By Jessica Connor
There I was, standing in the Pee Dee Room Sunday afternoon at Annual Conference, surrounded by a sea of Advocate supporters, all talking excitedly and sharing stories.
It was the Advocate’s celebration reception, the afternoon when our board of trustees marked 175 years of newspaper ministry with an Advocate birthday party, complete with cake and plenty of friends.
What a beautiful thing!
Looking around the room, I saw a diverse mix of readers and supporters: men and women, clergy and laity, retirees and younger people, whites and African-Americans, board members and former trustees.
Moving around the room, I found myself engaged in conversation after conversation about what the Advocate has meant to them, personally, throughout the years. Only two years into my position at the helm of this historic newspaper, and a relatively young-ish person myself, it was humbling and inspiring to meet older adults who had been reading the Advocate since they sat at a grandparent s knee, a generation that still remembered when women were painfully absent from the pulpit or when segregation ran rampant in our pews as well as our communities.
Now the Advocate prepares to embark on a new season of ministry, one that tries hard to stay fresh and relevant as we cover today s news “ everything United Methodists need to know in this state.
Always, we keep an eye on the Kingdom. Always, we do our best to let the light of the Lord shine through our pages.
As you flip through this edition, reading over all the great things that happened at this year s Annual Conference, I hope you will also note some of the non-Annual Conference articles: the new deaf ministry at Central United Methodist Church in Spartanburg; the podcast started by a pastor at Buncombe Street; the young boy who is doing his best to spread the Good News after a freak golfing accident almost cost him his life.
These are the stories the Advocate has told since our early days “ since that very first newspaper launched June 24, 1837.
Here s to another 175 years of doing the Lord s work. Thanks for your support!