I’m grateful to my parents for many reasons. But one thing I’m especially grateful about these days is that they left issues of First Things lying around our house. Even when I was a wee bit younger than the target audience, I loved reading Father Neuhaus’s warm or trenchant reflections in the ‘While We’re At It’ section he penned month-in and month-out. Neuhaus (and the other writers contributing to the magazine) became a kind of wise and prolific mentor for me as a young Anglican and, eventually, a Catholic convert. I’m thrilled that upholding Neuhaus’s legacy has fallen to such a tireless and talented crew here in New York City. It’s an honor and a delight to now be part of that legacy as a junior fellow, especially because it affords me the opportunity to share First Things with others.
It takes a lot of work to put out a magazine filled with so much quality content each month. But we actually do much more than that here at First Things. Every day we find interesting articles from our archives and share them on social media. Here’s one of my favorites, “How The World Lost Its Story,” by Robert W. Jenson, and a preview of its argument: “How can we point our lives to the Kingdom’s great Banquet, if its foretaste is spread before us with all the beauty of a McDonald’s counter?”
Our free content, though, doesn’t end with gems from the First Things archive. We also sponsor many guest speakers each year, and make recordings of these events available to all through the Media section of our website. As an aspiring director, I found Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’s Erasmus Lecture “On Creative Minorities” especially inspiring. And, of course, we publish poetry in every issue that we make available for free online. An eccentric choice, perhaps, but I think filling the world with poetry is consistent with our mission to reinvest an impoverished public discourse with meaning and transcendence.
First Things cannot do all this without the generosity of people like you. As 2015 draws to a close, we are trying to raise $500,000. We still have around $300,000 to raise before Thursday. Why not help us out by donating today? If you donate specifically to our 25th anniversary 25 fund, your gift will be matched by one of our generous board members.
If, like me, you’re grateful for the wit and wisdom First Things has offered the Public Square for so many years, please consider making a year-end donation today. Like my parents, you can become the person who helps bring First Things to a new generation hungry for goodness, truth, and beauty.
Alexi Sargeant is a junior fellow at First Things.