A Letter from the Editor
An education professor
I know teaches that humans are set apart from the rest of creation
because we search for meaning---we are meaning makers. This trait
emerges when we are young. How many of us have been annoyed by
a child who persistently asks why? How many of us continue to
ask that question quietly to ourselves most days? How many days
does the question go unanswered?
One such day last September I was vacationing with close friends
and my husband at the beach. The North Carolina morning was gorgeous.
As we were getting ready to go out and enjoy the day, my sister
phoned to tell us we should turn on the news. From this pristine
ocean-view home, we watched speechless as the World Trade Center
was struck by two planes and then collapsed. Like so many others,
we spent much of that day wondering what had happened and why.
Until that morning, many of us had watched tragic world events
from a distance---from across oceans. We had been affected only
marginally, if at all. Suddenly this nation, this people, were
the focus of a tragic world event. A year has passed. In the
ongoing aftermath, altered, many grope for meaning from a different
perspective---perhaps a perspective more in tune with the world
community. Many emerge from their search empty handed.
World events and events more personal often render us speechless,
searching, questioning. We quest for meaning and meaning alludes
us. Some despair, but the majority struggle forward because the
human ability to hope undergirds and propels the desire to make
meaning. Poet Emily Dickinson wrote that "hope is the thing
with feathers / That perches in the soul--- / And sings the tune
without the words--- / And never stops at all."* And hope
prepares the way for faith, which scripture tells us is "the
assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen"
Unique in God's creation, we possess not only the capacity to
make meaning but the unction, the desire, the willingness to
search for it. We are often empty handed, but we are not inclined
to be empty hearted, for scripture assures us that emptiness
is not always what it seems.
---Susan Jackson Dowd, PW Communications Coordinator
From Our Readers
Wow! What more can be said? I just received my July/August
issue of Horizons---you guys just keep getting better
and better with each issue. I usually go straight to Forbearance,
but today I just started at the front. Every article had me thinking
and questioning. It was great! Thank you for another superb issue.
I never thought you could surpass your July/August 2001 issue.
Keep up the great job and I'll see you in Louisville in 12 months!
---Shelagh Wirth, West Columbia, South Carolina
Just wanted to let Horizons know how much I have enjoyed
this year's study on Esther. It is one of the best in
the last several years. That is really saying something because
for the past four years the studies have been excellent. Keep
up the good work.
---Jan Albert, Greenwood, Indiana (via email)
At our May planning meeting, the coordinating team of Presbyterian
Women of the Bertha E. R. Strosacker Memorial Presbyterian Church,
Midland, Michigan heartily praised the May/June 2002 issue
of Horizons! We want to thank you for an exemplary collection
of articles, most especially "What Does It Mean to Be Presbyterian?"
We recommend this issue to all our members.
---Marilyn Findlay, Midland, Michigan
Lois McAnlis of New Galilee, Pennsylvania stitched the PW
logo using the pattern published in Horizons (January/February
2001) and won first place at the Pennsylvania State Grange
needlework contest in October 2001. The Grange is a volunteer
organization, comprised of families and individuals who share
a common interest in community involvement, agricultural and
rural issues. Congratulations, Lois!
Just a few lines to let you know that your Bible studies are
wonderful. I've been using the PW Bible studies for 21 years
and all have been good, but my favorite is the 2002-03 Bible
study, No Longer Strangers: A Study of the Letter to the Ephesians.
I love the way the lessons are laid out [making] Ephesians a
lot easier for me to understand. Keep up the good work!
---Peggy Ann Ker, Port Charlotte, Florida
I wish to thank Anne M. Jones for her article "Sacred
Space" in the March/April '02 issue. I have read and re-read
the poem "A Widow." I lost my husband several months
ago and every word of that poem touches me.
---Celia Ann Replogle, Carson City, Nevada
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