Presbyterians Today Editorial Calendar 2015–2016
July/August 2015: our bond with animals
Article deadline: March 2, 2015
Pet ownership in the United States has more than tripled since the 1970s, with 62 percent of all households including at least one pet in 2012. Every year, more than 175 million people visit zoos and aquariums—that’s more than the annual attendance of NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB events combined. Clearly, animals are important to us. In this fun, warm-hearted issue, we’ll look at all the many ways animals are a part of our lives and ministries—from therapy and service animals to wildlife sanctuaries to ministry with veterans to blessings and worship to all the animals in the Bible.
September/October 2015: Our hurting world
Article deadline: May 1, 2015
On the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, we’ll take a sweeping look at the ways Presbyterians are working to uphold the basic dignity and rights of people across the world. Presbyterians were among the leading participants in the formation of the United Nations, supporting two years later that body’s historic Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Now, thanks to the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations and numerous other ministries, we are still on the front lines of that struggle. Topics may include Millennium Development Goals, poverty, AIDS, Ebola, conflict in the Middle East, water issues, land grab, Cuba, refugees, and more.
November/December 2015: seeking hope and beauty
Article deadline: July 1, 2015
Having just explored in the September/October 2015 issue the many forms of suffering that plague this world, we bring you an issue of hope and beauty, an issue of Christmas blessings. We will seek out the places where imagination runs wide and hope deep. Stories and vivid photos will remind us of God’s grace. Topics may include Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, “Educate a Child, Transform the World” initiative, Special Offerings, photo essays, simple living, art, and student debt assistance.
January/February 2016: human trafficking
Article deadline: September 1, 2015
Slavery exists today—even in our own communities. More than 20.9 million people are estimated to work in conditions of forced labor and sexual exploitation worldwide. But efforts to help those caught in the vicious web of human trafficking must go beyond good intentions. This issue, timed to come out for Human Trafficking Awareness Day, will take a close look at this often talked about but rarely understood injustice. It will help you learn how to combat human trafficking through ministry, education, corporate campaigns, legislative action, and prayer.
march/April 2016: youth
Article deadline: November 1, 2015
More a resource or practical guide than a typical magazine, this issue will peer into the changing world of youth ministry, that essential period of faith formation that could make or break future participation in the life of the church. We’ll hear stories of transformation from Triennium, a five-day high-energy event where high-school aged youth grow in their discipleship in Jesus Christ—an event happening again in July 2016. We’ll ask how faith can be passed along to younger generations. We’ll explore new emphases on service and social witness in youth ministry. And we’ll invite youth themselves to write about their aspirations for the church, the world, and their lives.
May/June 2016: the urban green revolution/portland
Article deadline: January 2, 2016
An ambitious vision of sustainable, forested cities is taking hold across much of the country and the world. And it’s in Portland, the site of the 222nd General Assembly (2016), that this revolution is perhaps most deeply rooted. It involves urban farming, the conversion of abandoned railway tracks, radical urban planning, programs for children, and all kinds of small, creative projects that are making cities more livable. Some Presbyterians—concerned about climate change, lack of access to fresh, healthy food, and the growing spiritual and mental sickness resulting from the lack of exposure to nature—have heard the call.
July/August 2016: networks—the new way of doing church
Article deadline: March 2, 2016
This issue will look at the loosely connected networks—built around technology and shared interests or identities—that are replacing institutions, programs, and organizations. We’ll ask some hard questions about how they form and whether they’re really effective or not. And we’ll seek out the Presbyterian networks that are thriving and try to pinpoint the reasons for success and how this could change the ways we organize our congregational and national ministry.
September/October 2016: fences (violence and reconciliation)
Article deadline: May 1, 2016
Everywhere, violence rips at the seams of human society, breeding divisions reinforced by border fences, prison walls, and race. In this issue, poised on the 15th anniversary of September 11th, we will address some of the most gaping wounds in our society and the many ways Presbyterians are seeking to bring about reconciliation. Topics may include mass incarceration, restorative justice, conflict-torn regions like South Sudan, the Belhar Confession, police, racism, forgiveness, services of healing, terrorism, Islamophobia, and immigration.
November/December 2016: adjusting to change (life transitions)
Article deadline: July 1, 2016
Psychologists describe significant life transitions or changes as a kind of trauma. They unsettle much of what we thought we knew of the world and our place in it. In this issue, we’ll bring a pastoral eye to a number of transitions: high school and college graduation, returning from mission or combat, retirement, the death of a spouse or child, immigration, gender transition, incarceration and release, divorce, terminal illness, and more. And we’ll look at the ways the church can be a loving and supportive presence in the midst of these changes, including collegiate ministries, rites of passage like confirmation, and support groups like Company of New Pastors—all as we approach the transition into a world utterly changed by the birth of Christ.