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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Just Released

There is always a sense of satisfaction in holding in your hand for the first time something you have worked hard to accomplish. I had one of those shining moments today when I picked up a copy of the History of the Mid-Atlantic Mennonite Fellowship. It was just released today. Seeing a new book for the first time is something like seeing the face of your new baby for the first time. You carried it in your head for months and went to great pains to bring it into being. And at last, you see it face to face.
Here is the cover.
This book is different than anything I've ever done. It is not a story but more of a resource book. The first chapter tells the history of the Mid-Atlantic Fellowship and how it came into being. That is followed by a history of each of the 23 congregations in the Fellowship with short biographies of every ordained man who ever served that congregation. There is a total of 131 ordained men in the book, up to and including the last one ordained in December 2013.
Unless memories are recorded in some way, they are erased when a person dies. The number of people who can remember the formation of the first congregation in 1972 is dwindling. The ministerial body felt we need to get at least some of our history recorded while we still have people who can remember the early days. We have been members since the beginning of the second congregation in 1973. Our auditorium is pictured on the cover.
Another way this book is different from any I've done before is that I functioned as editor rather than author. Each congregation appointed someone to submit their congregation's history and biographies of leaders. I took the raw material and tried to refine it to meet literary standards.
This book was a collective effort. Every person who submitted a congregational history or biography had a part in writing this book. The person who did the layout and the printer helped to work out all the little glitches. It's amazing how a person can read over mistakes without seeing them! Each of us found things the others hadn't seen.
After working on this for more than a year, it is a good feeling to see the finished product and know I really, truly am finished with this job.

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