Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Editor's Corner: Hello and Goodbye

IPN’s next editor, Christine Sheller reintroduces herself, while the departing editor, Jon Overton says farewell.
By Christine Sheller

Hello again, to those of you who may remember my time with IPN from 2009 to 2011. I am happy to be back!

For those who joined since then, hello too. I started again on staff with IPN May 1, 2015. We are all working together as a team, and when Jon moves to Ohio for his Ph.D. program, I will be taking on the role as sole editor. As you may know, I have spent the last couple of years mostly in the background at IPN — volunteering and serving on the Joint Oversight Committee.

During the last several years, I have spent time listening for God's speaking.

In 2012, I went back to work at the family business as Office Assistant at Softshell Computer Services (in rural Eldora), and was able to do more discerning. I do live part-time in Des Moines, so I am able to use the IPN office regularly. I do a lot of work for IPN from home in Eldora, too.

I plan to continue providing news and commentary on peace and justice issues, with my own writing along with others’. I plan to continue sending the peace events email, and I want to try to connect with members around the state by attending summer conferences of our member churches.

I also plan to attend events — mostly in Des Moines — to be an advocate, to learn more, connect with the peace community, and be able to report on various things to all of you.

I will try to involve myself in planning events and will also try to connect your churches and other organizations with people you would like to host to speak.

I will be available for pulpit-supply in any of the churches, which could serve also as an opportunity to connect with members of the network and others not connected. In lieu of that, I am willing to speak at a Sunday school hour instead- sharing about IPN and what we are involved with.

I look forward to what this year has in store!

By Jon Overton

Since I’m enrolling in Kent State University’s sociology PhD program this fall, that puts me well outside the state of Iowa, so it’s time to turn this job over to someone else.

I’m confident that IPN will continue its important work under the leadership of Christine Sheller, the incoming media editor. She’s been picking up very quickly on how everything here works and has worked incredibly hard since she began in May.

Thank you for all the support you all have shown over the last few years. I literally could not have done it without you all. Donations from churches and individuals let us print the newsletter and keep the website up and running.

Many thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts with me in interviews for my stories over the past few years. Several articles would not have happened or would have had much less depth if not for your perspectives.

I appreciate those of you who have submitted written articles and letters for IPN. More voices gives our publication far more variety, and we’re all the richer for it.

Darrell Mitchell, a longtime supporter and member of the joint oversight committee has been our most notably prolific writer while I was with IPN. Thank you Darrell for all your hard work and advocacy on what seems like a never-ending conflict in Israel and Palestine.

I also appreciate the help of everyone who does a lot of the behind-the-scenes work for IPN. From folding and mailing the newsletter to juggling the administrative minutiae to balancing this 39-year-old organization’s checkbook, you’ve all been more helpful than you know.

I also want to wish the best to Iowa’s peace and justice organizations. The amount of logistical legwork you all go through to set up and promote protests, lectures, workshops, and all of your other projects is astounding.

Sure, writing articles and formatting a newsletter can be tricky, but those of you who are organizing events are doing the real heavy lifting. Keep up the good work and best of luck to you.

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