Transition, Endings, New Beginnings are never easy regardless of the what is changing. So it is at COC as Dawn and John Trueman giving up being our Editors of the CONCERN Newsletter. How can one capsulize over 20 years of writing in a few hundred words, and if that was all they had done for COC that in itself would have been remarkable. But given that John had been the President for numerous years and Dawn had initiated our Outreach Correspondent Network the task of putting their work in a perspective is overwhelming. However lets us deal with CONCERN and hopefully the other thank-you’s will fall into place.
There is no doubt our CONCERN newsletter its themes, its breadth and tone of it’s articles, the perspective and the humour was the Trueman’s. This remarkable body of writing shaped, and defined the COC, the issues it raised and yes, I dare say the United Church of Canada’s response. It as a mouthpiece was not always popular even among some circles of Renewal within the United Church but always on the mark.
Without putting words in John and Dawn’s mouths would be ”If we (COC) didn’t say it who would” and who did. In a denomination more and more preoccupied by numerical decline along with theological and biblical abandonment, therefore avoiding the central issue(s) facing the United Church its own own demise, CONCERN, even after the controversy of 1988 was one of the rare voices that dared to be heard and to challenge the status quo. Whether it was Theological Education at our Seminaries, Wayword statements by Moderators, or simply pointing out the free fall of lost members, CONCERN was clear concise and ever present.
The Trueman’s were also aware that not only was CONCERN an information tool for COC and United Church members it was also our major fundraiser. This newsletter raised almost 2 million dollars for our organization, legal defense funds for ministers and congregations within the Renewal Movement, and other Christian Orthodox causes in Canada and the USA.
The importance of the CONCERN was never lost on John and Dawn and the hours they spent crafting, rewriting and editing it was always obvious in the finished product. COC can never truly thank or express our appreciation for this body of work.
Further it is hard to tell whether CONCERN was the driving force for John when he was President and Dawn personally writing thousand of letters or the other way around. In the end it may not be it that important what the motivation was but the simply fact that for over 20 years four or five times a year (more in General Council years) CONCERN was produced and it supported and defined all the other work they did for COC. So as As John and Dawn step away from this valued ministry,
COC thanks them and wishes them well in the years that are before them. Thank-you and God Bless You Both. You Good and Most Faithful Servants.
From all the Executive, Board, Outreach Corespondents, and Many Friends PS: If you would like their new mailing address please contact the COC and we would be pleased to give it to you. We did not want to print it here because the Editor of CONCERN does not believe they want thousands of letters all at once.