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Editor notes T ®


DECEMBER 2005 www.thelutheran.org $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. 


4 www.thelutheran.org


The Lutheran is the magazine of the ELCA


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800-638-3522; 773-380-2540 Fax: 773-380-2409 Email: lutheran@thelutheran.org Web: www.thelutheran.org


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Editor & director, Publications Daniel J. Lehmann lutheran@thelutheran.org


Associate director, Publications Melissa Ramirez Cooper & Public Relations melissa.ramirezcooper@elca.org


Managing editor Julie B. Sevig julie.sevig@thelutheran.org


Associate editors Megan Brandsrud megan.brandsrud@elca.org


Erin Strybis erin.strybis@thelutheran.org


Manager, editorial services Andrea Pohlmann Kulik andrea.pohlmann@thelutheran.org


Manager, graphics Michelle Goodman and artistic direction michelle.goodman@thelutheran.org


Associate art director Kathryn Hillert Brewer kathryn@brewer-com.com


Strategic communications Barbara A. Fletcher coordinator barbara.fletcher@thelutheran.org


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


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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.


MICHAEL D. WATSON The The The


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