Meet the Copy Editor and Production Coordinator: Catherine Dorton

May 29, 2024
Meet the Team with photo of Catherine Dorton

We, the Gathering Worship editorial team, would like to introduce ourselves to the whole Gathering Worship community! Get to know a bit about who’s behind the names that appear frequently on your page and screen—the people who put it all together. Meet Catherine Dorton, Copy Editor and Production Coordinator

Hello, I’m Catherine, and I’ve been working with the Gathering team since 2016. Though I came to my role with plenty of skills—over 25 years of experience as an editor—and had even worked on a few projects for the United Church Publishing House, I had a lot to learn! All cultures have their own language, and the United Church is no different. But I was delighted to find that instead of ferreting out organizational jargon, which is often a big part of the copy editor’s job, I was learning the language nuances of a culture that strived to be clear, inclusive, anti-oppressive, and respectful of the writer’s voice. I feel so fortunate for that, and for the years I’ve spent being part of such a supportive, collaborative, and hard-working team.

The United Church is one of my two non-book clients. The other is the Toronto District School Board. But most of the time, I work as an editor and proofreader for book publishers, on a mix of adult and children’s fiction and non-fiction. At Christmas, I will often pinch-hit a few shifts at my local bookstore (Book City!), where I’ve been working on and off for years. And my favourite hobby, of course, is reading! I also love walking, and I plan my routes to pass by as many little free libraries as I can. I have an embarrassing number of teetering piles of unread books in my living room.

One of my favourite themes from Gathering over the years was Wild Church because being outdoors and active is where I feel most spiritually connected and closest to Creation: walking in the woods, paddling on a lake, or, if I’m lucky enough to travel away from my home in Toronto, hiking up a mountain.

When I was a kid, some people at our (not United) church told my mother not to let me dance in the aisles because I was too distracting! Reading the perspectives of Gathering contributors has put that family story, and many other things, in perspective. It has broadened my world view. And now, and after a decades-long hiatus, I’ve taken up dancing again—ballet, contemporary, Nia, jazz, I’ll try almost anything (but probably not in a church!).

I hope you, the Gathering community, are enjoying getting to know the Gathering team, because so many of you so generously share yourselves with us. Thank you.