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Staff Trax

Help Me Want the Healer

There have been a lot of songs with the message that we need to trust that God is on our side even when things don’t work out the way we hoped. Mercy Me sings, “I know You’re able, and I know You can … but even if you don’t, my hope is You alone.” Hillary Scott sings about trying to understand why her broken heart is a part of God’s plan, and yet “…sometimes I gotta stop, remember…

Radical Inclusion

Something happened last week in our church that stopped me in my tracks. On May 8, Rev. Dr. Megan Rohrer was elected as a bishop in the Sierra Pacific ELCA synod, becoming the first openly transgender person in our country to do so in any major Christian denomination. They will serve almost 200 congregations in California and Nevada.

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…

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…

Making Connections

I have always been a bit obsessed about connecting with people. As an Army kid in the '70s and '80s, that meant writing letters when I moved away from my friends. When I went to college in 1989, I wrote to 16 pen pals every week, including my parents and grandparents. I still send 200 Christmas cards every year, and leave my walls plastered with the photo cards of friends until at least March.

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”…

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…

Bloom Where You’re Planted

I’m a proud Army brat, which means I’ve moved A LOT. When my dad was a student, we moved every year, and when he became a company commander, we moved every 3 years. We moved to Germany when I was in 5th grade, and in that year I had 3 different teachers in 2 cities. I’ve had 13 different piano teachers.

And I loved it! It taught me to make friends quickly and keep them by…

Whose Leadership Are You Grateful For?

I am, without a doubt, my father’s child. He was a teacher, performer, extreme optimist and extrovert. I strive to be more like my mother. She is a therapist, devoted to helping others, amazing listener and supporter. My parents taught me to bloom where I’m planted, weigh pros and cons before a decision, always follow through, and joyfully love family and friends.

My other mentors were…

Learning During a Pandemic

So, I taught a class on religion tonight to our confirmation kids. And a class on the Bible last week. To tell you the truth (I told them this, too), I was learning right along with them.

After our services March 15, I became Salem’s videographer. I am so thankful for a husband who purchased an iPad way before I thought we’d need it, and a 12-year-old son who continues to teach me every…

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