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An inclusive community sharing Christ on campus and in the city. Welcome!

Newsletter for the week of March 19, 2017

This Sunday: Fourth Sunday in Lent

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God’s Eyes Are Not Our Eyes

One heresy in the early church was called Donatism. The Donatists held that the sacraments were only efficacious if presided over by priests who were sinless. It didn’t take the church long to realize that if it held to this policy there would be no sacraments for anyone. So if the gospel can be proclaimed through the preaching of a sinner, then we must allow for the possibility that God’s healing may be accomplished through extraordinary means. God chooses a boy too young to be taken seriously to anoint as one chosen to lead Israel. When the prophet Samuel is sent by God to find the new king who will replace Saul, Samuel goes through a long line of all Jesse’s tall, strapping, competent-looking sons of appropriate age. When none of them are chosen, finally Jesse sends for young David. All of the obvious-to-us choices were declined in favor of a boy. What we may see as authoritative, respectable, and trustworthy may not always align with God. Today’s first reading reminds us that “the Lord does not see as mortals see” (1 Sam. 16:7).

This theme of sight runs throughout today’s texts, both in terms of how God does not see as we see and also in Jesus’ healing of a man born blind. Jesus chooses to heal a blind man on the sabbath with dirt and saliva, much to the dismay of the good religious people who were certain they knew better than to display such questionable judgment and behavior. Lent is a time to reevaluate. Let it also be a time to examine the ways in which we do not see what God is doing around us because we too think we know better. Bottom line: God often uses the unexpected to accomplish redemption.

Scriptural Lessons

1 Samuel 16:1-13 | Psalm 23 | Ephesians 5:8-14 | John 9:1-41

Our Music This Sunday

Plainsong | Lord, Jesus think on Me | Kyrie Eleison  | Forgive our sins and we forgive | Open Thou mine eyes | Ave Verum | What God Ordains is Good Indeed

Join us…

Easter Honorariums and Memorials

Please complete this form and send gifts to the church office no later than Palm Sunday, April 9, 2017, in order that the names of those being remembered and honored may be printed in the Easter Bulletins.  To make your gift online, please visit, and indicate "Easter Flowers” or “Easter Music."  To pay by check, please indicate "Easter Flowers or Music" in the memo line. Thank you for your generosity!  

Join us for a study on Martin Luther, The Catechism, and Music following worship each Sunday in Lent in the Fellowship Hall.  We will share lunch together and study a different aspect of our faith, Luther's corresponding hymn and topic in the Small Catechism.

March 26: Holy Baptism and "To Jordan Came the Christ, Our Lord"
April 2:  Holy Communion and "O Lord, We Praise You" (ELW 499)

UniLu is joining with St. Mary’s (Episcopal) again this year for a time of shared dinner, study, and worship on Thursday evenings during Lent.  

We will gather for worship, dinner, and study: some stay for the entire evening while others come and according to work, class, and family schedules.  Come as you are for as long as you wish!

Evening Schedule
6:00-6:30 PM: Worship (Stations of the Cross)
6:30-7:00 PM: Dinner
7:00-8:00 PM: Study of the Gospel of John
8:00-8:15 PM: Compline

Upcoming Dates and Locations
Thursday, March 23: University Lutheran
Thursday, March 30: St. Mary's
Thursday, April 6: University Lutheran

Lenten Social Ministry Project
This Lent, we are joining congregations from across the synod to assemble care kits for our neighbors experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia. Last year we assembled 39 kits; this year, we're aiming for 50! We need the following items (bring them to worship on Sundays): chapstick, lotion, toothbrushes and toothpaste, razors, deodorant, pads/sanitary napkins, socks, gloves, hand sanitizer, wipes, snacks like granola bars or crackers, and $5 to $10 gift cards to Wawa or a fast food restaurant. We could also use sturdy backpacks. If you can't shop yourself, we'll use financial contributions to supplement the donations. Thank you!

Community Engagement Corner

Sacred Justice: A Gathering for Resistance and Healing
Thursday, March 30 at 7 PM at the William Way LGBT Community Center
1315 Spruce St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107

An inaugural event sponsored by Sacred Justice, a movement of greater Philadelphia LGBTQ2SAI faith leaders, we at Sacred Justice believe that resistance and healing are spiritual practices, and that holding sacred space for words, song, reflection and prayer is essential to healing and strengthening our communities.

All are welcome to our inaugural event: a gathering to create connection, heal divisions, remember those we have lost and uplift and honor the most marginalized among us. Words, song, and reflection from Christian, indigineous, Jewish, Muslim and other traditions will be shared.

Music by:
Sistahs Laying Down Hands
The Relationship
Minister Kandee

All are welcome to participate to the extent you are comfortable. This is a space centered on racial and social justice. We are gender-affirming, and believe that the greatest of divinity lives on the margins. Sacred Justice seeks to hold those margins in safety and strength.

In the preeminent U.S. observance of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the ELCA Conference of Bishops' and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ecumenical and Inter-religious Affairs Committees gathered March 2 for a Lutheran-Catholic service of Common Prayer.

"For 500 years Lutherans and Catholics have been divided into two camps, each believing that the other was not only wrong but alien," said the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the ELCA. "Yet we know that people are yearning for reconciliation. I pray that our increasing unity is a witness to our culture."

Watch the service at

Do you have a prayer request?  You can now complete a prayer request from your own home, on the road, and in all times of need - without ever having to stop by or pick up your phone. Simply follow our link to fill out a few simple answers. All prayer requests are confidential and seen only by Pastor Fritz. Use it once, or use it every day; we’ll be here.

Prayers of the People

March 12, 2017

Lifting our voices and turning toward God, let us pray for the church, the earth, and all who are in need.

O God, let your church on earth, justified and reconciled through Jesus Christ, be bold in its proclamation of the gospel. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

In your hands are the depths of the earth and the sea which you made. Make us faithful inhabitants of this earth, caring for the waterways and their creatures especially the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers.  Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

Lead the nations of the world away from the wilderness of sin and evil, and toward the light of love and peace.  Guide our elected leaders that they lead with grace, mercy, and compassion. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

To those who are thirsty for love, for justice, for peace, for belonging, give the water of life. For those who are suffering or in pain, bring healing balm and peace. We pray especially for Gerlinde, Yona Li, Crystal, Steve, Lynn, Cecilia, Bob, Michael, Anita, and  and all those we name now, aloud or in our hearts (long pause).  Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

Lead our congregation and campus ministry in service to others. Embolden the faithful here with your promise and your presence. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

We give thanks for the witness and testimony of the saints who have gone before us into eternal life especially Joseph, guardian of Jesus. Let us boast in the hope they have shared, a hope that does not disappoint us. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

Into your hands, merciful God, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your steadfast love; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

This Week at UniLu

Monday, 20 March

7:00 AM | Morning Manna

12:15 PM | Salerno Beachhead Group AA Meeting

8:00 PM | Philly Speaker Group AA Meeting

Tuesday, 21 March

12:15 PM | Salerno Beachhead Group AA Meeting

5:00 PM | Feast Incarnate
6:00 PM | Bowerbird Concert: Arnold Dreyblatt

6:15 PM | Worship with Holy Communion
6:45 PM | Worship Committee Meeting

Wednesday, 22 March

12:15 PM | Salerno Beachhead Group AA Meeting

7:00 PM | Philly Speaker Group AA Meeting

Thursday, 23 March

12:15 PM | Salerno Beachhead Group AA Meeting

6:00 PM | Stations of the Cross

6:30 PM | Dinner

7:00 PM | Study of the Gospel of John

7:00 PM | Choir Rehearsal

8:00 PM | Compline

Friday, 24 March

12:15 PM | Salerno Beachhead Group AA Meeting

Sunday, 26 March

9:15 AM | Choir Rehearsal

10:30 AM | Holy Communion and Worship
12:00 PM | Sunday Forum

Feast Incarnate

Feast Incarnate is a weekly hospitality ministry of University Lutheran Church for those affected by HIV/AIDS. Each week a hot meal is prepared and served by a local congregation or community service organization.

Last week, 50 people were served. Since the beginning of 2017, a total of 952 meals have been served.

Give a Gift

Members, alumni, and friends of the UniLu community are generous givers of their time, talents, service, and treasures. Gifts enable us to glorify God through music, art, learning, discussion, and service in the community. We welcome all gifts that support the ministry and mission of our community—on campus, in the city, and beyond.

Donate via PayPal

Serving This Week

Preacher and Presider

Rev. Fritz Fowler

Director of Music

Matthew Glandorf


Charlie Horn

Consider signing up to be a Deacon, Prayer Leader, Crucifer, Communion Assistant, Usher, Fellowship Host, Counter, or Eucharistic Minister by clicking here

The sign-up website has a brief description of each worship assistant's responsibilities. Once you sign up for a position on a specific day, the website will send you an email reminder the day prior.


Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod

LuMin Network

Reconciling Works

Contact Us

University Lutheran Church

3637 Chestnut Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104

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Rev. Fritz E. Fowler

Director of Music

Matthew Glandorf

Office Manager

Michael Furfari

Congregation President

Drew Kmetz

Campus Ministry Intern

James Stanton

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