TO OUR READERS:

Today The Christian Science Monitor begins printing in Orlando, Fla., its fifth location in the United States. Printing and mailing from Orlando will provide date-of-issue delivery to our readers in Florida, as well as faster and more reliable delivery schedules elsewhere in the Southeastern United States. While much of the content of each day's Monitor - the features, the analysis, and even the style of many of the news stories - is such that we believe it has significance far beyond the date of publication, it is both management's and the editors' desire that the newspaper be available to its readers everywhere on the date of publication.

We are communicating with our Florida plant via satellite transmission from The Christian Science Publishing Society in Boston. Within the past few weeks a satellite dish has been installed on the roof of our building, and within the next few months we will be sending the finished paper via satellite to our other remote printing plants outside Massachusetts - in New Jersey, Illinois, and California.

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* Last week the Monitor announced a major contest - an invitation to write an essay, from the point of view of the year 2010, telling how the peace process was built up over the preceding 25 years. Through this contest we hope to focus thought on the changes that need to occur over some period of time if present world tensions are to be replaced by the elements of a genuine peace. To the extent that readers articulate their ideas on the subject of peace, they will be contributing individually to the process that can eventually build trust in the world.

Once before in its history the Monitor performed a public service similar to this. Following World War I, Edward Bok offered a prize for a peace plan. The Monitor did not enter Mr. Bok's contest, but on the last day of the contest printed its own peace plan. In his book ''Commitment to Freedom,'' Editor Erwin D. Canham wrote of the plan: ''It started many people thinking harder than ever about the motivation for war. It served its historic purpose.'' In the months following publication of the plan, many leaders expressed their support of it, and the Monitor's pages contained both praise for and criticism of the plan.

The editors expect to be challenged by many thoughtful entries in the present contest, which closes Dec. 31.

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* In recent months readers may have noticed a new byline from Peking - that of our correspondent Julian Baum. Mr. Baum was previously a member of the international editorial staff here in Boston, editing stories from the Far East. He replaces one of our senior correspondents, Takashi Oka, who took a leave of absence from the Monitor earlier this summer. Mr. Oka is living temporarily in Tokyo, where he is the senior editor working on a new newsweekly to be launched shortly in Japan. He is well positioned to make a unique contribution to this project, but we will be glad to welcome the eventual return of his byline to the Monitor's pages.

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