Redeemer Lives!

Redeemer Lives!

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.

Episodes

September 4, 2021 27 min

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 ...

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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. 

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March 27, 2021 21 min
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Before the pandemic hit, Tristan and Kiara met with me or Intern Mark Fraley, or both of us for an hour or so after church to go through a curriculum for Confirmation that is the rite of passage for young people often around their early teens to review and question our understanding of the faith tradition and then, as they choose, to affirm their faith before the congregation and have a big celebration afterward. During the pandemi...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 dri...

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February 21, 2021 26 min

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 congre...

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February 14, 2021 27 min

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 be...

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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 semi...

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"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 Lisa

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January 10, 2021 23 min

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.

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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 ou...

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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 strivin...

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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 ...

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December 13, 2020 19 min

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 soc...

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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: Understan...

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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? ...

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