Augsburg Fortress
One Mission Blog - reflections on the ministry of publishing

Connect with Storytelling

March 25th, 2015 by Beth A. Lewis

In my experience, one of the most vibrant and practical networks of support across the ELCA is the ELCA Children, Youth and Family Ministry Network. One the many ways they provide support and resourcing for congregational leaders engaged in this important ministry is through the publication of their journal, Connect. Their Winter 2015 issue recently landed in my inbox with the issue’s theme of “Story” prominently featured on the cover.

Since telling the most important story of all is at the center of what we do through our ministry of publishing, I was looking forward to reading this issue cover-to-cover!


But, as I flipped through quickly, I became even more excited about reading it! On pages 12 and 13 is a terrific interview with my colleague, Aaron Christopher, Executive Producer for sparkhouse videos! It is a terrific interview (and I’m only slightly biased) where Aaron shares his passion for creating innovative, but theologically solid, videos to engage children, youth and adults in growing their faith.

After reading that article, I flipped to the next page and found an article written by my colleague Dawn Rundman, Director of Children’s Development for sparkhouse. Her article “Ten Great Ideas for Storytelling With Kids” provides concise, practical tips for both professional and volunteer faith formation leaders. While these can serve as standalone ideas, I know that Dawn and the fine team she leads, incorporate many, many similar practical ideas for working effectively with children in the sparkhouse curricula that they develop.

So, congratulations, Aaron & Dawn, for being featured in these ways in Connect magazine! And, congratulations to the fine folks in the ELCA Children, Youth and Family Ministry Network for the outstanding ways you support ministries all across the Church.  And, thanks for featuring two of my many talented colleagues and their work!





Beth A. Lewis, President & CEO Augsburg Fortress

Something (cool) for nothing!

March 3rd, 2015 by Beth A. Lewis

If you read my blog, then you probably care deeply about being a follower of Jesus.

And, if you read my blog, you probably care deeply about passing on your faith to future generations.

And, most of us like to get something for nothing!


So, how about something for nothing that will help you pass along your faith and joy in following Jesus to future generations?   Now that’s a great combination!

Oh, and the “cool” part? It’s from sparkhouse, so you know it’s cool!

The something for nothing part is really simple; you may request a complete free lesson of any of the four children’s Sunday School resources published by sparkhouse. You’ll receive complete sets…one for each child in your class! Or, if you prefer youth ministry, you may request a complete free lesson of any of our four youth faith formation resources. Or, if you lead both kids Sunday School and youth faith formation at your congregation, you may request both!

Sample Lesson Sunday invites you to select from one of the four sparkhouse Sunday School curricula. Just register by no later than March 23 and you’ll receive everything you need to use on Sunday, April 12! Need help deciding which of the four great Sunday School curricula to try? We’re offering free webinars to help you determine which one would be best for your setting.

Sample Lesson Week invites you to select from one of the four sparkhouse youth/confirmation curricula. Just register by no later than April 10 and you’ll receive everything you need to use for the week of May 3-9! And, we have free webinars for Sample Lesson Week, too, if you need help deciding which curricula to try.

What’s to lose? It’s cool curricula to help you generate enthusiasm among kids and youth in your church and you can try it out for free! Plus, you can get free advice via our webinars!

But, because it is free, the timeline is limited, so be sure to register by March 23 for Sample Lesson Sunday (kids Sunday School) and by April 10 for Sample Lesson Week (youth/confirmation).




Beth A. Lewis, President & CEO Augsburg Fortress

A well-used Lutheran Study Bible

March 2nd, 2015 by Beth A. Lewis

Last week, my husband, Rick Rouse, visited with an ecumenical group of leaders at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Sacramento to plan a training event to be hosted by the North American Association for the Catechumenate (NAAC) October 1-3 at St. John’s with assistance from two other congregations in the area, The Episcopal Church of St. Martin in Davis and Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Sacramento.  While meeting with the group, he met Frances Le Bas, one of the lay leaders at St. John’s.  He knew I would love to see her well-loved and well-used Lutheran Study Bible, so he took a quick photo and sent it to me.

Well-used LSB St John LC Sacramento

He knows me (and my Augsburg Fortress colleagues) well!  We do love to see photos like this.  Photos where the faith formation, worship and music resources we create touch the lives of people on their faith journey.  And, clearly, our Lutheran Study Bible has done that for Ms. Le Bas.  Our calling through this ministry of publishing is to create resources that make a difference in the lives of individuals and communities of faith.

Do you have a story and/or photo of Augsburg Fortress, sparkhouse or Fortress Press resources making a difference in your congregation?  In your family?  In your classroom? In your life? We’d love to see your photos and hear your stories!  Please send them to me at along with permission to post them via my blog and our social media sites.

Thank you!




Beth A. Lewis, President & CEO Augsburg Fortress

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