At its recent meeting in Chicago, the PPC board of directors was told that the increase, from just over $8 million in 2007 to $8,205,000 last year, was attributable to publication of the first of two volumes of Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary and The Discipleship Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version including Apocrypha.
Marc Lewis, PPC president and publisher, said, “Despite a struggling economy and a book industry reeling from bookstore closings across the country, PPC achieved a solid year financially. We not only exceeded our sales from the previous year; we received fewer returns from bookstores and enjoyed a balance of strong sales from our backlist as well as front-list titles. We are so grateful to have experienced these results in such a difficult time for so many.”
Other contributors to the year’s success include God and the New Atheism by John F. Haught, Great Prayers of the Old Testament by Walter Brueggemann, Acts for Everyone by N. T. Wright, The Parables of Dr. Seuss by Robert L. Short, and The Yellow Leaves by Frederick Buechner.
In 2009, Patton said, PPC plans to publish nearly 90 new titles by authors such as Tom Long, Patrick Miller, Serene Jones, Ann Weems, Kathleen Bostrom, Eugene March, Jason Byassee, Will Willimon, Brian Blount, Kevin Vanhoozer, and the late Letty Russell.
Board members were also introduced to WJK Radio with Dan and Jana, a monthly podcast featuring interviews with Westminster John Knox Press authors. The first podcast, Feb. 23, featured an interview with Rufus Burrow Jr., author of Martin Luther King Jr. for Armchair Theologians, which will be in bookstores in May.
The PPC management team updated the board on the launch of ThePresbyterianLeader.com, an online resource center for PC(USA) leaders that will be launched June 1, just before the June 11-13 Big Tent Event in Atlanta.
The Presbyterian Worship Planner, Version 3.0 will be the centerpiece of the new Web site. The updated version of the worship planner will contain the Book of Confessions, the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, worship bulletin templates, and many other resources in an electronic format.
General Assembly Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons said, “It is very exciting to see God’s amazing work being done in the PC(USA). This timely project will enable church leaders from ministers to ushers to continue to enrich their gifts and skills. I believe ThePresbyterianLeader.com will help provide resources we all need to participate in God’s continual reformation of the church.”
PPC management staff reported to the board that it had reached an expanded partnership agreement with the GAC’s Congregational Ministries Publishing (CMP) and Presbyterian Distribution Services to provide a wider selection of PPC books for adult study that will supplement CMP’s official denominational curriculum for adults.
The PPC board continued to mourn the passing of William Placher, renowned theologian and author who had just completed his manuscript for a volume on Mark — the first in a new 36-volume series, Theological Commentary on the Bible. Amy Plantinga Pauw, a professor at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and Placher’s co-editor for the series, will continue her work on the series, which will be published in Placher’s memory.
With a heritage of more than 175 years of publishing in the Reformed tradition, PPC publishes books and resources under three imprints: Westminster John Knox Press, Geneva Press, and The ThoughtfulChristian.com. PPC also publishes periodicals These Days and Theology Today.