Announcement Regarding Letha Dawson Scanzoni’s Retirement

Editor’s Note:  Today, Letha Dawson Scanzoni is announcing her retirement as Web Content Manager of Christian Feminism Today.  Nineteen years ago, Letha became the editor of our print magazine, EEWC Update (later renamed Christian Feminism Today), and in addition served as editor of EEWC’s website after its establishment in 1998.  When we began moving from the print publication to “website only” publishing on a redesigned website in 2012, Letha became Christian Feminism Today’s Web Content Manager, working alongside Web Developer Marg Herder.

On December 9, 2013 Kendra Weddle Irons, 2014 coordinator of the EEWC Executive Council, announced Letha’s retirement to our online community.

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Kendra Weddle Irons
Kendra Weddle Irons

To:       EEWC Community
From:  Kendra Weddle Irons, 2014 Council Coordinator

December 9, 2013

Dear Friends,

Words cannot adequately describe the immensity of Letha’s long-time service to EEWC. We all know that this organization has been what it is in no small part because of her vision; her unwavering guidance; her superb writing and editing; and a million other things she has done at one time or another. In short, without Letha we can hardly imagine EEWC.

So, with a full heart for her dedicated service and with loving concern for Letha’s wishes, I must let you know Letha has resigned from her position as Web-Content Manager effective December 31, 2013.

She has kindly written a letter to all of us that I want to share with you.

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Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni

To my sisters and brothers in the EEWC-CFT Community

December 9, 2013

Dear EEWC Family,

A few weeks ago, I notified our EEWC coordinator, Kendra Weddle Irons, that I will not be renewing my contract to serve as website content manager for next year. My present contract ends at the close of the day on December 31, 2013.  Kendra and the others serving on the EEWC Executive Council and staff have been most generous in their understanding and supportive comments and have been accepting of my decision, as hard as it is for all of us.

But having turned 78 in October, I feel it is time for me to retire. I am ever so grateful for the opportunity I have had to serve God and EEWC as the Christian Feminism Today editor and website content manager over these 19 years.

Although I have been an active member of EEWC since its founding, my years as editor of both our former print publication and the website have allowed me to serve even more closely with so many talented friends—writers, reviewers, web developers, council members, and office managers— who have worked with me in a spirit of collegiality, spreading the Christian feminist message through both print and the Internet. So believe me, this is not an easy letter to write; and the decision to resign has not been an easy one to make.  Yet, I feel confident that all of you, like the EEWC Council, will understand.

My decision is based on (1) health issues (especially the severely arthritic condition of both shoulders, which makes performing even the simplest everyday tasks— including work at the computer keyboard— extremely difficult, as well as depleting energy with the chronic pain) and (2) my desire to give more time to my other projects, especially sorting and archiving my personal papers, including any EEWC materials remaining among them, while I am still physically able to do such tasks.  I also hope to do some other writing, including finishing the backstory of Nancy Hardesty’s and my coauthoring of All We’re Meant to Be (much of which I have already told on my personal website) and possibly doing some other writing as well, including occasional articles for the EEWC-CFT website.  In short, I believe it is now time to move on and pursue these other projects in my remaining years.

I have told the council I will assist in any way they need me during the planning and transition period, and I am continuing my work with the 2014 conference program planning committee. I’m also planning to finish any current work with book reviewers and article writers to whom I had assigned projects and had planned to edit them for the website.  (If you’re one of these writers, please don’t think I’m deserting you! Just send them to me as always.)

Let me end with a personal note of thanks for the support of Kendra and all the other EEWC coordinators, office managers, and council members with whom I’ve had the privilege of serving over these nearly two decades.  Their encouragement and support have meant more to me than I can adequately express.  I am also deeply grateful to Marg Herder for the spirit of colleagueship that has developed between us in working on the redesigned EEWC-CFT website after we moved from a print publication and went totally digital. And I am thankful for all of you on this list for your part in helping make this organization such a wonderful community of faith, encouragement, support, and outreach.  EEWC will always be in my heart and prayers and continue to be an important part of my life.

With love and gratitude,

Letha

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While Letha’s resignation means she will no longer be the most consistent voice on the EEWC website, we know Letha will continue to contribute to our organization in many ways including her visionary presence, her skilled writing and editing from time to time, and her steadfast friendship. We are especially grateful she has agreed to be one of our primary speakers for our upcoming Gathering in June 2014!

I’m sure in light of this news many of you will want to extend your warm gratitude and appreciation for Letha’s exceptional work on our behalf and for her graciousness in sharing her superb talents to spread the message of Christian feminism. I hope you’ll take the time to let her hear from you.

This is obviously a challenging transition for our community. In light of this, I hope you will be in prayer for Letha; for Marg who now will have sole responsibility for the website; and for the council who seeks to provide guidance for all of us as we endeavor to be an inclusive Christian presence in our world.

May Sophia’s presence be manifest in our transition and in our faithful commitment to spread the good news of Christian feminism.

With gratitude for Letha and for all of you,

Kendra Weddle Irons
2014 Coordinator

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Kendra Weddle Irons
Kendra Weddle Irons teaches religion at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, Texas. Her first book, Preaching on the Plains: Methodist Women Preachers in Kansas, 1920-1956, was published in 2007 by University Press of America. Her second book, written with Melanie Springer Mock, If Eve Only Knew: Freeing Yourself from Biblical Womanhood and Becoming All God Means for You to Be was published in 2015. Kendra is a former coordinator of the EEWC-Christian Feminism Today Executive Council.

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