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Staff Trax

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


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

Word Alone, Faith Alone, Grace Alone

Transition. Adjust. Adapt. Continue. Repeat. That sums up the last 7 months for me, how about you?

Something that keeps me grounded is remembering stories of those who have gone before us, and the things in their lives they have endured. If my grandmother can send her husband off to World War II with a baby on the way, and raise my dad alone for 18 months, I think I can handle learning how…

Weekend Getaway, Zoom Style

I recently participated in a Zoom spiritual gathering this past weekend. It was supposed to be in Wichita. It would have been nice to meet new people, but it was still a great experience. Changing it to a Zoom gave people all over the world a chance to also attend, so there were people from Canada to London, as well as from Florida to California, and in between.

The gathering started…

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