United Evangelical Lutheran Church, Denmark


The "most influential individual in the United Evangelical Lutheran Church's final twenty-five years" is how synod President William Larsen once described John M. Jensen1, longtime editor of The Ansgar Lutheran, the church's English language periodical. Jensen served the UELC as pastor, translator, historian, and representative, but it was through the pages of The Ansgar Lutheran that he had his greatest impact. Week after week for nearly twenty-five years, he wrote about spiritual matters, church policies and politics, questions of social justice, and events throughout the world, all the while serving full time as a church pastor. During World War II he introduced his readers and, eventually, many other Americans to the sermons and other writings of Kaj Munk, the Danish pastor martyred by the Nazis.2 At the same time, however, Jensen argued that the church's original name-The United Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church-was increasingly hindering its outreach and supported the effort to drop the word "Danish" from its title in 1944.