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Christian Concourse
Newsletter of the Month

March 2012

 

Dear Friends,

 

Hello, dear friends! In this letter we thought we might give you a blow-by-blow in the production and distribution of "Our Hymnbook." For those of you who don't know (and probably all of you do), this is a large-print – (this size) – collection of 31 old favorite Christian hymns and 5 Christmas carols...favorites like, "Amazing Grace," "O, How I Love Jesus," "Count Your Blessings," "In the Garden," "Rock of Ages," etc. At the bottom of each page is a scripture verse relevant to the hymn just above it. Included in the front of the hymnbook is a summary of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and in the back are two pages of large-print passages from the Holy Bible. The cover is 67# cardstock and inside is 24# quality paper. The pages are 8½ X 11 folded over to make handy sized booklets that are 5½ X 8½.

Typically, a Christian who is volunteering in ministry at a long-term care facility or a staff member will contact us by phone or email. They usually have either seen "Our Hymnbook" in a facility or they have found our site on the web. We get calls from all over the United States, and sometimes from other countries. It doesn't take long for the requests to stack up. This kicks us into high gear.

We go to our "print shop" (a 10' by 20' storage unit, donated to the ministry by Morningstar Mini-storage) and fire up the press. The "press" is an older Risograph digital duplicator donated to us by Electronic Systems, Inc. We usually print 250 copies at a time. We hand collate each hymnbook, bind it with three staples, fold it with a wallpaper roller, and cut the right edge to make it square with a "turkish blade" paper cutter that's over 35 years old. As soon as possible, we bag the "orders" up in large bubble-wrap envelopes and send them out by snail-mail.

The hymnbooks are prayed over as they are being assembled. We ask God to brighten every heart and encourage the faith of each believer who shares in singing from this little hymnbook. We pray that lost souls are touched by the clear message of the Gospel that is so much an integral part of the booklet, woven into its fabric from beginning to end.

The hymnbooks usually go out with a copy or two of our instrumental accompaniment CD set. This includes all the hymns and Christmas carols in the same order as they are in the booklet. The music has been rated as "world class" by a former member of the Seattle Symphony (this gentleman donated many hours to teach us how to use the computer to achieve this quality musical production). Larry McAdoo, one of our board members, makes all the copies of the CD set for us on his computers. We print and stick the labels on and put each set in jewel cases or plastic sleeves.

The handy size of the hymnbook, the large size of the print, and the selection of hymns included have proven to be the most-liked features of the booklet. We mail them out at no cost to the volunteers or staff who ask for them. The requests come in as fast as we can put them together! What a blessing! We are thrilled by the demand and the positive feedback we receive on a regular basis.

We feel honored and blessed to be able to produce and mail out such a wonderful aid to Christian ministry in nursing homes. Thousands of these hymnbooks are in the hands of dear elderly Saints all over the English-speaking world. As you can see, we keep the expenses down to an absolute minimum. But, there are hard core costs for our work. For example, the maintenance contract for the press is over $700 a year. Ink is $34 a canister. The material for masters is over $50 a roll. It is your generous donation that pays for these items, for the paper, the postage, the gas in the cars, and for the other financial needs we incur in the process of our work. We really enjoy what we do in all the areas of the ministry that the Lord has given us, and we thank you with sincere hearts for making it possible for us to continue. May the Lord richly bless you for your kindness.

 

Sincerely,

Jerry and Dar

Jerry and Dar Johnson

 

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