There are seeds of hope at the center of what it means to be a Friend. Robert Barclay wrote that “a divine, spiritual, and supernatural light is in all men.” Isaac Penington claimed that this seed was placed in each of us by God as a witness that might “spring up and remain” in us. Elizabeth Fry admitted that she didn’t understand “words of doctrine,” but “one thing I do know, – that Christ is in me ... that ever blessed power.” Stephen Grellet confessed that he was surprised to “find in me what I had so long sought for without me” – Jesus Christ, that “divine presence.”
Everywhere I look in the world, I find evidence of these seeds of hope in the persistence (some might say obstinance) that has resulted in members of a nominal religious group having a huge impact on the shape of society. Here are just a few of the efforts Quakers helped start: York Retreat, Hull House, the Servant Leadership movement, Alternatives to Violence Project, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, Oxfam, Right Sharing of World Resources. Quakers have actively engaged other Christians, other faiths, and the world. Quakers are faithful helpers, workers, leaders, evangelists, and visionaries. Quakers have sometimes succeeded and frequently failed. But they’ve always been committed. And hopeful. And faithful.
The work of Barclay Press – as a Christian publisher in the Friends tradition – is to serve as a seed vault. To capture the essence of these seeds of hope, to preserve it in the words of Friends both present and past, and to share those words – in pamphlets, devotional readers, curriculum, trade books, ebooks, and booklets.
Barclay Press is a Quaker non-profit, and the work of publishing and distribution is our ministry.
Since December, fifty of you have helped us raise $25,080 in gifts and pledges. We needed $25,000 to survive this year, and we’re going to make it! Which has prompted me to start thinking about what’s next – what might Barclay Press accomplish if we were thriving instead of simply surviving? Here are the five parts of my seeds of hope:
Each new title costs us about $3,000 to design, produce, market, and distribute. $27,000 would allow Barclay Press to invest in three quality projects every year through the end of 2020.
Some small congregations rely on Barclay Press for curriculum but get so far behind financially that they can’t afford to pay. $15,000 would allow Barclay Press to erase the debts of those churches while continuing to serve them.
We’ve made slow progress at paying down our long-term debt. $15,000 would allow Barclay Press to finally get out from under this burden.
Barclay Press has three weeks of cash reserves to help us get through a crisis. An additional $30,000 would get us to three months of cash reserves, an important milestone in achieving financial stability.
That $25,000 we needed this year is what we’ll need next year and the year after that. $75,000 would take care of the Barclay Press bottom line through the end of 2020.
My seeds of hope dream is to raise a total of $162,000 by December 31, 2020. The $25,080 in gifts and pledges so far this year puts us 15 percent of the way toward our goal. Here’s how you can help us continue to make progress:
Talk to your church or monthly meeting about making support for Barclay Press a regular part of your budget.
Pray for Barclay Press and for the work that we do.