A Word from the New Editor

Dear friends,

On behalf of my partners at CircuitWriter Media LLC, I want to thank you for all the words of encouragement and support regarding the recent news that we would be continuing the tradition and legacy of The United Methodist Reporter. We recognize the seriousness and responsibility of this task, and we ask for your prayers and patience as we work to be a voice for independent news and commentary in the United Methodist Church.

In the hours since we announced that the work of UMR would continue through this site (and on Facebook and Twitter) there have been lots of questions about what’s next, as well some confusion about what this all means. Frankly, we are searching for some of the answers to those questions, for this has come together very quickly. We, like many of you, were heartbroken when we heard that UMR Communications Inc. was going out of business, and mourned the loss of what The United Methodist Reporter had meant to our connection. As we thought about that loss, a vision for a new, digital only, UMR began to emerge in our heads, and so we approached UMR Communications Inc. about acquiring the rights to the name, domain, website, and social media presence, presenting a plan for how we envisioned we could make this work. They too caught our vision, and earlier this week we signed an agreement transferring control of the digital part of UMR to CircuitWriter Media LLC.

Some have asked what this means for the future of UMR Communications Inc. and the staff that worked for that organization. While we love and respect the fine people who have worked faithfully at UMR in recent years, it has never been our intention to purchase the entire organization, for it is clear that the old print oriented business model is not financially viable. Our vision has been for a low overhead, low margin “cloud-based” company with a very small part-time staff of 1 or 2 persons in combination with a variety of talented free-lance writers, bloggers, and commentators from around the country. We are friends with several on the UMR staff and mourn with them in the loss of their positions at UMR Communications Inc. However, our financial model will not allow us to hire any of them on a full-time basis (although we hope to be able to work with some on a freelance basis in the future), and we have taken no responsibility for any of the assets or projects of UMR Communications Inc. outside of the website and other digital resources.  As one employee has told us, CircuitWriter Media is saving the spirit of UMR, but not the body. It’s our hope that we can build on the legacy of their work to create a new model for communication across the church.

So what next?

For the time being, we will be transitioning to a new management and editorial structure while trying to continue to publish relevant content regarding life in the United Methodist connection. Unlike the old print edition, which was published on a regular schedule, content will be rolling out as we get it. We hope to offer an e-mail subscription option for you to get daily updates from UMR, and we are looking at other options for making sure that you are up to date on our most recent content. However the hub of it all and our primary focus will be www.unitedmethodistreporter.com, with Facebook and Twitter used to direct people to the site and to facilitate conversation across the connection.

Over time, we will be updating the site, working to make it more user friendly, and adding additional voices to the discussion about life in our church. We will also be linking to our partner site, www.methoblog.com, which provides a single place to read commentary about the church from almost 350 Methodist-oriented bloggers. We are putting in place an editorial advisory board to help ensure that voices from across the theological and political spectrum are being heard, and to promote fairness and balance in our reporting and commentary. We want to honor the 166 year legacy that has been The United Methodist Reporter, while also transforming it into a journal for a new generation of United Methodists. It is a big undertaking, and we need all the help you can give us.

One of the ways that you can help is to support the advertisers on our two sites. Providing an independent voice comes with a cost. We receive no funds from any church agency, and are dependent on the support of advertisers to cover the costs of web hosting, paying writers, and the other expenses of running an operation like this. None of us took on this task with any expectation of making a living through UMR, and this is supplemental to our regular jobs as youth ministers and pastor. However, the more support you are able to offer through visiting our advertisers, the more we can do to ensure editorial excellence.

Again, thanks for your support. Be patient with us. We think good things are in store for the future of The United Methodist Reporter. 

God’s grace and peace be with you all,

Jay Voorhees
Executive Editor

 

Jay Voorhees, Former Executive Editor

The Rev. Jay Voorhees is the Executive Editor of The United Methodist Reporter and the Chief Creative Officer for CircuitWriter Media LLC which operates this site and MethoBlog.com. Jay is an ordained elder in the Tennessee Annual Conference. Jay has written on life and the practice of faith in The United Methodist Church at Only Wonder Understands since 2003.

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2 Comments on "A Word from the New Editor"

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The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
 
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mary lynn
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Nice article. And I'm REALLY happy about this. But did you HAVE to say "fairness and balance"??????? 🙂

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