A Gleaner Reader Alert

December 13, 2018 | Church | Steve Vistaunet

EDITOR’S NOTE: The printed Gleaner is moving this year to a bimonthly magazine. Read on to find out why this is a positive move for Northwest Adventists and our collective mission.

I wandered the aisles of our local supermarket the other day looking for the ubiquitous block of yellow-orange plastic often referred to by its scientific name, Urbana Nondescriptus Velveetus. Don’t judge me. It is seldom used in our household but quite helpful in certain instances — caulking drafty windows, blocking essential arteries and, once in awhile, creating tasty, if questionable recipes.

I wandered because the powers who decide such things had literally moved my cheese. “It’s over in the dairy case,” assured one veteran worker. No, it was not. “Oh, I think it has been moved to the chips and dip aisle,” said another. No, it hadn’t. As I was getting ready to load a query into my mobile phone’s GPS, the manager came to my rescue, took me by the arm and led me to the hallowed spot for the reclusive treasure. I don’t now recall where it was, and likely won’t need to, since this item tends to lurk in our fridge for years before replacement is required.

Change, someone once quipped, is the only constant. It is indeed sometimes disruptive and frustrating. But it is also required for progress and growth. I’ve come to not only accept it, but welcome it.

Change is coming to your printed Gleaner during 2019. It’s not the first time the Gleaner has changed since its inception in 1906. It was originally a four- to eight-page newsletter printed and sent out to several thousand Northwest Adventists. Through the years, it has progressed, gradually adding pages and photos and color.

In recent years, the printed Gleaner has been sent each month to around 40,000 households around the Northwest and beyond. The frequency of this delivery will now change. Digital methods of communication have improved so dramatically that many members are daily accessing fresh news and inspiration from the Gleaner via our GleanerNow.com website and GleanerWeekly e-newsletter rather than waiting a whole month or more to see it in print. Most of our local conferences are also ramping up digital communication efforts. Northwest members now have the opportunity to be more efficiently and immediately connected as a church family than ever before.

So, in an effort to place more church resources on the frontlines of ministry in your local conferences and communities, we will reduce the cost of printing and mailing the magazine so frequently. And, yes, you’ll notice change this year, as the printed Gleaner will come to your household bimonthly — every other month. This will maintain a regular presence for many who relish a physical magazine to page through and read. It will also help redirect valuable church resources back toward local conference mission. I think it’s a “no-brainer,” considering principles of good stewardship. The North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC) executive committee has agreed.

We can do this together as a Northwest family of believers because there are so many other, more immediate and timely ways for us to connect. Digital content allows us to instantly inform and inspire each other toward our common mission. Watch for additional resources to pop up this year at GleanerNow.com, including regular series of digital podcasts, opinion columns, videos, training resources for mission and evangelism, and more. Look for NPUC Facebook and Twitter postings to provide daily glimpses — as well as social media and regular e-newsletters from your local conference. The Gleaner is still a valuable central hub for our Northwest mission, but it is no longer the only source.

Send articles to us online as soon as possible after any newsworthy event, so they can be seen quickly online, even while they wait in line for possible inclusion in the next print issue. A special news item may then be viewed at gleanernow.com long before it appears in print. 

The bottom line is every conceivable resource should be invested in our common mission to share the distinctive, Christ-centered, Seventh-day Adventist message of hope and wholeness with our Northwest communities. Change that advances this mission/His mission is good. And, if how we communicate with each other can become more efficient toward that goal, we should welcome it.

You will still receive a bimonthly printed Gleaner. But, as we move further into this year of change, please let me know how we can make the expanding digital Gleaner resources as effective as possible. I welcome your counsel and creative ideas by online submission.