June 16, 2005
Moving onI have long said that editing a magazine is like owning a large, old house: If you’re not constantly fixing something, things fall apart. There’s always something in need of attention, updating, repair or replacement. Standing still is falling behind. The roof will leak, the porch floor will rot and fixing things will take three times longer and cost five times as much.
No where is that more evident than in anything—anything!—connected with digital technologies, such as a Web site. One can quickly look and become ancient history in a fast-paced environment where Monday’s freshness goes stale and flat by midweek.
So one moves on, seeking fresh ways to present stories, attract new readers and supply valuable content, all while paying the bills. But for The Lutheran, that’s not nearly enough. Our efforts seek to conform to a higher calling and a perennial question: Are we faithful to the mission to the publication, which in reality is the mission of the Church—to make the love of Christ known through the stories we tell, the information we provide, and viewpoints presented as we report the news of the church, which always comes thoroughly mixed and seasoned with human sin and failure.
The Lutheran’s new web site—a testament to the hard work of its staff, particularly Web manager, Amber Leberman—takes flight under the banner of that mission, a mission that remains constant as technologies change, as reader needs require fresh approaches and as funding mandates force tough decisions.
God’s mission—and hence, the call of The Lutheran—remains constant amid constant change, including major changes on our staff. The biggest change to the staff is my departure as editor as I move to the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, where on July 1 I will become the dean of the chapel and director for spiritual formation.
The Lutheran and its new Web site will continue onward and in the firm hands of managing editor Sonia Solomonson, who has been appointed interim editor. She will keep the house in good repair while The Lutheran’s advisory committee conducts a search that should result in the call of a new editor late this year.
I wish you well as I move on. May your faith grow, vibrant and evergreen, knowing always the consolation of the One who is Love. Like you, I will visit this place, these pages, seeking that One whom we most need see and hear amid all the change, noise and clamor of life.