catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 11, Num 16 :: 2012.09.14 — 2012.09.27


Where did catapult come from?

It seems to start happening in your mid to late 20s.  All of a sudden, you catch yourself beginning sentences with, “Ten years ago, I …” and it hits you:  you’re getting older.  For many of us, it’s the first time in our lives that we can recount conscious decisions we made independently a decade earlier and we’re a bit startled that so many years have gone by — seemingly without notice.

As we remember the decision to start catapult magazine ten years ago, we’re experiencing one of those moments.  Has it really been ten years?  Where did the time go?  Are we where we expected we’d be when we first made this commitment?

As we reflect on the ten-year history of this little online magazine, this issue of catapult features memorable pieces from our first five years of publishing, and the following issue will feature memorable pieces from the second five years.  It’s decidedly not a “best of,” but rather, a selection of some of the many good pieces that have come our way over the past decade.  In scanning over the 236 issues we’ve constructed between September 2002 to September 2012, we were excited to find so much work we’re still proud of having published.  Certainly the magazine has grown and changed in ten years, but the core motivation has remained.

In the beginning, catapult grew out of conversation and longing.  A group of college friends who had learned in school to imagine and practice what the good life might look like in the Kingdom of God felt alienated and isolated in that effort once they moved outside of the cloistered walls of Christian academia.  In seeking to stay connected and nourished, we began gathering virtually using an online discussion board.  Over the first year or so, we learned two important things: first, that we were not the only ones experiencing these struggles within and outside of the Church, and two, that chatting with one another online was not enough.  Out of these realizations grew our annual camping trips and an online magazine.

Considering the common origins of the camping trips and the magazine, perhaps it’s fitting to think of catapult as a kind of online campfire.  It’s been a place for us to hone our storytelling, to take turns sharing, to bring our whole selves into the light, to warm our hands for good work in our respective corners of a sometimes chilly world.  Some of us have only joined the circle once, some regularly for a little while, and some of us have come back again and again, returning to catapult as a sort of home.  We hope it has been and will be a place where there’s always room for one more fellow traveler to find welcome, whether to speak or just to listen.

Please take some time to enjoy part one of the catapult retrospective, and certainly, use the comment field below to link to some of your favorite articles and artwork from the past ten years.  Thank you for your faithful readership, writership and encouragement!

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