Salem Lutheran Church

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Staff Trax

That Little Voice

Do you sometimes have the feeling that you are supposed to do something a certain way? Some people call it a sixth sense, listening to your inner voice, following your gut, even something mystical or psychic that is leading us in the right direction. Do you listen and follow? When you don’t, do you later wish you had?

I have a very specific memory of a time I chose not to listen.…

Go climb a tree

When I was a kid I was a tree climber. I loved the challenge of the climb, but especially the peace and seclusion of being in the tree. When we moved away from the house with my favorite tree to an apartment in Germany, we climbed the cherry trees in the orchard next to us and gorged on the fruit. Anytime we went apple picking I never even considered any of the long poles – I was in the…

Let's eat!

I’ve been given a gift this school year, as my youngest began 1st grade: the gift of time to connect with people during the day. For the first time in 14 years, my day isn’t split in half with children coming to/from half-day preschool or kindergarten. In other words, I am free for lunch!! It’s a wonderful excuse to reconnect with people I care…

Growing in Faith

I have a pretty ecumenical background: I was baptized Presbyterian but grew up in military post chapels, where Protestant worship was led by pastors of a different denomination every year. Our family jokingly identified as “Episcomethobapterian” – so I’m pretty comfortable everywhere. I joined my best friend’s Methodist church in college and later spent almost 12 years as a worship…

​Trusting in the Promises

I love the story in Genesis when Abraham and Sarah, in their nineties, are told that they will have a child – and they laugh! And yet, a year later they have Isaac – which, by the way, means laughter. How many stories do we have where God is trying to convince his people that they can trust in His promises? They struggled with God’s ways just as we do today. How difficult is it to trust…

Honored to Serve

I was lucky enough to grow up going to church every Sunday. My dad was an Army officer and we moved every 1-3 years, so church was a place we could immediately be welcomed into a new community of friends everywhere we lived.

Interestingly, it was the years we lived farthest away that shaped my life the most. My dad was stationed in Stuttgart, Germany, for my 5th-7th grade…

​They Knew He Was Coming

I have to admit, I’m pretty familiar with this week’s scripture because I’ve read it to my kids out of the big Spark Bible they were given at age 3. Otherwise it’s not really one of the big stories — when Jesus is consecrated at the temple as a baby— but I assume it’s included in the children’s Bible since it’s one of the rare stories of Jesus as a child. And really, it’s the…

​Waiting with Anticipation!

I grew up with chocolate Advent calendars. My 2 brothers and I took turns every day in December opening paper windows to find and eat chocolate. Oh, the anticipation every 3 days! We also always had an Advent wreath with 4 red candles (a German tradition – like the Advent calendars) which we lit every evening at dinner in December, and took turns snuffing out the candles with Mom’s fancy…

​We are Blessed

I absolutely love "The Message: the Bible in Contemporary Language" by Eugene Peterson. If there’s ever a scripture you have trouble understanding, try reading it in "The Message" — it’s more conversational and relevant to our world today. We’ll be reading the Beatitudes this Sunday from Matthew, and I’d like to give you both translations of my favorites:

Matthew 5:3 “Blessed…

​Produce the fruit

I made apple crisp today, and it hardly made a dent in the bag of apples my kids picked at a local orchard this weekend. The cider donuts and slushies are long gone, but what to do with all of the apples? As a kid I remember climbing what seemed to be very tall trees, and sitting up there chomping away on sweet, juicy apples — I’m sure we brought mountains of them home, and mom probably canned…

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