This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Editor notes T ®

DECEMBER 2005 $5.00

By Daniel J. Lehmann

Ups, a few downs the past 10 years

en years ago I became editor of The Lutheran. It was a position I had applied for previously but didn’t receive, so I assumed the door of

opportunity had shut. Things changed. Edgar Trexler served as the first editor of the

ELCA’s version of The Lutheran from 1988 to 1999. Upon his retirement, David Miller, the magazine’s

senior editor, became editor. When he left in 2005 for a position with an ELCA seminary, I applied again for the job and pop—the door reopened. Formed by decades in secular journalism, it took some time to get fully in

December 2005 cover

place as editor. As a cradle Lutheran, I knew the church and had covered the merger of what became the ELCA, but working inside a denomination required a whole new education in institutions, processes, people and policies. Over the past decade the magazine has been able to not only inform ELCA members with news, features and columns, but also help raise understanding around key issues so members could cope with decisions that impact the church. Just two examples were the cover articles of January 2013 (“The shrink- ing church”) and November 2014 (“The ELCA’s a g ing cler g y wave”). What couldn’t

What’s kept me charged over the

Dearest Jesus, holy child

years are encourag- ing conversations with members … about the positive

be seen 10 years ago was a coming terrible threesome for any publication: a church- dividing controversy, the Great Recession, and a societal shift in reading to ever smaller electronic devices along with increasingly narrow fields of reader inter- est. These combined to halve The Lutheran’s circulation despite hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on marketing and promotions. What’s kept me charged over the years are encouraging conversations with

impact the ELCA has in the world.

members at synod assemblies (I’ve attended 56) and elsewhere and letters to the editor about the positive impact the ELCA has in the world. Thank you all. While negative correspondence takes a toll, one letter tops all types for clever- ness. A pastor, upset over coverage of sexuality issues, disparaged the magazine, adding: “Maybe the most edifying thing is the obituaries. Some of my friends don’t need to read [The Lutheran] any longer.” Regardless, it’s an honor to be editor of The Lutheran, but all things must

pass. I turn 65 in two months and have informed my supervisors of my inten- tion to retire. My last day at the magazine will be Feb. 19. It’s time for change. 


The Lutheran is the magazine of the ELCA

Subscriptions & customer service Subscription issues, address changes, billing questions: phone: 800-328-4648 email:

Editorial offices: 8765 W. Higgins Rd., Chicago, IL 60631

800-638-3522; 773-380-2540 Fax: 773-380-2409 Email: Web:

The Lutheran is a member of the Associated Church Press

Editor & director, Publications Daniel J. Lehmann

Associate director, Publications Melissa Ramirez Cooper & Public Relations

Managing editor Julie B. Sevig

Associate editors Megan Brandsrud

Erin Strybis

Manager, editorial services Andrea Pohlmann Kulik

Manager, graphics Michelle Goodman and artistic direction

Associate art director Kathryn Hillert Brewer

Strategic communications Barbara A. Fletcher coordinator

Advertising Mark K. Brewer

The Lutheran is published monthly through Augsburg Fortress, Publishers, Box 1209, Minneapolis, MN 55440. (ISSN 0024-743X USPS 322080)

For display and classified advertising sales: 800-638-3522, ext. 2541; Acceptance of advertising does not imply endorsement.

Subscription rates: $19.95 a year; outside N. America add $9.20 for postage. Payable in U.S. funds. Send subscription requests to The Lutheran Circulation, Augsburg Fortress, PO Box 1553, Minneapolis, MN 55440-8730. Or subscribe online:

On tape: Customer Service, Box 1553, Minneapolis, MN 55440; 800-328-4648.

On microfilm: National Archive Publishing Company (NAPC), 300 N. Zeeb Rd., PO Box 998, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-0998.

Copyright ©2015 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Duplication in whole or in part in any form is prohibited without written permission from the publishers. Printed in the U.S.A.

Nonprofit Periodicals Postage paid at St. Paul, MN, and additional mailing offices.

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: The Lutheran, Augsburg Fortress, Publishers, PO Box 1553, Minneapolis MN 55440-8730.

The Lutheran magazine belongs to the people of the ELCA in all our diversity. The magazine: • Nurtures awareness of Christ’s presence in our lives and the world. • Shares stories of God’s people living their faith. • Connects us with the global Christian community. • Provides an open forum for discussion. • Challenges us to bring God’s grace and care to all.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52