The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Greetings from the editor

Thank you for being part of what will certainly be a growing segment of The Lutheran.

While the printed word isn’t likely to disappear anytime soon, the means of distributing thoughts and ideas is undergoing profound change. The Internet, which brings you my missive, is a major player in this new world. Combined with fiber-optic cable, satellites and other forms of electronic transmission and reception, a printed volume of 60 pages almost seems quaint. And delivery by mail?

Well, we’re not quite ready to jettison the print version of The Lutheran. But we are very much aware of the rapid pace of technological change in the early 21st century. That’s why we set up The Lutheran on the Web, to be a part of this wave into the future.

I’ve done my best to keep current, but I’m sure it isn’t enough. You need to know how far I’ve come, just like the majority of writers and editors who stuck with the business over the past 30 to 50 years: My first job in journalism, as a reporter at the Marquette [Mich.] Mining Journal, occurred just as linotype machines (type set by molten lead) and the huge 19th-century inspired letterpresses were being scrapped. From that antique beginning, I’ve wandered through the valley of IBM typewriters with bar codes under the letters to primitive and eventually sophisticated word processing computers.

The magazine’s staff wants to provide extra value to our readers by branching out into electronic publishing. We see it, at least for now, as a complement to our print edition. The Web offers us a chance to keep news “fresh” between issues, as well as ultimately providing virtually unlimited “space” on topics that can’t be adequately covered in the confines of a 60-page magazine. And the possibilities for referrals for more in-depth inquiries is endless.

Prior to my arrival at The Lutheran on Dec. 1, editors here had the foresight to hire a qualified Web manager and invest in continuing education for the position. The fruit of that action is obvious, as our electronic offerings evolve and improve. Granted, it will take some time for everyone at the magazine, plus our readers, to think about print and electronic versions of The Lutheran at the same time, but it will happen.

Exactly where this leads us remains to be seen. No one knew for sure where newspapers were headed when they ventured into offset printing and computers in the early 1970s. Just like then, a brave new world beckons now. Frankly, it should be exciting and fun. I look forward to the experience, with you.

(Check out "A letter to the 'publishers,' " Lehmann's February editorial.)

This week’s front page features:

Bonhoeffer at 100: What will we make of his legacy? (Image at right.)

Faith & science: How I search for the pieces of the creation puzzle.

Godparents minus ‘god’? Increasingly they’re chosen for other reasons.

Who will wear this shirt? The torch is passed to future leaders.

Also: Editor: A letter to the ‘publishers’: This magazine belongs to you, and it works best with your input.

Also: Arts & books: Learning from the land. Follow Feiler’s footsteps for biblical understanding.

Also: Celebrate 10 years on the Web.

Read these articles at our front page > >>

This week in our discussion forums:

Join Wyvetta Bullock (right), ELCA executive for leadership development, to talk about future leaders in the ELCA — today through Jan. 31.

If you haven’t yet read the stories that accompany this discussion, check out "Who will wear this shirt?" and "Who gets the credit?"

Join the discussion > >>

Take our survey!

Our new survey gives you the opportunity to tell us about the fundraising events that your congregation has found most successful.

We'll tabulate the results and share them with readers of The Lutheran, so those congregations facing financial difficulties or that want to fund a special project may benefit from your experience.

As a thank-you, nonsubscribers to The Lutheran can preview three free issues of our print edition.

The deadine for completing the survey is Feb. 3.

Take the survey > >>

This week in our blog:

Andrea Pohlmann writes about television that doesn’t involve wife-swapping, celebrity weight-loss or bachelors finding their perfect mates in seven weeks.

Julie Sevig (right) considers what her children might grow up to be: kind, compassionate, loving, forgiving, joyful, trustworthy, loyal, playful, fair, faithful.

Amber Leberman blogs about the search for an online faith community.

Kathleen Kastilahn blogs about the difference between a memoir and an autobiography.

Elizabeth Hunter blogs about being spammed by someone purporting to be Jesus.

Sonia Solomonson blogs about the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act.

Check out our blog > >>

Tell us! Is your congregation's Web site one of the ELCA's best?

It’s been a decade since The Lutheran launched its Web edition. Back then a Web contest for congregations was a regular feature of our site (staff still receive an occasional entry). In honor of our 10th anniversary, we’re looking for the 10 best ELCA congregational Web sites.

We’ll feature the winning congregations in a future issue, and they’ll receive an award graphic to display on their site. They’ll also receive a year of Web Premium membership to www.thelutheran.org for use by clergy, staff and lay leaders.

To enter, send your congregation’s name, city, state, Web address, a 50-word description of what makes your site unique and the Web editor’s contact information by e-mail to Amber Leberman or to Amber Leberman, The Lutheran, 8765 W. Higgins Rd., Chicago IL 60631.

Entries are due Feb. 28 and will be judged by the magazine’s staff.

Respond on-line > >>

Subscribe to The Lutheran magazine:

Did you know: An individual subscription to The Lutheran magazine is only $15.95 a year and includes a Web Premium membership at no additional cost?

For only $15.95 you'll receive 12 issues of The Lutheran magazine in your mailbox. You'll also receive back issues' articles since 1996 and unlimited study guide downloads (regularly $3.50 each) at www.thelutheran.org.

(Congregational subscriptions begin at $7.95 and include Web Standard memberships. Call Augsburg Fortress, Publishers, for details about our congregational plans. 1-800-328-4648.)

Subscribe to The Lutheran > >>


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