It is with pleasure that the Board comes before the membership this evening to report on its activities during this, the 40th year of the Standard Bearer. Again we can state that our labors at the meetings and by the committees were marked by close harmony. We believe the Lord has indeed blessed us in this work of publishing the Standard Bearer as a witness of His glorious truth.
Many of activities were aimed at increasing the number of our subscribers. We received 148 requests in response to our offer to send a free copy of theStandard Bearer to names submitted by present subscribers. Shortly after, a follow-up letter was mailed to them suggesting they send in a subscription. In the December 1 issue a card was inserted suggesting that our readers give gift subscriptions to their friends. The above actions resulted in about 12 new subscriptions. We also placed an ad in “Christianity Today,” a periodical with 200,000 circulation, offering a free sample copy of the Standard Bearer. Out of the 63 answers to this ad there are no new subscribers. For the year there were a total of 55 new subscribers, 32 cancellations, for a net gain of 23. At present the distribution stands at 1,120 copies; 920 are mailed out as paid subscriptions and as complimentary copies; 45 to missions, 15 to Jamaica, 110 for bound volumes and stock, and 50 are, reserved for mailing margin.
Our finances, which were on the decline, were dealt a serious blow with the notice from our printer that he had to make an increase in his price. The increase amounted to $1000 a year. Immediately letters were sent to all our consistories, and a News Sheet to the entire denomination, informing them of our urgent need. There was a special appeal placed in theStandard Bearer. Also a notice is now sent with each subscription statement asking for a gift. Even though the results are gratifying, especially from individual gifts, the Board would like to remind our people of our constant need. Meanwhile, the Board, for itself and for the satisfaction of the membership, sought prices from other printing concerns in the area. Briefly, the results showed costs could be reduced only by changing to the “off-set” method of printing. Then, after further discussion with our present printer, it was agreed to use “off-set” as soon as possible; however, he would immediately reduce his price $15.00 per issue.
Volume 39 has been bound and sent out to those desiring a copy. Requests for other volumes were also filled by the Book Committee.
The business matters were again well attended to by our Business Manager Mr. J. Dykstra.
The I & E Committee, with three members of the Editorial Staff, launched plans for celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Standard Bearer. A special anniversary issue is planned for Oct. 1. Programs are being arranged in Michigan and Iowa, and the other churches are being asked to participate through special anniversary offerings.
The Board wishes to express thanks to members of the Editorial Staff, various consistories, and individuals who have helped us and given advice and encouragement from time to time.
The financial report from the “Permanent Committee for Publication of Prot. Ref. Literature” shows their balance as $3,485.34, plus pledges amounting to $366.
Our prayer is that the Lord may continue to bless theStandard Bearer so that it may be steadfast in its witness to the truth of the Word of God and that it may ever be a light to expose false and deceptive views that are repugnant thereto.
—G. Bouwkamp, Secretary