from the editor
What's new in 'What in the World?'
The voice on the phone was a bit desperate. It was her church newsletter's deadline, and please, please, could we sneak her just a peek of the next "What in the World?" column? Her congregation was launching a discussion group based on the column, whose questions aim at stimulating spiritual reflection based on each issue's articles, and a preview would help her write a good blurb.
Sadly, we couldn't help her the column wasn't written yet but the caller sure did help us: She alerted us to a way to help congregations create a richer spiritual life for their members. So from now on we will provide e-mail previews to religious educators, ministers, and interested lay members striving to enrich their programming and worship. This issue's column, on page 61, tells how.
The "What in the World?" column has a growing fan club. We are hearing more often not only from congregations like the caller's that use the column as fuel for discussion groups but also from readers who use the questions for personal religious reflection.
This is gratifying to the columnist, Jane Greer, managing editor of UU World. Two years ago Jane, an experienced librarian and administrator, decided that editorial work was a better path for her. She was working as assistant to the UUA's director of ministry when she saw that UU World had an opening for an editorial assistant, gulped, and despite her two masters degrees applied for this lowest of entry level positions. This turned out to be a good call she's a natural for editorial work. Soon she was associate editor and now she has been promoted to managing editor, directing her colleagues' workflow, researching photos and illustrations, writing for and overseeing the "UU News" section, and writing "What in the World?"
Jane has a knack not only for getting the magazine produced in good order but also for creating questions that probe the spirit. Her M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School helps, but her own reflective spirit finds its way into every question. I commend her column to you.
Sharp-eyed readers may have noticed this column is headed From the Editor, instead of the customary From the Editor in Chief. I've retired the more grandiose title because it's so . . . grandiose, suggestive of a Hearstian-scale publishing empire rather than the modest bimonthly that is UU World. At the same time, you may also notice that the masthead now lists me as publisher as well as editor. I've also held this role since joining the UUA staff more than five years ago the publisher oversees advertising, circulation, printing, and other business operations so now the masthead meets our standard of accuracy as well as our sense of proportion.