Dr Tania Nelson will be the next manager of Lutheran Media.
Tania, who has served as the LCANZ’s Executive Officer – Local Mission since August 2016, will succeed Pastor Richard Fox at the helm of the multi-media ministry outreach arm of the church next month. Richard, who has led Lutheran Media for 11 years, is returning to parish ministry, at Glynde in South Australia.
Tania’s appointment was announced by LCANZ Bishop Paul Smith today (22 August 2023).
The first woman and the first lay person to hold the role, Tania said she applied for the manager’s position because she had ‘long believed that Lutheran Media is a vital mission-focused ministry of the LCANZ’.
‘It just makes sense to me to utilise media, in all its many forms, to reach people with the saving message of God’s gracious love for us’, she said. ‘I feel that God is calling me to play a role in this wonderful outreach ministry.
‘I am so excited, and incredibly humbled, to step into the large shoes of the many people who have grown Lutheran Media to what it is today.
‘Lutheran Media has had an amazing and unique history, beginning in its early days via the radio waves and extending now to a variety of social media platforms. I still recall the deep and soothing voice of Emeritus President Rev Dr Lance Steicke bringing words of encouragement to listeners, as I played the Face to Face cartridges in the Mount Gambier community radio studio where I volunteered in the 1980s.
‘I thank the former directors of Lutheran Media, and particularly outgoing director Pastor Richard Fox, for leading and building Lutheran Media to a place where millions can hear messages of hope of a loving and saving God. I’m looking forward to working with the excellent Lutheran Media staff team, and discerning where God is calling us in this next phase of our God’s mission work.’
Bishop Paul said he was thankful to God ‘for the seven years of Christian service that Tania has given to our church’s work in her leadership in the department for Local Mission’.
‘She has an overflowing joyful passion for the witness of God’s people to the world’, he said. ‘Now she “moves sideways” to her new role with Lutheran Media in the same cause of bringing Christ to the nations.
‘I expect that Pastor Richard is rejoicing at the news that Tania is taking up the work that he has handed on. He can rest in the good report that the ministry of Lutheran Media will be in the hands of a faithful co-worker in the gospel. Please join me in praising God that Tania has offered her gifts for this work of our church.’
During her tenure as the LCANZ’s head of Local Mission, Tania has provided strategic oversight of Care Ministries, Grow Ministries, Cross-Cultural Ministry, New and Renewing Churches and Lutheran Media. She also implemented the General Synod decision to bring the boards for Lutheran Aged Care Australia, Lutheran Media Ministry and Child Youth and Family Ministry and the interim Board for Local Mission into what is now known as the Council for Local Mission.
Prior to taking on the executive officer role, the former teacher was the Head of School of Theological Studies and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Australian Lutheran College (ALC). Tania is also a casual academic at ALC this year, teaching a unit in the college’s higher education program.