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Staff Trax

An Open Letter to Salem Lutheran

Dear Salem Lutheran Church,

My family of five has been so blessed by this congregation. We’ve loved worshiping, the children’s choir, Sunday school friends, decking the halls, packing Pantry Pack boxes, taking trips with the youth, playing games, great conversations, having plenty of baby snugglers, cooking BBQ, and walking this journey with all of you.

We are sad to leave,…


"Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven."
— Matthew 5:16b

From Carmen to Declan to Payton to Piper, and this coming Sunday, Avery — five baptisms! It has been a long time since in my ministry a congregation has had five baptism in five months! The rich experience
of each one of these…

His Grace Will Sustain Me

With the realization and acceptance that I had played a part in the way my life had turned out came a dramatic change in my outlook. In the past I had always blamed others, either God or other people, for my circumstances. My decisions have been based on fear, pride, or ego. As a result those decisions led me on a path at times of self-destruction. Today I try to allow God to guide me. I am responsible…

What is a Pipe Organ?

Cue the "The Phantom of the Opera" and along comes the organ melody of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor. This invasion of silence by the grandiose presence of the pipe organ is the most well-known song of the organ. If Toccata in D Minor doesn't click for you, just think … dah-duh-dah … dah-dah-dah-duh … dah ...

The organ is much more than background music in a movie, or even…

We Are One

There aren’t many songs that we sing in both the traditional and contemporary services, but we will this Sunday, “They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love” by Peter Scholtes:

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord, and we pray that all unity will one day be restored.

Salem is a Reconciling in Christ congregation. Our mission…

We Are All Called to Enrich Others

“I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind.”

— 1 Corinthians 1:4

There have been so many times in my ministry as a parish pastor that people have given thanks to me for just showing up. Sometimes there are no words…

The Truth of God’s Word

When I’m feeling depleted — which I am — and the weight of life seems too much to bear — which it does — I turn to writers whose words lift me up.

Lysa TerKeurst is one of those writers. And because I have no words to give right now, I’m borrowing some of hers. This was from her Facebook post on Saturday, Jan 4. It speaks to me, and I hope it does to you.


Do You Have 2020 Vision?

Do you remember all of the chaos and concern as the new millennium approached? Everyone feared their computers and appliances with dates would shut down and fail to work again, as they only were set up to go to 1999 when they were created. What would happen when the first two digits changed to 20? No one knew, but a large amount of fear ensued.

We all survived that chaos, and here we are…

A Reflection on 2019

In just a few days we will be singing that old song, “Auld Lang Syne,” and welcoming the new year. Before we set our focus on new year’s resolutions, goal setting, and, of course, dieting, let us take a moment to thank God for the year that we have survived. The reality of the ending of 2019 is that this year had highlights and drawbacks.

Personally, this year began on a high note,…

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

I love Christmas. Everything about it. The smells, the food, the music, the many different ways to worship; I even love the cold weather! Hats and sweaters and gloves, oh my!

I have always loved my family traditions like overflowing stockings, the fireplace roaring — regardless of weather — family games, and Christmas breakfast together. It’s all wonderful! But as the 25th draws…

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