"While serving at a church in 2005 I began to dream about publishing an anthology of poetry written by Lutherans. After personally contacting 28 Lutheran colleges, 8 Lutheran seminaries, and almost 8,000 Lutheran congregations, the poetry submissions poured in by the hundreds, making my dream a reality. When the final deadline had passed, I had received over 1,200 poems written by pastors, professors, and dozens of everyday Lutherans from all walks of life. Selected authors range from newly discovered talent to well-known Lutheran poets and hymn writers. To hear their stories and read their poetry was a great gift to me, and I will be forever grateful for the experience. It is my hope and prayer that these poems might find a special place in your heart, and that they might be a blessing to you and your family now and for years to come." - Mark Odland, editor Mark Patrick Odland is a published poet and visual artist from Alexandria, MN. A graduate of Augustana College and Luther Seminary, Mark currently serves as pastor of outreach and new ministry development at Living Waters Lutheran Church in Sauk Rapids, MN. He is happily married to Rachel, and they are expecting their first child (a little girl ) in September of 2007. Mark feels a strong calling to encourage, inspire, and nourish the arts within the larger church, and believes that the creation of SIMUL - Lutheran Voices in Poetry, is simply one of many ways to help make this a reality.