I have a new job. On the other hand, is it a real job if you're not getting paid?
No matter. I'm having a great time. I recently consented to be the managing editor for a new publication, the Steadfast Quarterly. Some of my Lutheran readers may have heard of a new confessional lay organization that is forming named Brothers of John the Steadfast (you can read more about the group here). The Steadfast Quarterly will serve as the print journal of BJS. The group is the brainchild of my pastor, and he has assembled a team of dedicated volunteers who have been generously sharing of their time, talents and possessions for many weeks now in order to make this vision a reality. In the next few weeks we will see the publishing of the first issue of the journal, the initial membership push, and the launching of a new BJS website that holds great promise for bringing together some of the best elements of the confessional Lutheran blogosphere under one roof.
The first issue of the Steadfast Quarterly is coming together more smoothly than I could have dreamed and will feature the writings of Martin Noland, Timothy Rossow, Phillip Magness, and yes, Todd Wilken, among others. Topics will include a biography of John the Steadfast, a look at the gift that was Issues, Etc., a featured Steadfast parish and Steadfast blogger, news from across Christendom, a cantor's description of finding himself trapped with his family in a worship service that exhibits all too well the phrase "not your Grandfather's church," and the introduction of the newly appointed official BJS cartoonist.
If blogging is light for the next few weeks, you will know why. The publication date for the inaugural issue of the SQ is June 25 (coinciding with the Commemoration of the Augsburg Confession). God willing, we go to press in a week or two.
One of the neatest things about being involved in this, apart from the sense that I am doing something truly momentous, has been some great fun times, including a trip to St. Louis with the SQ publisher (Pastor Rossow) to meet our editor-in-chief (Pastor Fred Baue). Along for the ride was Elaine, a lady friend of mine who has superior writing & editing skills and be using both to assist in this enterprise. (She is not the only one of my buddies who has consented to do so. Elephant's Child is doing some writing for us, too, and is coming in a few days to help me out with the editing phase as well. There are others of you reading this who should not be surprised when I come knocking on your door. I think you know who you are.) Our St. Louis adventure came complete with a cigar-smoking, beer-drinking (by the pastors, that is) editorial meeting and my first trip to the Purple Palace, I mean, the International Center, that I can only describe as surreal.
Last night was the first "text dump," meaning all the Word documents have been loaded into Publisher. It was also my first experience with Publisher period. Elaine, an experienced Publisher user, came to hold my hand through the process, but the program turned out to be quite user-friendly, and I don't anticipate many complications down the road. (I did get a little worried when neither Elaine nor I could figure out how to open the box that my brand new copy of Publisher came packed in and had to enlist the aid of the 15-year-old that lives in my house and is apparently smarter than both of us.)
The writing is done. Now my work really begins.