Lutheran Woman Today Magazine Celebrates 100th Issue

11/6/1996 12:00:00 AM

     CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Lutheran Woman Today, a magazine developed by the Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the women's organization of the ELCA, celebrates its 100th issue November 1996.
     "I feel the Holy Spirit in the magazine," said Nancy J. Stelling, editor for Lutheran Woman Today.  "As a community of women, empowered by the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves to grow in faith and mission," said Stelling.
     "The magazine provides inspiration and information, comfort and challenge," she said.  Each year the 64-page magazine carries and supports the Women of the ELCA's Bible study, "the most used Bible study in the ELCA," said Stelling.  "Women grapple seriously with the study of Scripture, and gain tools for Bible study so they can sense God's power and guidance in an extremely complex world," she said.  The Bible study is probably used by more than 220,000 people, according to Stelling.
     Lutheran Woman Today has been published monthly except August "It has a pass-along rate of three -- every issue that is read is passed to three other people," said Stelling.  Along with the Bible study, the magazine provides stories of inspiration, devotions, articles, meditations and Women of the ELCA information.  It was first published in Jan. 1, 1988.
     "The stories make people feel good, and they gain strength from hearing about other people's faith life," said Stelling. "The writers willing to share their stories are such faith- filled people.  I am always amazed at the things the articles can do," she said.
     "'The Holy Spirit Takes Heart,' a story in the June 1996 issue, is an example of how a reader received life-saving information," said Stelling.  The story told of a three-day old boy born with life-threatening pulmonary defects.  The parents consented for doctors to perform a type of surgery known as the Norwood Procedure.   When the reader learned of this procedure, she sought information through the Women of the ELCA office and was able to help her own child.  "The Spirit uses the words and 'The Word' and takes it from there," said Stelling.
     Readers of Lutheran Woman Today are invited to participate in the centennial celebration by answering a reader survey and cast their favorite cover "vote" in the November issue, said Stelling.  "Through this informal survey, we will try to learn how people use the magazine, how well it's meeting the needs of people, how the Bible study is used, and whether the magazine is used for evangelism," she said.
     "The magazine needs to challenge people about their faith. We continue to invite them to reflect on aspects of their faith, as we comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable," said Stelling.
     "We have found our voice, and that voice is a good balance of challenge and comfort, inspiration and information," said Susan Edison-Swift, managing editor.  "That rootedness is giving us a chance to do some exploring in learning what 'growth, faith and mission' really means for us," she said.
     "Many people have preconceived notions of what this women's magazine is, and they be surprised by what they would find," said Edison-Swift.  "They would find cutting-edge theology, life and faith issues, and stories of lives lived in faith.  It's not just for your grandma anymore," she said.
     Lutheran Woman Today comes in three forms -- a digest format, a big-print format and audiotape.  Lutheran Women Today is published by Augsburg Fortress publishers, the publishing house of the ELCA, based in Minneapolis.


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