Behind the scenes

July 14, 2021 | Editorial | Volume 25 Issue 15
Virginia A. Hostetler | Executive Editor
( photo by Willi Hiedelbeck)

Over the years, I’ve learned that every grand enterprise depends on a certain amount of work behind the scenes, those unglamorous tasks that sustain the public vision but don’t get noticed very often. Paying the bills, maintaining the calendar, wiping the kitchen cupboards, watering the plants, taking out the garbage, changing the toilet paper rolls. . . .

Families generally develop understandings about who does household work like this and—ideally—the tasks get divided among various family members, so the load isn’t too heavy for just one person. In a congregation, those jobs might fall to the office administrator, the custodian, the trustees, some quiet and conscientious members of the congregation, or maybe even the pastor of a small church. In any case, it’s good to stop occasionally and recognize those who work unnoticed on behalf of the larger vision.

Here at Canadian Mennonite, you see on every page the bylines of those of us who report and opine. But those news reports, columns, editorials and photos wouldn’t be there if there weren’t others doing the “housekeeping” tasks that sustain the operation.

One such person is Lisa Jacky, who has served as CM’s office administrator, while also doing countless circulation and finance tasks. She joined the CM team in 2005 and since then has ably performed many behind-the-scenes tasks that have kept the magazine appearing regularly in front of readers. Among many other things, Lisa has maintained the lists of subscribers, kept the printer and mailing operator informed, mailed thank-you letters to donors, and answered questions arriving via phone, email and letters. Working with the publisher, Lisa prepared the financial reports and applied for grants. She made sure the photocopier was working and the supply cupboard was stocked. Some of these vital tasks were virtually invisible to others on the team.

Lisa is now moving on to new ventures with her family and we wish her well. Here is a public recognition of her consistent and sustaining contribution to the magazine. Thank you, Lisa!

Now sitting at the administrator’s desk is Graham Aberdein, who brings his own set of skills, along with much professional and volunteer experience. Graham’s voice will greet you if you phone the office, and you can reach him by email at We look forward to working with him.

If you want to see the names of others on the CM team, turn to page 3 of each print issue, or go online to the Contact Us page ( Standing behind the paid staff are the volunteers who make up the board of Canadian Mennonite Publishing Service. They bring insight from their respective congregations and professional careers that helps guide our mission and vision. You can see their names at A hearty thank you goes out to them as well.

Whether in the workplace, home or congregation, here’s a reminder to acknowledge those who carry out the behind-the-scenes tasks that help everyone succeed. Thank you!

Looking ahead

Canadian Mennonite continues with the summer practice of offering several digital-only issues of the magazine. During the last week of July, digital subscribers can watch for the August 2 digital issue to arrive in their email inboxes. There will be no corresponding print version, but—as usual—we will continue with the behind-the-scenes labour of creating content that is interesting, inspiring and useful. The next print issue will be dated August 16. If you receive only the print version, that means you’ll have extra time to savour this current issue or to catch up on your back reading. Or you can add the digital delivery by going to and updating your delivery preferences. There is no extra cost to current subscribers.

Read more editorials:
Precious lives
Growers and eaters
Hellos and goodbyes
Words and community

( photo by Willi Hiedelbeck)

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