Happy New Life
December 21, 1971
1971 HFP, Volume 3 Number 25
The U.S. dollar went off the gold standard and its value dropped almost 8 percent. President Nixon signed a law turning almost 10 percent of the land in the state of Alaska to Eskimo and other native American tribes. Stanley Kubrick's film "A Clockwork Orange" premiered. And just four days before Christmas, the HFP went to press.
A long-empty garment factory in Paradise, PA had been brought back to noisy, happy life as a Jesus People center. A Jesus People seminar in Kansas City, MO drew capacity crowds for two weeks of intensive Bible studies bringing followers of Jesus together across cultural and denominational lines. Believers in Kabul, Afghanistan had opened a Jesus Center to help "spaced out" young people tangled up in drugs and Eastern mysticism. In Brussels, Belgium, followers of Jesus were converting vending machines to distribute small Bibles for free instead of selling candy bars.
The Billy Graham film "For Pete's Sake" was coming, with screenings and Christian outreach planned for 14 cities in southern California alone. The Billy Graham organization made the unusual gesture of reaching out to the Jesus People and inviting us to participate in the Christian discipleship classes being held for counselors at the film showings. "I will receive most warmly any of the Jesus People who know the Lord," the coordinator wrote, "in fact we need the warmth of love and honesty of heart of all these young people among us." A wonderful tribute to the work of Jesus and the Holy Spirit in so many young lives; we printed the letter in full in the HFP. This turned out to be the first of many signs that the traditional church was at long last ready to embrace the Jesus People.
Bible studies and street witnessing were happening four nights a week on Hollywood Boulevard. Worldwide distribution of the Hollywood Free Paper had reached our goal of one million copies. Plans had been made for a new year's eve Jesus Festival of Music followed by passing out the HFP at the Rose Parade in Pasadena.
As we sailed full speed toward 1972, it seemed the Movement would last forever. We didn't know that God would soon start calling His sons and daughters in the Jesus Movement to move into existing churches, bringing our enthusiasm, faith, music and colorful disciple lifestyle with us almost like honeybees pollenating flowers. As the street scene of the extended Sixties faded, the bright, exciting time we had known as the Jesus Movement would soon fade with it. But we didn't know that then, and as 1971 drew to a close, it honestly seemed like it would just go on and on.
The photo at right is our founding editor Duane Pederson with a group of singers just prior to a visit to a prison at Lompoc, California. The sign above our heads pointed the way to the prison; had we realized it, it also pointed toward a new ministry the Lord was to give to the Hollywood Free Paper as the Jesus Movement drew to a close. Our brother Warren Heard created the "pick up the Cross and live" cartoon for New Year's, shown at lower right. It too turned out to be oddly prophetic; we all needed to get ready to move.
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