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Everyone’s saying it. These are uncertain times. As our founding editors once wrote, “At every historical moment, the contemporary is afflicted by the crippling conceit of its utter novelty. We hope First Things will be an antidote to that intellectual and moral disease.” This continues to be our hope today, but we acknowledge that there is much rethinking and rebuilding to be done.

My second year as a Junior Fellow has been an eventful one, with intellectual retreats in Washington, D.C., and New York City; an office move; an absorbing Erasmus Lecture by N. T. Wright in October; and a transition to remote work due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Thanks to COVID-19, institutions around the world have had to alter their daily operations. For First Things, this has meant finding new ways to connect with readers from afar. We recently held a Zoom panel on “Covid and Religious Life,” and last week we hosted a virtual intellectual retreat on Josef Pieper’s Faith, Hope, Love. We are adapting, and for the means to do so, we are thankful. Some of the most memorable moments during my tenure as a Junior Fellow have involved interactions with our readers. Though we are temporarily unable to speak in person, it is always a gift when my job involves talking with our loyal supporters.

It’s a momentous time for both the world and the magazine. This is our thirtieth year of publication. I feel the weight of our legacy as we move into an unexpected future, uncertain of what will happen in our country and around the globe. First Things will strive to address whatever comes with care and an ultimate commitment to “the things that are above.” 

If you have supported First Things in the past, thank you. It is support like yours that helps fund not just the magazine in your mailbox, but our educational programs and the fellowship that brought me here. If you appreciate what you read, or have benefited from our programming, please consider making a donation now

Moriah Speciale is assistant editor at First Things.

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