In April 2008, Forward in Christ (FIC) magazine started a new series called “Confessions of faith,” in which WELS adult confirmands share their journeys of faith to a WELS congregation.
What was intended to be a one-year series has now been a staple of the synod’s magazine for the past ten years. It’s also one of FIC readers’ favorite series. “I find it terribly interesting to read these stories about real faith in a real world. Being a Catholic convert, I am always interested to hear about how the Lord leads other people to faith through his Word,” writes Dean Ebert from St. Matthew, Iron Ridge, Wis.
In this series, readers learn about what other religions and denominations teach as the new members share their religious backgrounds. But readers also discover what these new members find out about WELS and its doctrine. One recurring theme, no matter what the individual’s religious background, is the focus on the Scriptures at WELS congregations. “Again and again these people mentioned that they heard the Bible’s answers to their questions and concerns in our churches and from our pastors and people,” says Rev. John Braun, executive editor of Forward in Christ.
One goal of FIC magazine is to build a community of WELS believers. This series offers opportunities to share stories from around the country that focus on our common confessional Lutheran faith. “I found that the frank and open confessions of these people were always uplifting to my faith. I hoped that it would have the same effect on our readers,” says Braun. “The people are all so different, yet together with them we all share a common faith in Jesus and a commitment to the truths of the Bible.”
He continues, “It’s about real people in the real world searching for what we all need—peace with God, the promise of his love and forgiveness in Jesus, and encouragement on our journey through life. I hope we can continue to share how some have found answers, peace, and forgiveness in the pages of God’s Word.”