The Board of the Reformed Free Publishing Association has kept very busy over the past year. In this report we update you regarding our activities. This is not an exhaustive account of our activities; rather, we bring you some highlights of our work along with a few of the more significant actions we have taken.
One of the most significant changes that the Board has made in the past year is giving oversight of the children’s book division to the Finance and Operations Committee. This was originally the responsibility of the Book and Standard Bearer Committee but, because of growth, the children’s books became too much for the B&SB Committee to handle. An additional change was made to add the president of the Board to the children’s book division. This means that four men are now directly overseeing the work of the children’s division.
As you know, the RFPA has recently published the Bible storybook by Rev. Nathan Langerak, Jehovah’s Mighty Acts. We think that this is a fantastic book and trust that you do as well. One additional children’s book was published in the year past: Kathleen DeJong’s His Mercy Endureth Forever. There are also many children’s books in development at the RFPA, including Letters from Katie Luther, a novel by Shirley Casemier, and Rev. Joshua Engelsma’s Dating Differently, which was released in October of this year.
In addition to the children’s book division, the Finance and Operations Committee continues to oversee the monies of the RFPA. (This report will not treat the finances of the RFPA, as they are reviewed in the treasurer’s report.) The F&O Committee has seen to it that the maintenance of the building and grounds of the RFPA is carried out. Additionally, F&O has kept our insurance policies up to date.
The Book & Standard Bearer Committee has been working diligently in the year past. We have published the commentary on Micah by Rev. M. McGeown, Walking in the Way of Love, volume 2 by Rev. N. Langerak, and volume 2 of Prof. Engelsma’s commentary on the Belgic Confession. We also assisted the Philippine PRC churches in their translation of Come, Ye Children into Tagalog. In the upcoming fiscal year, we plan to publish a book on the nativity of Jesus by Rev. McGeown, a developed compilation of the speeches from the PRC Seminary’s Canons of Dordt conference [which is now available—For God’s Glory and the Church’s Consolation], and Unfolding Covenant History, volume 6 by Prof. D. Engelsma. Also in our publishing lineup for the coming year is the church history book by Prof. H. Hanko, Christ’s Church through the Ages. This book is progressing well and the committee is eager to publish it.
The B&SB Committee, along with the RFPA staff, has overseen the publication of the Standard Bearer, ensuring that the issues get mailed out on time. The committee meets with the editors of the SB once a year to discuss this publication and to share ideas.
Along with these publishing projects, both the B&SB Committee and the Board have received and responded to a significant number of letters. The Board encourages the members of the RFPA to communicate with us; it helps us in our representation of the association.
The Membership and Marketing Committee has been faithfully carrying out their responsibilities as well. This committee has promoted and advertised our publications. They have obtained and published many book reviews, worked with the other committees to determine which books to reprint, and planned events for the association and book club members. Recently they have also begun the work of surveying parents and teenagers to provide feedback that will guide future children’s and youth book projects.
The M&M Committee is also responsible for the oversight of the RFPA blog. On the blog you will find brand new articles, information on upcoming book releases, SB preview articles, and SB reprint articles. Visit rfpa.org and subscribe to the blog to receive the posts as soon as they are available.
One of the most significant projects the M&M Committee has been working on is the complete revamp of the SB online archives. Most people who have used the search function on the old website will have to admit that it is sub-optimal. This overhaul is necessary because the format of the SB online archives is no longer supported, and the archives would continue to deteriorate if they were left as is. We hope to have this project completed by the end of 2019. At $17,500, this is an expensive project to undertake, necessitating a subscription rate increase of $2.00 for the upcoming year. Though we do not like to increase the subscription cost, we believe that the preservation and maintenance of the online archive is beneficial for subscribers and necessary in this digital age.
We are thankful for the faithful labors of the office staff. Without Alex, Miriam, and Paula carrying out the day-to-day work of our association, we would have been hard-pressed to publish one book during this last fiscal year, let alone seven or more. We are thankful for the God-given gifts of our editors and for their careful work. Most of all, we give thanks to God for the faithful men and women who have authored so many God-glorifying books and articles.
In conclusion, we are thankful for the privilege of serving God by serving you as board members of our association. We covet your prayers as we go forward in the year to come. Pray that your publications—your books and your Standard Bearer—might continue to sound forth the truth of God’s sovereign grace and unconditional covenant as a witness in this world.