National Lutheran News

New ELCA hymnal sales “exceeding early forecasts”

The newly introduced worship book for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) had generated orders of 568,000 pew copies as of October 6, exceeding early sales forecasts. That was the word from the Rev. Michael Burk, ELCA director for worship.

The new worship book, Evangelical Lutheran Worship, became available for individual purchase October 3, as discounts for congregational quantity purchases expired.

In a report to the ELCA Conference of Bishops, Burk said the fourth printing for the pew volume has been ordered. “This is a sign of how quickly and enthusiastically it is being received,” Burk said.

A source representing the ELCA publishing house, Augsburg Fortress, told Metro Lutheran that, as of mid-December, orders had already exceeded 700,000.

Orders for the third printing are expected to be delivered to congregations beginning in mid-January 2007. Estimates were that in its first two years, up to 36% of the congregations would commit to purchasing the pew volume, Burk said. Already 25% of congregations have committed, he said.

A special event, “Worship Jubilee 2007,” will be held here at downtown Chicago’s Navy Pier prior to the 2007 ELCA Churchwide Assem-bly, Burk said. The event is being billed as “a churchwide event celebrating the renewal of worship in the ELCA.”

An electronic version of Evangelical Lutheran Worship will soon be available.
Concordia Publishing House, which is selling the new LCMS worship resource, Lutheran Service Book, is not releasing sales information.

The WordAlone Network, an ELCA reform group, will issue its new Reclaim Hymnal later this year.