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Tipping Point for Truth-Telling


When you make a gift to Spectrum, you touch off — hope.  

The magazine and website are about honest conversation, and when a siege mentality overtakes important church administrators, honest conversation takes a hit.  The secular culture is impatient not only with bad religion but also with good, so we must all be on our tiptoes against faith’s foes.  But when a sense of victimization and defensiveness shuts down the mind, or lays waste even to trust within the church, a beacon of candor and courage is indispensable 

Spectrum aspires to be such a beacon.  And on this point it remains, despite imperfection, the Adventist benchmark.

Along the way there’s been resistance.  Shortly after the magazine’s lift-off some 45 years ago, Newsweek reported a desire by some members for a return to the vigorous debates of the pioneer period.   A then-well-known Review and Herald editor was unimpressed:  Our doctrines are now “well established,” he wrote, and our time is best spent “taking sharp issue” with the doctrinal mistakes of others.

Such attitudes still constrain the Adventist imagination.  But self-satisfaction is a dead end, a barricade to the building of a better church.  Deeper faithfulness comes instead from humility — openness to fresh perspective and readiness to shrug off mistakes and seize instead upon what is best in our heritage.

That is Spectrum’s business — opening the mind, not closing it; finding news depths of generosity and justice, not new ways to shore up the boundaries or muffle human voices.  But now Spectrum is at a tipping point.  Our volunteers, and the few (mostly part-time and always underpaid) employees who support them, need help.  They all want to improve what they create — reach farther and deeper in news coverage, publish finer scholarship and essays, lift up, in short, a bigger and a more relentless megaphone for church renewal.  

But improving takes resources — a better editing and reporting infrastructure, technology upgrades for greater efficiency and a more pleasing reader experience.  That’s why, over several months now, a banner at the top of our web page has invited Spectrum readers to join the magazine’s Global Community Campaign.  Many have done so.  With a deadline of June 30 and a gifts goal of $250,000 — twice what came in during the fiscal year before this one — the Campaign is 84% of the way to the finish line.

In view of the success so far, editor Bonnie Dwyer has already sent Larry Geraty to South Africa to report on a controversial discussion of “alternative” sexualities convened there by the General Conference.  She will have reporters, too, at an upcoming conference in Germany about how—and this is a big deal—World War I affected Adventism.  During the summer several Adventist students will serve journalistic internships with Spectrum.  Right now our web team is at work on much-needed technical changes to the commenting system.  All this is happening because we are encouraged by your support.

To many, the Spectrum community is as important to Adventism as any congregation.  That’s why I invite you to make gifts to Spectrum a major, regular commitment.  Gifts to this organization are not incidental but essential.  They are essential because hope is essential, and without independent voices there can be no hope.

June 30 is approaching, and here’s how you can contribute:  

  • Send a check to the Spectrum office: PO Box 619047, Roseville, CA 95661.
  • Give online.  

It really counts for something when you pitch in.  You energize the Spectrum team, crack open human minds, clear the way to a deeper and more faithful church.  Thanks so much!

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