Contact: Amy Campbell Smith, Communications
October 25, 2017
NASHVILLE, TN – The Board of The United Methodist Publishing House (Cokesbury and Abingdon Press) completed its annual meeting on October 25, setting their sights high for ongoing and new publications and services to aid congregations in reaching more people in more places to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
Building from the momentum of a year ending with a net operating revenue of $1.5 million, delivering tens of thousands of resources for spiritual growth including Cokesbury’s Hero Central Vacation Bible School with sales 36% over budget, the board set plans for new digital products with high appeal and easy access. The board (elected from across the UMC connection) reviewed service levels at Cokesbury.com that outpaced major secular retailers, and also assessed enhanced research tools being used to deepen understanding of customer needs and guide new product development.
The board evaluated operational processes and performance, reviewed audits of its employee pension plans, and celebrated the ministry of the Cokesbury Cares program (providing help to congregations ravaged by fires, flooding and hurricanes). Of particular note is the current partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank to provide provisions for victims of flooding in the continental U.S. and Puerto Rico which includes the use of a UMPH facility as a staging center. The board also reviewed and anticipated developments related to the Council of Bishop's Commission on the Way Forward and previewed the Faultlines series from Abingdon Press which currently includes ten books and resources designed to enrich holy conversations across the church.
In other action the board re-elected the President & Publisher, Rev. Brian K. Milford and approved the 2018 budget and ministry objectives. Milford emphasized that mission of the Publishing House is supporting congregations as they reach more people, share the grace of the gospel and make disciples of Jesus Christ. “Our focus is on delivering the resources our churches choose, use and value to make a difference in people’s lives and doing so in ways they find most convenient and useful,” said Milford.
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The United Methodist Publishing House is a publisher and distributor to Christian clergy and laity, with primary responsibilities for the publishing and distribution for The United Methodist Church. The Publishing House is a fully self-supporting agency and receives no general church funds.
Cokesbury is the retail and customer services arm of The United Methodist Publishing House, which serves more than 11 million UMs worldwide as well as a broad ecumenical audience representing many denominations and independent churches, with books, Bibles, curriculum, worship resources, and church supplies. Cokesbury offers more than 200,000 products to congregations through at www.Cokesbury.com and the Cokesbury Contact Center 1-800-672-1789.
Abingdon Press is the primary publishing imprint for The United Methodist Publishing House and has a tradition of crossing denominational boundaries with thought-provoking and inspirational books. Abingdon Press titles include a wide array of quality Bibles, Bible studies, small group studies, Christian living, fiction, devotional, academic, professional, and reference titles published each year to enrich church communities across the globe. Visit AbingdonPress.com.