How The Generosity of Spectrum Readers Keeps Independent Journalism Vibrant

(Spectrumbot) #1

Spring fund drive season is in full swing at public radio and television stations around the country. Here at Spectrum, another media that depends on the gifts of its readers to survive, a letter has gone out to the members of Adventist Forum seeking support. And now that the online audience for Spectrum is larger than that of the print journal, we also need our online readers to pitch in to keep independent Adventist journalism vibrant. Please do your part by donating today. Here is the letter I wrote to our members.

Dear friends,

Ten years ago, Spectrum’s open conversation helped me find a place in Adventism to continue growing spiritually.  I mistakenly believed there was no place in the church to have frank discussions which were not dismissive of the issues impacting my faith.  Through discovering the journal, the newly developed website, and then the annual conferences, I realized the reality of the tagline: community through conversation.  I was not alone.

Through the pages of the journal, the ever evolving website, and the progression of annual conferences, Spectrum continues to open space for conversation. This year, a new kind of annual conference is in the works. We are planning an arts festival entitled Ultraviolet.  From musicians to film makers, visual artists to spoken word artists, professionals to patrons, and experienced to novice, all will be invited to share in a communal expression of hope. In particular, we hope young Adventist creative types will experience encouragement and community.  They are not alone.

Also this year, the Spectrum board of directors has initiated a petition to vote yes on the question to allow divisions, as they may deem it appropriate in their territories, to make provision for the ordination of women to the gospel ministry.  Found at, this initiative provides a way for Adventists from around the world and across the liberal/conservative divide to join together in affirming Adventist unity.  We are united in the One we serve, not by our various definitions of who can serve.  We are not alone.

As we move toward the 2015 GC Session, Spectrum is assembling the most extensive staff of reporters and commentators yet.  We have hired a new website editor, Jared Wright, to advance the independent reporting, thoughtful opinion, and intentional inclusion of marginalized voices that Spectrum is known for.  A new commenting system has been implemented with a click required to access comments in order to decrease negativity on the main website.  In addition, we are preparing a survey to explore ways that we can continue to decrease negativity and encourage more diverse participation through all of the conversation venues which Spectrum facilitates.

These initiatives are vital in bringing together our diverse community.  As we inhabit the in-between state with gratitude for Jesus’s first Advent and hope in Christ’s second Advent, we need to remind one another that we are not alone.  We have one another, the beloved community, infused with the Spirit to support and encourage one another.  

If you value our diverse Adventist community as I do, would you join me in supporting Spectrum through reading articles, engaging in discussions, attending conferences and supporting these efforts with your financial gifts?  Together, we can live into God’s boundary-breaking Kingdom.

Brenton Reading, member
Adventist Forum Board of Directors


Four ways to support the reporting and the community that you rely on:


1. DONATE ONLINE. Click on an icon below to go to our secure donation page and to fund reporting on the big topics coming this summer.

2. CALL OUR OFFICE at (916) 774-1080

3. MAIL A CHECK to Spectrum, P.O. Box 619047, Roseville, CA 95661-9047

4. DONATE SECURELY VIA PAYPAL. Click the Donate Button Below. (The page will say "Association of Adventist Forum")

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

(George Tichy) #2

Elmer @elmer_cupino:

Here is your opportunity to negotiate those “likes” in order to increase your daily quota!.. :laughing:

Let’s “trust the process” ( @kennlutz ) and help these guys with the SA project! I bet that will be the only place (“the booth”) in the block where there will be some real coffee available for Spectrumites!

(Rohan Charlton) #3

I’m so excited about the Spectrum coverage of San Antonio!

It’ll take brave staff to operate that booth. @webEd do you anticipate actual confrontation or insults from people?

I bet people come up all the time to give their ‘2 cents’?

(Elmer Cupino) #4

I don’t mind making donations and I’ve carried my share. What I want is someone more skilled and objective a reporter to SA2015 like you or @ageis7. I’ll even settle for @tjzwemer or @cfowler. I’ll even give up my “likes” quota. :smile:

What do you say @webEd?

(Jared Wright) #5

Spoiler alert: I’m not the notorious/illustrious @webEd, though I am A web editor. So I’ll let @webEd respond as the Spirit moves, and I’ll offer this: WHAT? You want George or Elaine to come with us to San Antonio to help provide GC Coverage? And you’ll pay their way? That’s a GREAT idea!

(Peter Marks) #6

Yes! I’m all for independent journalism and investigative journalism of the first order!! Afterall the Association of Adventist Forums was set up to provide a voice for those in Adventist academia to make their contribution to the life of the church in those areas which they know best.

Yet we hardly hear from them - and certainly not under their real names.

Many of the most notable voices on this blog are agnostic or almost so!

A great example of what can happen with the notable issues of our day is the current roundtable on same sex marriage by four Adventist legal notables.

But let’s move beyond the place where the issues of orgasm, origins, ordination and organization dominate discussion on this blog.

Let’s have contributions that are designed to build faith in the Bible and not dismantle it to the lowest common denominator. Let’s invite real contribution by orthodox Adventist scholars who are not easily dismissive of Adventist orthodox and yet can help us make fresh approaches. Further, let’s invite other Christian notables to contribute on the issues of the day. Yesterday I watched Rosaria Butterfield, a former lesbian Professor of English at Syracuse University and author of “The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert.” She was speaking on how her neighbour and Reformed Presbyterian pastor encouraged her toward repentance and conversion. What an uplifting testimony. She is now a Reformed pastor’s wife.

(George Tichy) #7

I will get Spectrum a better deal: I will tell ahead of time what is going to happen there. What about that, uh? :slight_smile:

(Peter Marks) #8


I offered my services but apparently Spectrum wants reporters who will tow the partyline a little more closely. I’m too far away in Australia. I’m almost falling off the edge of the world!!

(Elmer Cupino) #9

I am willing to pay for George and/or Elaine’s round trip ticket to SA2015 on the condition that:

  1. both wear the shown T-shirts at all times
  2. be present at the Spectrum Booth (with decaf Moonbucks coffee) and
  3. make daily reports. George may do his one day in advance since he seems to be on target with just about everything he says.


@GeorgeTichy @ageis7

(Jared Wright) #10

Reality is that budget constraints being what they are, and the limited number of press passes the North American Division is allotted to distribute among petitioners, we were not able to bring as large an entourage as we would have liked. What we would like if it were our decision to make, is to be able to host as big a tent as possible in keeping with who we are as an organization.

(Cfowler) #11

[quote=“elmer_cupino, post:4, topic:8295”]
I’ll even settle for @tjzwemer or @cfowler. I’ll even give up my “likes” quota.

I would love to go to San Antonio with Tom Zwemer…lots to be learned from such a knowledgable gentleman.

I would need lots of coffee for this assignment though. Could I get in carrying a cup from Starbucks? Wearing earrings? Bringing a ham sandwich in my purse, whipping that bad boy out at lunch? That would be fun, for sure.

(Carolyn Parsons) #12

One of the reasons I am here, discussing these issues is that I don’t trust orthodoxy. On the other hand, I would love to read fresh approaches that balance orthodoxy with fresh insights and put them into a real-world context. So much of what I read from SDA theologians and scholars is rooted in the parallel world of SDA institutionalism, not in the world I inhabit.

(Peter Marks) #13

Thanks Jared. I need at least 20 characters.

(Elmer Cupino) #14

Just make sure that when you kneel, your skirt touches the ground, as my high school dormitory dean would frequently tell the girls.

(Jared Wright) #15

There’s a special place in the nosebleed section set aside for special use by Badventists of that stripe.

(Peter Marks) #16

Perhaps I can invite you to list a little more carefully to these Adventist voices you seem to dismiss.

(Cfowler) #17

[quote=“elmer_cupino, post:14, topic:8295”]
Just make sure that when you kneel, your skirt touches the ground, as my high school dormitory dean would frequently tell the girls.
[/quote]I’m in the Wild West. My wardrobe consists of Levi’s and cowboy boots. Good grief! Another hurdle.

(George Tichy) #18

With those T-shirts the KGC will take us both immediately to the gallows before we make it to the S-Booth…


(Cfowler) #19

Good one, George! (((20)))

(Elaine Nelson) #20

Elmer, I nominate George as an independent reporter for Spectrum. All magazines, print or digital, need free lance reporting in addition to the paid staff.
We here could pass the plate for paying for his transportation and lodgings plus food if Spectrum would guarantee to publish his daily on site reports. O.K. George, you’re nominated! :innocent: