EDITORIAL: Prayer and postage — How you can help the Chronicle
Last month we described for you the serious financial situation The Christian Chronicle is facing in January due to the coming increase in monthly postage from $15,000 to $31,500.
That’s right — more than a 100 percent increase or an additional $198,000 annually in postage alone!
Approximately 45 percent of the funds to publish the paper monthly comes from advertising sales and the other 55 percent from the generous donations of individuals and churches like you who see the value of this publication.
Because Churches of Christ are autonomous, it is important that a paper such as The Christian Chronicle share stories that inform, inspire and connect members of Churches of Christ around the globe and tell what churches and individuals are doing in God’s kingdom. How else would we learn those things?
We have made the commitment of lifetime subscriptions. If we were to charge annual subscriptions, it would be necessary to hire at least two additional full-time persons just to maintain the subscriptions.
Annually we produce and mail 1.4 million papers and record over 1.3 million page views to the online edition of the Chronicle. The paper’s journalistic excellence has resulted in winning 41 national awards in the Associated Church Press “Best of the Christian Press” contest since 2007.
Some have suggested that we go all electronic and have only an online edition. We have carefully studied that option, and at this point the financial numbers for that approach simply are not feasible.
Meanwhile, we plan to continue publishing the print edition as well as an expanded electronic version of the paper. But the time is not yet right for a full changeover.
We want you to know that a thorough budget review is underway to save every possible dollar beyond what we are currently doing.
Rest assured that we take our stewardship of the funds sent to the Chronicle very seriously and are very frugal with the money you donate to this ministry.
A good example of our frugality is the meager use of travel funds. Most of our travel is sponsored by generous ministries or individuals.
In some cases, Chronicle writers travel on mission trips at their own expense and capture stories while there.
We have also looked at a number of production options to address this challenge including a smaller paper, a reduced number of issues mailed annually and even a different category of mailing.
We have renegotiated contracts with various vendors that will save almost half of the needed money, if our current donors continue as they are. But that is not enough.
We need you to help. Here’s how:
• Pray for The Christian Chronicle . This is not a casual request. Our trust is in the Lord. If we keep the Chronicle committed to the him and his service, he will bless it. Please pray often and fervently that the Lord will show us a way to “keep the lights on.”
• Churches and elders, please put the Chronicle in your budget for an ongoing, sustaining amount. Some churches already do that. Thank you!
We hope you see this ministry as one that supports and blesses many other ministries that are vital. We believe there are many churches that are able to give more to this cause.
• We encourage more of you to become regular financial supporters. Currently about 6 percent of our readers provide the necessary donated funds to support the work of the Chronicle.
Hopefully, more of you will consider the value of the information that comes to you in this publication and will become contributors and supporters.
• Consider becoming a “Keeper of the Chronicle.” Keepers are regular donors who designate at least $25 monthly. These amounts are paid monthly, quarterly or annually. Contact [email protected] or (405) 425-5070.
• Make the Chronicle a beneficiary of your trust or will for the long-term sustainability of the paper. Watch for the Heritage Circle ad.
• Multiple copies of the paper should not be arriving at one address. Please let us know if that is happening or if a former recipient is deceased.
Your help is the only way we have of knowing. Contact j[email protected].
You have long supported and encouraged us in this ministry to inform, inspire and connect Churches of Christ.
We have only gratitude for the many ways you have blessed The Christian Chronicle.
We need your help as we face the future and are prayerfully and humbly asking for it.
We will keep you informed about this situation in the months ahead.
I received my daily newspaper online. Why don’t you give churches and people an opportunity to choose how they receive the paper. So many people today receive all their news and reports online. This would alleviate your postage dilemma.Bob McCurdyMira Loma Church of Christ, Mira Loma, CACorona, CA
USADecember, 10 2012