J. Lorne Peachey retires as editor of Courier

News Service 
December 6, 2010
 
 
Strasbourg, France – J. Lorne Peachey had long held a secret wish to work for Mennonite World Conference some day. Still, the invitation in 2001 to become editor of MWC's three-language magazine surprised him.
 
“I knew next to nothing about editing a publication produced in three languages for readers across many cultures in many countries,” admits the resident of Scottdale, Pennsylvania, USA.
 
Lorne became managing editor of Courier-Correo-Courrier with volume 17, No. 2, in 2002 and editor in 2006. He has now retired after completing his final issue of 2010.
 
“I had worked for the Mennonite Church all my life,” he recalls. “I was intrigued by the opportunity to broaden my horizons to the global church.”
 
Lorne began working part time for MWC while continuing as director of marketing for Mennonite Financial Federal Credit Union (now Everence Federal Credit Union).
 
He brought a wealth of training and experience. After earning an MA in religious journalism from Syracuse University in 1967, he edited four publications for the Mennonite Church in North America: With, a youth magazine which he founded (1968); Christian Living (1973-1984); Gospel Herald, 1990-1998; and The Mennonite, 1998-2000.
 
Then came Courier-Correo-Courrier, for a global audience. Despite some nervousness about working with the Spanish and French editions—albeit with capable translators—Lorne did know a lot about design. He considers design as important as the words on a page.
 
A major change was using colour inside, and following global assemblies in 2003 and 2009 he produced four-colour, 32-page souvenir issues. “I tried to bring what I learned and believed to C-C-C to help readers read an article or news story the whole way through,” he says.
 
“Lorne gave a lot of attention to design,” says Phyllis Pellman Good, a former C-C-C editor. “He was a 'soldier.' He kept at it and at it. It was important to him that all issues looked good ... [and he] made the magazine consistently attractive and interesting.”
 
“A publication with international coverage requires careful balance of news,” adds Milka Rindzinski from Uruguay, who worked with Lorne before he replaced her as editor. “I learned to know and appreciate Lorne’s character, his openness, his sensitivity.”
 
“Any organization that finds a good person for its staff is very lucky; Christians say blessed!” observes Danisa Ndlovu, MWC president from Zimbabwe. “Lorne was a well of wisdom, always exhibiting a deep sense of commitment to his work. His gentle spirit and unassuming personality gained him respect from all those around him.”
 
More than the hard work and travel to distant countries each year, it is the wonderful people from around the world, particularly the MWC Executive Committee, who stir up the warmest memories for Lorne. They have become close friends. He was overwhelmed when he received a card or email message from every MWC Executive Committee member after his wife Emily died of cancer in 2004.
 
Lorne knew he needed to attend Executive Committee and General Council meetings but he was surprised when MWC General Secretary Larry Miller asked him to help take comprehensive notes at all those meetings. The concentration and energy that task required left him more tired than any other assignment, he says. But finding Swiss chocolate from an Executive Committee member who was also a journalist made the task more pleasant.
 
“It was always great to work with Lorne,” says Markus Rediger from Switzerland, “and to put chocolate on Lorne's table was a good investment!” Markus and others expressed similar sentiments at a special recognition of Lorne at the 2010 Executive Committee meeting in Addis Ababa.
           
“I got to do what I like to do for people I love and call my own, and MWC was a large part of what made that possible for me,” concludes Lorne. “I have been incredibly blessed and I thank God for the privilege of serving in Christ’s kingdom as a communicator.”
 
“‘Serving’ and ‘communicating,’” adds Larry Miller, “are precisely the right words to describe Lorne’s ministry among us. He may have known little about editing a multilingual publication when he began. But long before the end, Lorne was both serving gently and communicating powerfully across the countless cultures of the global Church—a little like the Holy Spirit.”
           
Byron Rempel-Burkholder from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, named MWC's news editor in June 2010, also succeeds Lorne Peachey as editor of Courier-Correo-Courrier. His first issue will be out early in 2011
 
- Ferne Bukhardt, for MWC news service
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Photo available:  J. Lorne Peachey (left) was often heartened by the gifts of Swiss chocolate that Markus Rediger (right) left at his table during MWC Executive Committee meetings.  
 
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Mennonite World Conference is a communion (Koinonia) of Anabaptist-related churches linked to one another in a worldwide community of faith for fellowship, worship, service, and witness.