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This is Issue No. 1 of our fifty-fifth volume. We are thankful to God that He has privileged us not only to continue publishing our magazine these many years, but also that He has given us the grace to continue, we firmly believe, in the course which was originally mapped out for our Standard Bearer when it was first held aloft in October, 1924. 

As we begin this new volume, we wish to call your attention to some of the plans for this volume. Annually the staff meets during the month of June to elect officers and department editors and to decide on various changes and improvements for the coming volume-year. Then, during the summer months, your editor draws up (in accord with the decisions taken by the staff) a master schedule for the entire volume-year and informs each department editor of his part in the schedule. Meanwhile, we try to leave the schedule sufficiently flexible to allow room for various special articles and reports which may become available during the course of the year. In recent years, due to the fact that our available supply of man-power and talents has become more plentiful, we have been able to make some changes and improvements, to expand the number of departments, and to present a greater variety of writers. This has not always been possible in bygone years; in fact, there were times when it was difficult to find sufficient writers and when it was a real chore to fill the 24 pages of our magazine for a total of 21 issues per year. Remember, too, that the Standard Bearer cannot go out and hire writers; we have no paid staff. Our editors have as their only reward the joy of writing and—we hope—of being read. But, as I said, at present we have a larger pool of talents to draw on; and this makes it more readily possible to make some changes once in a while, as well as to divide the labors a bit more widely. 

First of all, let me call your attention to the changes in the coming year. 

1) We welcome to the ranks of, our staff Rev. Arie den Hartog. He has agreed to share the department In His Fear with Rev. Meindert Joostens. 

2) Rev. Jason Kortering is going to discontinue writing the department Triumph Through Trials. Instead he is going to edit a new Bible Study department. I trust he will tell you more about this when he submits his first article. But I can inform you now that this department will be designed especially to be a guide and a help with Scripture reading in family worship. 

3) Prof. Robert Decker is going to divide his writing labors this year, between his articles on the Belgic Confession and. a new Missions rubric. The purpose of this department is not only to give instruction concerning our mission calling and news of our mission labors when possible, but also to call attention to the world missions scene. 

4) The staff decided to discontinue the departmentStudies in Isaiah for the time being.” We requested Rev. Robert Harbach to join the ranks of those who write guest articles this year. This he consented to do, along with Revs. Wayne Bekkering, Marvin Kamps, and Richard Moore. From all of these you should be hearing a couple of times during the coming volume-year; they write on subjects of their own choice. 

5) The Rev. Cornelius Hanko will be in charge ofQuestion Box during the coming volume-year. This change is due to another change, namely, that your editor hopes to begin a department on the history of our Protestant Reformed Churches, in addition to his editorial chores. Originally I had requested the staff to replace me as editor, so that I might write one or two departments of more permanent value. To this the staff did not consent, but they did reduce my editorial quota to approximately two pages per issue and relieve me of Question Box and give me leave to edit a new department. 

6) Finally, we also decided to have Signs of the Timesappear more frequently—a total of 16 issues. The editors will continue to be Rev. Mark Hoeksema and Rev. James Slopsema. 

In the second place, the following reassignments were made: 

1) The Meditations will continue to be written by Revs. Cornelius Hanko, Marinus Schipper, and Herman Veldman. 

2) Prof. H. Hanko will continue to write for My Sheep Hear My Voice

3) Rev. John A. Heys will continue to write for The Day of Shadows.

4) Rev. George C. Lubbers will continue his From Holy Writ

5) Rev. David Engelsma will write his contributions under Taking Heed To The Doctrine

6) Rev. Gise Van Bar-en will take you on a look All Around Us

7) Revs. Rodney Miersma and Ronald Van Overloop will share the department The Strength of Youth

8) Translated Treasures hopes to complete the translation of Abraham Kuyper’s Tract on the Reformation of the Church

9) Book notices and reviews will appear from time to time. 

10) Mr. Ken Vink will strive to keep you up to date onNews of our Churches. To do this, however, he needs faithful correspondents in our various churches. Be sure to send him bulletins regularly, as well as special news reports. 

So now you know what to expect in the coming volume-year. 

Please remember our Standard Bearer and its writers and publishers in your prayers. And please continue to support it not only with gifts, which are always welcome, but especially by reading what we write.