From the Worldwide Faith News archives


Date 04 May 1996 20:41:32


                 "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   Web page: 


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