Seeking Editor for The Lutheran Witness

I started two weeks before the 2010 convention.

Because there’s nothing like getting tossed into the deep end when you’re 25, still trying to figure out what it means to be an editor and discerning how best to write in a succinct but helpful way.

I had turned the job as editor of The Lutheran Witness down once, convinced I didn’t want to leave my happy little life at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind. But the Lord’s ways, it turns out, are rarely ours.

After the convention, the opportunities continued to grow: serving on restructuring committees, writing for Reporter, assisting with President Harrison’s testimony before Congress, delving into social media.

From there it was working as associate executive director for Strategic Communication, covering international theological conferences, assisting with Free to Be Faithful efforts, finding media trainers, starting up a new academic journal, ghost writing, speaking at events, managing convention newsrooms, and, all the while, trying to urge The Lutheran Witness forward as the teaching tool it was originally created to be–in print and online and everywhere in between.

And now it’s someone else’s turn.

It’s time to pass the editorial red pen–ok, FoxIt Reader’s PDF editing functions–on to a new editor.

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Is it you?

People often think being an editor means finding misplaced commas or locating typos. And there is some of that.

But being an editor mostly means you know how to think broadly and yet also in focus. It means keeping your eye first and foremost on the well-being of the reader while finding and forming content that teaches and delights in a palatable way, in ways the audience will understand.

It means not talking above the reader or beneath him. It means keeping him engaged while not going so far over his head as to lose him. It means a bit of humor now and then. It means making sure that what’s written flows easily from A to B to C and ends back at A again. And it means having a thick skin when snarky letters to the editor flood your inbox.

Because they do flood.

For this role, it also means being Lutheran–the kind of Lutheran that desires to remind readers today of the historic things of the faith. It means believing that what the Church has taught and confessed is right and true and that it’s worth sharing and discussing regardless of what the world has to say. It means a bit of correcting when misconceptions arise and a lot of bringing people to the center when the culture and other denominations want them to veer to the left or the right.

Might that person be you?

 

Godly wife and mom

When my husband and I leave the hospital with our second baby next spring, after I’ve served as editor for seven years, I’m confident there will be a new editor at the helm. And I’m equally sure he or she will do a bang-up job.

As for me, I’ll be at home: taking care of my husband and my babies.

My parents taught my sisters and me that the most noble job a woman can have is to be a godly wife and mother. It’s what I’ve prayed to be since I was a little girl.

And while I’ve been able to edit from home for the past several years, it’s best for our family for me to turn my attention away from split infinitives and storyboards to my family and home . . . without meetings or distractions.

It’s time. I love my husband. I waited 29 years to meet him, after all, and I find no greater contentment than seeing to it that my children are well-catechized . . . and fed.

Because we do like to eat like farmers, after all.

 

Thank you

In the meantime, thank you.

Thank you for reading The Lutheran Witness. Thank you for writing letters. Thank you for reposting articles you find helpful on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you for finding me at conferences and symposias and conventions to tell me how much you appreciate the magazine.

Thank you for being Lutheran. Thank you for loving to learn. Thank you for desiring the holy things of God–primarily in the Divine Service and also in your prayers and devotions and denominational magazines.

And thank you for being patient with me.

Like the time I missed that there was no “l” in the word “public.”

{What was that about editors not just finding typos?}

I have failed often, learned much and been humbled in front of lots and lots of readers.

Lots and lots of readers.

As editor, I have made new friends across the world, attempted lamely to fill big shoes and experienced more than I would thought imaginable the first day I set foot in the International Center.

For all of that, for your kindness, for your love of life and Lutheranism,

thank you.

 

#WeAreN

Nun

The Arabic letter “nun” is sweeping social media, and “#WeAreN” is trending on Twitter. It’s all part of an awareness campaign, an effort to draw  attention to our Iraqi brothers and sisters in Christ who are under persecution for the faith.  Continue reading

in this living room

My dad has a phrase. “Well, in MY living room . . .”

These four words are the ones that define how he lives his life, how he acts and talks and thinks in the space that is uniquely his, and the way in which he determines how he’s going to live it outside those four walls too.

In his living room, he reads devotions with his family.

In his living room, jokes are king and laughter reigns.

In his living room, the Wall Street Journal expands minds and books are plentiful.

In his living room, truth and decisiveness are the order of the day.

In his living room, ideas fly back and forth, and you’d better be able to keep up.

In his living room, bluegrass and the Texas two-step are always playing, and your foot better be tapping.

In his living room, his wife serves a plate of nachos each night with cheese so thick your arteries will wave the white flag before you ever open your mouth.

(To be fair, the phrase sometimes breaks down. In his living room, we opened Christmas presents from 6:00 a.m. to noon and skipped church. But, you know, stuff.)

 

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His point is this: Every day, we make choices.

We choose to learn or not.

We choose to talk about the faith with our children, or we don’t.

We choose to speak truth, or we remain silent.

We choose to work hard, or we choose not to.

We choose to embrace a healthy disrespect for authority, or we go with the flow.

We choose to speak boldly about what we know is right, or we stay quiet.

We choose to live big and full, with Del McCoury as our soundtrack, or we stay on the sidelines.

In his living room, he makes the choices.

And because of what my sisters and I learned in that living room, we now make choices in ours.

And even if our dad got Christmas wrong, even if it took us years of doing nightly devotions to discover the jewel that is the orthodox faith, even if we disagreed with each other and disobeyed him and our mom, we learned how to make choices nonetheless.

We learned that there is more to life than the daily grind, that hard work pays off, that swimming against the current like a salmon can be very freeing.

We learned that good music and good food and good books can be heartily rewarding, that singing hymns with your family teaches something.

We learned that Christ forms and shapes all we do in this life, that pastors need our prayers, that a healthy sense of indifference can sometimes go a long way, that politics are fun to argue.

We learned that hugs and “I love you”s go hand-in-hand with “That was a poor choice” and “You can do better,” that sacrifices are worth making and front porches are the best for thinking.

We learned that a day doesn’t go by without a prank, that food is a pleasure to be enjoyed, that spontaneity is key.

 

In his living room, we girls learned how to be articulate, content Lutheran women. We learned to love our husbands and our Lord, to care for others, to be bold in what is good and right.

That’s what we learned in his living room.

I’m curious.

What did you learn–and, more importantly, what are you teaching–in yours?