Why Ruminate Magazine? Annual Update

by Brianna Van Dyke November 25, 2009

[D]ear Friends,Hello and happy holidays!  This is our second annual  e-newsletter update, and thanks to you it marks the celebration of 2008's successful year-end fundraising campaign. Without your contributions last winter, our four beautiful issues and the work of 73 talented artists would not have been published. We hope you will prayerfully consider Ruminate's needs and make a tax-deductible donation--help us to continue engaging the Christian faith through literature and art. Art in Conflict: Art and faith enrich each other with a grace that is invaluable. Yet . . . ask most people in the art and literary world what they think about Christian writing or Christian art, and you'll often hear that the craft and technical skills are sub-par, the content cliché.On the other side, ask many Christians what they think about the arts and a common response is apathy--that it is only for those "poet-types." Or a strong rejection--that modern art is absent of God, destructive, or subversive. It's no wonder then that artists (both Christian and non-Christian) often feel shunned or unwelcome by the Church. Similarly, it isn't surprising that many Christians neglect the mystery and power of creativity, imagination, and story, and their ability to touch and affect lives. This truly is a misfortune worthy of our deepest concern and attention. Our Response: Ruminate is devoted to repairing the effects of these stereotypes--to bring art to believers, to be a source of healing and a kind of peacemaker within the art and Christian communities, and to engage contemporary culture in thoughtful conversations about the truth and complexity of the Christian faith. Because art does have an inexplicable capacity to move and grow hearts, hearts that are sitting in the pews, and even hearts that have no interest in God-Ruminate hopes to simply be a bearer of this kind of movement. David James Duncan, award-winning author of The Brothers K and The River Why wrote a letter to the editors in Ruminate's Issue 13 saying, "My work and yours (which you're by damn doing skillfully) is to serve as conduits between broken and Unbreakable." Mr. Duncan's comment enthusiastically expresses our hope for Ruminate--that we can reflect the brokenness of this world, but that we can also reflect the beauty of a God who cannot be broken." Sometimes our readers say it best. One long-time subscriber and supporter shared this about Ruminate's work:
Ruminate tackles head-on the challenge faith gives of delighting in both the tragedy and beauty of God in the world. Like chewing on something substantial, this takes concentration. But I've come to see that such faith-chewing is the best way to live. The most satisfactory way. The most delectable way. I like to think of Ruminate as part of the now popular "Slow Food" movement, helping to set the table for a banquet feast of solid faith.
Stewards of words, images, and artists: Ruminate's unique and much-needed mission invites us to function as stewards of language, art, artists, and readers alike. Tony Woodlief--a writer whose work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, London Times, National Review, Image and WORLD Magazine (where he is a regular contributor)--shares his experience withRuminate: "The first short story I ever published was in Ruminate. This has been a great encouragement because I saw that there was a place for writing informed by faith, that it needn't be cloying or didactic, that many people still believe in a God of Creation who smiles on the creative works of His children." Lauren Schmidt shares that in 2008 Ruminate was the first magazine to accept her poetry for publication. Since then, Lauren's poetry has appeared in New York Quarterly, Rattle, Nimrod, Audemus, and Slab. She was a finalist for The Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry and Scott Cairns selected her poem "From Wall to Wall: A Walk Beneath Goldfinches" as runner-up in our 2009 Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize. Lauren writes:
"I am extremely thankful that Ruminate acknowledged my work before anyone else did andtook a chance on me, a no-namer because it gave me the gumption to aim high in my most recent submissions and helped me complete my first full-length poetry manuscript. I've appreciated each of my interactions with the Ruminate staff and was so touched when they remembered I was a finalist in the 2008 Ruminate contest and was even in awe when they remembered that I teach--we have never even met! Such things truly separate them from other editors."
The National Response: All this good work hasn't gone unnoticed. Ruminate is receiving a great deal of national recognition. Acclaimed poet Luci Shaw called the work in Ruminate "a cornucopia of riches" and New Pages Literary Magazine Review said, "Ruminate's layout is beautiful . . . and the magazine's writing is equally beautiful." Award-winning author Bret Lott said "The language is ruminative and sharp at once, and . . . quite well done." And Utne Reader, the ultimate guide to alternative press, calls Ruminate's content "captivating" and "expertly crafted." Creating 2010: How You Can Help: Although readership and support of Ruminate is increasing, and the accolades and accomplishments are growing, so are our needs. Our costs for 2010 include the publication of four issues, a short story and poetry prize, staff wages, our internship program, arts lectures, and youth poetry workshops, as well as our new goals to find a sponsor for our short story prize, pay our magazine contributors, and extend our magazine content to include interviews. We need to raise $30,000 to cover the expenses for 2010! This is why we are asking for your financial support and prayers to continue Ruminate's good work. If you made a donation last year, thank you for making Ruminate's 2009 year possible. Please give again (and if you are able, perhaps even give more!) and continue supporting faith in literature and art. If you haven't donated toRuminate yet, would you now consider becoming a monthly supporter or giving a one-time donation? If just 200 people signed up to give either $15 a month or a one-time donation of $150 we could meet our goal for 2009! We know how tough the economic times are and appreciate every donation at every amount. Please join us! With much gratitude, Brianna Van Dyke And The Ruminate Staff
Ruminate is a 501(c)3 and all donations are tax-deductible.
 If you would like to mail a check donation, please send it to: Ruminate, 140 N. Roosevelt Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80521
p.s. A gift subscription to Ruminate makes a great Christmas gift for any writers and artists in your life!

Brianna Van Dyke
Brianna Van Dyke


Brianna Van Dyke is the founder and editor-in-chief of Ruminate. She lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, with her husband and their two children on a working CSA farm. In addition to tending to Ruminate, she also enjoys leading retreats in the Ruminate Barn and taking retreats, too.

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