By Steve Carpenter
Happy New Year!
2013 was an exciting year at MennoMedia. We released 17 new products including: Blush, (Shirley Hershey Showalter’s memoir on growing up Mennonite); Mennonite Girls Can Cook Celebrations; Sacred Pauses, Fifty Shades of Grace, For God and Country [In that Order], and many Bible study and Sunday school resources specifically designed to aid the local church in its important faith formation ministry.
We at MennoMedia recognize we are not simply a book publisher but rather we are a ministry of the Mennonite Church in the US and Canada. As such, we seek to provide rich content (websites, social media, DVDs, CDs, ebooks) which can strengthen the ministry of the local church while reaching out beyond the church to bring our Anabaptist perspective to others. In short MennoMedia’s mission is “…to engage and shape church and society with resources for living the Christian faith from an Anabaptist perspective.”
Following on the success of Mennonite Girls Can Cook, which was a bestseller in Canada, we released the second cookbook in the series, Mennonite Girls Can Cook Celebrations (MGCCC), which focuses less on day to day food preparation but on fancy dishes for special occasions.
Our cookbooks are not just about food. Rather they are about the intersection of faith and food. Like the hugely successful More with Less Cookbook before it, MGCCC includes much spiritual content. It takes the form of “Bread for the Journey” segments which include scripture quotes, spiritually uplifting advice and faith stories. The book is also absolutely beautiful with photos of not only the food, but flowers, fields, feasts and forests. When I give it to MennoMedia donors whom I am visiting, I frequently tell them, “You don’t have to cook anything in this book to enjoy it. Just set it on your coffee table and it will bless everyone who picks it up.”
Much work has also gone into preparing for a new Anabaptist Sunday school curriculum for children, to follow the Gather `Round curriculum. Writers, illustrators, project managers, editors and others have been working diligently to make Shine – Living in God’s Light a reality. These materials will be available in the fall of 2014 thanks to much hard work and the generous support of churches and donors like you. To date we have raised more than $250,000 of the $400,000 needed in seed funds to bring Shine to fruition. Thank you for your support!
We anticipate an overhaul of the Third Way Cafe website which for more than 15 years has been a popular site offering information on Mennonite/Anabaptist beliefs to the larger culture. We obtained a significant grant and gifts earmarked for electronic/social media ministry which will help us relaunch the site for greater effectiveness especially for mobile users.
Looking forward to the coming year, we are very much aware of the significant challenges we face at MennoMedia. But, I am also excited about the many opportunities we have as well. With God’s help and your support, through both patronage and donations, we will continue to serve the needs of our Mennonite constituents and beyond, and foster a deeper faith for us all.
Thank you again for all you do for Christ and the church.
Wishing you a very Happy New Year!
Director of Development