I have regularly told friends that I am the luckiest person alive. As the editor of Metro Lutheran, I have received financial compensation to participate in events, discussions, and even controversies that I would find interesting even without pay. I have often been astounded by the high quality of discussion and action I have been witness to.
Through a diverse set of institutions — colleges, hospitals, social service agencies, denominational offices, nonprofit organizations — Lutherans live out a vocation of service and evangelism. Although our brokenness is ever-apparent, we are so deeply engaged with God’s world.
Now I will be working inside the church, not just beside it.
But, with a mixture of sadness and excitement, I must announce that this issue marks my last one covering these events for Metro Lutheran. I have accepted a position as Director of Communications and Stewardship with the Minneapolis Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. While I have already taken on some responsibilities there, I officially begin my duties full time on April 1 (no fooling).
I have never actually worked for a denomination before. Almost all of my workplaces — Southern Columbia Heights Tenants Union, Sojourners magazine, Twin Cities Religion and Labor Network, Interfaith Worker Justice, and Metro Lutheran — are parachurch organizations. Such independent groups can serve as a balance to the tendency of self-legitimation that can happen inside of any institution.
Now I will be working inside the church, not just beside it. I wonder how this angle of vision will alter my perception of the church.
‘Love to tell the story’
As the synod’s Director of Communications and Stewardship, I will continue to hear and amplify the stories of “ordinary” Lutherans doing “extraordinary” things by grace through faith. I will have the honor of shaping a message about this engagement to appeal both inside and outside of the church.
I am especially excited to join the staff at the Minneapolis Area Synod. I have known three of the staff members for more than 30 years. Others I have only recently met. But I believe strongly in the vision of the church that is being developed and shared, a message of God’s mercy and grace that is lived out by the community of faithful sinner/saints every day in every corner of this synod.
There are too many people to thank to do an adequate job. So I will make my list short. My two predecessors as editor of Metro Lutheran — Chuck Lutz and Mike Sherer — have each been significant mentors for me. I have told them that already; now I tell you. And, my colleague Jean Johansson handles her many duties with such competence and grace; I am always amazed.
I hope that my path crosses those of the many wonderful Lutheran lay and clergy leaders I have come to know over the last six-and-a-half years. I truly value my time with you all. We have together shared a story that we love to tell — of Jesus and his love.
May we all, in whatever place we live, continue to share this great story through word and deed.