Augsburg Fortress, Publishers, board. Minneapolis, Oct. 22-24.Commission for Multicultural Ministries steering committee. Chicago, Oct. 16-17.
- Heard a report, during closed session, from Mark Sheffert of Manchester Companies, a consulting firm hired to work with Augsburg on a management plan that includes liquidating excess inventory and preventing inventory buildup in the future. From that consultation process, a detailed business plan will be brought to the spring 1999 board meeting.
- Learned that sales were $36 million by Aug. 31, up by 2.3 percent from 1997, and that growth in book sales offset a decline in sale of education resources. Periodicals revenue grew but only as a result of price increases, not circulation growth.
- Visited the newly opened Augsburg Fortress/Luther Seminary store on Luther's campus in St. Paul, Minn.--a partnership between the publishing house and seminary.
Division for Ministry board. Chicago, Oct. 16-18.
- Adopted, jointly with the advisory committee for The Lutheran, a plan to "establish regular dialogue" between the commission and the magazine. The plan will help coordinate coverage of multicultural ministries and events and develop a data bank of writers from the ELCA's ethnic associations.
- Called on the ELCA Department for Human Resources "to monitor the progress toward the recruitment of people of color and/or language other than English for senior executive positions."
Commission for Women steering committee. Chicago, Oct. 21-24.
- Directed staff to develop a five-year plan to implement the Renewal of African American Congregations proposal, in consultation with the Division for Outreach, ELCA seminaries and other partners.
- Asked its executive committee to appoint a panel to discuss issues of gay and lesbian people in relation to Visions and Expectations: Ordained Ministers in the ELCA. The panel will include members who are openly gay or lesbian.
- Urged staff to develop guidelines for retired lay rosters and a description of models for the status of pastor emeritus.
- Recommended that the ELCA Church Council adopt and fund a half-time rural ministry staff person shared among several churchwide units.
- Affirmed the ELCA's increased efforts through the Criminal Justice Working Group and encouraged a moratorium on building new prisons while studying alternatives to incarceration.
- Expressed appreciation for individuals who did significant work on issues of clergy sexual abuse.