by David L. Strand
In his preface to the 1983 Convention Proceedings, the late Synod Secretary Herbert Mueller wrote: “The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is a grand old lady—old but spry! Many of us have learned to love her even more through the years as she seems to grow younger with the passing of time.”
Some feel the same way about The Lutheran Witness, which, this month, marks its 130th year of continuous publication. There aren’t many magazines in America anymore that can print “Vol. 130, No. 1” on their mastheads.
This “grand old lady” still has spryness. Each month, our goal is to make her brisk and full of life. To that end, with this issue, we are introducing a number of innovations.
You will notice a new banner on the cover, a more aired-out Table of Contents, and helpful links running along the bottom edges of many pages. More important, you will not find quite the same miscellany of feature stories; rather, in their place, you will encounter a whole new array of what will become regularly recurring departments and columns.
Mainstays like “Lifeline,” “Q & A,” “Searching Scripture,” and “From the President” remain. But these now are joined by “Faith and Culture,” “Family Matters,” “This We Believe,” “This Month in Church,” and the interview-based “10 Minutes with . . .” Our intention is that these new offerings, featuring expert writers from around the Synod, will provide additional entry points to draw readers into the magazine. Above all, we hope these sections fulfill, along with the rest of the contents, our mission to provide a periodical that will “complement congregational life, foster personal growth in faith, and help interpret the contemporary world from a Lutheran Christian perspective.”
We have not made these changes lightly or with scant consideration of readers’ wants. To the contrary, the changes result from two years of Synodwide research conducted by LCMS Communications and Concordia Publishing House. Our “redo” is a direct result of what you’ve said you want in the Witness.
As Dr. Mueller prayed for his beloved Synod, so we, joined by our partner and publisher, CPH, pray the same for our venerable Lutheran Witness—that “God be good to her as she strives with irrepressible vigor and with disarming winsomeness to proclaim Him who is our Hope and our Life, even Jesus Christ, Savior and Lord!”
— David L. Strand