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Policy and Appreciation
(Editorial - January 2005)

With this issue, we begin Volume 68 of the Tidings. As will be noted from the advert on the opposite page, we begin our 18th year serving as editor. We feel it is now time to turn over the responsibilities and opportunities to someone else. The committee has been given a firm date to find someone, but we are ready to begin the transition immediately. To any who are interested, Bro. Ken Curry will provide a summary of what the job entails.

Some changes
With this issue, the Caribbean Pioneer will no longer appear as a separate section of the magazine. For more than 40 years, Sis. Mary Eyre was the heart and soul of the Pioneer. Sis. Dorothy Issacs explained Mary’s extensive involvement in her testimonial at the funeral (see later in this issue). While the Pioneer was started in Guyana under the guidance of Sis. Lorraine (Spence) Mitchell, it shortly became the monthly endeavor of Sis. Mary and it seems a fitting time to now integrate it into the whole of the Tidings.

Articles from our Caribbean brothers and sisters are still urgently needed and most welcome but they will be interspersed with the other material in the magazine.

Readers will also notice a simplification of the vocabulary used in a couple of the on-going series in the magazine. The topics under discussion are, in some cases, scientific and in other instances profound, so unfamiliar words are frequently appropriate as they state exactly the point. But we’ve received a steady stream of requests that good ideas be put in more familiar and common terms. With the cooperation of the authors, we’ll attempt to do that.

These long-running series serve a dual purpose: they provide for an extensive consideration of an important issue and they provide the basis for useful books. This has been a common feature of other magazines in the brotherhood, but not so much for North American-based publications. In fact, the North American brothers and sisters have lagged behind our counterparts in Australia and the United Kingdom in publishing works for the community. Accordingly, Tidings Publishing has decided to become more active in publishing books that have value and worth to the brotherhood. So far, we are encouraged that “Parables,” “Miracles,” and “Legalism vs. Faith” have sold out their first printings and “John Thomas, His Friends and His Faith” has been well received. Also “Parables,” and “Miracles” have been translated into other languages for wider distribution. This month we offer a new publication, “John’s Creation,” by Bro. J. Pople which initially appeared in serialized form in the magazine. A monthly series helps the author produce a book as he/she has the ongoing incentive to keep working away on a long-term project.

Editorial standards
In a recent communication, we have been asked to clarify our editorial standards. The request was prompted by some editing adjustments made in a couple of submissions and by our inclusion of some comments that are thought to be of a “non-traditional” nature.

In respect to editing adjustments: we are pleased to submit the edited version of an item back to the author for his/her approval. Of course any magazine will have protocols of punctuation, abbreviation, capitalization, etc. just to maintain conformity throughout the issue, otherwise a general hodge-podge appearance would result. And normal editing is expected in correcting grammar, syntax, accuracy of biblical reference and clarity of expression. In this regard, we are certain some feel hesitant to submit material because they don’t write very well. Between the section editors and ourselves, we are prepared to handle that problem and submit the edited version back to the author to make sure we have properly picked up the sense he/she has intended to convey. So please write if you have something you’d like to see published.

In respect to non-traditional ideas: We have made it quite clear that we will not endorse any scriptural exposition not in harmony with the biblical principles summarized in the BASF. Beyond that, however, we may occasionally provoke consideration of what we feel are misquoted scriptures or misunderstood teachings even though such misquotes or misunderstandings have become imbedded in our community thinking. Further, we will publish submitted articles which do the same. Such items will be identified, however, as “Editorial” (which by its very nature is the editor’s opinion on some issue), “Suggestion,” or “Comment.”

If we have a different opinion from that presented in a submitted piece, we may say so when the article appears. Generally, however, we’ll let the author have his/her say and in a subsequent issue of the magazine state our personal view, if we feel that doing so would be helpful. The “correspondence” section gives opportunity for the readership to express themselves in this regard. Of course, letters to the editor also give the original author an opportunity to elaborate his/her opinion and for the editor to join in the discussion.

A word of thanks
This is the time of year subscription payments are received along with “a little extra” in many cases. The donations are greatly appreciated as they make possible sending the magazine to hundreds of brothers and sisters scattered around the world who could not otherwise afford it. They also make possible our rather liberal policy of sending the magazine for a couple of years to those behind in their payments. This is a deliberate out-reach ministry to those who may be going through a low point in their discipleship. On more than one occasion, the continued contact with the community via the magazine has been helpful in reconnecting such brothers and sisters with ecclesial life.

We also greatly appreciate the notes of encouragement such as: “Many thanks for all your labors for a great magazine;” “The balance is a donation for continuing expenses. Thank you for your continued labors;” “Thanks so much for all you do;” “Greetings to you in the name of our soon coming king, Jesus. The days are quickly flying, and Christ will come again.” And may he come soon, Amen.

Don Styles

 

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