Gottesdienst Surges Forward with Your Help
We just sent this memo to all of our subscribers:
Dear friend of the Lutheran Liturgy,
We've been busy.
(I'll even start this letter with a little memo: one thing we have been doing is entering and updating emails, so some of you might have gotten an email recently saying it was from us but you weren't sure. Well, yeah, that was us. And this is why. We've been busy.)
Almost concurrently with our move into second quarter-century of publishing, Gottesdienst has moved ahead with some rather massive expansion efforts. The 21st century allows massive expansion efforts to be accomplished without brick and mortar, and we have taken advantage of the opportunity.
For over two decades we made our presence known primarily by means of this print journal, but when the Internet came of age, we began to realize that we would need to keep up or go the way of so many other print periodicals and newspapers. Finally, as I previously reported, in August of this year, we had our first serious editorial board meeting. Ever. Most of us (a few were unable) drove or flew to a retreat center and actually sat down at a table to discuss the future direction of this journal. Up to now, insiders can tell you, our “board meetings” were actually held in or near a hotel’s hot-tub without anything on the agenda but some fine Scotch. We did enjoy some fine whisky also at this meeting, but only after-hours. We had come together with some definite items in mind.
Two among these discussions have been paying off in spades.
First is our new blogging traffic and format. Earlier this year, thanks to the able help of our new website designer Sarah Ludwig Rausch, we had reformatted the entire website and brought the blog under its umbrella. Now we have begun some serious blogging. We have taken on four new Gottesbloggers, whose opening posts have been brilliant. The editors of Gottesdienst welcome these four Gottesbloggers:
Rev. John Bussman (STL ’12), St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Cullman, AL
Rev. Sean Daenzer (FW ’12), Peace Lutheran Church, Barney, ND and Trinity Lutheran Church, Great Bend, ND
Rev. Anthony Dodgers (FW ’11), Immanuel Lutheran Church, Charlotte, IA
Rev. Stephen Preus (FW ’11, with STM in ’18), Trinity Lutheran Church, Vinton, IA
Our new blog posts have gone viral in the Lutheran world, with 12,000 readers of whom nearly 9,000 reacted in some way. Since then we have been blogging close to every day, and our posts usually reach over 1000 readers apiece.
Second, we’ve also added a new feature called The Gottesdienst Crowd, a Podcast that comes out every Wednesday for on-demand listening, hosted by one of our editors, Rev. Jason Braaten. He interviews one or two of the rest of us, and sometimes we even have a debate. These too have reached about a thousand listeners apiece.
All of this is free for the readers and listeners, but part of what makes Gottesdienst run is that so many of you subscribers have responded with generous donations that have contributed mightily to making this possible. You need to know this: you have made a tremendous impact on the Lutheran Church by your mighty contributions!
And we can all do even more: the time is now, as we move toward 2019, with continuing and alarming evidence of some sadly and shockingly unlutheran practices still going on in our midst, and to boot, another raucous Synodical Convention on the horizon.
Make your own donation at www.gottesdienst.org. We’re all in this together: defending and promoting the Lutheran Liturgy, the Lutheran Church, and the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Rev. Dr. Burnell Eckardt, Editor-in-chief