Augsburg Fortress
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Book of Faith Buzz!

October 12th, 2008 by Beth A. Lewis

Everywhere I travel, I am hearing an excited buzz about the Book of Faith Initiative and the resources that we are publishing in support of this initiative!

Last Tuesday, ELCA Vocation & Education unit colleagues, Stan Olson, Mark Wilhelm and I had the pleasure of providing a 15 minute update on the BFI and resources to the ELCA’s Conference of Bishops. We had the enviable spot on the agenda of being about 3 agenda items from the end on their last morning after five days of meetings and work! They were, as you might expect, more than a bit tired! So, we gave them a quick (and we hope somewhat lively) list of five things they might not know about the Book of Faith Initiative and five things that they could do to encourage participation within their synods. The five things on the “you might not know” list were:

1. That we now have one combined website at

2. That there are over 1000 people who have joined in our free Book of Faith social networking site (and now, only five days later, almost 1100!). People may reach it by going to the Book of Faith website noted above and clicking the “Join the Conversation” button or by going directly to

3. Twenty-four synods are among the forty-five groups having conversations on the social networking site.

4. Enthusiasm about the BFI is high! Eighty people from sixty-one of the sixty-five ELCA synods participated in BFI advocates training in Chicago in August. These people will help provide information and training for congregations and other groups throughout their individual synods in coming months.

5. That Augsburg Fortress has already published many new resources in support of the Book of Faith Initiative and many more in the works! The list we share with the Bishops includes:

Opening the Book of Faith
Opening the Book of Faith Course
Rediscovering the Book of Faith Course
Book of Faith 40-Day Lenten Journey (December)
Lutheran Study Bible (March)
Three new adult Bible Study curricula (April)
Three new Bible-based children’s Sunday School curricula (April)

Then, on Friday, I had the pleasure of speaking to two different groups of attendees at the Third Biennial ELCA/ELEA National Administrator and Pastor Conference also in Chicago. My topic was on strategic planning for early childhood education centers/schools that are ministries of ELCA congregations. But, at lunch, there were discussion groups. Mark Wilhelm led an energetic conversation about the Book of Faith Initiative with several congregational leaders. He was kind enough to let my colleague, Dawn Rundman, Senior Editor for faith formation resources for children and me to join the group. I think that it is safe to say that those who sat in on this conversation because they were excited about the Book of Faith Initiative and wanted to learn more left the table with even more energy and enthusiasm. And, those who sat in on this conversation because they weren’t sure what this Book of Faith Initiative was all about, let the table with plans to launch the Initiative in their home congregation and school.

The buzz is contagious! If you haven’t yet signed up as an individual, a congregation, or other faith-based organization, we look forward to having you join us!


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Beth A. Lewis, President & CEO Augsburg Fortress

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