A Season of Significant Change/Issue Introduction

The Journal of Lutheran Ethics (JLE) is in the midst of a season of significant change, and I want to share these changes with JLE’s many readers and friends.

Beginning in September 2013, JLE will move from a bi-monthly to a monthly publication schedule. The journal’s hope is that monthly publication will be able to engage readers on a more regular basis and offer a greater variety of topics. The general themes for the fall 2013 issues are Gender Justice (September), Tax Reform (October), Violence (November) and Immigration (December). If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, JLE would welcome hearing from you. Contact us at either James.Echols@elca.org or Margaret.Olson@elca.org

The 2014 schedule of topics will be reviewed by the JLE Advisory Council when it meets September 17, 2013. If you have suggestions for themes or topics that you would like to see JLE address, please send them to me no later than August 31, 2013.

Although slightly delayed according to the original schedule, the redesign of the ELCA website is now well underway. A couple of weeks ago, the Theological Discernment Team met with the ELCA’s Digital Media Manager to discuss options for the new JLE website. Following a request for advice and counsel from the JLE Advisory Council, the team has decided that the journal’s new website will be a separate micro site on the ELCA platform that would live within its own URL, structure and navigation tree. This will give JLE more flexibility in arranging the website for the best use of those who visit it, including state-of-the-art search features. There will be a delay in the short term as the journal migrates all of its archives, articles, book reviews and other information to the new website. Over the long term, however, it will make the website much more user friendly.

Finally, JLE is going to return to its prior procedure of seeking copyright permission forms from its writers. This was highly recommended by The Lutheran Magazine as a best practice, and it will be implemented later this year.

Issue Introduction
Mental illness and its various manifestations have dominated the news in recent months ranging from the Newtown, CT. killings to the politicization of actress Ashley Judd’s previous struggle with depression to the suicide of Pastor Rick Warren’s son, Matthew. This issue focuses on mental illness in light of the ELCA’s new Social Message, The Body of Christ and Mental Illness. A special word of gratitude is expressed to Kaari M. Reierson, an ELCA pastor and former editor of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics, who collaborated with the editor on the publication of this issue.