News

SERMON: Pentecost 6 (July 20)

Category: News, Sermon Tags: July 20, 2014 @ 9:00 am

The Rev. Franklin Wilson

The Rev. Franklin Wilson

Readings

Isaiah 44:6-8
Psalm 86;11-17
Romans 8:12-25
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

Text

“Thus says the Lord…I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.”
“For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”
“‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has cone this.’”

On Ascension Day the college chapel was full and, as I was nearly late, I was self-conscious on entering. Except for soccer matches the English are seldom loud, and a college chapel at 7:30 in the morning is no exception. I found one of the few vacant places and sat down. Just opposite me sat a woman dressed as a priest: only this woman wore purple: the color of bishops—a sight I had never before seen in the Church of England. I recognized her as someone with whom I had exchanged e-mails years ago concerning John Henry Newman. In any case, she had become a bishop in New Zealand, and was in Oxford for meetings. A female bishop! I was astonished and, as I think her a fine church theologian, I was pleased—pleased for her and pleased for the church. Then, this past week, the Church of England voted to consecrate women as bishops. Most, but not all, were pleased.

“The church has left me forever.” So wrote a friend last Monday. His church, the Church of England, had made a decision with which he had publically and rather stridently disagreed, and (as a result) he felt abandoned. Never mind the substance of the decision (to ordain women as bishops), a decision with which I happen to agree. But never mind that. Think instead of the assertion that “The church has left me,” and worse still, “The church has left me forever.” Can the church leave us, leave us forever, and still be the church?

I do not find fault with my old friend. In the fullness of time, he may be revealed as correct in his rather subtle and strongly held views. He is a traditionalist in some of the best (and perhaps most fervent) senses of that word. And, it must be said, the one holy catholic and apostolic church must (in order to be itself) bear the burden of Tradition. After all, it’s by Tradition that the Apostle Paul hands on the Gospel, even as by Tradition Judaism handed on (and hands on) the Law and the Prophets, without which there can be neither Gospel nor Church. Thus, arguments over Tradition (whether large T or small) take on greater or lesser weight depending on whether or not one believes the issues at stake lay claim to capital T authority.

I, for one, do not believe that the question of women as bishops rises to the level of “capital T” authority—the non-negotiable elements of faith referenced, for instance, in the Creeds, the sacraments, the judgment and grace of Christ himself. But I could be wrong about this, as I have often been wrong about other things, both factual and intellectual. If there’s one thing about which I’m certain it’s my own uncertainty in relation to tradition beyond Christ himself, his sacramental presence within the life-work of the Holy Trinity. What this means in relation to a whole host of issues, I cannot with certainty say. But I hope and pray that such change is both good and holy, and those for whom such issues pose disaffection might be given the patience to endure them in hope.

Of course, I should like to speak with certainty concerning many questions, issues, and uncertainties beyond the elemental truths of the Trinitarian-Christ tradition. But the hard truth is I cannot. This, among other things, is what Paul struggles with in the 8th chapter of his Letter to the Romans. In today’s Second Lesson, Paul writes, “For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” These hopeful assertions follow Paul’s distinction between “the flesh” and “the Spirit.” He exhorts us to live not “to the flesh,” but “by the Spirit.” Paul assures us that in Baptism we have been adopted as “children of God,” and that as God’s children we are “heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if in fact we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.”

I’m not entirely clear what Paul means when he juxtaposes suffering with [Christ] and being “glorified with him,” but he seems to link suffering (or perhaps struggle) with hope. He goes on to speak of suffering in connection with the whole creation’s waiting “in eager longing” for the revealing of the children of God. He says the creation suffers in “futility” in the hope that it will be set free from bondage to decay, and then obtain the glorious freedom of God’s children—that is, I think, freedom from sin and death.

What’s all this have to do with Tradition, uncertainty, and hope? Just this: our struggles to make sense of life and faith, our yearning to have now what is not yet, our longing for the end of suffering and the fulfillment of joy—these struggles are elemental not only to Christians, but to creation itself. Such struggle is elemental to us and to all. Baptized, we’re joined to and reveal the struggle of Christ’s death and resurrection. We can’t have one without the other. Christ’s life bears no perfection apart from the perfect imperfection of his wounded life; no fulfillment without longing; no joy without sorrow, no life without struggle, pain, and death.

Death, of course, is certain. We know for certain we must die. We do not baptize Benjamin Lawrence because he thereby avoids death, but because the Christ who has died and been raised, promises to raise Benjamin and us from the futility of death and decay.

“Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” We are impatient for fulfillment. We do not yet know Christ’s resurrection as certain. Without the certainty of sight, our hope remains uncertain. Our lives are fraught with the certainty of suffering and death. The whole creation writhes in pain. Yet the Spirit gives hope. By means of water, bread, wine, and the sight of struggling people like ourselves sharing in Christ by simple sacramental means, we have hope. In this hope we baptize Benjamin Lawrence. In this hope we eat bread and drink wine. In this hope we await the restoration of all things, the glorious freedom of the children of God—adoption, the redemption of our bodies, the sight and certainty for which we long. Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again. Neither he nor his church will leave us. Amen. Come Lord Jesus. We wait with patience.

Weekly News: July 20-27

Category: News, Weekly Tags: July 18, 2014 @ 9:00 am

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Luther Memorial Church Bike Ride

Bike trip to Verona

Sunday, July 27
2 pm

Get in gear for a bicycle outing to Culver’s in Verona with Bruce Bengtson. Be ready to ride from Luther Memorial at 2 pm, or join us along the Southwest Commuter trail. Riders will need a state trail pass ($20/year; $4/day). Learn more about state trail passes at dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/trailpass.

Readings

Isaiah 44:6–8
Psalm 86:11–17
Romans 8:12–25
Matthew 13:24–30, 36–43

Baptism

Baptized today is Benjamin Lawrence McGuire, son of Andrew & Laura McGuire.

Summer choir: Sundays at 9:30 am

All are welcome to sing with the summer choir. Rehearsals are Sunday mornings at 9:30 am.

Get involved!

At the welcome desk, learn more about Breadbreakers, Jamie Stark’s mission in El Salvador, or sign up to host coffee hour.

Quilters request materials

The LM quilters are in need of sheets for fall quilting projects. Please drop off your donation of material at the church office or the welcome desk. Thank you!

Food & Fellowship: Saturday, Aug. 2

July’s Food & Fellowship gathering is sliding into August. Please meet us on Saturday, Aug. 2 at KJs Curry Bowl at 7005 Tree Lane (across from Memorial High School) at 6 pm. KJs is one of the few restaurants in America to specialize in dishes from Sri Lanka. Contact Phyllis Pleuss at 827-5698 or jpleuss@charter.net by Thursday, July 31 if you plan to attend.

Ice Cream Social at Oakwood Village West: Sunday, Aug. 10

All are invited to an ice cream social at Oakwood Village West on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2–3:30 pm. Luther Memorial hosts this hospitality event for all the residents of Oakwood Village.

Senior Day at Oakwood Village West: Monday, Aug. 25

Celebrate summer with friends and family at Oakwood Village West on Monday, Aug. 25, 10 am–1 pm, with worship in the Resurrection Chapel, followed by lunch ($9) and a program in the Nakoma/Westmoreland rooms. Let us know if you need transportation or a special menu. RSVP by Tuesday, Aug. 19 at the welcome desk or to Suelyn Swiggum (258-3160 or swiggum@luthermem.org).

The Road Home: Sept. 14–21

Luther Memorial will host homeless families through The Road Home of Dane County during the week of Sept. 14–21. Volunteers are needed to donate food for meals and volunteer to set up and clean up the classrooms, cook meals, play with children, do laundry, and stay overnight as hosts. Save the date to be a part of this outreach ministry.

Save the date: Women’s Retreat

The Women’s Retreat will be Oct. 3–4, 2014, at Holy Wisdom Monastery in Madison, led by the Rev. Marsha Swenson, a member of Luther Memorial. Questions? Contact Phyllis Pleuss at 827-5698 or jpleuss@charter.net.

Fall theater outing: Friday, Nov. 28 “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”

We’ve reserved 30 tickets to see Andrew Lloyd’s Webber’s musical at the Overture Center—Friday matinee, Thanksgiving weekend. Tickets are $45 each. Children must be at least 6 years old. First come, first served. To reserve your tickets, sign up at the welcome desk or email Bob Steffen (rsteffen@wisc.edu) or Suelyn Swiggum (swiggum@luthermem.org). A few tickets have been generously donated and are available at reduced cost ($10); please contact Suelyn if interested.

Preschool enrolling for fall

If you have a child ready for preschool this fall, Luther Memorial Preschool provides a wonderful experience for children ages 2–5 years, taught by friendly and talented teachers. Learn more at www.luthermem.org/preschool or contact Suzanne Du Chateau at 258-3168 or duchateau@luthermem.org.

Do you like to bake?

Homemade treats are always welcome for Sunday morning refreshments. Sign up at the welcome desk!

Financial information

Financial information is available online at www.luthermem.org/about-us/policies-committees.

Pastoral care

When in need of pastoral care, please call or email the church office (258-3160 or office@luthermem.org). In case of emergency or on weekends and evenings, please contact the pastors at home:
Pastor Franklin Wilson…..204-9268
Pastor Brad Pohlman………444-7604

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www.luthermem.org

July 20, 2014

Adult Forum
Adult Forums resume Sunday, Sept. 7.

This week

Sunday, July 20
8 am Holy Communion
9:30 am Summer Choir Rehearsal
10:30 am Holy Communion
Sacrament of Holy Baptism

Monday, July 21
9 am Morning Prayer (Nave)

Tuesday, July 22
9 am Morning Prayer (Nave)
5:30 pm Admin & Finance
(Luther Room)
7 pm Congregation Council
(Luther Room)

Wednesday, July 23
9 am Morning Prayer (Nave)
10:45 am Bible Study (Luther Room)

Thursday, July 24
9 am Morning Prayer (Nave)

Friday, July 25
9 am Morning Prayer (Nave)

Sunday, July 27
8 am Holy Communion
9:30 am Summer Choir Rehearsal
10:30 am Holy Communion
2 pm Bike Trip to Verona

Upcoming Events

July
Bike Trip to Verona: Sunday, July 27, 2 pm

August
Food & Fellowship: Saturday, Aug. 2 (KJs Curry Bowl)
Oakwood Ice Cream Social: Sunday, Aug. 10
Senior Day at Oakwood Village West: Monday, Aug. 25

This Fall
Homecoming Sunday: Sunday, Sept. 7
Special Congregational Meeting: Sunday, Sept. 14, 9:15 am
The Road Home: Sept. 14–21
Pig Roast & Ministry Fair: Sept. 27–28
Women’s Retreat: Oct. 3–4
Confirmation Retreat: Oct. 17–18
Men’s Retreat: Nov. 7–9
The Road Home: Nov. 16–23
“Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” Outing: Friday, Nov. 28, 2 pm

Luther Memorial Church on Facebook

Bike trip to Verona: July 27

Category: News Tags: June 19, 2014 @ 9:00 am

Luther Memorial Church Bike RideGet in gear for a bicycle outing to Culver’s in Verona with Music Director Bruce Bengtson on Sunday, July 27. Bruce will lead the group in this fun event for all ages. Be ready to ride from Luther Memorial at 2 pm, or join us along the Southwest Commuter trail.

Riders will need a state trail pass, available at DNR service centers, state park and forest entrances, and at some businesses near state trails. Passes are $20/season or $4/day. Learn more about state trail passes at dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/trailpass.html.

Ice cream social: Aug 10

Category: News Tags: June 18, 2014 @ 9:00 am

All are invited to an ice cream social at Oakwood Village West on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2–3:30 p.m. Luther Memorial hosts this hospitality event for all the residents of Oakwood Village.

Senior Day at Oakwood Village West: Aug 26

Category: News Tags: June 17, 2014 @ 9:00 am

Celebrate summer with friends and family at Oakwood Village West on Monday, Aug 26, 10 a.m.–1 p.m., with worship in the Resurrection Chapel, followed by lunch ($9) and a program in the Nakoma/Westmoreland rooms. Let us know if you need transportation or a special menu. RSVP by Tuesday, Aug 19 at the welcome desk or to Suelyn Swiggum (258-3160 or swiggum@luthermem.org).

Letter from Jamie Stark, missionary in El Salvador

Category: News Tags: June 16, 2014 @ 12:30 pm

Learn more

Letter from Jamie Stark pdf (June 2014)

Check out his blog on living faith in a contrasting culture.
Jamie’s blog: onegringo.com

Jamie Stark - El Salvador Missionary


Jamie Stark: Missionary in El Salvador

How can you support Jamie’s mission work?

pope

The Lutheran Bishop of Jordan and Israel gives one of Christian Chavarria’s crosses as the Lutheran World Federation’s gift of welcoming upon the installation of Pope Francis to his new post in Rome.

chavarria

Christian Chavarría sketches out his Salvadoran sunset cross designs in his workshop above the temporary home of the main Salvadoran Lutheran Church.

Sunday School quilt dedication: June 8

Category: News Tags: May 31, 2014 @ 9:00 am

The Sunday School quilt, created with love by many hands, including Sunday School students, teachers and volunteers, will be dedicated on Sunday, June 8 at 9:15 am in the concourse, with refreshments.

Young families brunch: June 7

Category: News Tags: May 28, 2014 @ 9:00 am

Come for a morning of conversation and play on Saturday, June 7 at 9:30 am in the Great Room. We’ll enjoy brunch, then let the children play with toys from the preschool. Please bring an egg dish, fruit, breakfast pastry or juice to share. Learn more at the welcome desk or contact Kirsten Heggeseth (kheggeseth@gmail.com).

Prayer shawls for high school seniors: June 8

Category: News Tags: May 27, 2014 @ 9:00 am

Hand-knitted prayer shawls will be blessed and presented to our high school seniors on Sunday, June 8: Sam Hart, Nicolette Krantz, Darby Lemkuil, Sam Marten, Annika Pohlman, Joe Ryther Clark, Eric Swanson and Madison Tomony.

Congregational cheese & beer tasting: June 3

Category: News Tags: May 26, 2014 @ 9:00 am

Men’s Group Cheese & Beer Tasting

Tuesday, June 3 | 7 pm

Great Room

The LM Men’s Group is sponsoring a congregational cheese and beer tasting event on Tuesday, June 3. The Rev. Eric Jones, professional beer judge and certified cicerone, will be with us to discuss pairings of some of Wisconsin’s finest cheese and beer. All over age 21 are welcome.