Weekly News: April 13-20

Category: News, Weekly Tags: April 13, 2014 @ 10:00 am

Luther Memorial Church - Weekly

Matthew 21:1–11
Isaiah 50:4–9a
Psalm 31:9–16
Philippians 2:5–11
Matthew 27:11–54

Welcome, new members!

Joseph & Stacie Gruenwald and Deneille Erickson were receieved as new members of Luther Memorial on Sunday, April 6. Not pictured: David & Barbara Parminter.

Palm Sunday Procession: This Sunday
Come early this Sunday for a Palm Sunday Procession around the block, beginning at 10:15 am. Gather in the narthex. 

Evening confirmation & rehearsals
Reminder: there are no confirmation classes or Sunday evening choir rehearsals today and next Sunday.

All are welcome to attend a brief compline by candlelight tonight at 9 p.m., featuring LM’s chant choir. Come to listen and reflect during this meditative service.

Maundy Thursday: Holy Communion at  Oakwood Village West
All are invited to a contemplative Maundy Thursday service of song, fellowship and prayer at Oakwood Village West in the Resurrection Chapel on Thursday, April 17 at 11:30 am. No reservation is necessary; transportation is available by request. Contact Suelyn Swiggum (258-3160 ext. 15 or

Music by Schein & Schütz at Good Friday Tre Ore
On Friday, April 18, the Good Friday Tre Ore service (noon–3 pm) will include music by J. H. Schein and Heinrich Schütz, performed by soprano Jacqueline Lathrop and violinist Edith Hines.

Good Friday at LM: a collection of sermons
Meditations from the Cross: Good Friday at Luther Memorial
ed. Brad Pohlman
Proceeds support Luther Memorial’s participation in The Road Home.

Incense during Holy Week & Easter
Incense will be used during the Easter Vigil and at 9 am Easter Day.

Easter brunch: 2nd shift helpers needed 
This could be you! We’re looking for helpers for the 10:15–12:30 slot to help at the Sunday Easter brunch. Stop by the welcome desk and/or contact Janelle Allen (513-0399) to learn more about this or other brunch opportunities.

Rite of Confirmation: Sunday, April 27
Please pray for the following youth in the congregation who will affirm their baptism in the Rite of Confirmation on Sunday, April 27 at the 10:30 service.  Noah Krantz, Elizabeth Lavine, Hannah Line, Patrick Line, Mia Rossi and Asher Scarlett.

Special Adult Forum on estate planning: Sunday, April 27
Barbara Hughes will lead our second discussion on estate planning. Barbara is a former member of the LM Foundation Board. An attorney with Hill, Glowacki, Jaeger & Hughes, LLP, Barbara handles estate planning and administration, elder law, and planning for special needs individuals. More information is available at the welcome desk.

Sign up for summer Breadbreakers
Breadbreakers is one of the best ways to get connected at Luther Memorial. Small groups (6 to 10 people) eat together 2–3 times, after which the groups are shuffled and the fun starts again. Each group decides where to meet and when. Families, singles and couples of all ages are welcome! Summer groups run May–August. Sign up at the welcome desk or contact Kirsten Heggeseth, coordinator, at or 616-0772.

APT outing on June 29
Sign up now to see “The Importance of Being Earnest” at the American Players Theatre in Spring Green on Sunday, June 29. We’ll enjoy a potluck picnic, followed by a 6 pm show. Tickets are available at the welcome desk for $35 each. Contact Suelyn Swiggum to learn more ( or 258-3160 ext. 15).

Do you like to bake?
Homemade treats are always welcome for Sunday morning refreshments. Sign up at the welcome desk!

Pastoral care
When in need of pastoral care, please call or email the church office (258-3160 or 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).

Looking ahead

Maundy Thursday Service at Oakwood Village West: Thursday, April 17, 11:30 am
Maundy Thursday Eucharist: Thursday, April 17, 7:30 pm
Good Friday Tre Ore: Friday, April 18, Noon
Good Friday Liturgy: Friday, April 18, 7:30 pm
Easter Vigil: Saturday, April 19, 8 pm, followed by reception
Easter Holy Communion: Sunday, April 20, 9 & 11 am, brunch at 10 am
Confirmation Dinner: Saturday, April 26, 6 pm
Adult Forum on Estate Planning: Sunday, April 27, 9:15 am
Rite of Confirmation: Sunday, April 27, 10:30 am

April 13, 2014Adult Forum

Sundays, 9:15 am | Great Room

This Sunday: Introduction to the Quran. Reza Mohammad Hasany, a visiting researcher from Iran who works in the UW Engineering Dept., will lead discussion on the Quran.  Reza has been visiting LM this semester and returns to Tehran at the end of April.

Next Sunday: No Adult Forum. All are invited to an Easter brunch between services.

This week

Sunday, April 13: Passion/Palm Sunday
8 am Holy Communion
9:15 am Adult Forum (Great Room)
Sunday School (3rd Floor)
10:15 am Palm Procession
10:30 am Holy Communion
7:30 pm Compline Rehearsal (Nave)
9 pm Compline

Monday, April 14
9 am Morning Prayer (Nave)

Tuesday, April 15
9 am Morning Prayer (Nave)
10 am Quilters (Great Room)

Wednesday, April 16
9 am Morning Prayer (Nave)
10:45 am Bible Study (Fireside Room)
12 pm Organ Recital
5:30 pm Campus Communion
7 pm Bell Choir (Choir Room)

Thursday, April 17: Maundy Thursday
9 am Morning Prayer (Nave)
11:30 am Maundy Thursday Service (Oakwood Village West)
5:30 pm Recorder Ensemble (Choir Rm)
7 pm Adult Choir (Choir Room)
7:30 pm Maundy Thursday Eucharist

Friday, April 18: Good Friday
Church office closed at noon
9 am Morning Prayer (Nave)
12 pm Good Friday Tre Ore
7 pm Adult Choir (Choir Room)
7:30 pm Good Friday Liturgy

Saturday, April 19: Easter Eve
9 am Easter Vigil Rehearsal (Nave)
7:30 pm Adult Choir (Choir Room)
8 pm Easter Vigil

Sunday, April 20: Easter Sunday
9 am Holy Communion (with incense)
10 am Brunch
11 am Holy Communion

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SERMON: Passion Sunday (Apr 13)

Category: News, Sermon Tags: @ 9:00 am

staff-wilsonPastor Franklin Wilson

Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 31
Philippians 2:5-11
Matthew 27:11-54

“It is the Lord God who helps me, who will declare me guilty?”
“And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross.”
Pilate asked, “What shall I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?”  All of them said, “Let him be crucified!”

Today’s readings help distinguish between Christ and Christianity.  Christian faith confesses God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit):  God the Father, who creates all that is, was, and ever will be; God the Son who died and was raised to save and redeem all that is, was, and ever will be; and God the Holy Spirit who enlivens all that is, was, and ever will be—giving faith when and where the Spirit pleases.  Christians believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob enfleshed as the Jew, Jesus, inspired by the Spirit.  Christian faith confesses Jesus Christ as the fulcrum of history, the true meaning of life. Christianity is a religious abstraction.Passion Sunday and Holy Week are not about the trial, suffering, and death of a religious abstraction like Christianity.  Passion Sunday and Holy Week proclaim the trial, suffering, and death of a single Jew, a first century person:  Jesus of Nazareth, unjustly put to death on account of human jealousy, cowardice, and pride.

The torturous humiliation of Jesus exceeds cowardly injustice.  Jesus’ death is more than the murder of one individual.  Both the Gospel and St. Paul depict Jesus as a willing coconspirator in his own humiliation, suffering, and death.  Writing perhaps a quarter century before Matthew, Paul relates Christ’s passion and death in a poetic hymn:

“Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross.”

Paul makes no mention of cowardly Pilate.  He writes not a single word of those who mocked Jesus, spit on him, struck, whipped, and nailed him.  Yet, Paul was a first century Roman citizen who knew what “the cross” meant.  Death by crucifixion was not a solitary exercise; no one ever committed suicide by crucifixion.  Crucifixion was a community homicide and, in the case of Jesus, it involved a cast of hundreds if not thousands: everyone from Pilate the cowardly governor (and his anxious wife), to the priests, people, soldiers, passersby, and criminals—the crucified and the one released.

Yet Paul mentions none of these.  The only character mentioned is Jesus—the very One God “highly exalted”—and “gave the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”  Jesus is the center of Paul’s hymn: he did not grasp equality with God, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born a human being; and, as such, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death—even death on a cross.

We might say “Passion Sunday is all about Jesus.”  And, in some sense, this is most certainly true.  And yet, it’s somehow both more and less than “all about Jesus.”  Christ’s passion is the essence of who Jesus is and what he does.  We don’t need to know all about Jesus—his historical milieu, his manner of speech, the number of his siblings, or the fate of his earthly father, Joseph.  All that might be interesting, but it’s of no lasting value.  Today, with Isaiah, and Paul, and Matthew, we simply pour out our wonder, our incredulity, our perplexity that this one man in the form of God did not count equality with God a thing to be used for his own benefit—but for ours and for all others.  We have never known another like him, and we never shall.  No one ever shall.  There is not now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be, another like him.

Christ is unique—not in his biological flesh, blood, bones, and skin —in these he was and is as we are: human.  But he is unique in his person.  God opened his ear and he was not rebellious.  He did not turn backward, but gave himself completely into the hands of those who beat, tortured, humiliated, and killed him.  He did this not for financial gain, nor political opportunity, nor for any personal advantage.  He didn’t do it for Christianity, Judaism, Islam, or any other religious abstraction —he did it out of obedience to the point of death.  He did it out of love—his love for all, his love for them, love for his betrayers, for those who mocked, beat, and humiliated him; he did it for his killers.  He did it for his Father.  He did it for us.

Estate planning forum: Apr 27

Category: News Tags: April 11, 2014 @ 9:00 am

Sunday, April 27
9:15 am | Great Room

Barbara Hughes will lead our second discussion on estate planning. Barbara is a former member of the LM Foundation Board. An attorney with Hill, Glowacki, Jaeger & Hughes, LLP, Barbara handles estate planning and administration, elder law, and planning for special needs individuals. More information is available at the welcome desk.

Sign up for summer Breadbreakers

Category: News Tags: April 10, 2014 @ 9:00 am

Breadbreakers is one of the best ways to get connected at Luther Memorial. Small groups (6 to 10 people) eat together 2–3 times, after which the groups are shuffled and the fun starts again. Each group decides where to meet and when. Families, singles and couples of all ages are welcome! Summer groups run May–August. Sign up at the welcome desk or contact Kirsten Heggeseth, coordinator, to learn more: or (608) 616-0772.

SERMON: 4 Lent (Mar 30)

Category: News, Sermon Tags: April 2, 2014 @ 12:17 pm

staff-wilsonPastor Franklin Wilson

Samuel 16:1-13
Psalm 23
Ephesians 5:8-14
John 9:1-41

“The Lord does not see as mortals see.”
“For you were once darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light….”
“Neither this man sinned nor his parents; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him.”

Suffice it to say that the long Gospel readings this Lent did not culminate last Sunday in John 4, but lengthen today, and will continue to do so at least through the raising of Lazarus on Lent 5.  But, then, “lengthen” is said to form the root of our word “Lent,” an assertion perhaps supported by our neighbors in Philadelphia, many of whom still persist in pronouncing “length” as “lenth.”  The Lenten Gospel, thus, increases in length with the lengthening light of Spring.  While Lent (as a liturgical season) may not celebrate longer days, it does (at least in Northern climes) observe greater and greater light as it leans toward the rising Light of Christ at the Vigil of Easter.

How happy, then, that this Gospel for the 4th Sunday in Lent should proclaim Christ, the Light of the world.  Here in John 9, we hear Jesus say, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”  And, if Ephesians is to be believed, baptized into Christ we are now “in the Lord …” and have, therefore, been made children of light.  In other words, by means of our baptismal participation in Christ’s death and resurrection, by virtue of our being both in Christ and in the world, Christ Jesus himself remains in the world as the light of the world.

Nonetheless, as the Light of world, Christ’s presence manifests itself in relation to conflict, blindness, mud, opacity, and division.  Here in John 9, the very gift of sight to the man born blind becomes an occasion for religious argument, conflict, accusation, and separation.  It’s not only that the man born blind “sees,” but that the religious leaders who “see” cannot perceive that the one who made mud, put it on the blind man’s eyes, and told him to wash, is himself the Light of the world, the Son of Man, the Messiah in the flesh.  From the first of his gospel, John has said that “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not comprehended it.”  Darkness is not merely the absence of sunlight, but an opacity of mind and heart in the presence of eternal light—a blind ignorance, learned (perhaps) of scriptures and knowledgeable of religious law, even possessing 20/20 vision, but unable to perceive the Light of life shining brighter than a thousand suns.  It’s what the Catechism terms “invincible ignorance,” a pernicious form of self-righteousness masquerading as authority, invariably exercised as abusive power, leading to disaster, injustice, and death.  Invincible ignorance demands the Son of man be lifted up on the cross.  Invincible ignorance often manifests itself as religious blindness, but it might also appear as religiously anti-religious like the freedom from religion movement, or overflowing with scientism’s false confidence, the pseudo–superiority of intellectual pretence.  Such self-assurance kills Jesus for earnest religious reasons:  he violates Sabbath law, our self-pretentious ways.  The authorities say, “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the Sabbath.”  Really?

John’s Gospel routinely speaks of “the Jews,” and especially with reference to characters conflicted with Jesus.  But, in this chapter, every character is Jewish—the blind man, his parents, the Pharisees, Jesus, and the “others.”  “The Jews” cannot mean all Jewish people, but must designate the invincibly ignorant religious authorities who condemn what Jesus does, and especially in connection with Sabbath observance—although ancient rabbis disagree about what constitutes proper observance of Sabbath. Some hold that healing on the Sabbath is acceptable, but others do not.  In any case, “the Jews” in John must in some sense stand for us, for all humankind, when we blindly cling to literal law even when it fails to protect those who suffer.

Amid persistent religious blindness, God sacrifices his only Son.  The crucifixion of Jesus is an improbable therapy for a world gone wrong: like putting mud on a blind man’s eyes.  Christ’s cross is mud on a blind world’s eyes.  On account of who he is—the Light of the world—Jesus could make mud see; he could give sight to someone born without any eyes!  The therapeutic use of mud (dirt and spit/water) calls Genesis to mind, and a new creation come round at last.  Only now—by means of a cross—not only does a man born blind receive his sight, but the whole world receives salvation, eternal life is born, and those who claim invincible insight—their sin remains—that they too might become blind, be forgiven and made new through by means of muddy faith in the crucified and risen Christ, and thereby reveal the works of God.

In every season of life, the crucified and risen Christ enlightens all who suffer loss, who cannot of themselves see a way forward, and yet through the blindness of faith see hope in the crucified Christ, the Light of the world, the One no darkness can grasp, comprehend, or overcome.  In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

The Road Home: March 16-23

Category: News Tags: March 12, 2014 @ 9:00 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 March 16-23.

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.


BEFORE March 9: Contact Dale Lavelle (274-1228, or Larry Thies (845-9267, with questions.

AFTER March 9: Please contact Sandy Bertics at 835-3793 to find out how you can help.

Game night: March 29

Category: News Tags: March 11, 2014 @ 9:00 am

Luther Memorial Church - Game Night

Gather in the Great Room for another evening of fun for all ages on Saturday, March 29 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: Apr 6

Category: News Tags: March 10, 2014 @ 9:00 am

New members will be received during Holy Communion on Sunday, April 6. Stop by the welcome desk to register, or contact Suelyn Swiggum (, 258-3160 ext 15) to learn more.

Student jambalaya dinner: Feb 26

Category: News Tags: February 14, 2014 @ 9:00 am

jambalaya-6All college students are invited to the annual spring dinner.  Enjoy jambalaya, salad, king cake and ice cream sundaes!

Wednesday, Feb. 26

6:30 p.m.

Luther Memorial Church Great Room

New-to-Luther: March 1

Category: News Tags: @ 9:00 am

New-to-Luther orientation & refresher

Saturday, March 1
9 a.m.–2 p.m.
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.


Please sign up at the welcome desk on Sundays or speak with Suelyn Swiggum, mission resource coordinator, at 258-3160 or