Over the past weeks, I have read many emails, and Facebook and Twitter comments from concerned constituents. A common concern is a fear of separation from the larger MB family. For some people, the MB Herald is the only way of receiving information outside of their local church.
The MB Herald has a rich history and legacy, making it all the more difficult for readers to see it come to a close. The reality, however, is that the Herald is not disappearing.
Yes, the print magazine will cease production, but the Herald lives on.
As I write this article, there are meetings taking place with people across the country. CCMBC is forming a broad and robust communication team, joining national staff and contributors from provincial conferences, partner agencies, churches, and individuals.
Our new communication strategy is a commitment to storytelling and information sharing. We will not abandon our role to inform, challenge, and uplift the MB family. The methods and media may change, but the vision and commitment remain.
I want to acknowledge the many people who have made this publication a vibrant part of our history: from editors, writers, reporters, proofreaders, graphic designers, circulation and advertising staff, and our long-time printer, CP Printing Solutions. Too many names to mention here, but all have made significant contributions to the Herald.
I specifically wish to recognize Karla Braun, Angeline Schellenberg, Colton Floris, Rebecca Watson, and Ron Wood and his team. As we say goodbye to them, we thank them for their work and dedication to MB Herald and CCMBC.
Times of change, such as these, present opportunities for deep reflection and introspection.
I have been pondering the causes of the print magazine’s closure, the consequences of this action, and the future direction of MB communications.
For years, we have existed in friction: some see the Herald as a free press, while others look to the Herald to represent the conference. These views are sometimes in opposition to the other which can be harmful to the MB family. Moving forward, we will build our communication platform around our Confession of Faith, anchored in 1 Corinthians 14:1–12. Our purpose will be to:
- Edify the church: Storytelling that helps to build up the church (vv. 4, 12).
- Call people to mission: A clarion call to fulfill the mission of the church (v. 8).
- Speak with clarity: Information sharing that brings clarity and unifies us as a denomination and as followers of
Jesus (vv. 7, 9–11).
In the coming months, CCMBC will highlight new stories and platforms for two-way communication. I invite you to join us in writing a new chapter for the MB church in Canada.
Since my retirement nearly 30 years ago, and when the MB Herald came on line, I checked it out just to see if any of my old classmates in AMHS Coaldale were ever mentioned, coming or going. I see no reason why the Herald can’t continue on line — I would be the first to offer to buy an annual subscription. There should certainly be enough computer savvy people out there who would do the same. Condensed copies could be made by relatives, friends, or staff of Mennonite homes where retirees could pursue the latest news.
I would love to see the Herald follow the line of a hard-copy paper to which subscribe, THE SENIOR PAPER, where readers write in to tell short stories about incidents that happen in their youth. Judging by the names and locations, a lot of them have a Mennonite background.
I would also like a future MB Herald reach out to the Mennonites in Germany who experienced the Soviet regime until they migrated to Germany after the 1980’s. From personal experience with family members in Germany, they have a lot of interesting stories to tell. Even in the German language (the little I knew I’ve largely forgotten) I’m sure many readers would appreciate hearing from and about them.
In any case I hope the Herald continues publication in one format or the other.