The 120-year old Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study will become an online-only free digital resource starting in 2016. This move broadens the reach of the book’s audience by sharing its inspiring content in a timelier manner and also demonstrates good stewardship of church resources.
The Mission Yearbook dates back to 1892 as a simple calendar of prayer to help women’s societies pray for missionaries on designated days. It has the longest history of any denominational mission and prayer book in the United States.
The publication’s esteemed history will be reflected in the online version of the Mission Yearbook by connecting Presbyterians to the greater church and energizing them for mission.
Over the past decade, as readership of the printed Mission Yearbook declined, the cost per book increased dramatically, making it less accessible to many.
“We are saddened to discontinue the historical print publication, which has been the center of daily devotional life for many Presbyterians,” said senior director of Communications, Kathy Francis. “With the vast majority of people accessing information online, it was a natural and financially responsible choice to transition the book to an online-only resource.”
The transition to digital will make the Mission Yearbook available to everyone at no cost. In addition, a new, user-friendly Presbyterian Mission Agency website is being developed that will enable the Mission Yearbook to be more easily accessed.
Mid councils will no longer be asked to provide content for the Mission Yearbook. Instead, Presbyterian News Service reporters will call to interview mid council leaders and write stories reflecting mission. The shorter turnaround time for digital stories will result in fresher content. Additionally, the online format will allow some mission stories to be told using video.
“We’re encouraged that by continuing the beautiful tradition of this book in an online format, we will be able to bring stories of mission to life in a new way,” said Francis. “We appreciate the ongoing support of the Mission Yearbook and the prayerful financial support of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.