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In Germany, all Adventist households to receive church magazine free

In Germany, all Adventist households to receive church magazine free

Publishers of the Seventh-day Adventist Church's magazine in Germany announced they will provide the monthly publication free to all members in the country, a move amid declining subscriptions they say will help better connect church members. Starting in

October 05, 2009 | ANN

Publishers of the Seventh-day Adventist Church's magazine in Germany announced they will provide the monthly publication free to all members in the country, a move amid declining subscriptions they say will help better connect church members.

Starting in January, the magazine AdventEcho will be available to the approximately 24,000 Adventist households in Germany. Current circulation is about 5,000.

"When Adventist Church leadership wishes to communicate plans and developments then it is unsatisfactory if only 20 percent of households are receiving the church paper," said Elì Diez-Prida, editor of AdventEcho and director of Advent-Verlag, the church's publishing house in Germany.

Church officials said they had considered the move for several years but couldn't find a way to pay for it. The new plan will be funded by the publishing house.

Circulation has declined during the past 20 years as many long-term subscribers have aged or passed away, Diez-Prida said. Also, younger members are reluctant to subscribe to a magazine and the current economy may be causing families to cut back on spending, he said.

"Church members donate enough money in tithes and offerings and therefore it is legitimate for them to expect a free-of-charge paper from their church," Diez-Prida said.

Several Adventist Church regions worldwide already provide their membership with locally-oriented church magazines. Most are administrative regions known as "unions," typically comprised of Adventist congregations across several states, provinces or smaller countries. The Adventist Church in Germany is comprised of two such unions.

"We hope and think that this new magazine will motivate our churches for outreach and support our identity as Seventh-day Adventists," said Günther Machel, president of the church's South German Union.

The magazine will be reduced to 24 pages, down from its current 44 pages. A page of advertising will also be included to help offset production costs. The church is also exploring a magazine partnership across two nearby borders -- German is also spoken in parts of Switzerland and Austria.

"We see the change now as a big chance to contact the majority of our church members directly and to strengthen unity," Machel said.

Claude Richli (left), Marketing Director “Adventist World”, meets editor Thomas Lobitz (middle) and Publishing House Director Elí Diez-Prida in Lueneburg (Germany) in order to integrate the German edition of “Adventist World” into the new German Church magazine – booth free of charge for every Adventist household from January 2010 on.

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