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I was in the room where it happened, to borrow from Hamilton-speak.

The room where The Twelve was hatched.

A quaint retreat center where the board of Perspectives was gathered, discussing how to use the web to engage more quickly and more regularly with our readers. I actually give Phil Tanis credit for the idea, that with a little polish and a few tweaks, became The Twelve.

On October 31, 2011, The Twelve debuted with Jeff Munroe blogging Do Calvinists Believe in Luck?

Seven years and thousands of posts later, we’re growing and stronger than ever.

Who recalls the original line-up with Jessica Bratt, Jes Kast, Jamie Smith, Thomas Goodhart, and Theresa Latini? Along the way we’ve welcomed Jennifer Holberg, Rebecca Koerselman, Kate Kooyman, Brian Keepers, Heidi De Jonge, and Sarina Gruver Moore. Jim Bratt and Jeff Munroe wandered off for a bit, but are back now. Debra Rienstra, Scott Hoezee, Jim Schaap, Jason Lief, and I have persisted from the beginning. Plus, many, many, outstanding guests.

I found this passage from Marilynne Robinson’s essay “Decline” in The Givenness of Things, hopeful, and possibly even evocative of the best of The Twelve. Writing on the supposed decline of literacy, writing, reading, and cultural conversation, Robinson says

I credit the Internet with our rescue. It turns out there are audiences for science and economics and political history—wonkish, unembarrassed discussion of complex issues in complex language.

Upon reading this, I smiled and was heartened and thought of our enterprise at The Twelve.

** Big Changes **

We hope you’ve noticed some recent changes. We’re rolling out a new name, which is actually an old name, Reformed Journal. Our goal is that with the new/old name, will come other improvements—a podcast, more posts and essays, more discussion and voices. Have you noticed that you can now listen to The Twelve with Amazon Polly?

Even though much of this is done with volunteers on a shoestring budget, we still have costs. And we need your help.

Not only your money—but definitely your money.

Our aim is to build community, a community that appreciates beauty and good writing, that welcomes provocative thinking and comforting devotion, that is Reformed but not parochial, that is committed to civil discourse and Christian forbearance.

Thank you for being part of that.

In addition to your gifts, we cherish your comments, your encouragement, your shares and likes, and even your dissents.

On our seventh birthday, and as we begin some big changes, we appeal to your generosity and gratitude. There’s a blue box below to click on. There’s a similar blue box everyday in the upper right corner. Or if you’re a checkbook sort of person, send your check to Reformed Journal, PO Box 441130 #94102, Detroit, MI 48244-1130.

Please help us celebrate by making a gift today.

Steve Mathonnet-VanderWell

Steve Mathonnet-VanderWell and his wife, Sophie, are the pastors at the Second Reformed Church in Pella, Iowa. Steve has served on numerous Reformed Church commissions and task forces, and also edited the journal Perspectives for many years. Before coming to Iowa, he lived and served as a pastor in upstate New York. Sophie and he have two adult children. He holds a Ph.D. from Boston College in theological ethics.

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