Weekly News for March 25 – April 1, 2023

Here’s the latest Messiah Newsletter: 2023 March Column

2022 Annual Report (no financials)

Click below for Worship Server Schedule for:

Maundy Thursday / Good Friday Schedule

2023 Saturday Service          2023 Early Service            2023 Late Service       
Giving Envelopes HAVE ARRIVED!!!

The 2023 giving envelopes have finally arrived.  Karen Wenger has labeled all of the envelopes and they are by the front door ready to be picked up.  Postage for mailing the envelopes is about $6 per box, so it would be very helpful if you could stop by and pick your box up.  We will leave the envelopes out through Easter. Using the envelopes is very helpful to the counters when counting your donations so a big thank you for requesting envelopes and a big thank you for your contributions to the mission of Messiah Lutheran Church.

Journey through Lent

The Labyrinth will be available for prayerful walking all throughout Lent. Daily from 8:30 – 1:30, and before and after services on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.

Help Needed!!!  Messiah will be preparing an Easter Monday Meal at the Triangle Community Ministry

Brittingham Community Room – 755 Braxton Place. B101, Madison, WI 53715

Monday April 10, 2023 – 4:00 – 6:30pm 

Please sign up on the Kiosk at Messiah or contact Elizabeth at familyminstry@messiahchurch.com or 608-235-6910

What type of support can you offer? We need:

  1. Help to prepare the meal at Messiah, Monday morning. (3 people)
  2. Bake 4 dozen cookies for the dessert after the meal.  (3 People)
  3. Help set-up, serve and clean up – 10-12 people   (4-5 PM set up, 5-6 meal, 6-6:30 cleanup)

There is parking in the parking lot at Brittingham and also around the u-shaped Braxton Place drive.

Please sign up on the Kiosk or contact Elizabeth familyministry@messiahchurch.com  if you are interested in being involved in this ministry.

Easter Basket/Bag Project

Thank you to all who donated candy, personal items and money to the Easter Basket/Bag collection.

We made 200 baskets

  • 55 baskets to St. Stephens Food Pantry
  • 24 baskets to DAIS
  • 34 baskets to Road Home
  • 87 baskets to the Salvation Army

We made 86 bags

  • 50 bags to Triangle Community Ministry with candy and personal care items
  • 36 bunny bags with candy for the visitation team to deliver on their next visit

                Before                                                During                                 and after assembly of Easter Baskets/Bags


Thanks to all who donated, for the support of Social Ministry, to the YOW and Sunday School children and staff and to those who delivered: Nancy Battist, Paula Darr, Marnee Hafeman and Mike McHugh, Dave Lindorff, Dick and Sharon White.

Human Trafficking Presentation at Messiah

A Human Trafficking Awareness meeting is happening for Adults, especially for School Parents and Staff of high school and middle school students.  This is an ADULT ONLY meeting on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, 7:00pm-8:30pm at Messiah Lutheran Church, 5202 Cottage Grove Road.  Speakers will be from United Madison & Project Respect, along with a Human Trafficking Detective, and a woman who works with teenagers that are homeless.

Check in will begin at 6:30pm.

Please register using the link below to reserve your seat as space is limited.

Click Here to Register

Following 2-weeks later there will be a showing of the documentary “It’s Happening Right Here” at St. Dennis Church, 505 Dempsey Road on May 2, 2023, 7:00pm-8:30pm in the parish center.

For questions contact Nancy Battist at battistnancy@gmail.com

Proclaiming the Good News Workshop: The Ministry of Reader 

Date: Saturday, April 29th   Time: 9- 11 AM
Location: Messiah Community Room
Who: all current readers and those who are considering joining the ministry
Why: to reflect upon and improve our practice. 
Join us for coffee and fellowship and to challenge even those who think of ourselves as seasoned readers to refine our skills. Engage with Jeff Stadtmueller and Pastor Jeff to see how (P4= Proclamation)  Purpose X Presence X Preparation X Prayer = Proclamation.

RSVP on the kiosk, or to Elizabeth at familyminstry@messiahchurch.com or 608-235-6910.

 Healing House  Meals

Messiah will provide meals the weeks of April 23-29, and June 11-17.  Please sign up on the Kiosk for the April and June dates.  April 26th and April 28 are still open for the April week.

Healing House provides a safe place for families experiencing homelessness to go when a member of the family needs to prepare for a medical procedure, or to recuperate after childbirth or hospitalization.

National Day of Prayer

Messiah will again join in celebrating National Day of Prayer by holding a prayer vigil on Thursday, May 4 from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Our goal is to have at least one person at a time in the sanctuary or the prayer room, in prayer, during that time. We ask that you commit to a 30 minute time slot.

We will provide books and other materials for you to use while you are here, and handouts which you are welcome to take with you. You may bring any materials you would like to use, or just come and pray for whatever is on your mind and heart.

Again this year, you will have the opportunity to experience walking the labyrinth, which is set up in the Community Room.

There is a sign up sheet on the kiosk in the Gathering Space. Please call Clyde Nyhus at (608) 516-4926, or email at music@messiahchurch.com with any questions.

Messiah – Gunderson Annual Blood Drive

The 2023 Messiah-Gunderson Blood Drive is scheduled for Tuesday, May 9th from 1:00 – 6:00 PM. Watch the Weekly E-news for specific signup information. You can also stop by the registration tables at church at all services the weekend of April 22-23. We look forward to a successful blood drive.

We are looking for donors to meet and hopefully exceed our goal of collecting 58 units of blood. The month of May brings us into the summer when blood needs are high.

We are also looking for volunteers to help welcome donors to Messiah and support them through the process. We are grateful to the many volunteers who have helped with previous drives and welcome new volunteers. Please email, call or text Elizabeth at familyministry@messiahchurch.com or 608-235-6910 or the church office at 608-222-3833 to volunteer.

We will provide treats from Just Bakery, thereby ensuring food safety and continuing our partnership with JustDane and the Red Cross often offers incentives.

Women’s Self-Defense class opportunity being offered HERE at Messiah!

Saturday, June 10, 2023 starting at 9am. Instructors: Brad and Sue Meng. Brad has 40+ years of Martial Arts experience, 25 years of Law Enforcement experience and has been teaching this course with Sue’s assistance for almost 20 years.

Please see the Kiosk in the Gathering Space for a flier and contact Sue at smeng100@hotmail.com with questions.

Reconciling Reflections: A Personal Journey – Karl Schweitz

Messiah is embarking on a journey of becoming a Reconciling in Christ Congregation. Below is a reflection by Karl Schweitz on his reconciling process.

Like many, my process of spiritual maturation (and, personally, my journey toward the Reconciling in Christ [RIC] program) took shape in college. After growing up within a restrictive, nondenominational religious framework, I made my way to Luther College in Decorah, IA. Here, I was challenged to open my mind and heart to others with life journeys unlike my own, and in so doing came to recognize a calling to align myself with those marginalized by systems of power in our society – particularly those systems in which I am complicit. One of my mentors on this journey was a young religion professor named David Weiss, whose Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Voices in Theology course placed me in dialogue and communion with members of the LGBTQIA+ community and provided a framework to understand the interplay between spirituality and sexuality.

In hindsight, this period in the late ‘90s/early ‘00s feels like a transitional moment – both within faith communities and society at large – in our understanding of and response to the queer community. I found Luther to be a place of acceptance, warmly welcoming of my diverse array of LGBTQIA+ friends. At the same time, campus sidewalks were routinely chalked with anti-gay messages during annual Coming Out Week celebrations, and small, but vocal groups ,met to discuss the “merits” of reparative therapy. More than 20 years later, we generally like to think of ourselves as having evolved beyond these embarrassing, outdated positions – but, of course, anyone paying even passing attention to current news will recognize a different story. Consider just a few recent data points:

– The ACLU is currently tracking nearly 400 anti-LGBTQ bills within the 2023 legislative session, including bans on gender-affirming care for minors and restrictions on transgender youth sports participation.

– Due to the stigmatization they face in society, 45% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide within the past year, and are more than 4 times as likely to attempt suicide as their straight and/or cisgender peers.

– Drag shows were targeted by protest every 2.5 days throughout 2022, with many incidents involving weapons or violence.

Clearly there is still much work to be done, and so the question before us becomes: What role should the Church play in these conversations? The RIC program suggests that one powerful role we are well-suited to play is to – unashamedly and with specificity – name and claim our alignment with the LGBTQIA+ community. Historically, the Church has fallen short of such specificity, preferring the broader claim that “all” are welcome among us. However, in his excellent book To the Tune of a Welcoming God, Weiss challenges us to recognize the life-giving power within the act of naming itself, writing: “In naming yourself with honesty, in claiming…the blessing of God, you make this naming a moment of deep grace.” As we then seek to open within ourselves a channel of that grace, we are able to share it more freely with the most vulnerable among us, ultimately “establish[ing] the identities that are necessary for relationships, for intimacy, to unfold.” Weiss also points out that our own scriptures bear witness to the power inherent within the act of naming, noting: “From the Original Garden to the Burning Bush, God has intended that names be doorways into relationships.”

May God bless our footsteps as we walk, with bold intent, through this new doorway in our journey together. Amen.                Karl Schweitz, RIC Core Team Member

The RIC Core-Team shared their reflections on why they became a part of the team. You can read their reflections here. RIC Core-Team Reflections

Messiah Visitation Ministry

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.  Hebrews 13:2

Do you enjoy meeting new people and learning their stories? Do you want to participate in a meaningful volunteer activity? Messiah Visitation Ministry may be the right fit for you.

Many members of Messiah are in need of special care. They can’t leave their homes and come to Messiah for Sunday service. Many were active members and miss their connection to the church.  Messiah Visitation Ministers are currently visiting 26 individuals and 7 couples each month, bringing communion and conversation.

These visits are an important part of the life of Messiah. They deepen our bonds with those who are no longer able to gather with the congregation. And, after every visit, I do feel like I have been in the presence of angels…wonderful people who have blessed me with their stories and enriched my life.

 We currently have 25 active ministers, and need at least five more people to help. Visitors travel once a month to the home of a parishioner, and spend about 1-2 hours visiting, praying together, and sharing communion. Attending a monthly Sacred Circle is encouraged, but not required.

 If you would like to consider this ministry, please contact Judy at ourchurch@messiahchurch.com or call Mary Marshall at 608-772-1457 for more information.

Feel free to join us at our Sacred Circles, the last Sunday of the month from 9:15 to 10:15 in the lower level Social Hall. We welcome all to this very vital group of Messiah members.     Mary Thome Marshall

Adult Education at Messiah

We are excited to announce a new Ministry here at Messiah. Based on the responses from the recent survey, it is clear that there is desire for some type of adult education. We are introducing the Adult Education section on the Messiah website. Over time Adult Ed. will have both online and in-person learning opportunities. For now all content is online. The main concentration is on the Seasons of the Church, Church Calendar, Teaching about Luther, and Lutheranism, and a Bible Word Search. To access the content, navigate to the main Messiah webpage. Under the Faith Life dropdown bar look for Adult Education. Clicking on this link will also take you to the content. We hope you find this a helpful new ministry.

Retreat Opportunity Open for all Messiah Women on September 30, 2023

Save the Date and bring a friend to a fall women’s retreat at Messiah with Reverend Holly Whitcomb, author of The Practice of Finding: How Gratitude Leads the Way to Enough.

This retreat presents the spiritual practice of “finding” that one has received enough as the antidote to chronic “seeking.” She writes: “The practice of finding has been saving my life for a long time. It is an old friend that has stayed by my side during times of lavish joy and exuberance as well as in times of debilitating grief and loss. Ponder the words: practice finding enough. You will marvel at what you have already found and what you readily possess.”

Potential Retreat Schedule

Saturday September 3oth 9 AM – 2 PM at Messiah

9:00-9:30: arrive for coffee and pastries

9:30-11:30 morning portion of program with the opportunity to spend some time outdoors, weather permitting.

11:30-12:30 time to socialize at lunch (brown bag or catered TBD)

12:30-2 afternoon portion of program

Cost is TBD based upon how many participate and what other events the group decides to host this year, so maybe somewhere in the range of $15-25 a person?

Please let Elizabeth know if you are interested in potentially attending this event by contacting her at familyministry@messiahchurch.com or call or text 608-235-6910.

You do not have to make a solid commitment or pay anything yet, but we need to know if there is enough interest in order to book with Holly Whitcomb.

Kennedy Adopt A School

An ongoing collection for clothing continues, we are in desperate need of socks, underwear, sweatpants and belts for kids.   Donations can be brought to Messiah and placed in the Kennedy School bin in the collection area by the Community Room. If you would like to donate, but are unable to shop, a monetary donation would be welcomed. Please make a check out to Messiah, on the memo line specifying Kennedy School clothing. If you have questions, contact Paula at pauladarr@gmail.com.

Something to know that makes this collection especially important is that the newest Madison Salvation Army shelter for homeless families is located in the former Karmenta Nursing Home which is in the Kennedy School area. Therefore, in addition to the donations requested above, many families are in need of clothing for everyday wear.

Directions for how to use some of the features in Realm.

Click on the links below find directions on how to access some of the features of Realm using either a desktop/laptop or a tablet/phone using the Connect APP.

How do I access the Church Directory

How can I set up giving in Realm

Where can I find the Council Meeting Minutes in Realm

The Annual Report can be found in the same place as the council meeting minutes. This version has the financials since it is only accessible to Messiah members.

Senior Adult Ministry (SAM) News
Yes, you “Can” Have Fun with SAM at SHFB!
Shown here, left to right, are Diane Marty, Ed Mass, Dave Lindorff, Dennis Heiden, and Nancy Battist as they check codes on the cans. This past Monday, SAM processed two full pallets of canned vegetables. Open dates are May 1, May 15, June 12, and June 26. To sign up for one of these dates, send an email to SAM@messiahchurch.com
To sign up for one of these dates, send an email to SAM@messiahchurch.com     Be part of the fun!!

March 29, 12:00-1:30 pm   Getting Older—Should We Care More About Our Nutrition?

As we age, we may think some changes in our health our inevitable. However, good nutrition and remaining active can help us keep strong enough to keep doing all the things we enjoy. This talk will cover the evolving research on nutrition as we age. Beth Olson is Associate Professor in the UW’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences/Nutritional Sciences.

To sign up, send an email to SAM@messiahchurch.com

Ladies Lunch Bunch

The Messiah Ladies Lunch Bunch will meet April 12th, 11:30am at Oakstone Recreational Restaurant 304 Commerce Pkwy, Cottage Grove, WI 53527 (printed directions can be found on the Kiosk.  Masks are ok, but not required.

Sign up on the Kiosk. If you have questions please contact: Claire Gensch at (920) 319-6731 or Mary Kedzie (262) 716-4600

Good food – Good prices – Great Company!

Sunday School

For more information about the children’s ministry, please check out our page on the website by clicking Children & Family Ministry

No Sunday School March 26 – April 9 for Spring Break.
First Communion Celebrations will be help May 6 and 7.

Youth on Wednesday Night (YOW) Fall 2022-2023

For more information about YOW, please check the YOW page on the website by clicking Youth & Family Ministry

Hospitalization Visits

If you or a family member are members of Messiah and would like a pastoral visit while you are in the hospital, please indicate that on the intake form at the hospital.  The office receives information from UW, St. Mary’s and Meriter hospitals, however, if you do not indicate that you are a member of Messiah, we do not receive that information.  You may also call the church office and let Judy know that you would like a visit.

2023 Altar Flower Sign-Up

Please sign-up for the date(s) you would like to sponsor flowers for worship in 2023 by calling the office at 608-222-3833 or contact Judy via Email: ourchurch@messiahchurch.com.  Please include your phone number, any special colors you might want, and what you would like included in the bulletin. The cost is $35 for each date. If you would like the flowers you have sponsored, you can pick them up at church after the late service on Sunday or on Monday.  Please return the vase to the church so that we can keep the cost of the arrangements as low as possible.  Thank you.

ELCA Social Statement Series – Genetics
People have been asking where the ELCA stands on some very important topics.

Each month, we are highlighting one of the ELCA’s Social Statements for our prayerful reflection. March’s Social Statement topic is Genetics.

Genetics, Faith and Responsibility addresses our church’s teaching to the human power increasingly unleashed today in genetic research and its applications, with all its questions and complexities. In light of God’s sustained and creative work in creation, the statement recognizes these developments as carrying both promise for abundant good and potential for immeasurable harm.

The statement highlights the biblical view of human beings as innovative stewards who are called to be responsible to the Golden Rule. It translates the Golden Rule in the contemporary context of unprecedented human power as “Respect and promote the community of life with justice and wisdom.” (15)  This imperative should be used to direct all activity and use of genetic research and knowledge in medicine, agriculture and other arenas of life. The statement provides guidance for discerning what justice and wisdom mean and points to practices that respect human dignity and encourage Christian community in this age of genetic knowledge. This social statement was adopted by the 2011 ELCA Churchwide Assembly.

Copies of a summary of this Social Statement can be found on the Kiosk in the Gathering Space at Messiah. 

Statement Summary

Full Statement

Racial Justice Resource Information

For more information on the ELCA and Racial Justice, please check out this link.

Anti-Racism and Social Justice Resources

 If you have any questions about the group, please contact: Tracy Frank –608-220-7999 or jtracyfrank@me.com 

Racial Justice Library has moved to a new location

The Racial Justice Library is now located in the Conference Room in the lower level of the church by Entrance Door C.  If you would like to take a book from the library there is a sign out folder on the top shelf for you to use.