A short update on where things stand at Mere O HQ (AKA my home study): I’ve been doing Mere Orthodoxy full-time since January. God willing and if the magazine’s finances allow it, this is what I will be doing FT for the foreseeable future.
We also are currently at the copy-and-design stage with print #3, which is on “work and prayer,” and features some of our best work we’ve published yet in print, in my opinion. The sequence of Leah Sargeant on care work, Charlie Clark on good work, and Brad Littlejohn on a theology of money is especially excellent. I’m currently editing print #4 (theme of “de-radicalization”) and planning print #5 (theme of “marriage”).
Number four will have a cover essay from Jess Joustra with other contributions from Brad East, Mark Sayers, Chase Davis, Michael Sacasas, Sarah Clark, Bonnie Kristian, Kirsten Sanders, and Kyle Edward Williams, amongst others.
Finally, we are also in the process of redesigning our website and actually doing it properly this time. In other words, we are paying a professional designer to do it, as opposed to our last update which was probably five years ago and involved me buying a new WordPress theme for $70, hacking a bunch of stuff together on my own, and… voila?
Given all of these developments, we’re obviously operating at a larger budget than we have in the past, even if it is still a shoestring budget relative to basically any of our competitors. So as part of the website re-launch, we will be implementing a metered paywall, which is similar to what you’ll find on most print media projects these days.
Between now and the redesign, we’ll be offering a discounted rate on subscriptions to give people a chance to sign up to support our work now for a slightly cheaper rate than you’d normally have to pay. So if you use this link (or simply use the promo code ‘newsite’ on our normal subscription page) you can sign up now for 25% off a one-year subscription, which gives you full access to our work for one year for $45 instead of the usual $60. (International subscriptions also have 25% off the normal rate.)
Private Readers Group Discord Server
Finally, we are also launching a private readers group Discord server called the Society of St Anne’s. This will be for Mere O subscribers who opt-in to join the group. (In other words, you will not be enrolled automatically when you subscribe. Instead, you’ll be able to ask to join it if you would like to be part of it.) The server is named for St Anne’s-on-the-Hill, which is the manor house where the resistance cell, as it were, is living in C. S. Lewis’s That Hideous Strength. St Anne, of course, is also traditionally believed to be the mother of Mary, the mother of Christ. If you have wanted a place to chat with other thoughtful people away from the noise of social media, this will be that sort of place. In addition to being a good spot for some quieter, more private conversation, I also anticipate using some of Discord’s features to host subscriber-only interviews and conversations on the server. More on that to come.
If you are a Mere O subscriber already, you can let me know that you’d like to participate by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll also be sending an email announcement about the private members group to our subscriber email list later in the week, so you can also just reply to that when it arrives if that’s easier. I am not auto-adding all subscribers to the server because I do not want to add people unless they actually want to be added. So this will be available to subscribers who would like to be part of it, but you won’t be auto-enrolled at signup.
We’re very happy with what we’re building here at Mere O: a clear, confident voice for a pervasively Christian account of public life. We really do believe that the Gospel isn’t just good news for individual people or good news for churches; it’s good news for the world, which means it’s good news for families, neighborhoods, cities, governments, businesses, labor unions, and on and on. Our print subscription list has doubled since we launched issue 1 and our website continues to reach 30,000-40,000 readers every month.
If you have benefitted from our work in the past, please subscribe to support us. If you care about projects like this one existing at a time when media institutions are trending toward consolidation and ideology, then you need to support the institutions trying to resist that trend. (If you are able and wish to support us beyond the cost of a print subscription, you can do that as well via our partnership with New Horizons Foundation, which allows you to give tax-deductible gifts to support our work.)
We have some exciting work ahead of us. We’d be delighted if you’d partner with us in it.