As a United Methodist Pastor I would love to be able to support Cokesbury, and I do when I can, but every time I get one of their catalogs I also get really frustrated. I just received their catalog for Advent and Christmas items and there are lots of things I would like to use for my congregation but I can't because they are too expensive. I would love to be able to give my members Advent devotionals to use, or things to do as a family to prepare for Christmas, but most of the items are $7 and up.
At the same time I am getting catalogs and samples from other companies with similar programs. Except this time the devotionals are less than a dollar, and the more I buy they less expensive they get. Now I am never going to reach their lower prices because my congregation is not big enough, but it is also that fact that makes price even more of a concern.
The vast majority (70%) of United Methodist churches are under 100 in worship each Sunday, and I assume their finances are as tight as ours are. We would like to use Cokesbury, but the simple fact is I go elsewhere for most things these days because others can offer similar products for less money. They simply don't match the reality of what is going on in the local church.