Pastor Shawn Hannon
Hope Lutheran Church, Arcade, NY
“Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere.
Go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born.”
So goes the classic Christmas carol as it reminds us that good news is meant to be shared. It draws its lyrics and message from the prophet Isaiah—another bearer of good news and promise. In Isaiah 40:9 the prophet wrote, “Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, ‘Here is your God!'”
Admittedly, the owner of this newspaper is not a prophet of the Lord (though as one of her children I can say she was often right about how things would turn out and wiser than my childhood self was ready to admit), but she has made her mission sharing good news for all to hear—or read—through the Jamestown Gazette.
Her vision was a newspaper that was local, relevant, and uplifting. I distinctly remember her telling me at the beginning that the most significant rubric for deciding whether or not an article belonged in her paper was how it answered this question: Does it build up community? In a world, and particularly in a media and news environment, that is divisive, polarizing, and full of fear, the Jamestown Gazette has striven to be a herald of good tidings. And the reason she was so committed to that is because she is a champion of Jamestown and the surrounding area.
As she prepares for her retirement, I’m reminded of more Biblical wisdom that teaches us there is a time and season for every matter under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3). Transitions in life are sacred and by design—from the womb to the world and through every transition in our lives until this life transitions to the next. This moment of transition is another holy moment in both my mother’s life and for the Jamestown Gazette, and it is met with gratitude for what has been and hope for the future.
As my mother retires, I too find myself filled with gratitude.
I’m grateful for the wisdom and care she poured into me as her son.
I’m grateful for the inspiration she has been for me as she lived into her calling as a herald of good news as the owner and publisher of the Jamestown Gazette.
And I’m grateful—selfishly maybe—because she can never retire from being my mom. In fact, through time she has added more responsibility (not less) as Mimi to 10 grandchildren.
And you can be grateful too, because with or without a weekly publishing of the Jamestown Gazette, I know that she will continue to be a champion of this area and she will continue to hold the relationships she has with you all dear.