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Growing something new

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Hi, I’m new here. I started working with the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (CCMBC) communications team in September after four years with Mennonite Brethren Church of Manitoba. My background is in graphic design, marketing, and communication. One of my first jobs was page layout for ChristianWeek, started by long-time former MB Herald editor Harold Jantz. I’ve had a passion for publication production and design ever since.

For the past four months, the small communications team at CCMBC has poured themselves into the MB Herald, as they had been doing long before I came along. The editorial, design, advertising, and circulation staff is top shelf. It’s been a privilege working alongside them.

This is the first issue of our 58th volume: for more than half a century, MB Herald has graced bookshelves, desks, and coffee tables across the country. We’re proud of this heritage – we’re honoured to be “sharing the life & story of the Mennonite Brethren in Canada.”

Many of you will know our recent history, but, to recap: in 2015, CCMBC began to look seriously at the future viability of the Herald and reduced its publication to bimonthly. The announcement that we were cancelling the Herald to be replaced by a new publication was not well received. Readers made it known they appreciate the magazine and want it to stick around. In 2017, publication dropped from six issues a year to four. At the same time, we rebuilt the subscription list from scratch with voluntary opt-ins. This saw print readership plummet from 12,000 to 3,400. It’s been a tough three years.

Still, like the Mennonite Brethren story of faith and perseverance that continues to inspire us, we carry on.

We believe our best years are ahead of us, and we ask you, the reader, to help the Herald’s story continue.

In the new year, we will launch a fundraising campaign and will be asking you to support us financially. We recognize that many of you have been supporting for many years now, and we thank you for that.

You may have noticed this issue looks a little different – we’ve made few cosmetic changes including a new logo inspired by the nameplate from the 1970s. The design is new, yet informed by history and tradition.

We haven’t changed everything: categories like homepage, family news, and obits aren’t going anywhere. Nor are reader letters, though absent in this issue.

If you’re looking for additional content, we post new articles to the website weekly. You’ll find the MB Herald podcast on our website as well.

We want to hear from you. Please write/email/tweet to tell us what you think.

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1 comment

Carol Ann February 1, 2019 - 05:38

Hi,
One of the reasons you saw the readership plummet and is due to the announcement that if you wanted to continue with the Herald we were to let you know. Well, some of us saw the announcement but forgot to respond. I believe that may have happened to many. Many of the older folk who read the Herald never write a response. There are still many who do not move along with technology. Then too, there is such a different culture now in our MB Church that does not really connect to being MB and being part of a larger MB organization, rather they are believers who are church attenders but not a “club” member. This is only a bystander observation.

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