By Jeni Miller
Next month, the LCMS is launching a new bimonthly publication to inform, inspire and involve church workers and contributors in the life of the church.
Its title, Lutherans Engage the World™, conveys what this publication seeks to communicate: how the people of God in the LCMS share the Gospel and bring Christ to the world, both at home and abroad, thanks to the trust and support of the church’s own members.
“Lutherans Engage the World will provide readers with a compelling and vibrant picture of how, with their prayers and help, we together, as a Synod, share the good news of Christ and His work,” said James Heine, director of News and Information for LCMS Communications. “It will focus especially on our work of witness and mercy as highlighted formerly in our Harvest News, Caring and Sharing newsletters.”
While the three former, smaller publications will be phased out, Lutherans Engage the World will bring it all together in one place, with one unified voice, in order to better organize communications efforts to be more in line with the restructuring of the Synod that was adopted at the 2010 LCMS convention, said Deaconess Pamela Nielsen, managing editor of the new publication.
“We’re moving from three publications to one, in part, because of the efficiencies gained in using only one publication,” explained Mark Hofman, executive director of LCMS Mission Advancement. “While our printing and mailing costs won’t decrease substantially, because we want a high-quality publication, the savings in staff time and effort planning one piece is substantially less than trying to plan and manage three separate newsletters. That means more of every gift dollar ends up being deployed to do work out in the field.”
“This is about informing, inspiring and involving LCMS members as we tell the exciting story of the witness and mercy work that is carried out to the four corners of the earth,” Nielsen said.
“We want to focus on the church being the church. We are not the Red Cross or just another nonprofit organization. Our job is to proclaim the Gospel and point people to the gifts that Christ bestows in Word and sacrament. Lutherans Engage the World is all about how and where that takes place across the globe.”
Each issue will include:
- feature stories: articles explaining how the LCMS ministries are working at home and abroad.
- history notes: articles that shed light on the deep, broad work the LCMS has done and continues to do across the globe.
- a collage: photos showing the people of the LCMS in congregations, districts and mission fields.
- blessings by the numbers: the story of the LCMS as told graphically through statistics, times and dates.
- partner stories: LCMS donors explain why they support the LCMS.
- sharing poster: information of interest to congregation members that can be posted on parish bulletin boards.
- 10 questions: interviews with the people in the trenches of church work.
- involve: details of how congregation members can pray, donate, participate, volunteer and learn more.
Lutherans Engage the World also will give church workers a connection beyond their own setting, reminding them that they are part of the larger picture.
“As we are each a member of the family of God, all of our work connects and intersects — it’s just part of being the Church,” said Nielsen. “We want to give pastors and other church workers as much helpful information as possible so they can then share these great stories of our life together with those they serve. It is always inspiring to learn about the people of God in other places, people with the same confession of faith who go about the same work in a different context. We’re not alone in this but rather are part of a grand and wonderful work that God allows us to do.”
As the LCMS desires to continue building confidence and trust among its members and donors, Lutherans Engage the World will also emphasize the ways in which the Synod remains diligent and careful with gifts as it shows how those gifts are being used.
“Our intention is that Lutherans Engage the World would showcase the full, synchronized scope of our work as LCMS Lutherans at home and abroad made possible by the sacrificial investments of thousands of people,” said Hofman.
“When someone asks, ‘What difference do I make in the world, as a member of the LCMS, through my charitable giving?,’ Lutherans Engage the World is a place to find answers. The magazine is one avenue of transparency and accountability for how donor dollars are put to work. That’s important because our witness, mercy and life together efforts as a Synod are totally dependent on the charitable investments made by LCMS congregations and their members.”
Lutherans Engage the World is free to LCMS rostered church workers, missionaries past and present, and those who financially support the global mission work of the LCMS. The publication will be available every other month.
Jeni Miller is a freelance writer and member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Posted July 26, 2012