Category Archives: Musings

Memorial Service for Paul Baderschneider



The funeral service will be at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Campus Center on Saturday, February 11, at 4 p.m. Officiating will be The Rev. Elaine Olson. A time of visitation and fellowship will follow the service. A private interment will follow at a later date.

He died Feb. 4 at the age of 46 at Indiana University Hospital, Indianapolis, from complications of chronic liver disease.

Monday Musings

A Vision Lived


In the back of the sanctuary, sitting on hard wooden chairs, they gathered.

Young men, professors, professional women, students and retired sat in a talking circle following a lecture and wondered about how the world and God engage each other.
Together they asked,

“With all the new discoveries of science, people of faith are needed to
create boundaries of ethics and expect actions with responsibility. 

How do we work together?

“How do we reconcile science and faith?”

People from many points of view spoke, reflected and listened to each other, the agreed respect carried the conversation shaping and guiding the process.  Seekers, agnostic, progressive, conservative, Christian and Jew sat together.  And the vision of Faith & Science in Dialogue: The Rheticus Forum became a lived reality.

Based on this successful beginning, the series of lectures integrating issues of Faith & Science in Dialogue: The Rheticus Forum will continue into the spring of 2012.

Tuesday, February 7, 7:00pm – Dianne Nolan

Tuesday, March 13, 7:00pm – Bruce L. Rhoads

Tuesday, April 10, 7:00pm – Esmail “Essie” Meisami

As pastor, I believe that campus ministry is the forum for this kind of conversation for it encourages the formation of young and old alike.  This formation is spiritual, intellectual and cultural for it is based on affirming critical thinking, faith-filled living,
encouraged questioning, and honest doubting all within a community of supportive mentors.

Please join us for these lectures as you are able and hold the process in prayer as God leads us more deeply into this vision of ministry.


Pr. E

Legacy, Listening, Learning, and Longing….



Faith and Science in Dialogue: The Rheticus Forum

Tuesday, October 11th, 7p

Daniel W. Pack, PhD

“Dr. Pack is professor of Chemical & Bioolecular Engineering at the U of I.  His research focuses on the design & development & gene delivery systems & devices.

He is an active member at Windsor Road Christian Church.



Minister’s Musing –

September 23, 2011


Legacy, Listening, Learning
and Longing of

Faith and Science in
Dialogue: The Rheticus Forum


Legacy –   Members of  Trinity Lutheran Church in Mattoon, Illinois knew the joys of ministry and then pain of that ministry ending.  Yet, with forethought of next generations, this community shared a legacy gift with St. Andrew’s/Lutheran Campus ministry.  From their gathered gifts of lifetime faithful work, they shared a significant financial gift that became the seed money for Faith and Science in Dialogue: The Rheticus Forum.  Even as the congregation closed, its mission is continued through this gift that supports the formation of church leaders.

Listening –   Faith and Science in Dialogue: The Rheticus Forum held its inaugural on Tuesday, September 13.   What an exciting event with a good crowd, great conversation and intriguing ideas.  Dr. Steve Shoemaker was the first presenter and this lecture was entitled “50 Minutes of Reflections for a Campus Minister on Scientists known over 50 years”. He shared stories of relationships, poetry, quotes, art and reflections from a lifetime of work.  This work integrated campus ministry, engaging scientists and scientific thought through periods of religious fundamentalist thinking, liberal theological scientists and the natural scientists.

Learning –   Rheticus was a scientist in the early 1500 who worked with Copernicus and studied as a contemporary of Martin Luther.  He lived and worked during this historical  period when new ideas, new paradigms, and new social structures were challenging and engaging each other.  I would assume Rheticus, along with Lutheran and Copernicus, learned a great deal when they moved from polemic posturing into leaning toward the other, listening with respectful openness.  From this all three left legacies of insight. They were people on the cutting edge who shifted perspectives of their own present dilemmas into future realities.

Longing –   Faith and Science in Dialogue: The Rheticus Forum affirms my pastoral longing for integration, listening and learning in amazing and surprising ways.  For within it’s very process a new legacy is built.  Young and old alike sit together to listen learn and discuss.  All of us are invited into the stories of extraordinary leaders in science and faith who share and reflect on how God and science meet with their work and study and the see challenge and clarity in response.  This is the gift we can give each other that moves beyond our own deaths and into the generations that follow.

Legacy, listening, learning, and longing integrated in this surprising gift of the Rheticus Forum.  If you can, join us on Tuesday, October 11 when Dr. Daniel W. Pack will speak.  He is a professor Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the UIUC.  He is an active member at Windsor Road Christian Church.

If you are not able to join us, please offer prayers of gratitude for these gifts to live on.


Pr. E


Pastor Elaine’s 9/11 Sermon

St. Andrew’s Church


Matthew 18: 21-35


A Message of Remembrance, Forgiveness and Hope Ten Years after 9-11 

Ten years ago on this date four planes were the tools of terror – creating destruction and death to parts of the United States of  America.   Ten years ago our own country felt the depths of despair and profound shock and grief.   And as we have been resilient, we have sought also revenge.  As we have created avenues of greater protection we have also lived in a raised state of  fear.  Our kingdom, these Unite States, found its own way to cope, and to live moving forward with it’s own driven  perspective on progress, but not necessary affirmed by hope.

The Bible readings are assigned for today, however, give us a very different message of resilience.  The story of Joseph and his brothers and the parable of Jesus teach about forgiveness.  Forgiveness is the path of healing that is described in God’s kingdom.

Perhaps there is a significant wisdom about this teaching of forgiveness that is shared with us today these ten years later.

On this day we are invited to look back, remember and give pause to grieve the loss and to be thankful for the courageous acts of many.  And we are also called to look forward longing for peace, clinging to hope in order to live forward without fear.

This is the essence of Forgiveness.  For in forgiveness we remember a burden, but release it so that past actions and failures don’t define the future.  We choose to step outside the system of “law” and into God’s system of grace, mercy and love.

So what is forgiveness? Walter Wangerin defines forgiveness ‘as a holy complete unqualified act of giving.”   For it is “for-giving up the right, the legitimate right for revenge, anger violence and hate.  It is “for-giving notice” that a clear hurt has occurred.  It is for speaking truth with compassion.  It is remembering and naming. It is not “forgive and forget.”  And it is “for-giving gifts” of showing compassion and mercy when it is least expected for life to grow.

Forgiveness is about living in the abundance of grace rather that the scarcity of fear.  Jesus says  “seventy times seven”. That’s lots and lots.

The grace of God does not leave us no matter how long this process to forgive may take.  That promise is made sure in it’s hyperbole. For the debt described in the parable is huge. The debt the manager was to forgive was  little in comparison. David Lose, a respected preacher, underlines the hyperbolic exaggeration characteristic of a parable.  No one can live up to this moral demanded because “those who are unable to extend to the mercy they have received from God are already ensnared, trapped and doomed to a life of relentless calculations and emotional scarcity.”  

Yet we know that Divine love does not leave us.  We are like a giant funnel where this love flows into us and out of us for the world.
And if we dam up the love and not allow it to flow through us into the world, we are a “damned” so to speak.  We are already caught.

In allowing the flow of forgiveness to move through us, hope has a chance to grow instead of fear.  In allowing the flow of mercy to move through us for the sake of the world, justice, peace, and loving-kindness can be the healing salve. Life can then be

As we remember this day 9/11 tens years hence, may we also live into the gift of forgiveness as God’s reign invades the world   This forgiveness is what gives us courage to move into the future with hope. Amen.