John Squires named as new With Love to the World Editor
Rev. Dr John Squires has been named the new Editor of With Love to the World.
He told Insights that he was looking forward to what the role will involve.
“I enjoy thinking about the Bible, exploring ideas as we interpret and apply scripture in the midst of life in the 21st century,” he said.
“Writing for With Love to the World is always a good brain-and-heart stretching exercise for me (the discipline of 210 words per passage is particularly challenging!), so I envisage that will continue as I edit the work of all the contributors to each issue.”
“I have a strong appreciation of the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL), which provides the framework for the commentaries included each week in With Love to the World, so will enjoy learning even more about the RCL and its Anglican and Roman Catholic variants! I learnt a lot about the RCL when I supervised a fine Masters thesis written by Joan Wilcox of Epping; that task also brought to my attention the deficiencies and problems of this particular lectionary structure.”
“I have friends who are strong advocates of other lectionaries that have been developed in recent decades—I hope we will continue to have good conversations about the best way to ensure that all the people of God are grappling with as much of the scripture as can realistically be managed in the course of a few years.”
“I have a (perverse?) enjoyment of making sure, not only that the words make sense, but also that the layout, font, paragraphing, and spacing of things that I write and work on, are precise and pleasing to the eye. So that enjoyment will be important in the role of Editor.”
Rev. Dr Squires takes the reins from Peter Butler, who edited With Love to the World for 16 years.
“I gather from my handover conversations with Peter Butler that there are lots of interesting theological and hermeneutical conversations to be had, between Editor and contributors, Editor and readers, and perhaps also Editor and management committee.”
Rev. Dr Squires will continue his current role as Presbytery Minister—Wellbeing for The Canberra Region Presbytery, changing to an 80 percent placement as from 1 July.
“I’ve worked with my colleague, Andrew Smith, and the Co-Chairs of Presbytery, to be sure that all the essential tasks of my position will continue to be done, and am grateful to them for their flexibility as we navigate these new waters,” he said.
“My personal commitment to keep my blog going will tie in well with where my head needs to be for the position of Editor.”
The journal is one with which Rev. Dr Squires has already had a long involvement.
“I have had the privilege of being associated with With Love to the World since its very early days. In the late 1970s, I was taught by the co-founders, Dr Gordon Dicker and Dr Robert Maddox, and I completed my Honours thesis in 1980 under the supervision of Bob Maddox,” he said.
“I have been a (mostly) regular reader of With Love to the World since then and a contributor to With Love to the World since 1981.”
“I was very grateful to receive financial support from the With Love to the World Scholarship Fund whilst I was undertaking doctoral studies in the USA (and years later, my wife Elizabeth also received financial support whilst she was studying in the UK). I was invited to speak at the 20th Anniversary celebrations of With Love to the World and later served for a few years on the With Love to the World Management Committee. I am honoured to continue that association in the position of Editor.”
Rev. Dr Squires nominated expanding the publication’s diversity as one of his priorities as incoming Editor.
“I have in mind that I will need to work conscientiously and persistently in broadening the pool of contributors from right across Australia,” he said.
“I know there are people of talent and giftedness entering into ordained ministry these days, drawn from a very wide spectrum of ethnic origins and cultural group—I hope that, over time, With Love to the World will reflect more fully the wonderful diversity of ministry leaders within the Uniting Church at this time of our history.”
With Love to the World is a regular collection of lectionary reflections that has been published since 1976. The publication’s app launched in 2020.
Rev. Dr John Squires’ blog, An Informed Faith, can be read here.