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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Church News Update, including an article about New General Authority Elder Joni L. Koch

Hello, all! I am posting today with yet another Church News update. There is much to share, so let's get right to it. Comments, as always, are most welcome and always appreciated.

First, a major Church news item of some significance, at least in my mind. Sister Gerry Avant, who has served so well for so many years as the editor of the weekly-published Church  News, which is more often than not updated several times per day, is retiring after her long career in journalism. Filling the assignment of editor will be Sarah Jane Weaver, another longtime Church News writer who will be the second woman to serve in this capacity. In tribute to Sister Avant's distinguished career in journalism, the Church News ran two articles about her service. This one talks about the length, breadth, and depth of Sister Avant's career and serves as the Church News's send-off to this well-respected woman. This one contains tributes from many people who know her and wanted to express their thoughts  about her distinguished career.

Before moving on, I would like to recount some personal interactions I have had with Sister Avant. On at least a few occasions that I can remember, I had been reading a Church News article when something caught my eye: whether that was incorrect information, or anything else, about which  I had a question. After double-checking the sources I had which confirmed that my thinking was correct, I reached out to Sister Avant about the issue. I remember distinctly at least two times when that happened that I did so. She kindly responded by thanking me for letting her know about the issue, and said that she would ensure that a clarification or correction was printed, which it subsequently was.

One other time, I had similar concerns about material in the Church Almanac, and she again kindly responded by giving me the contact information of the Church News staff member I could correspond with on the matter. And I am pleased to share that she has instilled that same kindness in her staff members. Whenever I have seen and pointed out such  an error, I have been thanked for doing so, and assured that the information would be remedied in a subsequent edition of that Almanac, which it was. Sister Avant is truly a gracious lady with the utmost journalistic integrity, and she will be greatly missed by all of us who  regularly read the Church News. Best of luck in your retirement, Sister Avant, and may the Lord bless you for your  wonderful work!

The Church News also pretty much confirmed my expressed opinion that President Uchtdorf will be the one to dedicate the Paris France Temple next month by running an article about  his lifelong connection to other European Temples and his special affinity for the temples in Rome and Paris. That article can be found here.

This article describes some additional resources the Church has lately made available to those actively serving in the military. It is wonderful to hear of that outreach.

In the meantime, the Church is making it easier for local leaders to stay in contact with them. Except for leaders who do not have access to e-mail, the Church will be communicating with  all other leaders via that method. This article describes how that will be done.

And, as part of the continuing series of articles written by general auxiliary leaders to help strengthen their local counterparts worldwide, Brother Brian K. Ashton  represented the Sunday School General presidency in describing how teacher councils can be most effective in strengthening and supporting teachers. You can find that article here.

Finally, this article provides an introduction to new General Authority Seventy Joni L. Koch. I  love these articles that tell us more about our new leaders.

Hope you enjoyed this update. Thanks for your readership and for any comments you might like to share.