by David L. Strand
With this issue, we say “God speed you,” Carla J. Dubbelde.
For the past 22 years, Carla has held a key position: editorial manager of the stitched-in district editions of The Lutheran Witness. As the name implies, these editions are publications within a publication—the monthly news of LCMS districts bound within the centerfold of the national magazine.
Since the inception of this program in the 1930s, the stitched-in editions have been the lifeblood of the Witness because they have maintained its visibility and circulation in participating districts, of which today there are 13. (Carla also edits “So Help Me, God,” the quarterly newsletter of LCMS Armed Forces Ministry.)
It is the perennial hope of national Witness staff—and our partner Concordia Publishing House shares in this hope—that districts which once participated in the stitched-in program would return to the fold, so to speak, and that others would consider joining it for the first time.
In any event, Carla has been a superb editor and beloved colleague of the many district editors with whom she has worked. It takes skill and discipline—and more than a few working nights at home—to juggle 13 publications and meet scores of textual and layout deadlines every month. But Carla, together with her peers in the districts and at CPH, has handled it smoothly for a long time. “The part of this job I will treasure and miss the most,” she says, “are the relationships with my district editors, both past and present, who have become dear brothers and sisters in Christ to me.”
Carla is equally loved by her co-workers at the International Center, a chief reason being her 23 years as director of “Glad Tidings,” an all-women barbershop chorus whose sacred pieces have graced our morning chapel services and KFUO-AM airwaves and whose other offerings have brightened local retirement homes and St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
Carla’s artistic gifts extend in many directions, including making office celebrations festive with keepsake-caliber posters and other trimmings. She’s even an expert cake decorator. Years ago, she helped support her family with these creations and once saved enough proceeds to buy her three young sons an above-ground pool. (“That took a lot of cakes!” she laughs.)
In saying goodbye to Carla and welcoming her successor, nine-year Communications Department staffer Karen R. Higgins, please wish Carla every blessing in her richly deserved retirement. She has been outstanding, and we thank God for her.
David L. Strand