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Staff Trax

What a Year It Has Been

Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.
Psalm 90:12

What a year it has been — 2020 has solidified itself as a year of events. Some years pass by with ease, while others seem to have us count down to the end of the year.

This psalm has been on my mind every single time bad news or good news has unveiled itself…

Christmas 2020

'Tis the season for families getting together exchanging gifts, reflecting on the year, and spending time with each other listening to old Christmas songs. That’s what I remember. Oh, those were the days. It was just a year ago, I was in Omaha spending Christmas week with my mom and dad. We talked about us kids growing up and coming downstairs at the break of dawn with excitement of what gifts…

The Symbols of Christmas

When we think of Christmas, we think of many things — angels, Christmas trees, hanging lights on our house, bells. Some might think of Santa, though we all know he has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus. Do you know why some of these symbols have become a part of our traditions every December?

Angels. We all know the significance of the angels. The angel Gabriel first…

Do Not Be Afraid to Practice Joy!

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

For many of us these days it may be challenging to practice joy, but I think it is necessary for our own mental health. So how can we do this? Here are some helpful suggestions:

  • Discover…

The Best Way to Spread Christmas Cheer

… is singing loud for all to hear! OK, as a choir director, I’m biased. I have missed my choirs in 2020 more than I can explain. Normally I would have begun rehearsing the adult choir Christmas cantata in October, and the children’s Christmas program in November — so I am two months behind indulging in early Christmas music.

Salem’s tradition is to have the “Word through Music”…

Thanksgiving 2020

We are almost to the end of 2020, a season usually filled with joyful anticipation as the year ends with family and friends during the holidays. This year, however, will likely be spent by most alone — or at least celebrating with very few — at their homes. However the holidays are spent, this is certainly a year that we will remember always, finding us even more thankful than usual for what…

I Am Listening

One of the first things I learned when I began doing interim pastor ministry was that our first job is to listen.

  • Listen to the history of the congregation
  • Listen to the leaders of the congregation
  • Listen to those you visit in their homes, coffee shop, wherever you can hear their voices
  • Listen carefully, because during an interim people want to be heard

Change

As I compose this Staff Trax, I have nothing about the organ that comes to mind, nor any Bible verse that the Lord has impressed on my heart. However, there is one word that I cannot shake, and that word has been “change.”

Salem family, this…

A Season of Celebration

In November, we celebrate Thanksgiving and the start of Advent. We also have had All Saints’ Day, the end of Daylight Savings Time (probably not something to celebrate, as our amount of daylight hours is reduced), and Election Day. Veterans Day is next week, and Christ the King Sunday is in a couple of weeks.

We have honored the saints who have gone before us and will honor veterans who…

A Great Cloud of Witnesses

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