Communicating and Celebrating
by William A. Decker, editor (November / December 2004 • Volume 20 • Number 6)
This issue of Lutheran Partners is accomplishing a couple of things at one time. The Nov./Dec. issues have been set aside as a "preaching" issue. This has meant that the magazine tries to cover the emphasis with at least one or two major feature articles. Hence, Professor and Pastor Mark Johns' cover story ("Modern Media and the Sermon") takes us on an excursion through some communication theory as he discusses how modern communication technologies may be shaping the way we "hear" and "deliver" the sermon.
But this is also the last issue of the year 2004. This year happens to be the twenty-fifth year of publication of this magazine. Lutheran Partners began under the auspices of the Lutheran Church in America in 1979 and was called LCA Partners. In 1985, its name was changed to the current Lutheran Partners when two other church bodies, the American Lutheran Church and the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches, joined the partnership of fellow rostered leaders and readers.
This anniversary section includes a retrospective of the magazine's early years written by the magazine's first editor, Richard Koenig. In addition, Pastor Mary Anderson looks forward, envisioning four leadership issues which she sees as vital for her parish context over the next several years. She also wonders what leadership issues her colleagues throughout the ELCA might come up with from their own contexts.
Some of our regular columnists also get into the swing of things by integrating the 25th anniversary into their own columns. Read the articles by Steve McKinley, Charles Austin, and Carl Linder for their reflections.
And, finally, the magazine provides another contribution to the ongoing debates on sexuality as two pastors reflect on what they believe is at stake in these debates.
What's at stake for this magazine and its readers is its continued ability to be a magazine of leadership written by and for its ordained and rostered lay leaders. As Pastor Stanley says to his sidekick pastor and friend, Tacky Carlson, in Steven McKinley's piece in this issue, the magazine is about "the people who lead our churches. And it's for them, too. That's what it's been and what it's going to be."
But it's time to quit barking and get on with this issue. Carl Linder, the magazine's second editor, reminds us of life's unending surprises....
William A. Decker is editor of Lutheran Partners magazine.