Dear Partner in Ministry,
Exactly one year ago today, we sent you a letter describing some of the exciting things happening through this ministry of publishing. We shared with you our new “umbrella” name, 1517 Media, reflecting our roots in the Reformation along with our future-oriented creation of resources using a wide variety of traditional and new media. We also assured you that our calling at Augsburg Fortress continues to be the development of top-quality resources to support the ministries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
So, what has happened in that year, you might ask? Our resource developers, editors, and creative partners from all across the church have been busy preparing dynamic, new Lutheran-oriented worship and faith formation resources for all ages.
LUTHERAN LEARNING New resources in this family began to roll out last year with Papa Luther: A Graphic Novel and Together by Grace: Introducing the Lutherans. Now we are happy to share details about another new adult small group resource on the near horizon. In support of Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton’s invitation for all members of the ELCA to study the Small Catechism together, By Heart: Conversations with Martin Luther’s Small Catechism is almost finished! Samples of the four-color learner resource, facilitator guide, and original animated videos are available for you to download for free at augsburgfortress.org/byheart. It is gorgeous and will be a welcome teaching and learning resource not only in this 500th anniversary year, but in adult forums and new member classes for many years to come.
ONGOING RENEWAL OF WORSHIP Each year, we refresh with new content our worship planning print and digital resources, including sundaysandseasons.com. In addition, several new-for-2017 resources are designed to help enrich worship in your context, including Pray, Praise, and Give Thanks: Litanies, Laments, and Thanksgivings at Font and Table; In Sure and Certain Hope: A Funeral Sourcebook; and Singing in Community: Paperless Music for Worship.
AUGSBURGFORTRESS.ORG Our augsburgfortress.org website, launched last summer, is not only streamlined for searching and transacting both on computers and mobile devices, earlier this year we added a “pay your invoice online” feature to make tracking payments simpler for individuals, pastors and church treasurers.
1517 MEDIA The Publishing House of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America—the official name of our parent organization—has used the name 1517 Media for the past year. We are proud of all four of our publishing units:
Augsburg Fortress serves Evangelical Lutheran churches in North America with resources to support worship, faith formation and the congregation’s life.
Fortress Press supports students and teachers across the ecumenical and interreligious landscape with resources for the classroom or for individual study.
Sparkhouse creates Christian faith formation resources for children and youth in Lutheran congregations and those of other traditions.
Sparkhouse Family crafts story Bibles and books, like The Life of Martin Luther: A Pop-Up Book, to help parents instill an open–hearted, transformational, lifelong Christian faith in their children at every age and stage.
As your partners in ministry, we appreciate your continued support as, together with you, we communicate the liberating grace of God in an ever-changing world. We are always here to serve you and support your ministries.
The Rev. Martin A. Seltz
Beth A. Lewis