Redeemer Lives!

Redeemer Lutheran Church

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.

Caring for COVID Patients, For Real (with Mel Bock)Out of the Tomb (with Vince Prantil)An Audio Essay (feat. Gary Johnson)Young, Gifted, and Black (with Tristan Johnson and Kiara Lathrop)Bountifully Baptized (with Solomon Tesfai)
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 (https://www.paypal.com/donate?token=9hHjxUuhhogc12uVE0ApCBlabk0X1IKXUFde3nmrHQYA1gG27ACi4Y-yszuSVxzAySQ1EZugd6K-MdG_)
Mar 14 2021
23 mins
Joyfully Queer and Christian (with Aaron Musser)
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 (https://www.paypal.com/donate?token=9hHjxUuhhogc12uVE0ApCBlabk0X1IKXUFde3nmrHQYA1gG27ACi4Y-yszuSVxzAySQ1EZugd6K-MdG_)
Mar 7 2021
39 mins
Finding Love: A Faith Story (with Luann Blohm and Scott McIntosh)A Growing Spirituality (with Ericka Jones)Living the Bible (with Jon Jacobs)Under Arrest, Under God (with Mark Fraley)Garage Tale: An Audio Essay (feat. Pastor Lisa)Faith In Hard Times (with Joyce Johnson)Where the Church Should Be NOW (with Dayvin Hallmon)Behind the Scenes at Redeemer (with Aris Townsend)Music in Response to Murder (with Jeff Bray)I Swear (with Gloria Roschke)Trauma, Mental Health, and Religion: Understanding “Spiritual Health” (with Pardeep Singh Kaleka)Heart, Head, Spirit: Life and Faith as an Empath (with Meredith Sipe-Sumner)