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May God bless you in your reading!

Pro Rege,
The Salt Shakers Committee

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Welcome to the 49th issue of Salt Shakers!

Dear Readers,

The following letter from the Beacon Lights magazine staff reached our mailbox recently. As can be seen, reading is not a challenge confined to our shores but to the wider church also. The issues mentioned in the letter are certainly not foreign to us! We urge all our readers to give these matters serious consideration and share your thoughts with friends and family (and with us –  both the Salt Shakers and Beacon Lights staff). The letter is copied below:

Dear promoters of reading,

We are contacting you on behalf of Beacon Lights magazine to invite you to join us in collaborating on a common goal that we all share: the promotion of reading in our churches and schools. It seems that we continually come up against the same challenges:

  1. How do we reach the people we need to reach? The sad reality is that many in our churches do not read, not even a little bit. We can encourage the good discipline of reading through writing in our periodicals all we want, but when it comes down to it, the people that we are trying to reach the most (non-readers) are not going to see it because they are not reading in the first place.
  2. Overcoming reading apathy. This is a generational problem. If children do not observe their parents reading in the home, they will be far less likely to be read as well.

We all know that the problem is real and must be remedied. The Beacon Lights staff sees great value in uniting our efforts. This should be an across the board effort, promoted by magazines, school boards, teachers, blogs, journals, newsletters, young people’s societies, and books. Though important and part of the process, this cannot merely consist of creating a few extra advertisements for our respective magazines, books, blogs, etc. It must be an organic, boots on the ground effort if it is going to have the desired effect.

We would like to propose a first step in this effort. Make 2019 a “Year of Reading.” Some initial ideas of how this could be implemented include:

  1. The creation of a flyer to be placed in all church mailboxes, titled “What Can I Read?” This would include brief descriptions of all the magazines, journals, and blogs that are available for our church members to read and how they can subscribe to each.
  2. Special magazine issues devoted to the discipline and importance of reading.
  3. Promotion of reading by consistories at family visitation and societies and in bulletins and newsletters.
  4. Reading programs in schools if they are not already in place (i.e. DEAR—”Drop everything and read”).
  5. An effort by teachers to bring our denominational reading resources into classrooms whenever possible.
  6. Holding a meeting where all parties involved could discuss more ideas and make more concrete plans. If you are interested in joining us in this effort, please respond with your thoughts and interest level as we plan on organizing some meetings to discuss the best ways to move forward. We have sent this letter to the people and organizations Included in the list on the next page. Please forward this letter to anyone you think we missed and include us on the email so that we can add them to the list.

In His service,

Ryan Kregel (Managing Editor) ryankregel@gmail.com, Dewey Engelsma (Editor) editor@beaconlights.org