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Editor's note: This is a version of this article that didn't actually make it into the issue. This version was written by Dixon Cartwright. The print version was heavily edited by Linda Moll Smith. This will happen sometimes; you can read two different versions of the same article if you read the Web version and the print version.

Why would anyone miss a golden opportunity to get out of the Church of God­newspaper business? Like any other line of work, this one certainly has its challenges, to use a worn-out word.

At the risk of seriously understating the situation, there isn't all that long a tradition in the Churches of God of writers being able to write actual news.

Acknowledged, there will always be a need for in-house magazines and newsletters and certainly an excellent reason for controlled publications whose purpose is to preach the gospel.

But, if there cannot be church-member reporters asking real questions of other church members and writing real articles, we've got a problem.

Melvin Rhodes has a related article on page 3. He wonders what would the last 25 years have been like if The Worldwide News, with its first issue in 1973, had been free to report real news.

Mr. Rhodes may not realize it, but The Worldwide News, beginning in 1973 and for five years, was perhaps the closest thing at the time the WCG had had to a free press. It wasn't at all a free press (so Mr. Rhodes is right, after all), but it had a staff that grew skilled at figuring out ways to inform its readers.

It lasted until 1978, when, for reasons I'm sure he believed were the best, Mr. Armstrong shut it down.

Even though we're in a hundred (probably closer to a thousand) organizations and groups, in a sense we're more unified than we were. The brethren are free to read a paper like The Journal, which means they are free to fellowship with their brethren, wherever they may be.

That, brethren, is encouraging evidence of at least a kind of unity. If we are more free to fellowship with our brethren, surely we are more unified.

We're still here. You're reading this. We're making progress.

We're happy to be here. We're exceedingly thankful to our charter scribers. We'll try to do you a good job.

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