Readers will find that most of the articles in this issue focus on our ability to pay careful attention, and to respond appropriately— individually, and corporately.
In just this vein, the Board of Trustees and staff of FRIENDS JOURNAL have been listening carefully to the comments and suggestions of our readers and supporters this year. We have worked hard—with the help of generous supporters—to stabilize our finances and to plan additional ways to grow the ministry of the written word through FRIENDS JOURNAL. I’m very pleased to share with you our vision of a tripartite communications ministry going forward: FRIENDS JOURNAL Magazine; FRIENDS JOURNAL Online; and FRIENDS JOURNAL Books.
This expanded ministry will include the much-loved magazine, published 11 times annually. It will include an expanding website, with increasing amounts of entirely unique content, the titles of which will be listed as “FRIENDS JOURNAL Online Table of Contents” in the magazine each month. Our expanded ministry will also include the publication of more topical anthologies, utilizing our 55-plus years of archives, a veritable treasure trove of Quaker thought. We plan to digitize our entire archive, making it accessible through keyword searches. We will repackage the contents of that archive in ways that are useful to individuals and Friends meetings for discussion and reflection, making them downloadable in different formats, including for handheld readers such as the Kindle, or possibly as topical collections of CDs.
It is our strong belief that the world is hungry for the message of Friends—and that FRIENDS JOURNAL is well positioned to deliver that message. It is also our strong belief that individual Friends and Friends meetings are in need of fresh resources to strengthen our spiritual lives and community practices. We are aware that, just as in the days of George Fox, there is a great people to be gathered, and our intention is to respond to seekers and fellow travelers with a rich array of accessible resources that can speak to their condition.
We will offer multiple ways to support the ministry of FRIENDS JOURNAL, in response to the varieties of conditions readers have reported to us. We will have a low-cost subscription for those of extremely limited means. We will offer readers a “supporting subscriber” option to pay the full actual cost of a subscription. We will welcome additional financial support and will encourage subscribers and donors to make regular monthly payments to improve our cash flow and to grow the means needed to underwrite this expanded ministry. We’ll make regular payments to us very easy to do. And we will offer readers multiple opportunities and ways to support our ministry so that we can continue to serve Friends and reach out to those seeking the Quaker message we have always published so abundantly. We are seeking support to make this rich resource much more widely available through the Internet, and to enhance it in ways that will appeal to younger generations of readers and writers. We are very excited about the possibilities for expanded outreach and for better service to the Religious Society of Friends.
Last year at this time, we invited your comments and your assistance. They were very important to us—and they are still needed. FRIENDS JOURNAL is first and foremost a ministry of Friends to Friends, and it cannot take place without your active participation. Please be generous in telling us what you think of our plans, in sending your suggestions, and in helping to fund this vital ministry.