Meet Julia Grosser, who has been part of the editorial team for the ChinaSource Quarterly (originally called the ChinaSource Journal) for every issue since it began in 1999.
Before beginning work for Brent Fulton at the Institute of Chinese Studies (which would later become ChinaSource) at Wheaton College in 1996, she served in Ecuador for 15 years, working in church planting and educational ministries. When she returned to the United States, she worked for several Christian, non-profit agencies involved in a variety of international ministries.
When she began working for Brent she was introduced to another huge aspect of work among a large segment of the world’s population. Her work on the ChinaSource Quarterly has given her the opportunity to interact with many individuals who are serving in China and to read scores of thoughtful, insightful articles, a privilege for which she is extremely grateful.
I recently caught up with Julia to ask her about her 20 years of working on the Quarterly (Journal).
1. How did your involvement with the ChinaSource Quarterly start?
When I began working for Brent Fulton in the fall of 1996, a four-page, quarterly bulletin was already being published and I took over that responsibility. However, Brent had a vision for something more substantial with a theme for each issue and writers with current knowledge on a chosen topic. We made plans for a sixteen page journal, and as we were facing the new millennium, for the inaugural issue (published in the spring of 1999 as hard copy), we wanted to address what was going on in China as the country entered the year 2000. Dr. Carol Hamrin (who at the time worked at the China Desk of the US State Department) worked with us a great deal in those early years and authored the lead article, “Thinking about China,” for that first issue.
From the beginning, there was much teamwork as Brent suggested topics and approached individuals well-versed in that specific field. Most of the time, those asked to author an article graciously agreed to write for ChinaSource, and I managed the process as well as edited the articles when they came in. Today, I continue to do the copy editing.
2. How have the topics covered by the ChinaSource Quarterly changed over the years?
While we tried to cover a variety of topics over the years, certain themes did reappear. One was the city—migration to the cities, serving in the city, the church in the city, and other topics relating to a population that was rapidly becoming urban rather than rural.
Leader development, education, the effect of technology, China’s increasing role in a global world, and ministering to Chinese studying and working in countries outside China all claimed more than one issue. More recently, the changing role of the foreign worker, the postmodern generation, and the challenges facing Christians in China on a daily basis due to cultural and political changes have been explored. As China has changed, the ChinaSource Quarterly has kept pace by being on the cutting edge of what is taking place inside China.
3. Is there an issue/topic that stands out for you? Or, if I may be so bold to ask—is there a favorite issue that you have done?
The ChinaSource Quarterly has done several issues on “stewardship” but the first one in the summer of 2009 has always remained with me. It dealt with stewardship in a variety of areas, and perhaps because I had never considered some of these different areas, it made an impact on me.
I have also enjoyed working on the issues dealing with global Chinese and returnees. This might be because I regularly rub shoulders with internationals in the United States and people who are working with Chinese students. Having lived overseas myself I think I can recognize the difficulty of moving between cultures; and for Chinese students there are added political pressures as well.
Join me in thanking Julia for her excellent and faithful work on the ChinaSource Quarterly for the past 20 years.
Joann Pittman is Vice President of Partnership and China Engagement and editor of ZGBriefs. Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has also taught Chinese at the University …View Full Bio
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