News

Weekly News: Oct 19-26

Category: News, Weekly Tags: October 17, 2014 @ 10:36 am

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BLESSING OF GIFTS
Pledge Sunday

Let’s work together, move forward
and trust in the promises 
Christ made to us in baptism.

- Bob Uphoff


Readings

Isaiah 45:1–7
Psalm 96:1–9
1 Thessalonians 1:1–10
Matthew 22:15–22

All-Church Pig Roast: Thank you!

Thanks to everyone who attended the pig roast last Sunday! We raised nearly $1,700 (total) in support of our preschool and El Salvador ministries. Also, thanks so much to the volunteers who made the event so fun and tasty, and to the Uphoff family for donating the meat. A good time was had by all (except maybe the pig).

Welcome, new members!

New members were received on Sunday, Oct. 12.
Front row: (L-R) Michele Hotzel, Bethany Hotzel, Shirley Halvorson, Leah Holloway and Dorothy Haaland.
Back row: (L-R) Luther Hotzel, D. A. Dirks, Lacie Schroeder and Cliff Haaland.

Welcome, new staff member Nancy Raabe

We welcome Nancy Raabe who has been called by the synod, with the approval of the Council of Bishops, to serve part time at LM as an associate in ministry. She will work in the areas of visitation, senior ministry and adult education. Nancy will be commissioned and installed as an associate in ministry on Sunday, Nov. 23 at the 10:30 service. Bishop Froiland will be with us this day.

CROP Walk: Sunday, Oct. 19

The 2014 CROP Walk & Bike Hike for Hunger will be Sunday, Oct. 19, with one- and three-mile walk routes through the university area. CROP is the hunger-action arm of Church World Service, and for many years has provided financial help for hungry people both locally in Dane County and worldwide. To participate or make a donation, see John Ruppenthal or Carl Anderson in the narthex, or donate online at www.cropwalkonline.org/madisonwi.

Bibles for 3-year-olds and third graders: Sunday, Oct. 26

Bibles will be presented to 3-year-olds and third grade children onSunday, Oct. 26. See Pastor Brad to sign up your child!

Food & Fellowship: Sunday, Oct. 26

All are invited to the next Food & Fellowship on Sunday, Oct. 26, 5:30 pm, at The Vintage (674 South Whitney Way). Please RSVP to Bill Lautz at whlautz@chorus.net or (608)-833-3714 by Thursday, Oct. 23.

Women’s Study: Oct. 26, Nov. 2, 9

Throughout the history of the church, women played a prominent role. Join Nancy Raabe as we read and discuss the writings of prominent women mystics. Sundays at 6 pm in the Luther Room (Oct. 26;  Nov. 2, 9). NOTE: There is no Women’s Study on Sunday, Oct. 19.

Compline: Sunday, Oct. 26

All are welcome for night prayer Sunday, Oct. 26 at 9 pm. Come listen to the LM chant choir and reflect during this brief meditative service.

Senior Day at Oakwood: Monday, Oct. 27

Gather with friends at Oakwood Village west on Oct 27, 10am-1 pm, for worship in the  Resurrection chapel, followed by lunch ($9) and a program in the Nakoma room. Nancy Raabe will present “Looking toward 2017: The Hymns of Martin Luther.” Let us know if you need a ride or special menu. RSVP by Tuesday, Oct. 21 at the welcome desk or to Suelyn Swiggum (258-3160 or swiggum@luthermem.org).

New-to-Luther orientation & refresher: Saturday, Nov. 1

New members and those who are interested in refreshing their connection to Luther Memorial are welcome to attend on Saturday, Nov. 1, 10 am12:30 pm. Enjoy a theological tour, music in the balcony and Ian’s pizza and salad with friends. Please sign up at the welcome desk on Sundays or speak with Suelyn Swiggum, director of shared ministry (258-3160 or swiggum@luthermem.org).

All Saints Sunday Choral Evening Prayer: Sunday, Nov. 2

The choirs of Luther Memorial Church will lead the annual All Saints Choral Evening Prayer on Sunday, Nov. 2 at 5 pm. The Arvo Pärt “Which Was the Son of” will be included among the music sung at the service, in addition to congregational singing and bell choir. Incense will be used during the service.

Men’s Retreat: Nov. 7–9

The 2014 LM Men’s Retreat is November 7–9 at the St. Anthony Retreat Center in Marathon, Wis.  This year’s retreat is on the “Life and Writings of C. S. Lewis.” Sign up sheet at the welcome desk by Oct. 26. Questions? See Pastor Pohlman.

Support MALC jail chaplaincy ministry

The Madison Area Lutheran Council (MALC) jail chaplaincy provides spiritual support to our neighbors who are incarcerated in the Dane County jails. Currently MALC employs two chaplains for the approximately 950 individuals who are in Dane County jails at any given time. You can support this important ministry by making a financial contribution to MALC or by participating in their prisoner letter-writing program. Information is available at the welcome desk.

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) or Pastor Brad Pohlman (444-7604).

Oct. 19, 2014

Sunday Forum

9:15 am | Great Room

This week: The Stewardship of St. Paul
Led by Pastor Wilson.

Next week: The Church and Visual Arts
A special six-week series led by Father Arnie Klukas, Episcopal priest and retired professor of liturgy.

This week

Sunday, Oct. 19
Home Communion
8 am Holy Communion
9:15 am Sunday Forum (Great Room)
Sunday School (3rd Floor)
10:30 am Holy Communion
1:30 pm CROP Walk (Offsite)
4:15 pm Children’s Choir (Choir Rm)
4:15 pm Training Choir (3rd Floor)
5 pm Youth Choir (Choir Room)

Monday, Oct. 20
9 am Morning Prayer (Nave)
5 pm Outreach (Luther Room)

Tuesday, Oct. 21
9 am Morning Prayer (Nave)
10 am Quilters (Luther Room)
7 pm Executive (Luther Room)

Wednesday, Oct. 22
9 am Morning Prayer (Nave)
10:45 am Bible Study (Luther Room)
12 pm Organ Recital
7:30 pm Bell Choir (Choir Room)

Thursday, Oct. 23
9 am Morning Prayer (Nave)
5:30 pm Recorder Ensemble (Choir Room)
7 pm Adult Choir (Choir Room)

Friday, Oct. 24
9 am Morning Prayer (Nave)

Sunday, Oct. 26
8 am Holy Communion
9:15 am Sunday Forum (Great Room)
Sunday School (3rd Floor)
10:30 am Holy Communion
4:15 pm Children’s Choir (Choir Rm)
4:15 pm Training Choir (3rd Floor)
5 pm Youth Choir (Choir Room)
5:30 pm Food & Fellowship (The Vintage)
6 pm Confirmation (Great Room, Library)
6:30 pm Women’s Study (Luther Room)
7:30 pm Compline Rehearsal (Nave)
9 pm Compline

Upcoming Events

This Fall
Food & Fellowship: Sunday, Oct. 26, 5:30 pm (The Vintage)
Compline: Sunday, Oct. 26, 9 pm
Senior Day at Oakwood Village West: Monday, Oct. 27, 10 am
New-to-Luther Orientation: Saturday, Nov. 1, 10 am
All Saints Sunday Choral Evening Prayer: Sunday, Nov. 2, 5 pm
Men’s Retreat: Nov. 7–9
UW Madrigals & Chorale Concert: Friday, Nov. 14, 7:30 pm
The Road Home: Nov. 16–23
Early Music Concert: Saturday, Nov. 22, 7 pm
Commissioning & Installation of Nancy Raabe, Associate in Ministry: Sunday, Nov. 23, 10:30 am
Thanksgiving Eve Service: Wednesday, Nov. 26, 7 pm
“Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” Outing: Friday, Nov. 28, 2 pm

SERMON: Pentecost 18 (Oct 12)

Category: News, Sermon Tags: October 13, 2014 @ 9:00 am

The Rev. Franklin Wilson

The Rev. Franklin Wilson

Readings

Isaiah 25:1-9
Psalm 23
Philippians 4:1-9
Matthew 22:1-14

Text

“On this mountain the LORD of Hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear. And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples…he will swallow up death forever…”
“Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”

It strikes me as extraordinarily fitting that these readings should be appointed for the 18th Sunday after Pentecost, a day when we gather as a parish for the Holy Communion and a pig roast— the Feast followed by a festive meal.  Of course, in biblical terms, a pig epitomizes uncleanness— pigs embody all things unclean, koinonos, or common—the very term St. Paul employs to describe the Bread and Cup of the Holy Eucharist.  We rejoice in the image of Christ the Lamb.  But what about an unclean Christ who rules Sabbath law from below, his incarnation via the body of an unmarried woman, his birth in an animal’s feedbox—visited by shepherds, eating with outcasts, his crucified-criminal death, his life laid down for sinners, himself made common in bread and wine.  The unclean Christ is our holiness, our life, our hope, the most intimate encounter we shall ever have—an intimacy exceeding all things sexual, emotional, and personal.  His unclean identity is the holiness we bear for all eternity:  Christ, the Pig of God, who takes away the sin of the world, has the ring of offense.  It bears the grace God, our life, our hope, and our salvation.

Isaiah 25 and Matthew 22 each foresee a feast.  Isaiah tells of rich food and well-aged wines—Israel dines like royals; but at this feast, the LORD devours a universal shroud—God swallows death forever.  Matthew’s banquet is a royal wedding feast the invited guests refuse to attend. They choose instead to snub their king by going to work, or visiting a farm.  So, the king invites others. We hear echoes of last Sunday’s parable: would-be guests seize the king’s messengers, mistreat and kill them.  Less deranged, perhaps, than last week’s tenants who kill that they might gain an inheritance, this week’s characters are nonetheless crazy: they snub a king, abuse and kill his servants, thinking to avoid his wrath.  But they’re wrong: [The king did what angry kings do…] “He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.”

The parable twice displays God’s wrath: here in the destruction of murderous guests, and next when a man appears in the banquet without proper dress.  The text says, “But when the king noticed the man not wearing a wedding robe he asked, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’  And he was speechless.  So the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’  For many are called, but few are chosen.”

It’s a bizarre tale.  In the first place, who refuses a royal wedding banquet?  Are you kidding?  I know countless people (myself among them) who have failed to attend a wedding, but almost none who refuse a feast, and especially one given by a king.  People stand in line to attend a banquet like that, the sort of party people scheme to crash.  Anyone who’s ever seen the movie Wedding Crashers knows what I mean: two juvenile men crash countless weddings and wedding receptions in order to enjoy both the “fabulous finger food” and the women.  Nobody, I know would turn down a royal banquet to visit a farm or work—not when crab cakes and romance are on the line.

There’s something fishy about this story.  It just doesn’t smell right.  And nothing smells more suspicious than the improperly dressed guy among the last batch of guests—“Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.  But when the king came in to see the guests, he noted a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe….”  He’s the one bound hand and foot and thrown into the outer darkness.   Because he wasn’t wearing a wedding robe?  Are you joking?  According to the experts, at that time and in that culture, wedding robes were given out for free—as a gift—to all the guests.  You didn’t have to buy a tuxedo or rent an evening gown, you got one for free.  So why doesn’t this guy have one?  It can’t be a moral issue: the text says the guests were both good and bad.

Robert Farrar Capon says it’s a case of perverse silence: in refusing to answer, the man snubs a king who prepared a banquet for him, gave him a tuxedo, and let him come to the feast even though he has bad manners.  Who would possibly behave in such perverse fashion?

When was the last time we heard of someone in the New Testament (in Matthew’s own gospel!) who refused to speak when addressed by authority?  Who else could have got themselves off the hook by saying a little “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it. I made a mistake.  Give me a second chance. I won’t do it again.  I promise.”?  It happens in Matthew 27:  “Then Pilate said to him, ‘Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?’  But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge; so that the governor wondered greatly….”

Who is the guy without a wedding garment?  Who refuses to say a single word?  Who makes no effort to defend himself?  Who, even when they bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, refuses to struggle or complain?  Of course, it’s our Lord himself—it’s Christ Jesus common as a criminal, unclean as a pig, all the holiness of God, the very of Life of life, he who swallows up our death in order that we might live his life—the life from below, the life of service, the life of generosity, the life of mercy, the life for others.  He’s the Bridegroom tossed out of his own party so that all the riffraff might come in.

“Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise….”  Well, of course, there is.  The unclean Christ is all these things.  He appears as the opposite of purity: unclean, ugly, godless, and deadly.  He comes a pig roasted to perfection—goodness itself—the crucified and risen Lord.  He is tossed out in silence that we might be brought in—singing—Arise, my soul, arise!  In his silence, we sing forgiven, and we live!

Women’s Study: Sundays at 6:30

Category: News Tags: August 22, 2014 @ 9:00 am

Women Mystics Ancient and Modern
Sundays: 6:30 pm (Luther Room)
Module 1: Sept. 21, 28, Oct. 5
Module 2: Oct. 26, Nov. 2, 9

Nancy Raabe

Nancy Raabe

Throughout the history of the church, women played a prominent role, from the 4th- and 5th-century ascetics living in desert communities to social activists of our era. Who were these women, how did they speak about God, and what was their hope for humanity? Join Nancy Raabe as we read and discuss the writings of prominent women mystics, from the ancient Desert Mothers through Hildegard of Bingen (12th century), Julian of Norwich (14th century), Therese of Lisieux (late 19th century), Evelyn Underhill (20th century) and Dorothy Day (20th century). Readings are available at the welcome desk.

Senior Day at Oakwood Village West: Oct 27

Category: News Tags: August 21, 2014 @ 9:00 am

Celebrate fall with friends and family at Oakwood Village West on Monday, Oct. 27, 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, Oct. 21 at the welcome desk or to Suelyn Swiggum (258-3160 or swiggum@luthermem.org).

New-to-Luther: Nov 1

Category: News Tags: August 20, 2014 @ 9:00 am

New-to-Luther orientation & refresher

Saturday, Nov. 1
10 am–12:30 pm
New members and those who are interested in refreshing their connection to Luther Memorial are welcome to attend. Enjoy a theological tour, music in the balcony, lunch with friends and ministry highlights.

Questions?

Please sign up at the welcome desk on Sundays or speak with Suelyn Swiggum, director of shared ministry, at 258-3160 or swiggum@luthermem.org.

Game night: Sept 26

Category: News Tags: August 6, 2014 @ 9:00 am

Luther Memorial Church - Game Night
game-night-5
game-night-6

Gather in the Great Room for another evening of fun for all ages on Friday, Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m. Bring your favorite games and a snack to share!

How much fun is Game Night at Luther Memorial? See for yourself!

New members received: Sept 28

Category: News Tags: August 5, 2014 @ 9:00 am

New members will be received during Holy Communion on Sunday, Sept. 28. Stop by the welcome desk to register, or contact Suelyn Swiggum (swiggum@luthermem.org, 258-3160 ext 15) to learn more.

Young families brunch: Sept 13

Category: News Tags: August 4, 2014 @ 8:00 am

Come for a morning of conversation and play on Saturday, Sept 13 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).

The Road Home: Sept 14-21

Category: News Tags: @ 7:00 am

Dale Lavelle and Larry Thies

Dale Lavelle & Larry Thies, coordinators for The Road Home at Luther Memorial Church

Luther Memorial will host homeless families through The Road Home of Dane County during the week of Sept. 14-21.

Sign up in the narthex for the following volunteer opportunities:

  • set up/tear down
  • meal preparation
  • kitchen anchor
  • evening host
  • activity host
  • overnight host
  • breakfast host

We thank all those who have committed their time to this outreach ministry and continue to do so. New volunteers are welcome to try this ministry and experience the feeling of providing this very important service to families who are in need of support at this challenging time in their lives.

Questions?

BEFORE Sept 14: Contact Dale Lavelle (274-1228, dellbb1@gmail.com) or Larry Thies (845-9267, ldthies@charter.net) with questions.

AFTER Sept 14: Please contact Phyllis Pleuss at 827-5698 or jpleuss@charter.net to find out how you can help.

Ice cream social: Aug 10

Category: News Tags: June 16, 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.