Salem Lutheran Church


Staff Trax

Ready or Not: It's Time to Keep Awake

Happy New Year! Oh, I know it's only December 3 and that there are 28 more days in 2017, but today we begin a new year in the church with the Season of Advent. To be technical we call it Year B, which means that the majority of our Gospel readings will be from the Gospel of Mark this year. But more importantly than focusing on the Gospel, it means that once again we go back to begin a new…

​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…

Invited to Embody Christ

Today is the final Sunday of the church year and as we bring the year to a close we celebrate Christ the King Sunday. This festival day was actually first created as a church festival day in 1925 by Pope Pius XI. Pope Pius instituted this celebration as a way of combating the secularism that was growing. It was a way of reminding the faithful that their real king was not some human government…

Giving Thanks!

I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving! In my sermon this past Sunday, I noted that Thanksgiving is not a religious holiday. After the 8:00 service, one woman noted that she was surprised to hear me say that; after all, she said, “Didn’t the founding fathers intend it as a time of giving thanks to God?”. So that got me thinking; I did a little reading Sunday evening and, sure enough,…

Invited to Use What We've Got

In case you haven’t noticed, this time of year the days are getting shorter and darker and Mathew’s texts that we have been reading have been are getting darker, too. Jesus’ parable of the talents that we just read doesn’t exactly give us a warm and fuzzy feeling, does it? I mean it ends with that great command, “As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where…


Dear Salem Family,

In Adult Sunday School this past Sunday we talked about service and the needs right around us. As we discussed service, we discussed what we can do for others. Then we began to talk about what we’re doing with others. Part of service is being in relationship with others and not always doing things for them, but developing a relationship with them.…

Got Oil...

1Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; 4but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. 6But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is…

Invited to be Happy

“Blessed are the poor in spirit… blessed are those who mourn…” Most of us know these words well. We call this passage the Beatitudes, and they are words attributed to Jesus as he gave his Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew. But to be honest, I often struggle with them because I don’t see how one who is mourning, for example, feels blessed.

The word we translate here…

​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…

Invited To Be Free

Today is Reformation Sunday, and aside from being the day we celebrate the Affirmation of Baptism, or Confirmation as we so often call it, for seven of our young adults, it is also a very special historical moment not just for Lutherans, but I would argue for all Christians, throughout the world. This year, we commemorate the 500th anniversary of Luther’s October 31, 1517 posting of the…

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