MennoMedia to stop publishing bulletins, Purpose Magazine amid COVID-19 impact

HARRISONBURG, Va. — COVID-19 has dramatically changed our world in only a few months. At MennoMedia, its effects are causing staff to make hard decisions amid falling sales.

Purpose magazine will cease production after the August 2020 issue.

The bulletin series will also cease production after August 2020.

“Both Purpose magazine and the bulletin series have been near the edge in terms of profitability for some time. The current crisis has forced us at MennoMedia to move up that timeline,” said Amy Gingerich, executive director and publisher.

MennoMedia is the publishing agency of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA. In addition to Purpose magazine and the weekly bulletin series, it publishes books under the Herald Press imprint, other magazines and Sunday school curriculum including Adult Bible Study and Shine: Living in God’s Light (co-published with Brethren Press), and the forthcoming hymnal Voices Together.

In early March, Amazon let booksellers know that it was deprioritizing book sales in order to prioritize sales of health care supplies, food, and other necessary items. Amazon indicated at that time it would not order books again until at least April 6.

“With Amazon making up 46 percent of our Herald Press book sales, that was a hard and fast cut we felt immediately,” Gingerich added. “However, last week Amazon did place a small order so we see that as a sign of hope.”

The Voices Together worship and song collection remains on schedule for fall release with one exception: five audio albums with songs from the collection were to be recorded on Mennonite college and university campuses this spring, with conductors at the schools overseeing that work.

“With students having been sent home from these campuses we are delaying the release of those albums,” Gingerich added. “We hope to be able to resume the recording work this fall.”