The 2009 North Alabama Conference Journal is now available for download from the Journal Library on the North Alabama Conference website. Printed and CD copies of the Journal will be mailed in the next week to those who ordered and paid for them.
Readers of the Journal will notice a few changes in the content and format of the 2009 edition. There are two major reasons for these changes.
The first reason is that the 2008 General Conference of the United Methodist Church passed legislation that not only dictates the contents of each Annual Conference’s Journal, but also the order in which this information should be published. These new directions for the Annual Conference Journal are spelled out in the 2008 Book of Discipline ¶606.3 and caused some information to be shifted and some information to be added in the 2009 North Alabama Conference Journal vol. 2.
The other reason changes were made was as an act of stewardship.
Each year the North Alabama Conference publishes three books – The PreConference Book, the Journal and the Clergy Directory. In the past, there has been a lot of information duplicated in each book. This duplication added pages to each publication and also added to printing and mailing costs of each book.
This year the Conference published the same three books, but the PreConference book now serves as the Journal vol. 1. So there was a conscious effort to avoid duplicated information in the books. This effort means the Journal vol. 2 will have 150 less pages than the 2008 Journal.
Journal Editor Lyn Cosby explains, “In past years, much of the information printed in our Pre-Conference Book was duplicated in the Journal each year. Our decision to publish a two-volume Journal eliminates this duplication and allows us to practice better stewardship.”
Another change this year is that clergy phone numbers and address information was also left out of the Journal vol. 2. The Book of Discipline does not require directory information to be part of the Journal. Plus, the Conference already publishes a printed directory of clergy and conference leaders so the information is available in print form. In fact, the print directory outsells the Conference Journal almost two to one. This year the Clergy Directory returned to the popular 5.5”x 8.5” size which also makes it more portable and easier than the Journal to use to look up contact information.
Finally, as each publication was created, the Office of Communication staff took competitive bids from printers, used newer printer technology and only placed orders for each printed book according to the number ordered before the publication went to print. This helped cut the printing costs for 2009 and eliminated the costly waste of a large number of undistributed books.
“It is our hope that you will find this system and these books easy to navigate and filled with the information you need,” Cosby adds.
The Journal vol. 1 and vol. 2 is available for download for free from the Conference website. Clergy office contact information is also available on the website through the Clergy Locator. (Due to privacy concern, clergy home address and spouse information is not available online - only through the printed directory.) Church contact information is available on the website through the Church Locator.
There are a few print copies of each of these books still available for purchase from the Office of Communication until supplies run out. Contact Lyn Cosby to place your order.