 2.

UU World is the magazine of the

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