Augsburg Fortress, the Minneapolis-based publishing ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), announced in January that it is eliminating 24 staff positions, discontinuing product lines and consolidating select overhead costs. The decision means the company will focus on “core ministry resources for the ELCA and the wider Christian community,” its news release said. Prior to the changes, the publisher employed 235 people. Fortress Press, known for its scholarly books, remains unaffected. Augsburg Books will release 31 new titles this year and publish six under contract for 2006, but will take “a hiatus from signing new books for 2005 to reassess” its strategy, said Deborah Erickson, director of marketing communications.
As the Metropolitan Community Churches prepare for the retirement this year of founder and moderator Troy Perry, the predominantly gay denomination has named a Dallas minister and business administrator, Cindi Love, as executive director. Love began her duties in mid-January as part of a lengthy reorganization of the West Los Angeles–based organization. Nancy Wilson, a former senior pastor of the Los Angeles church, has been nominated to succeed Perry as moderator in voting at the MCC’s General Conference in Calgary, Canada, in July. Perry, who retires officially October 1, will remain active speaking on HIV and AIDS issues and pushing for legal acceptance of gay marriages, a spokesman said.