Eighth Annual Garden Walk




Saturday, June 30, 2018  10:00am to 4:00pm

Matthew 6:28  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they do not toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.


The eighth annual Vernon Ev. Lutheran Church Garden Tour will be held on Saturday, June 30, 2018.  10am – 4pm

Four private gardens in the town of Mukwonago or within a short driving distance of Mukwonago.   Tickets are $8 and will be available on the day of the walk at the church, S90 W27550 National Ave, Mukwonago.  For advance tickets, call the church office at 262-363-7131.  A portion of the proceeds will go to the Eagle’s Wing Free Clinic.

This year’s tour includes a feature garden on a property that is about 3 acres formed by combining two Phantom Lake Park lots in 1923 from land subdivided in the early 1890’s.  Still standing on the original lots are two small cottages dating to 1891.  These cottages were rented to Milwaukee families for the summer by the original developers.  Today’s gardens incorporate the old outhouses that served the resort renters.  In several places in the yard, there are traces of old flower gardens that have inspired the current gardens. The grounds of Twin Oaks hearken back to a more genteel and relaxed time in our past.

The second beautiful property is located in the “downtown” area of Mukwonago.  Back in the 1960’s the dwelling on the property was destroyed in a fire only leaving a mason brick wall surrounding 2 sides of the property and a building which had previously been used as a carriage house.  For more than 40 years, the lot was neglected; gardens were overgrown and ignored.  In 2015 with the building of a new residence by the current owners and a renewal of the gardens along with a few original perennials the now “Forgotten Garden” is once again enjoyed by many.

Still within the “downtown” area of Mukwonago, our third property is a Garden art and wonderful rock towers rise up from beds of hostas and ferns while a waterfall and stream meander through succulents and cacti in the Gainer gardens.  Plants are not all that is cared for in this creative space. The children, who are lovingly day cared here, are encouraged to enjoy, explore and learn from the landscape.

A short drive will take you to the fourth garden that is appropriately titled “The Irish Garden”.  The stone wall in the garden reminds you of Ireland and Upstate New York where the property owner grew up.  A trip to “The Old Sod” in 1998 inspired her to paint the shed door a vibrant blue and curtain the windows with lace, similar to the thatched roof cottages there.   These gardens consist of mature trees, perennials, veggies, fragrant bushes, along with plenty of annuals and blue yard art.


Saturday, June 30, 2018.  10am – 4pm

Tickets are $8 and will be available on the day of the walk at the church, S90 W27550 National Ave, Mukwonago.






Thanksgiving Dinner 2018

Your Vernon’s Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner


Everyone is invited!

12:00, Noon

Wednesday, November 14, 2018



Bring a non-perishable food item.

(Benefits the Mukwonago Food Pantry)

Vernon Lutheran Church
S90W27550 National Ave. Mukwonago


Photos from last year’s event.




Hope, So…

Hope, So…

Dave Smith

The Sunday afternoon stroll seemed a good plan.  Unusual September warmth and humiditidididitity, as the forecaster of my youth used to say, very high made the venture more July-ish than fall.  Crinkly, crackly already fading leaves littered the brown-green yard along the sidewalk, musked into my nostrils and provided a pleasant invasion that hinted at winter to come.  The Packer game would end my day in typical season fashion, a contest with my long-favored Atlanta Falcons.  Not so much that the team meant more, but I’ve always liked their color scheme and logo.  I crossed my yard and stepped across the in-bloom petunia’s and gladiola’s adorning a small patch in front of the newly repaired porch that had caused many stumbles in my sojourn.  Inside, I plopped into the recliner and began a cool down in air-conditioned pleasantry.

Who’d have thought a wandering stroke would choose just this moment to invade my mind, a gentle numbness creeping across my vision, my cheek, and through my mouth.  Having had TIA’s in the past year and a half, I recognized the visit and began the protocol protection against this unfriendly guest.  My thoughts clear and action unsteady, I checked the mirror and saw the droop, ran the tongue-twister questions about Peter Piper through my brain – but they would not exit in voice.  Fear came.  A garbled 911 call.  I again sat.  My right side sorta took a little break.  Amazingly soon a blue clad officer came – then the paramedics-then the whirlwind of actions and questions with responses stumbling out of me.  My world now voices and jumble and a hazy search for some kind of foggy clarity.  None came.  Lugged downstairs, outside, onto a gurney, into the ambulance – faces all over the place, just eyes and voices, and….

“Stay with us David.  You gotta stay awake man.  Stay here!”  I heard and my eyes, though I knew open, didn’t focus. My hands were folded across my bubble of a belly.  “Stay here man…” And I prayed.

I hoped, an earnest request for healing, for survival, for good care.  I also put all of this in His hands, mentally spoke and truly believed that my journey would be His to guide.  I hoped for strength to get through what lay on this path, what maladies might linger.  I thanked Him, knowing He would be with my family in its worries and stresses in the hours ahead.  Tired, so tired… “Stay here David!  Talk to me…”  No, I’m visiting with God right now and my mind laughed, not my mouth.  And then, deep in the soul of me, I knew, I felt a new word, a powerful word.  With it came a settling, like a sway-back-and-forth-float-down settle of a leaf free falling to end its struggle to cling, its hope for salvation.

Assurance.  I didn’t have hope anymore.  Didn’t need hope, shouldn’t rely on hope.  I believed, I am assured.  In this journey and in all my moments, hours, days ahead, I am assured God is with me in Jesus Christ and every step will be guided by His Holy Spirit.  No bright flame of realization, no thunderous acclamation.  A quiet settling – “Stay here David” – back to this moment, this event and knowing God is with me, what fear need I?  Hope died.  The divine plan for me, not so much.

And so assured, this day I continue recovery, still in unusual September 85 degree heat, and back at this keyboard. I giggle a bit as weird words emerge from the tappy tap of a healing hand.  I’ll walk today.  I’ll love the crinkly crackly leaves musting into my thinks.  And I’ll hold Jesus’ assuring hand.  Hope, a good grace from God.  Assurance the answer in Jesus Christ.

Quilts of Comfort


Today we have a guest speaker, Bruce Hansen, on our Mission (Quilts! Quilts!). Quilts have been layed on our pues and will soon be delivered to Native reservations. Our quilters have been hard at work. Click on this link to view the fruits of their labor. Thank you Quilters!

Service Introduction:

Prayer of the Day:

O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without you nothing is strong, nothing is holy. Embrace us with your mercy, that with you as our ruler and guide, we may live through what is temporary without losing what is eternal, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen!



Luke 21:5-19

When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, he said, ‘As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.’ They asked him, ‘Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?’ And he said, ‘Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, “I am he!” and, “The time is near!” Do not go after them. ‘When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.’ Then he said to them, ‘Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven. ‘But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. This will give you an opportunity to testify. So make up your minds not to prepare your defence in advance; for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls. Amen!

Guest Speaker on our Quilting Mission, Bruce Hansen:

For more info on this mission, “Quilts! Quilts!,” or to see more of these beautiful quilts, click HERE.



Traditional Service Songs:

Lord of All Hopefulness

Have No Fear, Little Flock

We Are an Offering

Let All Things Now Living

Cornerstone Worship Music:

I Will Call Upon The Lord

Because He Lives

The Only Name Yours Will Be

Good, Good Father

Your Grace Finds Me

Peace of God

Today’s Message is given by  Rev. Karl Otto

Prayer of the Day

O God, judge eternal, you love justice and hate oppression, and you call us to share your zeal for truth. Give us courage to take our stand with all victims of bloodshed and greed, and, following your servants and prophets, to look to the pioneer and
perfecter of our faith, your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen!


Luke 12:49-56

‘I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather
division! From now on, five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided: father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’ He also said to the crowds, ‘When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, “It is going to rain”; and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, “There will be scorching heat”; and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time? Amen!



  By Dave Smith

            The sun bleeds down the western sky, trails rayed yellow-orange and touches of periwinkle across the horizon.  Despite the dying day, heat beats with my pulse as sweat trickles my chest and wets my shirt.  Greyish white clouds puff above the colors and here and there shadow the moments.  A hint of wind’s breath in those shade places mingles with my damp T and creates an eerie cool against the humidity.  “A 60% chance of showers will bring welcome relief from the unusually warm temperatures.”  Weathermen must arbitrarily pick a number when they see grey clouds bumping together.  A sprinkle would be nice on this walk of mine, this mile of miniscule delight to erase the temptations not ignored for yet another day that included a Dew and a snack.  Speaking of…. 🙂

I plop onto the front stoop, perspire a wave to Gordon across the way, and dump the remains of the water bottle over my head.  This day included mowing a business yard, work on the destruction/rebuild of kitchen cabinets, and vacuuming resulting dust.  And Dew.  And snack.  My legs, especially these modern era knees, ache, tired from climb and push, yank and crank, squat and stretch, and the general burden of my not so svelte frame.  I tug shirttails from beneath me, a taut, sticky reminder of the still in the 80’s summer evening settling over the neighborhood.  “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.”  Great, another scorcher tomorrow.  But I cannot complain, after all, this is August in Wisconsin and at the very least, we do not have those southern insects I met in trips to Georgia years ago.  I glance beyond the gully trees to watch the sky change, to see and feel it mellow into oncoming dusk, into a deeper dark that brings fireflies, cricket chirrups, and scurries of chipmunks darting about the yard for before-bed eats.  And maybe a Dew, who knew?  I do enjoy their stuffed-with-seeds-from-the-bird-feeder fat cheeks.  Even on the worst of days, sunset brings a bit of peace.

I stretch my bowed and scarred legs poking out of shorts.  Rubbing those knees doesn’t help much, the miles of years too worn in.  I laugh a little, thinking of one of my wives, forget which, telling me I should not have been so involved in sports or I should have taken better care of myself.  Should have watched my weight better.  Yea, I guess, but looking back and wistful thinking tends to wrestle away good memories and even worse, focuses thoughts on aches instead of sunsets.  Do it all over – change anything?  Wouldn’t be where I am today by changing yesterday.  Wouldn’t be so sure of my tomorrow without the trial/error, success/failure of my life.  I know many of you readers sit deeper into your sunsets than I.  I, here on the stoop, sense the reds, yellow-orange, and periwinkle of your days that include some greyish-white clouds. And in heart I truly know we share the same tomorrow regardless of our yesterdays and the weariness of a today.

A bright yellow finch steals into my reverie, lands on the rail next to me.  It looks, and black-eyed stares.  A sparrow twitters and, out back, a woodpecker hammers his usual beats at the top of the old poplar or pine, depending on its mood.  I think of showering, but not just now, not in this framed photo that captures this second, these seconds in my sunset years.  To be so blessed with God’s touch through nature, in colors, in His settle at day’s end….this peace pulses with my heart now.  Another hint of breeze seeps across the brown grass as that Holy Spirit flame disappears below the tree line.  A poet of old, perhaps Tennyson or Yeats, spoke of his heart “leaping” at the sight of such beauty.  I prefer the slow, easy rhythms of a bluesy saxophone playing “Stranger on the Shore” to the leaping idea.  I am not sure which Biblical character spoke of being a ‘’stranger in a strange land”, but for me I have comfort in being no stranger to my savior and happy in in His hands in my sunset hours.

Holy Spirit Flame

7-10-16 Message

May God surround you with compassion, hope and love while giving you strength in courage and healing.

Prayer of the day:

O Lord God, your mercy delights us, and the world longs for your loving care. Hear the cries of everyone in need, and turn our hearts to love our neighbors with the love of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen!


Luke 10:25-37

Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What do you read there?’ He answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.’ And he said to him, ‘You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.’ But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.” Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’ Amen!