Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Our Savior's Lutheran Church was mentioned in an article of Ode Magazine. The entire issue for August 2009 is about laughter and Our Savior's was noted for the laughter we induce by celebrating Holy Hilarity Sunday each year.

The section of the article about faith and humor is by Carmel Wroth. It reads:

THERE IS NOT MUCH HUMOR IN THE BIBLE. But some Christian churches make up for that by posting witticisms on their outdoor signboards, such as "Does life stink? We have a pew for you," "Google cannot satisfy your every search" and "Read the Bible. It will scare the hell out of you." (Create your own virtual sign at the Church Sign Generator: Laura Gentry, pastor of Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Lansing, Iowa, brings the humor indoors. Gentry's been known to give sermons in a pink feather boa and lead her congregation in gales of laughter. She's also among a small number of Protestant pastors to adopt a medieval tradition known as risus paschalis, or "Easter laughter," in which priests tell humorous stories around Easter. Contemporary pastors call it Holy Hilarity Sunday. "The resurrection is God's joke, the banana peel of the Christian faith," Gentry says. "When Christ rose from the dead, that was the great joke on death." On Holy Hilarity Sunday, Gentry's congregation dresses up in silly costumes, and even does the bunny hop to the hymn Lord of the Dance. The point is to experience laugther in church, in pastoral counseling, even at funerals. "It's one thing to say, 'I don't fear death,'" Gentry says, "but to laugh out loud somehow drives the idea home. It embodies our theology." —CW

Here's a photo of the article at Ode (page 43, August 2009). 
Double click it to enlarge:

Monday, July 20, 2009


On Thursday, July 16th, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church hosted a benefit concert for the Lansing Fire Department featuring jazz pianist and composer, Tom Bourcier. Tom, who is the congregation's worship musician, played to an enthusiastic, full house at an event that raised $634 for the fire department.

For the first hour, Tom performed a variety of jazz classics; jazzed up Christian spirituals such as “Jesus Lifted Me” and “I Want Jesus to Walk With Me”; originals; and a jazz improvisation on “The Tennessee Waltz” along with the story of how he'd met the song’s composer, Pee Wee King. Pastor Laura Gentry sang several interactive numbers from her debut jazz album, “Today isa Laughing Day,” which was recorded last summer in LaCrosse with Tom playing as part of the trio.

Following the formal part of the concert, the crowd mingled and enjoyed refreshments provided by the congregation. Tom continued to play as people gathered around the piano and submitted their requests. This informal segment of the evening lasted another hour.

"It was totally awesome!" says 13 year-old church member, Louis Nguyen. "I think everybody had a great time hearing Tom's music."

The $634, which was collected will be donated to the Lansing Fire Department for their building fund. The congregation of Our Savior’s Lutheran wishes to extend thanks to all those who attended and generously gave to this important cause.

Below are photos from the informal portion of the evening's performance.

Concert hostesses, Mary Schweitzer and Sharon Kiesau, coincidentally showed up wearing the same shirt—thus proving their equally great taste in fashion!

Photos by William Gentry II.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


The Women of the ELCA family potluck picnic was held on July 15, 2009 at Sharon Kiesau's home. With beautiful weather and church friends gathered together, it was a delightful event for everyone. The kids certainly had fun as you can see by the pictures (double click photos for enlarged view).

Thursday, July 9, 2009


For their monthly Bible study circle meeting in July, Pastor Laura Gentry hosted the gathering at her father's cabin on Abel Island in Guttenberg, Iowa. The ladies enjoyed lunch overlooking the river. Bob Grover and Don Thran joined the group and toured Guttenberg while the women held Bible study.