From the publisher | May 3, 2016

Peace Sprouts

Photo by Wendy McFadden

Avid readers tend to use just about anything to mark their places in books. A proper bookmark isn’t always handy, so there are plenty of makeshift ones: a boarding pass, a napkin, a receipt. I’m fond of using ticket stubs, which are the right size and weight and also make a memento practical.

But my favorite bookmarks now are “sprouts,” which fold up when the book is closed and then spring out from the pages when it opens. The stem stands up in the gutter of the book, and the two leaves spread cheerfully to greet the reader. With a bookmark like this, every open book displays its potential for creativity and life.

A whole collection of the spring-green sprouts would be useful in the next big book coming from Brethren Press, Speak Peace: A Daily Reader. With 365 readings curated by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford from sages past and present, you might need more than one bookmark.

While the book’s release is half a year away, its theme of peace will be explored this summer by Robert Johansen, one of the voices represented in Speak Peace. At the Brethren Press/Messenger Dinner July 2 at Annual Conference, Bob will speak on “War, Terror, and Christ’s Peace.” (You can order tickets at

Bob is co-founder of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and professor emeritus at the University of Notre Dame. A lifelong member of the Church of the Brethren, he has lived out his Christian convictions through peace research, writing, and teaching about international ethics and global governance.

In a world that seems dangerously inclined to attitudes and tactics that fuel terrorism, speaking peace is a rare and brave activity. We can be encouraged by the cloud of witnesses surrounding us. We can turn the pages of their wise words and find signs of God’s new thing. As the prophet says, now it springs forth. Do you not perceive it?

Wendy McFadden is publisher of Brethren Press and Communications for the Church of the Brethren.