Communication strategy on agenda for October meeting
By Tim Huber
The shutdown of Mennonite Brethren Herald has been put on hold, but it is unclear what the future holds for the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches’ (CCMBC) denominational magazine.
CCMBC leadership announced in a July 10 letter that the Herald will continue to be published beyond the end of the year, the previously announced date when the publication would end.
Additional meetings on the magazine and overall communication strategy have been inserted into the agenda of CCMBC’s Annual General Meeting Oct. 21 in Winnipeg, Man.
The letter, signed by CCMBC moderator Harold Froese, executive director Willy Reimer and Board of Faith and Life chair Brian Cooper, states that feedback indicated leadership misread sentiments associated with the magazine.
“We underestimated the feelings people had toward the Herald as a vehicle for creating community. We did not provide a mechanism that would invite participation in the process of moving from the Herald to a new publication and communication plan,” they wrote. “It was wrong to assume that we as leaders had the support to execute such a change to fulfill the vision of our MB churches without constituency consultation.
“We apologize for taking action without more dialogue.”
Focus groups and surveys will work to better involve readers, pastors and denominational leaders in shaping the denomination’s communication plans.
The Herald editorial staff is also in transition.
Editor Laura Kalmar resigned in early July from her 10-year ministry with CCMBC, effective Aug. 21. She will begin work in late August as associate director of communications and donor relations for Mennonite Central Committee Canada.
Karla Braun, MB Herald associate editor, will continue to work part-time for the magazine and began working for Mennonite World Conference as the editor of Courrier/Correo/Courier after MWC Assembly 16.
Tim Huber is associate editor of Mennonite World Review. This article is reprinted with permission.