I have a photo of me as a baby, lying next to my brother on the couch as he reads to me from a magazine. My eyes are wide open in wonder. Was this the start of my love for the printed word? Since that photo was taken, a lot has changed for print-based media.
Like many periodicals, those changes have affected the ELCA’s magazine. Rising print costs—for paper, ink and postage—have resulted in changes in paper quality and distribution frequency. We started with 18 issues in 1988—in 2023 we will have six, though we continue to have a robust online presence here at livinglutheran.org. Technology also has changed, and we are moving along with the way people want to receive information.
Given all this and the need to be good stewards of our resources, ELCA leadership has made the difficult decision to cease the print publication of Living Lutheran with the November/December 2023 issue. We will start transitioning the magazine into a full online storytelling engine at livinglutheran.org, providing a more economical and far-reaching approach to engage with a broader audience. This will include articles, videos, audio stories, podcasts, live events, a more robust social media presence, opportunities for user-generated content and more.
I wonder, was it the story, not the magazine, that had my eyes wide open? After all, the story comes first. And for the church, it begins with the story of God’s love. Sharing this good news has always been at the foundation of who we are—and that won’t change. We look forward to many years of telling our stories in the best ways possible.