I dreamed last night that I was the President of Graceland University.  You can imagine my relief when I woke up this morning and remembered that I was the president of the John Whitmer Historical Association.  Thank goodness!  This is where I belong.

I am excited to be your president, but as I mention in the Conference Wrap-Up elsewhere in this newsletter, it takes a lot of people to make an organization like JWHA run smoothly… or  smoothly mostly.  Rachel Killebrew, the President-Elect and Program Chair, has the hardest job of the year; however, having worked with her on the 2017 Program Committee, I know she is up to the challenge.  Cheryle Grinter, our professional Executive Director, keeps the numerous officers and staff on task and provides all of us the support to meet the requirements of you, our members.

It takes more than two people, however, so if you wonder who our officers and staff are, go to our website for a full list of the roles and members who fill them to, again, meet the requirements of you, our members.  You may be surprised at how many people are actively dedicated to that end.

And just so all these dedicated scholars know how to serve the association, your contribution is to respond to the survey Cheryle sent out immediately following the conference.  It’s a basic survey, so please take a few thoughtful minutes to complete it and send it our way.  We are good at a lot of things, but we can’t read your minds.  Thank you to those of you who have already completed it.

The JWHA Board has a few items to ponder this fall, such as how to make available to you the presentations you didn’t get to attend because there were so many in Nauvoo, and where to hold the 2019 conference.  Cheryle likes to plan ahead so she can make the best meeting arrangements for us.

Next year’s JWHA conference will be held at the Adam’s Pointe Hotel in Jackson County, Missouri, from September 20-23.  I know right now you are in that in-between sweet spot of enjoying the Nauvoo experience of just three weeks ago and beginning to imagine what it would be like to share your own clan’s story that made order out of chaos.  “Orientation. Disorientation. Reorientation,” the mantra Andrew Bolton gave us at the Sunday morning hymn fest, keeps going through my mind as it naturally leads us into next year’s theme, “Our Stories Fashion Order Out of Chaos.”  Think about it and think about your story.

— Sherry Morain, President