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Staff Trax

What is Our Easter Hope?

I can’t help but compare Easter 2020 to Easter 2021, and I am feeling hopeful.

We are still the church. We worship together, in person and online. We pray for each other and are helping our neighbors. Let me give you some examples:

  • Some of you may have seen the wonderful video and pictures of Salem volunteers working with HopeBUILDERS the day before Palm Sunday: together they…

How Do You Want to Be Remembered?

"I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
— John 13:34-35

I have served about 18 months as interim pastor for Salem Lutheran Church. I was excited when I began to be working with a staff of four! I was…

Something Completely Different

This weekend is Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week. What a perfect time to reflect on what people thought as Jesus is riding into town hoping he will change everything. That he will restore the kingdom and free them from Roman rule. What a celebration that was.

Thinking back to those times when circumstances looked one way but turned out to be something entirely different: A year…

My Gospel Playlist, Part 2

In addition to this month’s songs, I wanted to personally take some time to thank Pastor Cynthia for serving as Interim Pastor during this uniquely challenging time. Thank you for caring for and about myself and my family during this pandemic; I will never forget your kind and loving care. Lastly, as we celebrate the coming pastorate of Pastor Jon, we celebrate the work and focus that will always…

It’s been a year…

It has been a year since the coronavirus hit Johnson County. It has been a year since my kids came home from school on a Thursday expecting one more day before spring break, only to not return to school again for classes until after fall conferences.

For other things, it has been more than a year. I have not seen family or friends since December 2019, and some even before that. Most of our…

Labor of Love

Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. Rest from your labors. This commandment is a difficult one to follow, don’t you think? As worship and music director, Sunday is the day I rest the least! I encourage my three kids to be active outside of school, so weekends are not for resting at my house.

My mom tells the story that as a young teen, my favorite days were the ones with absolutely…

Taking Faith Home

For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.
Mark 8:35 (NRSV)

In the interims I have served I have used the resource “Taking Faith Home” from Milestone Ministries. After we used the Advent and Christmas cards and they were well-received, I thought this might be a helpful…

Should We Call This the Lent of 2020?

I hope all of you are safe and staying warm and healthy. Lent already? Some days (in fact, most days) I feel like 2020 was the year of giving up something — no weddings, birthdays, hospital visits, school, funerals, and, for the most part, one’s job — hoping it will get better each month, will I have a job, will my family be okay, or am I even going to be able to see my family. I struggled…

Living a Generous Life

Twenty years ago, Paul and I lived in Fargo, ND. Twenty years ago, widespread mobile phone usage did not exist.

I took the call at work. Our neighbor Wallace was watching the farm while my parents were out of state on a much-deserved vacation. My dad's steers had broken the fence and had gotten out. Wallace had not been able to locate the cattle. I flew into action. I told my boss I was…

Road Trip

Do you remember your first day in driver’s ed? Someone in my class came with advice from their mom that to stay in the center of the lane, keep the hood ornament lined up with the stripe on the right side of the road. (There was a bit more space between the driver and the front end of the car back then). I remember quite clearly the lecture that followed about looking down the road when driving,…

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