It is but natural at the occasion of an anniversary to look forward as well as backward. It is not my intention at this time to attempt a long look into the future, although that can very well be done without claiming to be clairvoyant.
The forward look of this editorial has the purpose only to inform you of some of the planned changes in the format and content of our Standard Bearer for the coming volume-year.
First of all, as to format, you will notice that with this issue some changes have been introduced. The editorial staff decided at its June meeting to introduce some of these changes, namely, the new cover page and the new style of department heads. From now on all articles will also run in parallel columns and will not be continued on other pages. The staff felt that these changes would make our paper more attractive in appearance. The Board of the RFPA has also instituted some changes. In this issue we have changed over to off-set printing, to a type of paper with less sheen (and, hopefully, more readability), and to a slightly smaller size of paper, which necessitated smaller margins. Possibly the last mentioned change is only temporary. The purpose of the Board was partly to reduce, or at least hold the line on, costs of printing, and thus to forestall an increase in the subscription price.
In the second place, the present volume will witness some changes in content which the staff feels will contribute to improvement and greater attractiveness. As noted previously, the Rev. M. Schipper is returning to the ranks of contributors,—in the Meditation department. The Rev. J. Kortering has also consented to contribute seven meditations in Volume 41. The Rev. C. Hanko will conduct a regular rubric on Mission Principles and Practice under “The Lord Gave the Word. . .” This department was begun on a temporary basis last year. The Rev. R.C. Harbach is joining the ranks of writers with a rubric on “Sects and Isms” which will appear under the heading “Trying the Spirits.” And the Rev. G. VanBaren, who contributed several informative articles on the Vatican Council in Volume 40, will furnish us more material on that subject and on the general area of the ecumenical movement. His contributions will appear under the heading, “Examining Ecumenicalism.” Thus we hope to introduce greater variety in our columns.
By this time you are probably wondering how all these departments will fit into one, Standard Bearer. The answer is that not every rubric will appear in every issue. Our plan is to have the departments Meditation, Editorials, and Our Doctrine appear every time; the other departments will appear fourteen or fifteen times per year.
We hope you will enjoy the changes. Needless to say, the staff welcomes comments and constructive criticism.