Executive director of MennoMedia and book imprint Herald Press plans to resign

News release
August 11, 2017

Executive director of MennoMedia and book imprint Herald Press plans to resign

Russ Eanes

HARRISONBURG, Va.—Russ Eanes has announced his intention to resign as executive director of MennoMedia and its book imprint Herald Press, effective early 2018.

Eanes was named executive director to lead MennoMedia in 2011, when the new organization was formed from a merger of Mennonite Publishing Network and Third Way Media and set up its headquarters in Harrisonburg.

Under Eanes’s leadership the organization expanded and revitalized its Herald Press book imprint, which saw a 20 percent increase in sales for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2017.

In recent years the organization has copublished a new children’s Sunday school curriculum called Shine: Living in God’s Light. A highlight of that ongoing curriculum, copublished with Brethren Press, has been the successful launch of the Shine On story Bible.

Last year MennoMedia began work on a new worship and song collection, scheduled to be published in 2020.

Eanes has been keen on learning from peers and translating best practices in publishing to the ongoing work of MennoMedia and Herald Press.

Previously an ordained pastor, Eanes first begin specific work in trade book publishing with Plough Publishing 20 years ago. “Serving as publisher first with Plough and these past six years with Herald Press and MennoMedia has been one of the dreams of my lifetime,” said Eanes. “I love the business of publishing, being able to take an author or writer’s ideas and put them between covers, to work with creative editors, designers, and marketers,” he said of his work. He has also enjoyed in recent years collaboration with constituents and leaders across the Mennonite church in North America and abroad. “I will miss the many valued relationships with colleagues in other Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada organizations, area conferences and agencies. I will especially miss working with the wonderful staff that it has been my privilege to lead over the past six years.”

Eanes started at what was then Mennonite Publishing Network in 2007 as director of finance and operations. He oversaw the merger of MPN and Third Way Media and the relocation from Scottdale, Pennsylvania, to Harrisonburg. Eanes is currently president of the Protestant Church-Owned Publishers Association, a group representing the major denominational publishing houses in North America. “I especially have enjoyed getting to know and exchange ideas with my peers in other publishing houses,” said Eanes.

We are grateful for Russ’s deep commitment for producing quality resources for living Christian faith from an Anabaptist perspective,” said Lee Schmucker, chair of the MennoMedia board. “Russ has implemented many best practices in a fast-changing publishing industry, resulting in transformation of operations and marketing.”

Schmucker noted that under Eanes’s leadership, Christian formation resources and the Herald Press imprint have been strengthened and the market expanded beyond Mennonite churches and members. “Through his ardent attention to streamlining operations, overhead has been reduced and debt has been eliminated. Russ has served MennoMedia well during his 10 years of dedicated service,” she stated.

Going forward, MennoMedia’s management team and board are carefully considering how to reconfigure the organization to meet the changing demands of the church and the changing environment in publishing. The board and management will be meeting face to face at the end of September to finalize plans for leadership succession.

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MennoMedia Staff
Melodie Davis, news manager
MennoMedia
540-574-4874
MelodieD@mennomedia.org

 

 

 

Growing a spiritual garden with new book: Water My Soul

News release

August 9, 2017

Growing a spiritual garden
90-day devotional puts down roots to the love of Christ and service to others

HARRISONBURG, Va.—How does your spiritual garden grow? What do you do to keep your Christian life flourishing? Darla Weaver explores these ideas as she connects gardening to spiritual growth in a new devotional, Water My Soul: 90 Meditations from an Old Order Mennonite (Herald Press, September 2017).

Touching on themes such as humility, contentment, right living and forgiveness, each meditation includes a daily Scripture reading, prayer, and journal prompt or response idea, designed to motivate and strengthen readers.

“As I worked in my ever-expanding gardens, I was amazed how often God used the natural world to open my eyes to new spiritual truths,” Weaver writes.

As an Old Order Mennonite living in southern Ohio, Weaver spends her time gardening, cooking, caring for her family, and living as much as possible off the land. Weaver bares her heart in these 90 devotionals, all drawn from her home-centered life, and encourages readers to root themselves deeply in Christ’s love, and service to others.

Cindy Woodsmall, New York Times bestselling author of Amish fiction says the book is a “lovely collection of real events that whisk the mind to a beautiful way of life, while the insights resonate with the longings from the deepest part of our hearts.” Mary Ann Kinsinger, coauthor of the Adventures of Lily Lapp book series adds, “These devotionals provide glimpses of the presence of God that is all around us if we only open our eyes and see.”

Women especially will relate to these meditations sprinkled with stories from Weaver’s children, marriage, Old Order Mennonite community and wider friends and family.

Darla Weaver’s first book, Many Lighted Windows, was published in 2016, and she has written for Family Life, Ladies Journal, Young Companion, and other magazines for Amish and Old Order Mennonite groups. Before her three children were born she also taught school. Her hobbies are gardening and writing.

Water My Soul is available for $12.99 USD from MennoMedia at 800-245-7894 or MennoMedia.org; in Canada, the book is $15.75 CAD from CommonWord at 877-846-1593 or commonword.ca; or check bookstores and online.

To schedule a phone interview with Darla Weaver, contact LeAnn Hamby at (540) 908-3941 or LeAnnH@mennomedia.org.

 

 

Plain Mennonite reveals her life as Anything but Simple

News release

July 12, 2017
Plain Mennonite reveals her life as Anything but Simple
Educator offers first-hand account in new memoir

HARRISONBURG, Va.—What is it really like to be a single, plain Mennonite woman in today’s society? It may seem like the simple life, but Lucinda J. Miller would tell you it is more complicated than it looks. The young schoolteacher gives a first-hand account of her “Plain” life in a new memoir Anything but Simple: My Life as a Mennonite (Herald Press, July 25 2017).

Lucinda J. Miller wears long dresses and a prayer covering, like her grandmother, and she knows a lot about cooking and making do with what you’ve got. But she uses a cellphone and posts status updates on Facebook. Miller details her struggle between the two worlds, plain and modern, with honesty, revealing a world few outsiders will ever see.

“If not a completely simple world, ours is at least a safe one,” Miller says. “It is only when I step outside my safe Mennonite world and into larger American culture that life gets screwy and confusing.”

With a saucy tongue and a roving curiosity about the world, Miller details her rich church tradition, lively family life, inner struggles, and longings for a meaningful future within her Mennonite faith. The book includes “A Day in the Life of the Author” and “FAQ about the Amish and Mennonites”.

“In a charming, folksy style, Lucinda Miller strips away the layers of gloss that have been applied to conservative Mennonites and Amish in unrealistic romance novels and paints an accurate word picture of real Mennonite life,” says author Romaine Stauffer.

Lorilee Craker, New York Times bestselling author of Money Secrets of the Amish writes, “Lucinda J. Miller is the kind of writer readers dream of: engaging, literary, and openhearted.”

Anything but Simple is book 5 in the Herald Press Plainspoken series, launched in light of Amish novels and television shows which offer their own accounts of Amish and Mennonite life. Some of these messages are sensitive and accurate, but many are flat-out wrong. Through Plainspoken, readers can learn what Amish, Mennonite, and Hutterite life looks and feels like—from the inside out.

Lucinda J. Miller is a writer, teacher, blogger, and member of a conservative Mennonite community in Wisconsin. She teaches elementary school at the Sheldon Mennonite Church, and her writing has appeared in Daughters of Promise and Red Cedar Literary Journal. Her children’s book, The Arrowhead, is forthcoming from Christian Light Publications. Connect with her at www.lucindajmiller.com.

To schedule an interview with Lucinda Miller, contact LeAnn Hamby at (540) 908-3941 or LeAnnH@mennomedia.org. To watch a video of Lucinda telling about writing this book, check: https://youtu.be/-QOky2ln074

To order the book, find it online at various retailers, your local bookstore, and at the Herald Press store or by calling 800-245-7894.