September 23, 2019
Just over a year ago, Ralph Beebe (1932–2019) met with me to talk about several of the various books and pamphlets he has published over the years with Barclay Press. Many of the titles have continuing relevance (and historical value); Ralph impressed upon me the importance of keeping that work available.
I remembered that conversation last week when we sold a copy of A Heritage to Honor, a Future to Fulfill: George Fox College 1891–1991.
It was our last remaining copy.
This story has a happy ending, but I want to emphasize what it illustrates about our day-to-day reality at Barclay Press. We are a small, independent, non-profit publishing house with a special focus on books and pamphlets for Friends. This is not a large market, as there just aren’t very many of us. But Friends continue to have influence far beyond their numbers, both in the church and in the larger culture. Here at Barclay Press, there is an ongoing concern to make available new and relevant resources, to maintain access to older and still-relevant resources, and to do it all on an incredibly tight budget!
I knew that even with the files for Ralph’s book, we would not be able to afford another print run – at least not this year. So I went on a hunt. I thought about who might have had reason to preserve unsold copies of Ralph’s book. I sent off an email and then another and then another. I scheduled a visit. Then, on Friday morning, we received a special delivery, and today I can announce that we have a dozen, brand-new copies of Ralph’s book available on our shelves.
Many of you have been following along with my weekly newsletter for more than three years now, and you know it’s been a slow, uphill climb. We’ve had to be creative. We’ve had to be innovative. We’ve had to make phone calls, and send off emails, and find ways to accomplish the impossible. There have been lots of days where all we’ve been able to do is pray and hope. There have also been days when a friend dropped by with a dozen, brand-new, hard-bound, beautiful books.
It feels like a lesson in faith.
Our goal this year is to raise just over $1,000 a week to sustain operations. Many of you have responded.
- Giving this year is up 1 percent from last year.
- Giving so far this month is up 12 percent from a year ago.
- The total number of donations – 199 – is up 53 percent from this time last year.
And we’re about $11,000 behind where we need to be. So it’s been a week of hard work paying off in amazing ways, and it will continue to be a year of creativity, innovation, impossible tasks, prayer, and lots and lots of hope.
As you have time this week, I hope you’ll think of us here at Barclay Press. I hope you’ll pray for us. We’re celebrating the miracle of twelve books left over, and we’re also facing the reality of insufficient resources for the task ahead. It helps to know that you’re in it with us.