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Editorial Reflections

Editor Nancy Minard moves to Portland to be near grandchildren

Our editing team that meets third Fridays, fourth Mondays and fourth Thursdays—Mary Mackay, Nancy Minard, Sara Weaver and Eugenie Alexander—will have a hole to fill as Nancy, who has also written editorials, moves to Portland  to live next door to her grandchildren. 

Her interactions with and observations through the eyes of her grandchildren have given insight into some of the “obviosities” about our faith, society, economy, politics and lives.

Her house sold soon after it went on the market, so she may be leaving next month.  We’ll be honoring her and saying thank you at the Benefit Breakfast and Benefit Lunch.

Nancy worked as a reference librarian in New Jersey before moving to Spokane in 1998.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in education and journalism in 1958 at Whitworth and taught a few years in Bellevue before she married Jim Minard.

Nancy has had a knack for catching and correcting factual information from her awareness of history and current events.

In compiling some of the editorials she has written since 2006, she has covered a range of topics:

On educating and empowering women, she pointed out that women’s empowerment raises economic productivity, reduces infant mortality, contributes to health and nutrition, and opens opportunities of education to future generations.

On chipping away to solve major problems, she has observed that when we start editing each issue of The Fig Tree, there are random stories.  As the editing progresses, connections among the articles emerge, showing how pieces fitting together helps deepen faith.

On faith communities, despite the tight economy, assisting in disaster areas long after the light of mainstream media has turned to other issues.  Despite tight budgets, congregations continue to find ways to assist.

On responding to the national economic woes, she cited the validity of behavior lessons children learn in kindergarten: be kind, be fair and be responsible.

On the disagreement in public discourse, she pointed to the need to disagree without being disagreeable and the need for people of faith to foster safe, civil and sacred spaces for discourse, rather than generating disrespect toward anyone who deviates from their approach.

On connectivity of issues, she used the image of setting up dominos.  Immigration policy, health care, high unemployment, food insecurity and increasing demands on food banks have become hot button issues.  Our complex life resembles the domino game: jiggling one small element in one area affects the others.

On “talking points” that often highlight media coverage of news, she advises caution when seven politicians, spokespersons or pundits repeat the same words.  Those words can become inflammatory rhetoric.

On how much is “enough,” she has observed from singing with her grandchildren that the words of children’s songs are asking about how much is enough.

On words, she noted that some have “entered the realm of uselessness because of misuse.”  Language is always changing, but some would like to slow that process to facilitate communication, rather than muddy or inflame it.

On wealth, she observes that “we will suffer less if we share our wealth in money, goods and love.”

On enough, she points out that “enough” is about a theology of abundance  of God’s love and care.  In U.S. society, she notes that omnipresent advertising too often tries to convince people that they don’t have enough of anything “except shortcomings that their products can cure.”

On young adults, she is concerned that too many judge churches’ hypocrisy before knowing stories of hope from the many ways people live their faith commitments.

These are a few topics on which Nancy has shared her wisdom and challenged us with a twist of humor that makes the message palatable.

Mary Stamp - Editor