On Nov. 11, the ELCA Church Council elected Daniel J. Lehmann, 54, as editor of The Lutheran to a four-year term, effective Jan. 1.
Lehmann, a 1973 graduate of the journalism school at the University of Missouri, Columbia, has extensive reporting and editing experience. Since 1999 he has served as public information officer for the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois. From 1983 to 1999, he held several positions at the Chicago Sun-Times, including religion writer, Sunday news editor, federal court reporter and night city editor. While a religion writer at the Sun-Times, he covered the ELCA merger. Previously he was an editor at The Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, Ind.
| Daniel J. Lehmann|
Lehmann succeeds David L. Miller as editor. Miller, an ELCA pastor, resigned to serve as dean of chapel and director of spiritual formation at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Since July 1, the magazine’s managing editor, Sonia C. Solomonson, has also served as interim editor.
The magazine’s advisory committee interviewed three finalists. The group sent the name of one nominee to Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson, who approved the candidate for consideration by the ELCA Church Council. Previously the editor was elected by the Churchwide Assembly. But with restructuring changes approved by the 2005 Churchwide Assembly, that task now falls to the Church Council.
Lehmann is the first layperson elected as editor of the ELCA magazine. He and his wife, Julia Schmidt Lehmann, attend Christ the King Lutheran Church in Chicago.
"Dan Lehmann has a passion for deepening the content of The Lutheran as a way of engaging ELCA readers," Hanson told the ELCA News Service. "He will build upon the strength of The Lutheran without minimizing the constant challenges facing such publications in a complex and ever-changing world of communication. He brings strong experience in journalism, a love for the church and desire to explore what it means to be Lutheran Christians in the 21st century."
The Lutheran currently faces the challenge of increasing subscriptions, which have dropped significantly since 1988, and now stand at around 340,000.