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The Living Church Welcomes New Editors

The Living Church is pleased to announce the hire of the Rev. Mark Michael as editor of The Living Church magazine. Father Mark is rector of St. Francis Church, Potomac, and will remain in Maryland with his family. He will also play a critical role in TLC’s strategic planning process in the coming year and assist Dr. Christopher Wells in managing TLC’s staff. Wells continues as executive director of the Living Church Foundation with oversight of all publications.

“We are thrilled to have found someone of Fr. Mark’s character and experience to help lead the Living Church into the future,” said Wells. “As a longtime contributor to The Living Church and Covenant, occasional correspondent and editor, member of the Living Church Foundation, and old friend, I cannot think of anyone more ideal to take the reins of our historic magazine. Mark brings with him a deep love and knowledge of the Episcopal Church, broad formation in global Anglicanism, and a wealth of learning with special interests in history, liturgy, and Christian formation at the parish level. If you haven’t yet read ‘Mrs. Truax and the importance of Sunday School,’ (bit.ly/2NWGWos) you have a special treat to look forward to.”  Michael will write a regular column, De terra veritas, in the magazine.

Fr. Michael joins two other new additions to TLC’s team: Dr. Eugene Schlesinger, Professor of Religious Studies at Santa Clara University, as editor of Covenant; and Kirk Petersen, a veteran journalist and TLC correspondent, as associate editor. “Gene and Kirk have done great writing for us for years, demonstrating calm under pressure, a knack for creative insight, and an ability to deliver,” said Wells.

The three new editors will step into their roles alongside John Schuessler, TLC’s managing editor of three decades, “whose faithfulness, resourcefulness, and institutional memory make possible our daily labor,” said Wells.

“Just when they are needed, three highly qualified editors have discerned a call to join the ministries of the Living Church,” said Dr. Grace Sears, vice president of the board of the Living Church. “In their perfectly timed arrival, we sense with thanksgiving that the Holy Spirit is orchestrating the work of TLC for God’s glory.”

The three editors will be filling the shoes of Matthew Townsend, former news editor of TLC, recently appointed editor of the Anglican Journal in Canada; Douglas LeBlanc, former senior editor of TLC, newly hired director of communications for St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center; and the Rev. Dr. Zachary Guiliano, former associate editor of TLC, who has taken up a full-time stipendiary position in Cambridge, UK, in the Diocese of Ely.

“Matt, Doug, and Zack have all been stalwarts of TLC, and significantly increased the breadth, quality, and rigor of our work. We miss their contributions already but are proud to see them taking up new challenges in service of the Church worldwide,” said Wells.

The ministry of the Living Church remains in a growth mode, with all indices of the business steadily increasing, year over year. TLC’s first-ever endowment campaign is focused on scaling up the Living Church Institute as the pedagogical, catechetical, and strategic arm of the Living Church Foundation, based in Dallas.

“The Living Church has continued to flourish in recent years, blessed by God in its leadership from talented editors,” said the Rt. Rev. John Bauerschmidt, Bishop of Tennessee and president of TLC’s board. “The board is excited to welcome these new editors, who will work with Dr. Wells in carrying forward the mission of the Living Church.”


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