Can You Believe it? It’s been a whole year since the first every-CRC-household Banner rolled off the press and slid into your mailbox. It’s a good time to celebrate and give thanks. Let me tell you why:
- Your response has been overwhelmingly supportive of this new effort, both of the idea and the mag itself.
- We’re overjoyed to hear how many of you, your relatives, and/or your friends have now begun to read The Banner and find it a source of blessing.
- We keep receiving appreciation for the new Banner across every demographic grouping—youths, adults, seniors; church members and leaders; academics, electricians, homemakers; progressives, conservatives; even some 30-something ad agency execs.
So we know that God has richly blessed this revamped magazine way beyond our initial hopes and dreams. Through the contributions of numerous readers, authors, news correspondents, advertisers, and staff, God has allowed us to bless each other in countless ways: by informing, inspiring, educating, and challenging each other—as well as by critiquing, correcting, encouraging, and kidding.
That’s as it should be. In my first editorial I mentioned that we envisioned a Banner that serves as our denomination’s kitchen table—a place around which we can gather as a family and build each other up by speaking the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). You’re doing that. So thanks!
Thank you for making this table sturdy and strong. Thanks for placing it firmly on legs of faith, love, honesty, and imagination.
Let’s keep talking
A Bit of Trivia
So what’s a celebration without a spirited round of Trivial Pursuit? Just for fun, here are a few facts to tickle your fancy:
- Total number of Banners distributed to every CRC household since April 2005: 1.25 million
- Page of the online Banner (www.banner.org) receiving most hits by far: “Punch Lines” (humor) —four times more often than the editorial page. Shows there’s still hope for the CRC.
- Increase in constructive letters received over previous years: approximately 200%
- Number of times Banner staff was overruled on controversial issues by denom leadership and/or the editorial council: 0 (so much for concerns about censorship or lack of editorial freedom)
- Number of times Banner staff trundled off to get denom leadership’s advice on dicey content issues: 4
- Number of times Banner staff regretted asking for advice on dicey content issues: 0
- Estimated ratio of prospective author contributions we received to those we had space to publish: 4:1
- Increase in advertising revenue realized by every household Banner over earlier version: 50%
- Amount of dollars budgeted to be raised by last year’s donor appeal: $300,000
- Amount actually raised by donor appeal: $55,000
- Number of CRC agency directors ready to tar and feather Banner editor because difference will have to come out of their budgets: 5
- Number of invitations received by editor to teach course in fund-raising: 0
- Average time before readers receive letter asking for much-needed donations for every household Banner year two: three weeks