Baton passes for ‘Lutheran Witness’ managing editor

Lutheran Witness Managing Editor Adriane Heins (left), who steps down June 30, will be succeeded by Rachel Bomberger (right) of Kent City, Mich.

By Roger Drinnon

The Synod bids farewell to the longtime managing editor of its premiere magazine in June while welcoming her successor, to whom the baton passes this summer.

Adriane Heins, who expertly managed The Lutheran Witness for seven years moves on as a full-time wife and mother of two. She will be succeeded by Rachel Bomberger, a lifelong Lutheran with notable experience in publishing and marketing.

Adriane’s legacy

“I’m grateful to each author who wrote for the magazine, each writer who blogged, each person who took the time to write a letter, each individual who retweeted or reposted an article that heartened them in who they are as Lutherans,” said Heins. “They are proof that it’s important for the Church to provide its members with theologically rich and faithful content that pushes and stretches and molds them into contemplative, articulate Lutherans.”

Heins finished her Master of Arts degree in Religion from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind., in May 2010 — just before starting as the magazine’s managing editor the following month. During her time as managing editor, Heins also managed the production of The Journal of Lutheran Mission. This free, online-only publication — a joint venture of the LCMS Offices of National and International Mission — addresses the newest and oldest trends in missiology. She said she always felt both publications were important resources for clergy and laypeople alike.

“During my time as editor, I wanted The Lutheran Witness to be a resource for those of us in the pew and an asset for pastors, as they teach the faith from the pulpit or at the bedside,” she said. “If, in the past seven years, the magazine has helped a layman better understand the beautiful nuances of Lutheranism, or if it has provided a pastor with a tool to teach or reinforce with his members what the LCMS believes and confesses, the magazine has done its job.”

Heins said she will continue to enjoy her bucolic farm life with husband, Chris; 17-month-old daughter Georgia; and son Fielding, who is two months old.

“Caring for my husband and children in our home is my greatest joy and most important vocation,” she said. “And in between changing diapers and sweeping up Goldfish [snack crackers], I’ll be watching the mailbox for the next issue [of The Lutheran Witness] to arrive.”

Rachel joins the team

As Heins’ successor, Bomberger joins the LCMS Communications team with her own experience and credentials for taking the reigns as well as her own appreciation for the legacy of the magazine.  

“Throughout my life in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, The Lutheran Witness has been integral to our mission of ‘Witness, Mercy and Life Together,’ ” said Bomberger. “The magazine has brought us together, given us a medium through which we can ‘encourage one another and build one another up’ [1 Thess. 5:11], and has provided a forum through which we can share our common story—both among ourselves and with the world at large. I look forward with enthusiasm to continuing this important work.”

Bomberger is a graduate of Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Mich., where she majored in English, and she also holds a Master of Arts in English from Indiana University—Purdue University, Fort Wayne, Ind. For the past seven years, she has worked for William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., an ecumenical religious publisher based in Grand Rapids, Mich., where she started as a copywriter and rose to director of marketing in 2015.

Her husband, the Rev. Kenneth Bomberger, is an ordained LCMS pastor, and they have four children ranging in age from 3 to 12 years old. She noted that as a child, she spent time in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, where her father, Dr. David Wesche, served as a medical missionary.

“For almost as long as I can remember, The Lutheran Witness has been part of the landscape of my spiritual life,” she said. “I am honored, humbled and unbelievably excited to put my skills to use in the service of such a significant and meaningful publication. It is a rare and precious thing for any editor to get to work on a project that is as close to the heart as The Lutheran Witness is to mine. I thank God for this gift.”

Hail and farewell

David Strand, LCMS Communications executive director, lauded Heins for her service to the Synod while also expressing his confidence in Bomberger.

“Adriane Heins — she was Adriane Dorr when we hired her — is an extraordinary person: an accomplished author, editor, speaker and churchwoman,” said Strand. “These attributes, along with her love for the Lord and His Church and her substantial knowledge of Lutheran theology and practice, put her in good stead throughout her outstanding tenure with The Lutheran Witness.

“Beyond all that,” Strand continued, “Adriane is a joy to be around. Kind, witty, collaborative — always willing to help a coworker or take on an extra assignment. We were blessed to call her our colleague these past seven years.”

Strand noted that the church is “similarly blessed” in the person of Heins’ successor.

“I am pleased to say,” he said, “that we will not be suffering a falloff with Rachel, who is highly impressive in her own right in many ways.” Noting Bomberger’s extensive experience as a writer and editor with Eerdmans, Strand said “she’ll bring all the right tools and gifts to the Witness editorship.”

“We look forward to her arrival with excitement,” he said.  

The Lutheran Witness provides Missouri Synod laypeople and clergy with faithful, winsome material that complements congregational life, fosters personal growth in faith and helps interpret the contemporary world from a uniquely Lutheran Christian perspective.

For information on subscribing or advertising in The Lutheran Witness, visit cph.org/witness. Free, exclusive online content from the magazine is available at lcms.org/witness.

Roger Drinnon (roger.drinnon@lcms.org) is director of Editorial Services and Media Relations for LCMS Communications.

Posted June 28, 2017

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One Response to Baton passes for ‘Lutheran Witness’ managing editor

  1. Georgene Beazley June 28, 2017 at 7:30 pm #

    Have really been impressed with Adrienne’s editing, have read the Lutheran Witness all my adult life, and have enjoyed the contempory, yet strictly doctrinal trends. Hope this will continue. God bless you, Adrienne and your family. Welcome, Rachel, and God bless you also.

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