August 2, 2023
Steinbach, Man.—It is with sadness, but also enduring gratitude, that Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) announces the closure of book sales activities of the Mennonitische Post, effective March 31, 2024. This includes the closure of the brick-and-mortar bookstores in Steinbach and Winkler, Manitoba. It also signals the end of book orders and shipping to locations across North America.
Die Mennonitische Post, as well as Das Blatt magazine for children and teachers, will continue as usual. The paper is printed and distributed biweekly, while the magazine is distributed monthly.
The Mennonitische Post book ministry has been part of MCC’s education work since the early 1980s. It has promoted literacy and learning by selling and shipping books, Bibles and other reading materials to Low German-speaking communities in Canada, the U.S. and South and Central America.
Over the last number of years, the book sales’ customer base has changed, serving fewer people with no other access to books. As well, retail downturns have hit the Post’s brick-and-mortar stores, making the current sales model unsustainable.
“A long-held and very unique element of MCC’s ministry comes to an end after serving its purpose with excellence for decades,” says MCC Canada Executive Director Rick Cober Bauman. “Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds us there is a season for everything. As we conclude this season, we look back and celebrate what has passed. We are deeply grateful for the years of ministry carried out by faithful staff and volunteers.”
For 40 years, the Mennonitische Post team has been committed to serving the most vulnerable, especially women and children. The impact of the book ministry has been significant, with tens of thousands of people gaining access to books and information who would otherwise be without.
The closure of the book ministry will mean the elimination of several roles. MCC is committed to treating all employees fairly and generously during this transition.
Book sales will continue as usual while staff develop a plan to sell or distribute remaining inventory.
Photo #113471: Die Mennonitische Post bookstore in Steinbach, Manitoba. MCC/Emily Loewen
Laura Kalmer is the director of marketing and communications at MCC Canada.