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Staff Trax

How I Grow

Today I will be willing to work toward transforming, knowing it’s always ongoing and forever.

My own transformation probably … NO, not probably, it absolutely … happens when I have such soul pain that I become willing to review and receive my thoughts honestly. That honesty is the key to greater success
in making long-term changes that bring peace through creating…

Learning to Be Last

He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.” (Mark 9:35-37)

No one wants…

God’s Work. Our Hands.

September 12, 2021. This day is an opportunity to celebrate who we are as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America — one church, freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor.

“God’s work. Our hands.” One can interpret that in so many ways, and for myself, when I first read the quote, I felt it means to help one another, which could be helping out at church, helping in the community,…

Rejoice

This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
(Psalm 118:24)

This was my grandmother’s favorite verse. She had it embroidered on a pillow she kept in a chair in her living room. Every time I would visit her, I…

Open Hands

Recently I discovered a powerful story while reading my daily devotional prayer book. The reflection highlighted the insight of a Roman Catholic missionary who spent 40 years serving with and among the people of Guatemala. During that time, the priest experienced many challenges, including death threats and financial struggles. Yet, through it all he remained happy, fulfilled, and generous in spirit.

You Have a Choice

Last Sunday we celebrated an amazing woman’s 97th birthday at the early service. Shirley Schrodt now lives in Independence, but always comes back to Salem to celebrate with her friends. She has touched so many of our lives, and we love the excuse to have flowers and treats for her special day! I wanted to share with you something amazing that happened behind the scenes that morning:

Jesus Loves the Little Children

I’m so excited to be able to return and see families and their children, but I really, really need your help!! This wonderful opportunity to care for and play with infants through 5-year-olds can’t happen until I have a regular rotation of helpers ages 14 and older. I’ll be happy to share my phone number through the church office or Pastor Jon If you have any questions about your responsibilities.…

Back to School…on Time

Most Johnson County kids go back to school next week. My youngest starts on Thursday, and my oldest goes back Friday. Hopefully starting school on Friday the 13th won’t be unlucky. You might remember Friday the 13th in March 2020, when the kids were supposed to go back to school for one more day before spring break was to start but instead did not return in person for about…

Good Grief

Recently, quite by accident, I discovered a scrap of paper with words of encouragement penned by Brazilian lyricist and novelist Paulo Coehlo. It reads, “If you are brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.”

But saying goodbye is difficult to do, isn’t it? During times of grief, loss, and unexpected change, many of…

The Wrong Place, the Wrong Time

I was at the wrong place at the wrong time. We’ve all heard that phrase when we were growing up, or we would hear from our parents, “If you hang around trouble, you’re going to get into trouble.” Well, I heard both plenty of times. I know my younger brother heard it more than I did, and that didn’t seem to bother him. He still hung around trouble. I’m not sure why; was it more fun?

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