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Redeemer Lives!

Author: Redeemer Lutheran Church

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Hosted by Rev. Dr. Lisa Bates-Froiland, Redeemer Lives! is a podcast by and about the spirituality of the richly diverse Milwaukeeans connected to little bold Redeemer Church in the heart of the city. There are no dull people at Redeemer, and thanks be to God for that. Even during this pandemic, our Redeemer Lives, and we are living our Redeemer Lives. Production by Rev. Dr. Lisa Bates-Froiland and Aaron Musser. Original music by Meredith Sipe-Sumner.
43 Episodes
Pastor Lisa preaches on gospel text Matthew 22:34-40; Isaac and Laura Bray offer "Love's in Need of Love Today" by Stevie Wonder! Support the show
Pastor Lisa preaches on Gospel text Matthew 16:24-17:13; Jeff offers "Crowder Table" by the Highwomen.Support the show
Pastor Mike preaches on Gospel text Matthew 1: 18-25; Jeff and Aaron offer "Joseph's Song" by Michael Card.Support the show
This week, Pastor Lisa preaches on Luke 1:26-38, 46-56; Laura and Jeff offer "Mary Did You Know."Support the show
Pastor Lisa preaches on Gospel text Luke 3:1-8; Jeff offers the song "People Get Ready" by Curtis Mayfield. Support the show
Pastor Lisa preaches on Gospel text Matthew 18:15-20; Jeff and the Redeemer Choir offer "The King Of Love My Shepherd Is."Support the show
Pastor Lisa preaches on Gospel text John 12:1-8; Jeff offers "I Have Been Anointed" by Steve Warner. Support the show
Pastor Mike preaches on Mary Magdalene's presence with Jesus at the cross and at the tomb; Jeff offers the song "Unconditional" by Willy Porter. Support the show
Rev. Kerstin Hedlund preaches on the Gospel texts Peter 4:7-11 and Acts 10: 9-16, 34-43.  Jeff, Laura, and Isaac offer the song "Imagine" by John Lennon!Support the show
Pastor Lisa preaches on the Gospel texts of Matthew 4:18-22 and Matthew 16:13-23; Jeff offers the song "You, Lord, You are Both Lamb and Shepherd" (text by Sylvia Dunstan, music french folk tune 17th cent.). Support the show
A handful of summers ago, Mel Bock visited Redeemer with her spouse and two children. They had heard about us through a story about our bees on NPR's local affiliate radio station, WUWM. The elder Bocks serve on council and the younger Bocks delight us with their curiosity about the world and their thirst for justice.For 16 years, Mel has worked as a registered nurse. The COVID pandemic has rocked her vocation and led her into an advocacy role she could not have predicted. I asked her to come on the pod to describe, from her unique vantage point, just what it's like to treat a COVID patient who requires hospitalization. I've heard voices from the medical community asking the media to share stories like these rather than only recording numbers of cases and trend lines. Yes, I know we are not exactly "the media," but with this episode, "Redeemer Lives!" is striving to do its part.Support the show
I’m joined today by Vince Prantil, who with his wife and two children has attended Redeemer for the last decade or so. These days, he is a weekly volunteer at Redeemer’s Outdoor Pantry, and he recently auctioneered our wildly successful RedeemerFEST fundraiser for the embryonic Mental Health Resource Center being planned at our location. Vince recently has a Lazarus-like experience that he is willing to share with us today. Support the show
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When you serve as pastor of a church that worshipped an average of 30 people when you started ministry back in 2011, when conversations over closure were very relevant, you can forgive me for watching the numbers is the subsequent years of redevelopment. One little fact I love about Redeemer’s story in the last decade is this: our highest attendance for a worship service was not Christmas or Easter! Our biggest services where days when the children of a certain extended family were baptized: the Tesfai family. Brother and sister, now in their 30s and each with their own spouses and children, are part of a bountiful network of people who show up for baptisms! On those Sundays, the congregation never looked so beautiful--dressed in the colorful garb of their homeland, they packed the pews. Add to that sight the smells emanating from the kitchen below--a feast for everyone with the authentic dishes and homemade honey mead--fantastic occasions--some of my favorite Redeemer Memories. We worship a God of Abundance at Redeemer and the Tesfai family baptisms made that abundantly clear.  I’ve asked Solomon Tesfai, the father of twin daughters baptized here, to come by and share his perspective on a very full life.Solomon serves as treasurer of Redeemer and so has his finger on the pulse of this scrappy congregation’s financial picture. We have a huge challenge before us--to renovate and restore our physical structure so it can face up to the rigors of ministry in decades to come. In my mind, Solomon approaches all of life--faith, family, finances--from place of realistic optimism. Abundance and bounty where others might lean into scarcity, lack, impossibility instead. Since so many good things emanate from baptism, I asked him to join me for this podcast: “Bountifully Baptized.”Support the show
The Bible--and much of Western Christianity that uses it as its touchstone--is full of binary pairs of assumed opposites: light and dark, good and evil, clean and unclean, life and death, male and female. The Western culture that developed largely around the Mediterranean Sea--Northern Africa, the Middle East, and up through Europe--leaned into binaries as a key way to categorize our lived experience. It can be hard to question it or escape it--and many might wonder, well, why fight it at all? It’s simple, it’s manageable. Well . . . let’s explore that. Now Lutherans are known to embrace paradox, which begins to question the Either/Or of binaries (it’s either dark or light) by saying sometimes two things that seem opposed to each other can happen at the same time. Our shorthand is often “both/and” and the classic is that we are each, at the same time, Sinner *and* Saint. It’s possible that the ideas about God on this podcast reaches one step further: both/and . . . and also. And then some. Confused? Understandable. Better get my guest in here.I first met Aaron Musser when he was working along with my daughter at Good Earth Village, a Lutheran summer camp in southern Minnesota. I drove the two of them across the state to spend July 4th weekend in Milwaukee the summer of 2016. Within minutes, Aaron and I were talking theology and the church and Maddi was quietly smiling to herself, knowing that this would happen. After graduation from St. Olaf College, Aaron moved to Milwaukee and began serving as Redeemer’s Director of Music in July 2019.  I’ll let him tell you about what spurred him to apply to seminary and begin preparing for ordained ministry . . . he’s completing his first year as we record this. I’ve asked Aaron--who is usually the voiceless technician behind the scenes--to get in front of the microphone for this week’s podcast: Joyfully Queer and Christian.Support the show
When I meet with couples preparing for marriage, I share an idea that most have never really considered before. Their pairing, before God and in the context of Christian community, means they will be able to serve God and their neighbor differently than they would as individuals. We explore what that could mean as the years unfold. Today, as a nod to Valentine’s Day, I want you to meet two people for whom that notion has been a driving force from the beginning of their relationship. And “the beginning”, is what I’ve asked Scott McIntosh and Luann Blohm to share on today’s podcast. Scott considers it his favorite story.Support the show
Ericka Jones accepted her mom’s invitation to try out the church she had just begun attending herself, steps from her apartment building. You guessed it--it was Redeemer. It has become the family’s church, with regular attendance, service in leadership, many baptisms, a wedding, and the upcoming confirmation of Ericka’s grandson. The Redeemer of today would not be what it is without Ericka. She has served as president of the congregation for 2/3rds of my time here, and even with the growth of the congregation, her goal every Sunday is to share the Peace with every person there. I could go on and on, but I’ve asked her here to share her story of faith and life with you in her own words. She can tell you about her upbringing in faith, from her youth to adulthood and how, especially in these most recent years, how she is committed to ongoing growth.Support the show
Jon Jacobs served in ordained ministry 45 years. Raised in Oklahoma, he attended Hamma School of Theology in Ohio and served parishes in Michigan before coming to Milwaukee in 1991. He served as pastor at Ascension Lutheran Church on Milwaukee’s near south side, a ministry that developed a faith community in three languages: English, Spanish, and Hmong. Jon retired in 2017 and joined Redeemer with his wife two years ago. Besides being a mentor to me and great source of collegial support, Jon is coordinating a team effort to establish an Interfaith Gathering Center at the corner of 19th and Wisconsin Ave in Milwaukee. Joan leads our Outdoor Pantry efforts at Redeemer. I asked Jon to come by for a podcast today because of a story he told me almost exactly one year ago. Transfiguration.Support the show
Mark Fraley is a candidate for ordained ministry in the Presbyterian Church, yet he interned with us at Redeemer beginning in September 2019. His year with us included much more than the Sunday routine--anti-racism training in New Orleans, a week absorbing the Lutheran church’s witness in El Salvador, and pitching in as we shifted to online ministry last spring made it a most unusual internship experience. As Mark finishes his seminary education online, he volunteers most weeks at Redeemer’s Outdoor Pantry. I’ve asked him to come and talk about a particular Thursday last October--a Pantry day--that ended with handcuffs, time in back of a squad car, and several hours at the West Allis Police Departments. Mark has done some writing on the experience that he shared with me some time ago, and I was struck by how he lived the experience as a person, and an emerging leader or faith.Support the show
"The podcast took an unplanned couple of weeks off... Ministry happens and does not break for podcasts, we’re finding. But we’re back to close out this first batch of pods with an audio essay before we resume the interview format. We’ll invite other essayists in weeks to come, but I thought I’d go first with 'Garage Tale.'" - Pastor LisaSupport the show
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