Dear Reader,

I used to consume so much news. Every day. Without fail. As much as I could. Before words on paper turned into bits and bytes on screens, I carried newspapers, magazines, books, pamphlets—anything I could get my hands on that was of even remote interest. I stuffed printed matter into my briefcase, duffel bag, or backpack. While feeding my habit, I told myself my consumption was a worthy act of civic duty, a virtuous cycle of gathering information, using reasoned analysis, and forming critical judgments about the topics of the day. Politics? The economic climate? A new novel? You name it, I had a view. It was my responsibility to have opinions, to stay informed, to be a part of the political, cultural, and societal scaffolding necessary to building a more just world. Reading the news was my righteous quest. I felt pretty good about myself.

Then came the onslaught. It wasn’t simply that I grew weary of the litany of horrors that filled the front page every day, though in recent years they had become far more exhausting than usual. It was the sheer volume, in both quantity and decibels, that defeated me. Media of all types went into hyperdrive, and they were no longer satisfied to wait patiently and demurely on a shelf or rack for an interested passerby to notice them. They became animated with links, pop-ups, push notifications, and emojis. They multiplied and created a tsunami of tiny carnival barkers vying for my attention. Worst of all, I no longer needed my backpack—unless I wanted to lug around one each of Kindle, iPad, Fire tablet, Boox, Kobo, and Meebook. I could simply carry a phone, a device now capable of far more than just placing calls or sending texts. Confused and deflated, I was confronted by questions that I should have answered long ago: What truly matters to me? What celebrates and mourns the things that are important? Fundamentally—what do I want to read? I already knew the answer. It was one of the few things left in my backpack, along with a sticky pack of throat lozenges, a few pens that didn’t work, and a stray yellow organic-broccoli rubber band: a copy of The Sun.

I was confronted by questions that I should have answered long ago: What truly matters to me? What celebrates and mourns the things that are important? Fundamentally—what do I want to read?

I opened my first issue thirty years ago, and every month since then I’ve seen this magazine fearlessly explore human connection through radically intimate and socially conscious writing and photography. It’s a magazine that tries to break down walls that separate us and illuminate our most essential relationships—with one another, with society at large, with animals, with the natural world, with justice, with faith, with death, with the abiding and not the ephemeral. If The Sun were a friend, it would be the sort who wears their heart on their sleeve, listens intently, and shares in your struggles and joys. The sort of friend with whom you shed tears of laughter and of sorrow. The friend you turn to time and again.

Friends need each other. The Sun is not immune to the relentless business pressures and tectonic shifts in the media landscape over the last two decades. And while I am grateful these changes have underscored what is vital and unique about The Sun, it seems that every week I read about a worthy publication having to close its doors. We are committed to bringing our readers the best writing and photography, free from the distraction of advertising. With this choice comes the reality that the price of a subscription doesn’t come close to what it costs to print and distribute the magazine and curate the website. As we have throughout our history, we are asking you again, with great humility, to be our partner on this journey and formally become a Friend of The Sun. Your donation will enable us to find new readers, who are essential to continuing our publication. It will allow us to compensate writers and photographers fairly, and to put their work into the hands of people who can’t afford it—the impoverished, the incarcerated, the disenfranchised. And it will ensure that the magazine is always there, whether online or in your mailbox, your briefcase, your backpack.

I’ve long regarded The Sun as something of a well-kept secret. You can contribute to making it less so by giving a donation in any amount you can, by spreading the word in person and on social media, or just by passing along an issue to an old friend. Absolutely everything helps.

With profound thanks for your support,

Rob Bowers
Editor and Publisher

P.S. You can become a Friend of The Sun by donating at Your gift is tax-deductible, and we’ll send a receipt for your records.