from the editor

 Contents: UU World Back Issue

Visual Contributions

This is a milestone issue of UU World. It marks the third anniversary of the overhaul that added eight pages and an array of new features to a redesigned magazine. So it is fitting that one of those features has matured to the point that, for the first time with this issue, it has provided our cover image—and even inspired the cover story.

“Creations,” part of the Reflections section, features fine art created by Unitarian Universalists. The editors had envisioned Creations as a modest feature, a single inspired image for readers to reflect on in addition to all the words we publish. But so many high-quality submissions began streaming in that in some issues we’ve displayed two or three.

One submission, from Margaret Lampe Kannenstine, a painter in Vermont, provided such a challenge to the editors that we’ve held on to it for more than a year. We wanted to present several of her images of jazz musicians in performance but couldn’t find a way to stretch the Reflections section to accommodate them. Then senior editor Christopher L. Walton had a brainstorm: Remembering that I’m a student of jazz and sometimes team with musicians to conduct jazz church services, he suggested that I write an essay about jazz and worship and that we use Kannenstine’s art to illustrate it. I am honored that my writing is in such good company.

This issue also marks milestones for two stalwart members of the UU World masthead, Dennis Paiva and Rosemary Bray McNatt.

As our regular book essayist, Rose has led the magazine’s way to greatly improved book coverage. But now that she has been ordained and called as minister of the Fourth Universalist Society in New York City, she no longer has so much time for writing. With this issue she starts sharing book essay duties with other writers, starting with John Weston. Rose remains a contributing editor—and now that she will be writing fewer book essays, she hopes to contribute other essays to our pages. Anyone who recalls her extraordinary essay, “Why Dr. King Wasn’t a UU” (November/December 2002), will hope she does, too.

Dennis, our art director, is leaving the staff with this issue, but we hope you will see continuing evidence of the talents that have shone in his four years with the magazine. Not only has Dennis created a succession of beautiful covers, he has contributed many fine photographs and honed our look until it is consistently easy to read. Less tangible is the spirit he brought to helping his colleagues through challenging transitions—right up to the most recent one, adoption of design and production changes that make a full-time art director unnecessary. We will miss Dennis’s daily presence in the office, but we hope to continue publishing his photos and design work, and know that his spirit will long remain in our pages.

Tom Stites

 Contents: UU World Back Issue

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