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Cover Article

A fresh look at Publisher's agent

A Conversation With Jennifer McLaughlin and Howard Cornett

From the May 2011 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Warren Bolon: How would you describe the current vision for the office of Publisher’s agent?

Jen McLaughlin: The responsibility of the department is the shepherding (on behalf of the Christian Science Board of Directors) of the writings Mary Baker Eddy published herself—so, the publishing, advertising, and distribution of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the Church Manual, Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, and all the other works she published. There have been different visions over the years for this work, and how to best care for it, and the current one is to focus on the textbook, on caring for it. And I don’t use that word lightly. I’ve been cherishing the idea of loving our textbook, and what does it mean when we love it? How do we care for it when we love it? For me, loving the textbook means deeply cherishing the truths contained in this complete work, as was revealed by God to Mrs. Eddy. This book heals. It illumines, it inspires, it answers any question we have.

Everyone in the office loves the textbook, and we are just working to make sure that it’s properly cared for. And because we love it, we want to do right by it. So, that means we must do everything we can to ensure it’s distributed efficiently, translated correctly, and is as accessible as possible. In  Retrospection and Introspection, page 84, Eddy says: “Centuries will intervene before the statement of the inexhaustible topics of Science and Health is sufficiently understood to be fully demonstrated.” “Centuries will intervene”—so we have work to do. There’s a promise here that this book will be in publication and in distribution for centuries. While we certainly have a lot to do, we strive to listen for God’s direction regarding every aspect of this work. It’s His work, and our activity must always glorify Him. So, instead of feeling like we have to “figure it out” from a business angle, by focusing on God we’re able to act nimbly both in our current activities and as we prepare for the coming centuries.

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