Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Times They Are A-Changin'

   The city of Columbus was incorporated in 1828 and the people needed a source for the news. So, the Enquirer newspaper was founded the same year. The Ledger started publishing in 1886 and in 1930 it acquired the Enquirer newspaper and began publishing a Sunday Ledger-Enquirer. Two printed daily papers was the way the people of Columbus got their news for nearly six decades before the two merged in 1988. Of course, television came along sometime in there and with it Walter Cronkite. But, print editions of newspapers and magazines long held the driver's seat in the arena of delivering news. 
   In October of this year news came that another giant in the world of delivering news was similarly consolidating and changing formats. Founded in 1933, Newsweek was ever-present on the coffee tables of many American homes for decades, keeping people abreast of everything from the Vietnam War to movie reviews. This week's issue dated December 31 is its last print edition as it transitions to an online-only format. It is both a stewardship of costs and also an awareness of how the times are changing, as traditional print news outlets witness an exodus of readers and advertisers to the Web.
   So, it is with must less fanfare or national attention that our Epworth weekly bulletin transitions to a new schedule and format next week. Based on the recommendations of a group gathered twice this year to consider the January 2013 changes in policy by the US Post Office, this will be the last bulletin mailed to over 230 homes before becoming a monthly newsletter format. The new format will be mailed just before the start of a month and will include the prayer lists and calendar for you to use.
   For many, this is a welcomed change: we already email out the midweek edition of our bulletin to over 150 people who receive it a day earlier, and expect this number to continue to go up. Others will want to know more details about the reasons why. The best explanation is that the USPS is requiring a more expensive paper to be used for bulk mail that will triple our costs. They are also changing the routing of bulk mail which will add a day to the delivery. The combination of higher costs and lowered effectiveness was the reason we are making the change. Wherever you fall on the spectrum of appreciating this change, we want to thank you for allowing Epworth to connect you more deeply with God's work in the world and God's people in this congregation. We also want to encourage you to be sure your signed up to receive the latest news and inspiration by email. Simply email to sign up.
   Change is constant. This is made clear in the scriptures and in our experience, as well. May we be faithful throughout. Grace and Peace to you, Scott!

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