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UMPH president announces transition process toward retirement

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Neil Alexander, President and Publisher of the United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH), released a letter to UMPH staff today announcing his intention to retire before or soon after the 2016 General Conference, and that the UMPH board will be initiating a two year process to search for a new publisher to allow […]

Thoughts on UMR from supporters, former staff

In the days following the announcement that the United Methodist Reporter would cease publication, many expressions of regret, nostalgia and appreciation poured into the offices of UMR Communications. Here are excerpts from some of the reflections and memories from United Methodists around the connection: The principles of good journalism aren’t all that different from Christian […]

Closing time – Cokesbury staff, patrons facing stores’ final days

DALLAS—Julie Chapman doesn’t really have time for sentimentality these days, given that she’s following a six-page email on how to close the Cokesbury store here. The going-out-of-business sale is underway, and Ms. Chapman, as store manager, is charged with selling just about everything, including bookshelves, before the doors lock for good on April 20. Still, […]

Q&A: UMPH head provides update on closings

The United Methodist Publishing House’s decision to close all 57 Cokesbury stores last fall made big news beyond Methodism. Some stores have closed already, and the rest will be shuttered by April 26. Reporter managing editor Sam Hodges asked Neil Alexander, UMPH president and publisher, for an update. Mr. Alexander answered questions by email. Were […]

GC vies with Judicial Council as 2012’s biggest news-maker

Summarizing a full year in the life of the sprawling, conflicted United Methodist Church is always a challenge. Every fourth year, it gets tougher. That’s because General Conference—the quadrennial gathering for setting church policy, law and finances—occurs and influences so much of church life. But the 2012 General Conference faced surprising competition as a news-maker. […]

Seminaries must face life without Cokesbury stores

In her first year as a seminary student, Shelly Gonzales has come to rely on the campus Cokesbury store as a sort of unofficial student union—a place where she can get needed guidance, meet friends and even enjoy the occasional splurge on fair-trade chocolate. “For students, it’s having that personal touch of people who can […]

Closing Cokesbury stores is wrenching but necessary

By Neil Alexander, Special Contributor… Winston Churchill said, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” A colleague reminded me that one can either change and grow and adapt or change and die; but either way we are going to change.  At Cokesbury we have embarked on a path of major […]

All Cokesbury stores closing as UM Publishing House focuses on online and phone sales

 The United Methodist Publishing House is closing all its Cokesbury stores, ending a signature brick-and-mortar presence for the denomination, one that has been in place for generations. A fast-changing landscape in bookselling prompted the publishing house to focus its energy and investments in selling online and through its call center. By April 30, 2013, all 38 […]

Breaking News – Cokesbury bookstores to close

The United Methodist Publishing House will be closing all its Cokesbury retail stores, and investing in enhancing its online store and the Cokesbury Toll-free Call Center, Neil Alexander, UMPH president, confirmed this afternoon. A press release below gives some details. Below that is another UMPH release, anticipating questions about the move. UNITED METHODIST PUBLISHING HOUSE LAUNCHES COKESBURY TRANSITION […]