The Pilgrim Press could find its independent voice being even more independent, depending on the findings of a year-long feasibility study.
Local Church Ministries, the covenanted ministry where The Pilgrim Press has been housed since the UCC's national restructure in 2000, is considering spinning off the historic church-related publisher, perhaps as an autonomous entity.
"This is an economic-driven plan," said the Rev. José Malayang, LCM's executive minister, that could "give [Pilgrim] more freedom in its organizational life to become more viable and, hopefully, to be a source of revenue for the church."
Malayang, however, cautioned that the process is still in the fact-gathering stage.
Several UCC representatives, including those from The Pilgrim Press, have visited other autonomous, church-related publishers to see how such an arrangement might work. A decision could come as early as October.
The Pilgrim Press, the oldest publisher of books in North America, was established in 1608 in Leyden, Netherlands.
When the Pilgrims settled the Plymouth Colony in 1620, they again set up their press in 1621.
Throughout its history, The Pilgrim Press has intentionally sought to lift up marginalized voices in contrast to the dominant religious culture.