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GENERAL ASSEMBLY COUNCIL TO GET RECOMMENDATION TO CUT
04 May 1996 20:41:32
95329 GENERAL ASSEMBLY COUNCIL TO GET RECOMMENDATION TO CUT
"MONDAY MORNING" AND "THE NEWS"
by Alexa Smith
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--A recommendation will go to the General Assembly Council
(GAC) next week to stop publication of the denomination's newspaper in
October and to suspend publication of "Monday Morning," a magazine for
pastors and other church leaders, in January.
The proposals reflect the beginnings of a changing denominational
communication strategy in which expanded distribution of "News Briefs"
becomes the primary way to reach church professionals and where a
reformatted "Presbyterians Today" is the channel to lay readers, according
to Gary Luhr, associate director of the Office of Communication, who
developed the recommendations.
The General Assembly Council last year ordered a review of all
denominational publications -- and this is a result of the beginning of
that process, Luhr said. Also on the table next week will be proposals to
study developing a publication just for elders and to expand PresbyNet to
connect the wider church electronically.
"All communication cannot come out of this office," Luhr told the
Presbyterian News Service. "It's not possible physically, economically --
any way you want to look at it." With the decision to mail "News Briefs"
into every church, Luhr said, part of the strategy now is to rely on
pastors and elders to circulate it among parishioners.
Luhr said there is still interest in developing an every-household
publication, and consideration will be given to developing a resource just
for elders -- but there are financial and staff constraints to take into
account in expanding the denomination's publications.
"The word 'suspend' was used deliberately," said Luhr of the
recommendation referring to "Monday Morning," which also proposes
transferring its most popular sections -- ministry opportunities, personnel
information and classified ads -- to other already existing vehicles. "I'm
not trying to raise false hopes," he said, but publication of "Monday
Morning" could reemerge later, possibly as a joint publication effort
between the Office of Communication and another division.
Luhr also said retired pastors' "Monday Morning" subscriptions are now
paid for by the Board of Pensions -- and the Board is considering
eliminating that funding.
How well "THE NEWS of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)" reaches its
target audience of clergy and elders has long been debated within the
Office of Communication and within the GAC's now-dissolved Communication
Task Group, Luhr said. Expanded circulation of "News Briefs" -- which,
depending on finances, may be enlarged to include all active clergy -- may
enable news to better reach readers. He said a promotional campaign is
under development now to encourage churches to subscribe to "Presbyterians
Today" at least for its elders.
The challenge with PresbyNet, according to Luhr, is to find ways to
get congregations, seminaries and colleges connected electronically -- the
way middle governing bodies are now. He said the proposal calls for a task
force to study what costs, customer service, promotion and training would
be necessary to do so. The task force would be expected to report to the
Corporate and Administrative Services (CAS) Committee no later than
September 1996. The recommendations will go first to the CAS Committee at
GAC. The GAC meets Sept. 27-30 in Louisville.
For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
phone 502-569-5504 fax 502-569-8073
E-mail PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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