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A letter from our new associate editor

Christina Belcher is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario, Canada and an adjunct of the Education Department at Trinity Western University in Langley, BC. She is passionate about children’s literature and is interested in how narratives provoke hope, reveal cultural dispositions, and shape the soul.  Her broad interests and areas of writing include literacy, worldview, and interdisciplinary study. She has previously served in teacher education in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Christina is currently a Doctoral Candidate at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

As we all enter 2009, there is much to remember and much for which to be grateful. Some areas of thanksgiving may include the faithful love of  family, the opportunity to live in peace within Canada (and the USA), the great blessings Canada and the USA have in comparison to the substantial losses encountered by others from national disaster, war, disease, famine and persecution. Personally, I will also remember the history making moment of the inauguration of Barack Obama, which created a global emotional response unprecedented  since the death of Lady Diana.

Every new year engages and begs change. On a personal level, this year has included more change than usual. I have relocated from British Columbia to Ontario, which has necessitated what I term ‘new delayed gratification appreciation’ while my husband remains in B.C. for a few more months. I have had the joy of meeting new neighbors and colleagues, getting acquainted with new institutional structures and paradigms, and purchasing one shiny new snow shovel and a GPS!  I got lost frequently in B.C.  when I relocated there from New Zealand – to the extent that I almost considered it one of my spiritual gifts. Hopefully, the GPS will help to curb my meanderings.

On a communal level, change has occurred as I have become Associate Editor within the wonderful and talented body of ICCTE colleagues. In this calendar year I will undoubtedly have things to fondly remember, and alas, by choice or by default, things I will also forget. In this regard, I must humbly say that it is helpful to remember that both ‘remembering and forgetting’ are Biblical concepts.

Some of the things I may wish to forget – but need to remember since these provide opportunities to learn – are embarrassing mistakes, moments when I have not been as gracious as I could  have been to others, or moments when I have failed to meet the needs of my students or peers in service. Things  forgotten due to the stresses and complexity of life  either personally or professionally may require a reminder by a true and trusted friend.  Such reflection brings to my mind just how needy we humans are as a people of God’s grace, provision, and sustainability.

As this journal comes to press, I am blessed by the communal aspects of fellowship and the blessing of having something in common with my fellow colleagues that requires team work. God’s people were created to be relational and communal. Our individual remembering and forgetting are only complementary within the larger tapestry of life, as noted by the  paper penned for me this semester by one of my students.

Community is God’s good idea. We need each other. And this journal needs you. Specifically, I need your manuscripts and am putting out a call for papers in this coming year. May you snow me under with offerings, so we can create dialogue that will enrich us, and further a Christian perspective within our engagement. Who knows that your paper and thoughts may be what inspires me and others to press on in the coming year to even newer practices and hopeful aspirations?

I look forward to hearing from you, traveling with you, receiving manuscripts from you, and being inspired by you. And for all these things, in advance and with gratitude, I thank you.

Under God’s grace, and in your service and His,

Christina

cbelcher@redeemer.ca

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. C. S. Lewis

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