Morning routines. We all have them.

Unless you’re like Pentecostals and contemporary worship folk who say they have no order of worship or liturgy. They just do the same things in the same order every week.

My morning routine includes looking over my New York Times app while I cradle my mug of coffee. (I still miss a tangible newspaper, but we have to move on.) I don’t have time to read much of the Times. I usually go first to the Opinion section, survey the titles and writers and then select two or three editorials to read. Most are good. Some are very good. A few I stop reading halfway through.

Next I typically head to The Twelve. I realize I’m biased, but often I come away thinking it was as solid, insightful, fresh, and well-written as anything I’d just read in The Times. Sure, it varies. Most are good. Some are very good. A few I stop reading halfway through.

Still, to be on par with The Times, or at least within shouting distance. That’s pretty good company.

Like The Times, you become familiar with the writers here on The Twelve. You have your favorites. You see a name and you start to conjure up the sort of thing they’re likely to bring that day. I’d like to have a contest where you come up with three to five adjectives for each of the regulars on The Twelve. And there are enough guests, semi-regulars, and switches to keep things lively.

I got a good deal on my New York Times subscription. I’m told it won’t be so cheap when it’s time to renew. Meanwhile, The Twelve simply appears. Gratis.

It’s free. No subscriptions. No paywall. No limits. But we sure could use your financial support. We’d take it as an endorsement. A token of gratitude. A sign to keep going. Such sentiments are not insignificant to us. They mean a lot. Truly.

Your gift is necessary to keep the wheels turning and the bills paid. We’re thrifty. We don’t get paid.

This year, however, we are asking for more than that.

We believe we’re ready to move into some new territory. Ever since we stopped the hard-copy Reformed Journal, the printed and mailed version, we’ve been looking for our sea legs, trying to find our way. We think we’re about there — with the ideas, energy, and commitment to make the Journal as lively as The Twelve. What we need is some significant funding.

Today has become Giving Tuesday. You’re inundated with requests from so many, many noble causes. We’re not asking you to ignore them. It’s also World AIDS Day. I’m very cognizant that the Reformed Journal is not feeding hungry children or giving medical care to refugees.

But back to morning routines — we trust that a provocative thought, some well-crafted words, a few moments of inspiration and beauty, some humor and hope, sometimes dismay and sometimes holiness are something you want to support.

Thank you.

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Your monthly financial contribution allows us to continue to express the Reformed faith theologically; to engage issues that Reformed Christians meet in personal, ecclesiastical, and societal life.


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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