On January 31, the ELCA announced that Living Lutheran magazine will print its final issue in December 2023. The magazine will print six issues in this final year.
Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton issued this message:
The Churchwide Organization will not stop telling stories of this church when the printing of the magazine ends. This year, we will begin transitioning Living Lutheran to a full online storytelling engine featuring new ways of reaching people, providing a more economical and far-reaching approach for us to engage with a broader audience. You will start to see us employing these ways throughout the year, with videos, audio stories, podcasts, live events, and more. This transition will also include a more robust social media presence and more opportunities for user-generated content with the potential for greater engagement with Lutherans and non-Lutherans alike.
The ELCA and its predecessor church bodies have been printing periodicals since 1831, when The Lutheran Observer first started. Spreading the gospel and sharing the stories of our church have always been at the foundation of who we are as Christians and Lutherans. And while we will no longer print a magazine each month, the sharing and spreading of the good news continues every day. As many of you probably know, the cost of printing a magazine—including paper, ink and postage prices—has steadily increased, especially during the pandemic, making it difficult to financially support a print edition. Being good stewards of the generous support given to the church is of the upmost importance to our team.
By focusing on creating more online content and new channels for distribution, we will have more flexibility and options for how we tell the stories of this church. Storytelling will still be at the core of this work. For the immediate future, we encourage you to sign up for Living Lutheran’s e-digest, a weekly email that highlights the top five most read stories on LivingLutheran.org. You can sign up here.
We give thanks for Living Lutheran and all the staff who have worked on the magazine over the years. The world is ever evolving, and that includes how we digest and engage with content of all kinds. We are excited about the opportunities ahead and hope you will join us in celebrating such a wonderful ministry of this church, giving thanks for the magazine and the many ways it has reached the hearts and homes of people across this church. And we hope you join us in praying for what’s ahead and asking for God’s guidance and support in all we do.
Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton