Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Phyllis Larsen was a member of the Lansing Laughter Club and periodic worship visitor at Our Savior's Lutheran Church. She is pictured (above) with her husband, Michael, at last year's Women of the ELCA picnic.

Phyllis Larsen, 62, of Ferryville, passed away on Saturday, May 21, 2011 at Prairie Memorial Hospital in Prairie du Chien.

She was born in Boscobel, Wis. on June 4, 1948.

She was very active in the Gays Mills United Methodist church. Among her hobbies were fishing, enjoying the river, and cooking. For the past couple of years she and Michael have enjoyed Laughter Yoga at Lansing. They recently both completed Laughter Leader Training.

She is survived by her husband: Michael of Ferryville; 1 son: Raymond (Joanne) Gentz of Seattle; 1 daughter: Dr. Beth (Dave) Welter of Prairie du Chien; 4 grandchildren: Austin J. Gentz, Justin L. Gentz, Devin R. Gentz, and Raymond L. Gentz, Jr.; 4 step children: Jennifer Johnson of Galesville, Eric Larsen of Maple Lake, Minn., Jason Larsen of LaCrosse, and Craig Larsen of dodgeville; and 1 brother: Jerry A. Suetmeyer of park City, Ill.

She was preceded in death by her birth mother: Bessie Lee Faust; her adoptive parents: Lee and Beth Faust; and 1 brother Dean Suetmeyer.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, May 27 at 11 AM at Gays Mills United Methodist Church. Pastor Lori Betz will officiate. Friends may call at the Sime Funeral Home in Readstown on Thursday from 4 to 8 Pm, and on Friday at the church from 10 AM until service time.

Condolences may be sent to http://simefuneralforum.com/obituaries.php or to Mike Larsen at 16875 Tiger Rd, Ferryville, WI 54628.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


On May 11th, the Women of the ELCA circles, Rebecca Circle and Naomi Circle, joined together for an afternoon bible study and tea party at Pastor Laura's house in McGregor. High tea was served next door in the First Congregational Church, which her husband, William, pastors. Below are pictures from the event (double click them for a larger view).

Sunday, May 8, 2011


On Mother's Day, Our Savior's celebrated the great moms of our congregation, gave thanks to God for them and gave them each a flower. Pictured here are some of the mothers who were at worship.

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavour by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.
—Washington Irving

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Each year, more and more Christian churches of various denominations all over the world are celebrating the Easter season in joyful ways. Urged on by the Fellowship of Merry Christians in the United States, churches like Our Savior's Lutheran are resurrecting old Christian customs from Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant traditions. One such custom—originating in Bavarian practice—has the faithful gathering back in church on Easter afternoon for a time of story-telling and practical joking. Early orthodox churches in gathered on the Monday after Easter to tell stories, jokes and anecdotes. To this day in Slavic regions, Christians gather after Easter for folk dancing and feasting in the churchyard.

This was a time of celebrating the big joke that God pulled on Satan by raising Christ from the dead—characterized by joking around, singing, dancing, and merry-making. The Latins call it Risus Paschalis , which is translated "God's Joke," or "the Easter Laugh." In the United States, it has come to be known as "Holy Hilarity Sunday" and is celebrated the Sunday after Easter.

Pastor Laura Gentry learned about this tradition by reading The Lutheran magazine in 2007 and decided that a church with a laughter club ought to give it a try. It was met with such enthusiasm, that it has become an annual tradition. On Sunday, May 1st, Our Savior's marked Holy Hilarity Sunday with their 5th festive worship celebration. Below are some pictures of the day, along with some of the jokes Pastor told in her sermon.

Pastor Laura trying to squeeze out of her office in her balloon costume

Bob Grover in his new "Laughter Hat!"

A mother and her little boy went into a religious library. While the mother was looking around, the little boy was busy looking at books too. He was fascinated with an old Bible, when suddenly he called out to her with an excited voice, "Mommy, look what I found!" She turned around and saw an old oak leaf had fallen out of the Bible. Someone had obviously pressed the leaf in the book. Her son continued, "This must be Adam's underwear!"

Karen Lanz, a worship visitor from Minneapolis

It was a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon while Moses, Jesus, and another guy were out playing golf. On the first tee-box, Moses pulls out his driver and blisters a shot up the right side of the fairway, rolling fast towards a water hazard. Moses quickly raised his club, parting the water while his ball rolls through to the other side safely.

Golf Ball Hole In OneNext up on the tee, Jesus hits a really long drive right towards the very same water hazard. His ball came to rest dead center of the pond, hovering just over the surface of the water. Jesus casually walks out onto the pond, and chips it up onto the green within a couple feet of the flagstick.

Not impressed, the third guy steps up to the tee without taking any time and just randomly whacks at the ball. Rightfully so, the ball is hit with a nasty hook that clears the left OB markers and goes over a fence into oncoming traffic. It bounces off a truck’s windshield hitting a nearby tree, bounces onto the roof of the greenkeeper’s shed, back out onto the fairway and towards the same pond that Moses and Jesus hit. Before it gets wet, the ball ricochets off a small rock and bounces onto a lily pad on over the water when a bullfrog jumped up and ate the ball. Right at that moment, a bald eagle swoops down and grabs the frog, flying away. As it flew over the green, the frog squeals with fright and drops the ball right next to the flagstick, taking one bounce and landing in the cup for an astounding hole in one.

In disgust, Moses then turns to Jesus and says, “I hate playing with your Dad.”

Owen and Dorothy Kirk with their daughter, Cheryl Fuller

Janice Clark in her pretty Easter bonnet

Jean Meyer, Margaret Cannon and Donna Reed sporting their hilarity-wear

A young boy had just gotten his driving permit. He asked his father, who was a minister, if they could discuss the use of the car. His father took him to his study and said to him, "I'll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up, study your Bible a little and get your hair cut and we'll talk about it." After about a month the boy came back and again asked his father if they could discuss use of the car. They again went to the father's study where his father said, "Son, I've been real proud of you. You have brought your grades up, you've studied your Bible diligently, but you didn't get your hair cut!"

The young man waited a moment and replied, "You know Dad, I've been thinking about that. You know, Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, and even Jesus had long hair...." To which his father replied, "Yes, and they walked every where they went!"

Kai and Zoey Timmerman in full costume

Bob and Tom talking before church (in matching hats!)

A woman comes to her doctor and says: "I'm really concerned about my husband, David. He can't sleep! He stays up late into the night writing things to God." The doctor replies: "Not to worry, it's nothing too serious—just a case of in-psalm-nia." (Get it? It refers to King David who wrote the Psalms!)

Don Thran and Al Burkhart

Look! Al was so serious about hilarity that he wore his church clothes backwards!

Kenny and Kerry Rathbun looking fabulous in balloon hats

Knock, Knock!

Who's there?

Hatch . . .

Hatch Who?

Bless You!

Pastor Laura's full balloon suit

The Ross family—visitors from Minneapolis

Lori Reyes and her ballon-hat-wearing kids

Question: What kind of car did the Apostles drive?

Answer: Honda. We know this because the Bible says they were all in one Accord.

Lori's son, Eden Junior

Don Thran and Carla Pleasants visiting after church in jester balloon hats

The smiling cookies and Laffy Taffy, which were served by the youth during coffee hour

Jazmine Rathbun being a wonderful coffee hostess

Pastor Laura's been taken over by balloons!

Coffee hour visiting

Sunday school kids

Lori and Pastor Laura

Tom Bourcier and Pastor Laura

Carla and Lori

Louis, Junior and Pastor Laura

Ellicha Gage and Pastor Laura

Dorothy Becker with the daffodils she grew and brought to worship

Laurel in her belly dancing costume

Question: What do you get when you cross caster oil with holy water?

Answer: A religious movement!

(this comes from the "Bad Jokes" department of A Prairie Home Companion so blame Garrison Keillor for that one!)

During coffee, three people won copies of Pastor Laura's CD of Christian laughter called Holy Hysterics. We hope you're all having a joyful Easter season and laughing with the Lord!