After serving for 35 years as founding editor of the Brethren in Christ Historical Society and its journal, Brethren in Christ History and Life, Dr. E. Morris Sider has stepped down from his post, effective after the publication of the April 2012 issue of the journal.
In his stead, Harriet (Sider) Bicksler — a professional writer and editor and a life-long member of the Brethren in Christ Church — has agreed to serve the Historical Society. Her three-year term begins in July 2012.
Here’s a more comprehensive announcement of this significant transition, from the spring 2012 issue of the Historical Society’s “Newsletter”:
The Historical Society is not immune to significant historical moments of its own! We are in one such historical moment: the retirement of E. Morris Sider as editor of the journal, Brethren in Christ History and Life, and the selection of Harriet Bicksler as the new editor of the journal. Dr. Sider, or Morris to his many friends, founded the journal and has been its editor for 35 years. He will continue as Editor Emeritus but will not have day-to-day editorial responsibilities after the April 2012 issue of the journal.
In addition to being the single editor of the journal, Morris has been a most prolific writer and editor of many books related to Brethren in Christ history, belief, and practice. In our more than 225 year history, there has not been a period of church life in which more has been documented, written about, reflected on or interpreted than the last 35 years. Through his editorship of the journal and the various books he has written or edited, Morris has been at the forefront of this documentation and interpretation of Brethren in Christ history, thought, and life.
We are grateful for how Morris has dedicated his expert editorial and historical skills to the journal and Society. His love for the church and its beliefs, practices, and people have also been obvious in his work. For many years Morris and Leone have been very generous to the Society and its members with their time, expertise, hospitality, and financial resources. While stepping down as the day-to-day editor. Morris will be completing two books commissioned by the Society: (1) an approximately 300-page accessible history of the Brethren in Christ, and (2) a book of stories, biographies, pictures, and short articles portraying the heritage of the Brethren in Christ. He will also continue to serve as general editor of a Brethren in Christ encyclopedia, another project commissioned by the Brethren in Christ Historical Society.
Sider’s successor, Harriet Bicksler, brings a great deal of experience in professional editing and writing — as well as a vast knowledge of the Brethren in Christ Church — to her new post. For the last 30 years, Bicksler has served as editor of Shalom!, a Brethren in Christ-sponsored journal devoted to peace and justice topics. Moreover, as Historical Society president Emerson Lesher noted in his announcement of the new editor’s appointment, Bicksler “has experienced firsthand the life of the church, beginning in Africa where her parents served as missionaries. Harriet is currently very active at the Grantham Brethren in Christ Church.”
For more on this transition, check out the current issue of the Historical Society “Newsletter.”