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Redeemer Lutheran Church
631 N. 19th Street,
Milwaukee, WI 53233
ATTN: Redeemer Lutheran Boiler Fund
Redeemer Lutheran Church at 19th and Wisconsin Avenues doesn’t seem like much. Less than 100 worship each Sunday morning at ten A.M. Yet this church is a beacon of hope to the entire community.
Redeemer feeds hundreds of homeless men with full lunches, sometimes even women and children, Monday through Friday, and now with a new Sunday meal when it can be managed. Milwaukee Central City Food Pantry has a huge series of freezers that feed even more that are also housed at Redeemer Lutheran. The Church supports the Ziedler Center and its series of public issues lectures and discussions that have a Milwaukee-wide reach.
Since 1968 The Coffee House and its Folk and Acoustic Music of all kinds offered Saturday evenings depend on Redeemer being there. The Milwaukee Rainbow Writers,a group of writers now meets there twice a month to promote artistic friendships, sharing, and support. You never know who is going to walk into the church over the course of the week, get some help they need, and that aid becomes a key part of their support system.
Just two weeks ago only 49 members took communion. Conventional wisdom is that such a church is dead. But the same week 704 other Milwaukeeans crossed the threshold. Redeemer is like an iceberg now in more ways than one. It looks hardly worth being interested in but its largest impact is below the water line. It is a precise inversion of what Christian Churches usually are.
And then when you meet those parishioners, you find that they are exceptionally welcoming. The low communion numbers are quite deceptive. Not everybody is there each Sunday. That’s not at all because they are not devoted to the Church, worship, and disciple hood. The reverse is true. It’s just that nearly everyone who attends services over the year have their own backs up against it for a multitude of reasons. They might visit family in prison. They might have to keep their sobriety. They might face recovery from so many things. And these people don’t have the money that church denominations and their hierarchies like to see.
There is another thing that drives home to any observer just how powerful the faith of the Congregation is, and the depth of their commitment to Social Justice. Every single member wears many hats. It is not unusual for members to be involved in three, four, or even five ministries throughout the year.
Redeemer Lutheran Church’s main mission beyond the obvious proclaiming of the Gospel of Christ, and saving souls. is serving the City of Milwaukee and the many needs the City has to feed, house, clothe, and protect it’s people from violence and despair. The church doesn’t do it all, but member for member, friend to friend it’s reach is long.
Then the Church’s boiler went out. It was an incredibly patched up affair that just cannot continue. Winter is coming on in Wisconsin. There are people who are fed there, and worship there, and who depend on the Church who need to be warm to stay healthy. It is no small thing. Since the Church serves “the least of these” and that includes most members, there are no deep pockets, only empty, and holed ones, needing mending.
If everyone reading this could just click where directed and make a $10 donation to the Boiler Fund, Redeemer Lutheran will remain an anchor for all that is good in Milwaukee and serve the multitude of people who anchor some portion of their lives there. You can make a difference. Can you help?