Your Weekly E-Newsletter -- Thursday, September 15, 2022

  Pastor Ken's Pondering .....


The Passion Meadow Theater


A scene from the Passion Play

“Then Jacob made a vow, saying,

“If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my

father’s house in peace, then the

Lord shall be my God.” 

Genesis 28:20-21  

The Old Testament contains over 80 references to the making of a vow with God.  Most were in the form of vows to worship or to give an offering, but Jacob, in the passage above, literally made a vow to believe and to serve God if God did something for him. That makes this example of making a vow quite extraordinary.  God did what Jacob asked of him, and Jacob did what he vowed to God he’d do.  Today vows are mainly spoken in relation to marriage or in the church, at an ordination.   I write to tell you about a vow that was made by certain town leaders in the region of Bavaria, in Germany, in the early half of the 17th century - a vow that is kept to this day.  

In the spring of 1632 during Europe’s terrible 30 Years War (a conflict whose origins lie both in Europe’s long history of regional conflict AND the fracturing of the continent’s religious landscape by the Reformation of the early 16th century) fear lingered throughout Germany, and particularly Bavaria.  The invasion of the area by King Gustaf Adolf of Sweden meant many people had to flee their villages.  This mass migration of people – many hungry and living in squalid conditions - was all that was needed to unleash yet another round of plague on the cities and villages of the area, including the mountain area of Ammergau.  In the village of Oberammergau, “deaths from deadly sickness” were recorded in the hundreds between the fall of 1632 and 1633.   

Amidst this awful plague, a group of town elders met in October 1633 and made a vow to perform a “passions-tragedie” every ten years if God would remove the plague from their city.  God did what the townspeople asked, and the town of Oberammergau has honored its vow.  It was said that from the time of “the vow” no other villager, even if infected, died of plague.  So despite the ongoing war around them, in 1634 the townspeople, aided in their effort by local musicians, priests and school teachers, performed the very first “Passion Play of Oberammergau”. 

There have been numerous times when the play was not performed – either by government decree or war in the region, and the play itself has undergone several revisions in style, content, and artistic considerations. But it has now been an ongoing work of this beautiful mountain village of Bavaria for nearly 400 years!  It continues to this day to be foremost a work of the people of Oberammergau. Performed on the edge of town in what is now called “The Passion Meadow”, it involves the collective effort of thousands of residents every decade.  But this is so much more than a commercial or artistic endeavor for them – the city does not allow their considerable expenses to be borne by their visitors, nor are the talents of professional actors, musicians or set makers employed.  

The people of the city do this because of their collective memory – they see each decade’s performance as the fulfilling of the vow and a maintaining of the bond between them and their ancestors who made a lasting vow, a promise to God.   The religious drama that is the Oberammergau Passion Play is not “high theater” – the intent was, and will always remain, “to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ” for salvation to those who hear and believe.  Several members of Calvary, some friends and family, plus Marcella and I will partake of the fruits of “the vow” and attend the Passion Play a bit later this month.    We leave in a few days.  We’re excited to see the beautiful region of Bavaria, but all the more excited and honored to be witnesses of a work of faith – the fulfilling of a vow - that has lived in and among the people of the village of Oberammergau for nearly four centuries.  

Soli Deo Gloria … to God alone the Glory. 

I’ll write more about our experience upon my return.   

Pastor Ken Nelson

Worship Resources
Live Stream Link
Prior Sermons
NALC Daily Devotion
This Week's Reflection from Martin Luther
on this weekend's Scripture lessons

Christians must be taught that giving to the poor or lending to the needy is a better work than buying indulgences.

- Martin Luther

Explanations of the

Ninety-five Theses

Online Resources
Note: If you give online to the Mission of the Month, your funds will be applied to the MOM recipient at the time of your gift.
Calvary's Website

See the monthly calendar by clicking on the image below.

Our Weekly Podcast Resumes ...

Luther's Small Catechism Series

The Small Catechism: What is this? Answer.

After a summer hiatus, the Foretaste of the Feast Podcast resumes.  In this episode, Pastor Ken and Kyle welcome pastoral intern Ben Blobaum as a new co-host to kick off a new season and series on Martin Luther's Small Catechism.

They talk about what Martin Luther's Small Catechism is, what's in it, why Luther wrote it, and why it's a book for every Christian in their life of faith and not some "textbook" for middle schoolers to learn for a few years and leave behind.

Click HERE for the Foretaste of the Feast Podcast

NEW!  Live Stream attendance link

If you watch our services via the Live Stream, please take a minute to let us know. There is now a link called "Online Worship Attendance" on the page where you access each week's service.

We appreciate you taking the time to complete this each week. It helps us know that our Live Stream is being viewed and by whom. 

Thank you!

Fifteenth Sunday

After Pentecost

September 17-18, 2022




  • Saturday: Mary Ellen Thiede
  • Sunday: Linda Thorpe, Sue Rowe, Terry Bzdusek


  • Addie Meyer and Mallory Zipp


  • Andy Schatz and Caryl Braatz


  • Diane Grundman, Marilyn Hermann, Everett Lambert


  • Lenny Graffin


  • Kyle Jones


  • Marge Tyne

MUSICIANS: Nicole Moritz


  • The Zipp Family


  • Joel and Linda Richmond


  • Saturday:  Lydia Trudell
  • Sunday: Sue Meyer


  • Kyle Jones

Music Ministry

There was a special treat this year for Rally Day.  After Sunday School students met their teachers, they gathered in the Sanctuary for an animal-themed concert performed by the Gutekunst Flute Ensemble.  Students, their parents, teachers and congregation members were present to enjoy this time of music celebrating God's animals.

Faith Formation

New Adult Bible Study - Lutheran Next Steps

A new Adult Bible Study class - THE LUTHERAN NEXT STEPS will begin on Sunday, October 2nd. This eight-week course will meet in the Sanctuary at 10:30 a.m. and will be facilitated by Pastor Ken Nelson. This course was created a few years ago when Pastor Ken was engaged in the “Life to Life Discipleship” initiative of the Navigators and the NALC.   

The course is a solid, basic overview of the Christian faith. It encourages participants to increase their Bible reading, includes some memorization of key passages, and will culminate in the opportunity to create and share (in groups of 2 or 3) a personal “faith story” (or what some traditions called “testimonies”). The goal of this study is to present the Christian faith in a straight-forward, Biblically sound way to deepen our knowledge of those beliefs. This will equip participants for those moments when they may be presented an opportunity to witness to someone about our faith and the Lord Jesus. 

There is a sign-up sheet on the OPPORTUNITIES kiosk near the Welcome Desk in the Narthex. A few “display only” copies of the materials are available for you to examine to see if this study is for you.  If you wish to participate, registering will ensure you get a copy of the materials at our first class session.   There is no cost for the materials, and we hope you'll consider participating in this worthwhile study.

Pastor Ken's Weekly Bible Study

Wednesdays at 12:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall

Pastor Ken's weekly Bible study is held each Wednesday from 12:30 -1:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. He will lead discussion around the Scripture lessons that will be read in worship the following weekend.

Please bring your Bibles - other materials will be provided. Copies of the text study sheets will be available on the table in the Narthex if you can't attend the Bible study, but would like to refer to it for the weekend worship.

Online Giving Option Updates

Online giving provides options! 

While cash and checks are always welcome, the “Give Online” button on the Calvary Lutheran Church website provides another option. And, with the expansion of our vendor’s software, the options are now expanded and customized. In addition to giving to the General Operating Fund, Building Fund and Mission of the Month, you can now specify contributions for Altar Flowers, Sunday Morning Fellowship Treats, etc. 

We can also include other limited-time event payments such as the Disaster Response Training and the WI & Upper MI Mission District Convocation being held at Calvary on October 28 and 29. 

Please note that contributions to the Mission of the Month are allocated to the organization for the month in which the donation is made

If you have any questions, please contact Cindy Rooks, Finance Secretary, via email at or (262) 786-4010.  

Online Giving Link

Church Life Event - Order Tickets Now!

Sunday, October 23, 2:00 p.m.

Sunset Playhouse Theater


Based on the iconic 1985 Paramount movie which was inspired by the classic Hasbro board game, CLUE is a hilarious farce-meets-murder mystery. Whodunnit?

The tale begins at a remote mansion. Six mysterious guests have assembled for an unusual dinner party where murder and blackmail are on the menu. When their host turns up dead, they all become suspects. Wadsworth, the butler, leads Miss Scarlett, Professor Plum, Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock, and Colonel Mustard in a race to find the killer while the body count stacks up.

Tickets are $18 each and can be ordered now. 

Wheelchair seating is available.  Brochures and ticket ordering information are on the table in the Narthex.  Please place your order form in the offering basket or drop it off in the church office.

Ticket ordering deadline is October 3rd. It's sure to be a fun time as we all try to figure out who WHO did it, WHERE they did it, and with WHAT?  Please note that there will be no returns/refunds/exchanges after October 3rd.

NALC Mission District Convocation

Calvary is pleased to host the annual Convocation of your NALC Wisconsin/Upper Michigan Mission District on Saturday, October 29 and we invite you to join us!  Let us come together in faith and unity seeking the goodness and glory of the Lord as brothers and sisters united in the waters of baptism.

This year we are also pleased to host Mary Bates, Head of NALC disaster relief, who will be conducting a disaster relief training for local churches and organizations on Friday, October 28 from noon - 4 p.m.  All are invited to attend this training and the registration link is below.

General Secretary Pastor Amy Little and Assistant to the Bishop, Pastor Jess Abbott will be addressing us on Saturday, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Most importantly we will come together for times of worship and fellowship so as to better know the Lord and each other. 

More information can be obtained through the links below. (Registration is required to attend both the Disaster Relief Training and the Convocation.)  

If you have any questions, please contact Pastor Mark Knappe, Pastor Ken Nelson or Marcella Nelson. 

Convocation Information
Disaster Relief Training Information
Disaster Relief Training Registration
Our Church Family

Elijah Himsel, 9/15

Richard Rooks, 9/15

William Dudzik, 9/16

Ron Foster, 9/16

Cable Gall, 9/16

Ken Nelson, 9/16

Carole Wegner, 9/16

Linda "Luvie"  Richmond, 9/17

Hugh Taufner, 9/17

Mark Knappe, 9/18

Mallory Zipp, 9/18

Meredith Huettl, 9/19

Brad Meyer, 9/19

Jared Springer, 9/19

Ann Jazgar, 9/20

Bill Graffiin, 9/21

Sean Moritz, 9/27

Justin Rowe, 9/27

Kendall Thiede, 9/28

Leah Morris, 9/29

Emily Brooks, 9/30

Andy and Angie Schatz, 9/23 (22 years)

John and Mary Lau, 9/27 (53 years)

Bob and Caryl Braatz, 9/30 (61 years)

Jon and Sandy Voerman, 10/5 (37 years)

Wayne and Carole Wegner, 10/5 (59 years)

Norm and Audrey McGarvie, 10/7 (61 years)

Rich and Cindy Rooks, 10/9 (35 years)

Mark and Lydia Trudell, 10/9 (40 years)

Kurt and Jeanne Duch, 10/10 (41 years)

Brian and Kara Kretschmann, 10/10 (2 years)

Herb and Judy Grospitz, 10/11 (47 years)

George and Kay Sedivec, 10/16 (51 y ears)

Erik and Erica Zipp, 10/20 (15 years)

Lesly and Roger Evert, 10/22 (11 years)

Matt and Hannah Ware, 10/26 (3 years)

Mark and Sheila Kershek, 10/27 (27 years)

Bob and Diana Streicher, 10/28 (33 years)

New prayer requests:  Chuck Lukasik; Marilyn (friend of RoJean Holler and Judy Sayas)

Ongoing short-term prayer requests:   Ron Foster; Ruth Young; Kris Larsen, Fay Heyen, Lorna Reiter; Tom Kurtz; Sue Rowe; John Gregory (friend of Scott and Lisa Grossman);  Elizabeth Stem (niece of Evelyn Ceci); Kathryn (friend of Cindy Zilske); Dennis Heimdahl (son-in-law of Marilyn Hermann); Joe Giuliani, Cathy Pitel and Agatha Fingland (brother, twin sister and mother of Chuck Giuliani); Julie Niederbaumer (friend of many Calvary members); Alex Vincent (son of a friend of Grace Gunnlaugsson);  Sarah Green (sister of Andy Schatz); Laura Lynn (friend of Pastor Jerry and Nancy Wittmus); Gerry Fosdal (friend of Linda Thorpe)

Serving in the Military: Dan Berger (serving in the U.S. Marines); Kevin Butler (son of Heidi Powers, serving in the U.S. Army); Ben DeYoung (son-in-law of George and Kay Sedivec, serving in the U.S. Air Force); Alex Olson (U.S. Air Force, grandchild of Ardath Olson); Kyle Pierce (son of Karen and Keith Pierce, serving in the U.S. Army); Karmen Thomas (friend of Tony and Krista Dentice serving in the U.S. Army); Nicole Wahlgren (serving in the U.S. Army National Guard); all military chaplains; and all veterans suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


For All Men and Women Serving: Police Officers, Firefighters, EMT's; Health Care workers and First Responders.   

Serving in the mission field: Our NALC missionaries and missionaries everywhere bringing the gospel to the ends of the Earth.

Long-term prayer list:

Calvary members:  Pat Corcoran; Ginny Cox; Don Heyen; Beverly Lawson; Shirley Mahn; Myrna Mavroff; Donna Polizzi; Donna Schroeder; Nadine Schuelke; Gloria Strei; Pat Treutelaar; Janet Zastrow

Non-membersLauren (granddaughter of Scott and Peggy Langelin); Isabelle George (wife of Judy Sayas' cousin); Joe Dentice (father of Tony Dentice); Dick Girnau (friend of Mary Ellen Thiede); Mike Andrae (husband of former Calvary member Luisa Andrae); Nicole Sayas (daughter in law of Judy Sayas); Dennis Reich (friend of John and Mary Lau); Curt (friend of Larry Bonier); Pastor Mark Gehrke (son of Lois Gehrke); Barb Anderson (friend of Lisa Grossman); Gareth George (cousin of Judy Sayas); Joseph Franko (friend of Judy Sayas); Tom Frank (brother of Mary Ellen Thiede); Nancy Myers (friend of Judy Sayas); Rose Luther (friend of Nicole Moritz); Judy Grospitz; Monica Barchus (niece of Ernie Kretschmann); Michael Rossa (Lucy Dallman's son); Karen (friend of Lydia Trudell); John Nielson (brother of Judy Kestly); Susan Petropoulos (sister of Wayne Johnson); Tom Dallman (husband of Lucy Dallman); Delores Seel (mother of Keith Pierce)

If you have any new prayer requests, please contact the church office at 262.786.4010 or via email to

Worship Attendance 10-11, 2022   

Rally Day Weekend

Mission & Outreach

September Mission of the Month

To support this important Mission of the Month, you may include it in your weekly offering envelope or designate the donation as "Mission of the Month" in your online giving.

B.A.S.I.C.S. (Brothers And Sisters in Christ Serving) is a Christian nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization created in 1996 to strengthen churches and Christian outreach ministries throughout the metropolitan Milwaukee area. The group supports dozens of city ministries such as prison and re-entry ministries, community outreach events, recovery programs, youth activities and many others. 

The Executive Director from BASICS will be with us at both services the weekend of September 24-25.


Bridging Community by Loving and Serving for the Glory of Jesus!


A world united for the hope, glory, and love of Jesus Christ.



Uniting urban and suburban resources for the glory of Jesus Christ through:

  • Prayer
  • Caring acts of compassion
  • Sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, and
  • Preparing the next generation of Disciples

Strengthening Churches

From the beginning, BASICS has focused on forming partnerships between city churches and suburban churches. This effort has resulted in many helpful and practical projects to help inner city churches. BASICS has assisted more than 200 church pastors and 100 outreach ministry leaders, equipping them through training, support, and access to needed resources like a network of urban contractors to help with construction projects.

Leveraging Resources

BASICS currently supports over 30 smaller ministries that are unable to be financially independent. BASICS Ministers to Milwaukee (M2M) receive support through BASICS to equip their work and increase their impact. In 2001, BASICS in Milwaukee, Inc. became the financial fiduciary agent for the ministers working in Milwaukee. The generous and sacrificial giving of local churches and individuals helps provide for those who are hurting and enable these workers to focus on reaching out to the lost in Milwaukee.

In addition to financial support, hundreds of volunteers are actively involved in many ways. They donate their time, talents, treasure, touch and tears for the work of God in Milwaukee.

A few reminders ....
Weekly Men's Breakfast Wednesdays at 7 a.m.
Maxim's Restaurant
18025 W. Capitol Drive

The restaurant seating has been reconfigured in compliance with social distancing requirements.

All men are invited to attend!

Monthly Men's Gathering 


Thursday, September 15

6 p.m.

Fellowship Hall

If you have any questions, please reach out to Mark Trudell at

Hospitality Treat Sponsors

Are Needed!

We invite you to stay after worship on Sunday mornings and enjoy fellowship time and a treat/cup of coffee in Fellowship Hall.

If you'd like to provide treats (donuts, bagels, etc.) for Sunday hospitality time, there is a sheet on the bulletin board in Fellowship Hall. You may bring the treats (six dozen) and drop them off in the kitchen, or simply add a “P” behind your name, pay $30 to the church office and the treats will be purchased for you. 

Updated Church Directory Available

The Calvary Church Directory is available electronically or in paper format. If you'd like an electronic copy, please send an email to requesting it. There are printed copies available in the church office.

Any corrections or updates should be submitted to
Cindy Zilske at
What is a Calvary Deacon?

Our Calvary Board of Deacons is a unique ministry among Lutheran churches. This important group of 11 individuals cares for the spiritual welfare of our congregation by praying for them, assisting with distribution of Holy Communion, being available to the members of their "alpha group" for prayers, support or other information about Calvary, and encouraging a strong spiritual life among our Calvary family.

Deacons serve a three-year term and we will have four openings in 2023. If you are interested in serving in this capacity next year to fill one of these vacancies, please reach out to Diane Grundman, Ernie Kretschmann or Judy Kestly. It is a rewarding experience and makes a significant difference to those we serve.
Facing tough times? Need a Christian Friend?
Stephen Ministry is here to help. Free, just like God's love.

Stephen Ministers are congregation members trained by Stephen Leaders to offer high-quality, one-to-one Christian care to people going through tough times. A Stephen Minister usually provides care to one person at a time, meeting with that person once a week for about an hour. 

If you, or someone you know, could benefit from this important ministry, please contact Scott or Peggy Langelin at 262.853.0018.

Sunday mornings at 9 a.m.

The link to the Live Stream  is available on the home page at

Sanctuary Flowers

We invite you to sign up for flowers to beautify our altar each weekend. The sign-up sheet for 2022 is posted on the bulletin board in the Narthex.

Flowers are $35 and you may take them home following the 9 a.m. worship on Sunday morning. If you'd prefer, you can leave the flowers at church to be enjoyed by the office staff.

The right side of the Sanctuary (as you face the altar) is equipped with a hearing loop system which transmits an audio signal directly into a hearing aid via a magnetic field. This greatly reduces background noise, competing sounds, reverberation and other acoustic distortions that reduce clarity of sound.

Most hearing aids are equipped with a t-coil and connecting to this system is an easy switch on the hearing aid. If you need assistance during worship with this system, please reach out to an usher or any staff member.
The church office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until noon. The door that is closest to the office (NW corner) will be open during those hours.

Please check in with the office staff so we know you are in the building.

The office phone number is (262) 786-4010. Feel free to leave a message if you call after hours and we will contact you the next day.
Regular office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - noon 262.786.4010
Questions or comments? Email Sue Rowe at