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Reform Magazine | July 21, 2017

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Editorial: Surprise!

So, this is #awks – right? Mine isn’t the face you’d expect on this page, but hey, the Editor is unexpectedly away, and the show must go on, so here I am.

The first issue of Reform I ever worked on was the Easter 2009 edition. I was especially pleased with that issue, because the editorial team had agreed to use an image I’d suggested for the cover artwork. It is certainly surprising to me that years later I find myself writing this editorial for an Easter issue of Reform.

Cliched though it is to say – life is surprising. You might have expected another insightful, reflective column filled with the wisdom and wit of the Church historian who happens to be Editor of Reform, and then (surprise!) you get a hashtagging millennial instead. You might also find that your privilege is unexpectedly but definitely checked by Niall Cooper’s column this month (read it! It’s on page 18).

There’s plenty of the unexpected in this month’s issue. There’s an icon depicting an elderly Adam and Eve (Rowan Williams explains why on page 24). A teenager hospitalised by anorexia grows up to be a medical doctor (page 12). Our ‘Chapter & verse’ columnist finds resurrected hope amidst ruins in Detroit (page 16). And yes, because it’s the time of year for reflection on this kind of thing, I can’t help but think how surprised (and how terrified) the Marys and the disciples must have been to meet the resurrected Jesus. Seriously #awks …

In case you are wondering who I am, the answer is: I’m the voice that usually greets you when you call the editorial office. I’m the one who squirrels away on a myriad of tasks to help create this magazine you love so much (I hope!)

As well as all this, a massive part of my job is to ensure that as many people as possible know about, and support, the magazine. Support might be: financial – a subscription costs £18 for a year’s worth of digital copies and £28 a year for paper copies; vocal – telling others about Reform and encouraging them to subscribe; or practical – using our Bible study resources, published online at bit.ly/reformstudy, or checking out our leaflet on how to use Reform in church: bit.ly/reformchurch.

Some of you will have received quite a few calls or emails from me, encouraging you to subscribe, or to renew your subscription (#sorryNotSorry). I don’t mean to keep banging on about it (BUY REFORM MAGAZINE! #ReadItBuyItDon’tLoseReform!) but I do, because this magazine is important to me. And that’s not just because it pays my bills and has given me the opportunity to work with some awesome people. Reform means so much to me because of the inspiring stories it tells – the way it deepens my faith by exposing me to theological ideas I might never have encountered otherwise, causing me to challenge and interrogate my own beliefs, and generally to be a better citizen and Christian. Put simply, it spiritually refreshes me – and I hope it does the same for you.

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This article was published in the April 2017 edition of  Reform.

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