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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.
12 Episodes
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 (
One of the most common challenge to faith is this: if we have a loving and powerful God, why does God allow bad things to happen? Long-time Redeemer member Joyce Johnson can answer this big question with her life. Joyce joins us to share a bit about her life and her faith.Support the show (
I first learned the name Dayvin Hallmon as founder and director of the Black String Triage Ensemble, committed to using music as the healing force for the soul in the immediate aftermath of community violence. If I’d been more aware, I would have already known his name from his service as the first openly gay, black Kenosha County supervisor. I was honored to collaborate with him a few years back when he led music at Redeemer as our guest. In my experience, Dayvin is that rare man who easily spins out ideas that you can’t believe no one has thought to do yet. He analyzes, challenges, and sometimes even afflicts. If you thought prophets were confined to the Old Testament, you clearly haven’t met Dayvin Hallmon.Support the show (
Aris Townsend worked as Communications Specialist at Redeemer from June 2015 to August 2020. It was a position designed with someone of her particular skills and training, but it quickly became apparent that she arrived with additional spiritual gifts that made her work here invaluable and impactful for all who encountered her on the job. This episode, she reminisces and give a distinct look behind the scenes at Redeemer, a striving city church in a neighborhood marked by both poverty and promise.Support the show (
In the early hours of Friday, March 29th 2019, Johnny Smith, also known as “Tennessee”, was bludgeoned to death in his sleeping bag on the east steps of our church. I remember the events and the feelings of those days vividly. As a church, our response needed to reflect our faith and send a distinct message to the neighborhood. Part of the response was worship; Sunday morning was just 48 hours from the time we were starting to get our heads together about this. And of course, especially for Lutherans, music would be a key part of the response. How does a community of faith respond musically to a murder on its doorstep? We’ll be exploring that with today’s guest, Jeff Bray.Support the show (
When people find out I’m a pastor, they instantly think they need to “clean up” their language. They’ll apologize profusely if they happen to utter a four-letter word in my presence. I find that surprising--of all things, wearing a collar does not make me the speech police. I’ll often tell people I’m much more offended that kids will go to bed hungry tonight than hearing you drop the f-bomb. Clearly, it has become more and more socially acceptable to use swear words in everyday conversation in almost all settings. Why is swearing still seen as a bad thing in the realm of religion? Well, our guest today has journeyed with speaking habits that she sometimes wrestled with changing. She’s got an amazing life story, and will weave both together in an episode we’re calling: “I Swear.”Support the show (
The God of our faith is sensitive to our struggles of illness, whether they have physical manifestations or mental manifestations or both. David's first assignment was to minister to a troubled Saul; Jesus heals the Gerasene Demoniac; Jesus addresses anxiety without shaming, etc... Join us as we consider the intersections of mental health and faith in an episode we’re calling: "Trauma, Mental Health, and Religion: Understanding 'Spiritual Health.'"Support the show (
Maybe you’ve been hearing this word "empath", especially in the last five years. What does it mean? Basically, an empath tends to sense and feel emotions as if they are part of their own experience. Someone else’s pain or happiness become your pain and happiness. Growing into being an “empath” is a long process, ongoing, needing careful tending along the way. How do you lay all of that alongside a faith in a greater power? What about choosing to tend an ongoing relationship with God through, in part, organized religion--including having a spiritual home in a church like Redeemer? We’ll be exploring all of that with our first guest, Meredith Sipe-Sumner.Support the show (
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