Sometimes we focus on things that aren’t managed well at Synodical headquarters. But we should also note things that are done well. I am thinking of our wonderful Concordia Publishing House. I doubt people have any idea how much the product offerings there have improved over the last few decades. And they manage their operations so well that they actually help subsidize Synod.
I was thinking about this I read a press release from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The ELCA, which is much larger than the LCMS, runs Augsburg Fortress as its publishing house. And things aren’t going well:
They’re only going to publish group-use materials for congregations, such as faith formation and worship materials, and textbooks and monographs for higher education.
They’re axing over 20 percent of their 242 full- and part-time staff.
They will neither accept nor sell new titles in consumer-oriented books.
They will close nine bookstores by April of next year.
They will no longer sell goods at synod assemblies, youth gatherings or women’s gatherings.
They will still sell envelopes and communion wafers and candles, but items that don’t sell well will be dropped.
I’m sorry to see that things aren’t going well at Augsburg. I have a few of their consumer-oriented books.
But we should not forget to be thankful for CPH and the good work it’s done for many years here. Kudos!