Monday, November 17, 2014

The Shepherd's Way

by Alice Valdal

      Redundancy is often considered in a negative light but when it comes to communication, redundancy can be a good thing.  Apparently humans aren't very good at taking in new information so they need to receive it in many forms, hence, redundancy.
   At SPPC, this blog is one form of communication, the weekly bulletin is another, as are announcements from the pulpit but this week I draw your attention to our church newsletter, "The Shepherd's Way."
  Blanche Richer, ably assisted by husband Bill, is our editor and I asked her a few questions about how she came to that position.  Here's what she had to say.

   We have been doing "The Shepherd's Way" for seven years, since Easter 2006.  I love to write and it seems to come naturally to me.  When we attended Trinity Presbyterian Church, I edited their magazine, "A Joyful Noise," for ten years and Bill did the cover pictures and all the illustrations.  Then we transferred to Saanich Peninsula Presbyterian Church and I really missed having a regular deadline, for I thought that all the work and effort of producing a worthwhile magazine really kept my mind active.  So, when Beulah asked me if I would do a magazine for SPPC, she said that I could think about it for a few days.
   "I'll give you my answer right now," I replied.  "Yes, I will do it."

  Q.How many issues per year?
   A.  There are four issues:  Easter, Summer, Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

    Q. What is your background re newsletters?
    A. When I was much younger, many years ago, I wrote short stories and articles for publication in English magazines.  I have always been a reader and I like to be surrounded by books.

    Q. What is the most difficult and the most satisfying aspect of putting together the newsletter.
    A.  "The Shepherd's Way" has developed into a certain pattern with regular features such as cover, back page, minister's pages, cartoons, etc. and when I gather all the stories, articles, items, news and ideas from the congregation, each new piece just seems to fall into place.  But I sometimes have to juggle quite a bit.
    Finally, I number the pages (by hand) and then take them to Staples to be printed.  But my most satisfying moment is when I hold the first new copy 'hot off the press.'  Then home for a cup of tea.
   Q. Bill creates wonderful illustrations for the magazine.  Has he illustrated other publications?
    A.Bill comes from Guernsey and has drawn since he was able to hold a pencil.  Before he came to Canada, he studied drawing, pen and ink and painting which included oils and water colour, landscapes and ships and seascapes.  He has illustrated several books, including Lanterns and Shadows, an anthology by a group of Oak Bay authorsand articles in newspapers and magazines.

  Q.  Do you mind if I mention you are both senior citizens?
   A.Neither of us minds being called a Senior. (On Jan. 22 next year, I'll be 90.)  I don't feel old.  

Thanks Blanche, for answering my questions and for your faithful service, along with Bill, to SPPC.  "The Shepherd's Way," is enjoyed by everyone in our congregation.  It gets taken home and read and reread, then handed on to friends and family, a tribute to your diligence and your talent.

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