Giving thanks for 25 years


September 28, 2022 | Editorial | Volume 26 Issue 20
Tobi Thiessen and Virginia A. Hostetler |
Celebrating 25 years of Canadian Mennonite (Graphic by Betty Avery)

Canadian Mennonite publisher Tobi Thiessen and executive editor Virginia A. Hostetler reflect on the magazine's 25th anniversary:

Tobi Thiessen, Publisher

Your church may have a tradition of creating a Thanksgiving display of bounty from the summer’s harvest. Perhaps it includes pumpkins, sheafs of wheat or baskets of apples. In my congregation, people add health cards and family photos to our display. Canadians have much for which to be grateful. What is on our Thanksgiving table this year?

We at Canadian Mennonite are thankful for 25 years of publishing as a magazine. The Canadian Mennonite was originally a newspaper, founded in 1953. In 1971, it became Mennonite Reporter. In 1997, after an extensive consultation process with readers and church leaders, the magazine under the present title was born. This issue contains a special anniversary section in thanks for the gifts we have received covering church news over the last quarter century.

We are thankful for board members who help the magazine stay focused on our mission to educate, inspire, inform and foster dialogue on issues facing Mennonites in Canada. In these 25 years, 65 people in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec have served on the board. They bring valuable questions and local knowledge of the church community to board decisions.

We are thankful for Mennonite Church Canada and the regional churches who joined a publishing covenant with Mennonite Publishing Service in 1997. The covenant includes an every-home subscription plan that allows people across the church to subscribe to the magazine at very low cost.

We are thankful for church administrators who manage subscription lists, send address updates and notices of births, adoptions, baptisms, marriages and death.

We are thankful for the CM staff members whose work week after week has produced 608 issues since September 15, 1997.

We are thankful for the many donors and advertisers, and for government grants. Your gifts sustain this publication and let CM reach out to print and online readers across the country and around the world.

At Canadian Mennonite, our Thanksgiving table overflows with the bounty of gifts received. We give thanks to God for these blessings and are reminded of Colossians 3:17: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Virginia A. Hostetler, Executive Editor

Tobi Thiessen has reviewed some of the key people who have helped sustain Canadian Mennonite over 25 years. I co-sign her statement of gratitude.

For the past five years, I have given oversight to the content that appears on CM’s pages and website screen. Looking back, I see another list of people whose contributions elicit gratitude.

In this issue, you’ll see brief reflections by people who, over the years, wrote articles that you read on these pages. They represent a much longer list of regular writers who reported from their own regions or gave attention to the church in its broader geography. If all those contributors could write about their experiences, what a rich collection of stories that would be! In any case, those correspondents were the faithful eyes and ears of CM, attending countless events, interviewing hundreds of people, snapping many photos, and writing it all up in articles that informed and inspired readers throughout Canada. And they did it week after week, meeting regular deadlines and dealing with—sometimes—cranky and demanding editors. Thank you.

Then there are the columnists. Those writers have brought their personal experiences to the page, sharing their faith as well as their doubts. They have sometimes challenged readers to new ways of being and doing. We all say: “Thank you.”

And where would Canadian Mennonite be without the contributions of readers? Your letters and comments help keep the conversations going. Readers have also submitted their own articles and pointed us to stories that should be told. They—you—have agreed to be the subject of articles and have allowed photos of you to show up in the magazine. You have shared stories of your family, your church, and the organizations you are a part of. Many stories have been about successes, but some have included the challenges and even the failures you’ve faced. The whole church has been enriched by your generosity of sharing. Thank you.

As this magazine launches into its next quarter-of-a-century, what new stories of faith will we all bring to the table? And how will Canadian Mennonite help tell them?

Read more editorials:
Change ahead
Senses open new doors
‘We Declare’ and beyond
Exploring the Anabaptist family online
Notes from afar

Read more stories from CM's 25th anniversary issue:
Feature: A defining moment revisited 
Tim Miller Dyck: ‘We declare to you . . .’
Dave Rogalsky: Visiting congregations
Ferne Burkhardt: Wonderful gifts
Aiden Enns: Fanning Anabaptist fame

Celebrating 25 years of Canadian Mennonite (Graphic by Betty Avery)

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