We're not in this work alone

It was the kind of email that makes me wonder if the work we do even matters. The pastor of a small church asked that we cancel their standing order for Illuminate Friends Bible study material. Here at Barclay Press we get this kind of email from time to time. Sometimes it's because the class is being laid down. Sometimes it's because the local church isn't sure it can afford the expense of Sunday school materials. Sometimes it's because class members are unhappy with the message of a particular lesson or unit.

I thought about how best to respond. After all, Barclay Press can't survive without the support of local churches. I can't afford to ignore these emails. So I asked this pastor for help. Tell me more "about what you are looking for in Sunday school material," I wrote. "This is important feedback for us as we consider how best to move forward, especially since there is no other publisher creating this kind of material for Friends churches." The very next day, I received an email in response, and I realized that this pastor needs our help almost as much as we need hers: "It has always been so convenient to order from Barclay Press."

We're not in this work alone. We do this work best when we find ways to do it together.

Over the week, we emailed back and forth, and we came up with a plan. This morning, I shipped out brand new copies of Adult Friend curriculum from winter 1990/1991 - stories of God's love, stories of faith and faithfulness, stories of Christian living and service. Old material, yes. But also, at least for the members of this Sunday school class, it's a reminder that their continuing commitment to one another matters; and that there are people at Barclay Press in Newberg, Oregon, who want to help.

Eric Muhr