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Staff Trax

Gathered in My Name

I love that our building in Lenexa that houses our staff offices, Pantry Pack, and fellowship area is named “Koinonia Hall.” I remember when we voted on that name, and how very long it took me to remember how to pronounce and spell it!

Did you know that the word fellowship is derived from the Greek word koinonia? Merriam-Webster defines koinonia as “the Christian…

Growing Up at Salem

This June is my 12-year anniversary of becoming Salem’s worship and music director. This Sunday, my oldest child will be honored as one of Salem’s promising seniors graduating high school. Casey was in first grade when Salem became our church family.

When you come on Sunday, you will see many memories of this fantastic class of 2022 as they grew up at Salem. Together they have learned,…

The Forgiving Father

I was recently surprised to hear our scripture for this week, the beloved story of the prodigal son, described instead as the story of the forgiving father. How would you describe it? The story of the spoiled kid who wasted his inheritance? His father who continued to spoil him when he returned? His loyal brother who was taken for granted? We tend to err on the side of judgment: how we feel about…

Unfailing Light

As we continue through the miraculous stories in the season of Epiphany that reveal Christ to us, I am eagerly anticipating my favorite season in the church year: Lent. Yes, you read that right! Many would prefer skipping the season of Lent, especially those pesky, emotional services during Holy Week, and go straight to the celebration of Easter, but not me. I love turning inward, dwelling in the…

The 12 Days of Christmas

Did you know there are actually twelve days of Christmas? The count begins on Christmas day and ends on Epiphany, Jan. 6. I have always loved learning about the back story of songs and hymns, and thought I’d share the interesting story behind The 12 Days of Christmas.

The song begins, “On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me...” “True love”…

Here for Each Other

When I was in college, I was given lots of opportunities as a young musician. I directed and accompanied church choirs; taught piano lessons and keyboard classes; and played and sang for weddings and funerals. It was a great way to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and start to really see how I could bring joy and comfort to others through music.

I did try to avoid difficult situations,…

And a Child Shall Lead Them

This week we lift up this scripture from Mark 9:37: “Whomever welcomes one of these children in my name welcomes me … and the One who sent me.”

Our church works hard at being welcoming, especially by inviting our children and youth to lead. They have been encouraged since they were little to stay in the pews even when they’re noisy. They have sung in children’s choir, acted and…

You Have a Choice

Last Sunday we celebrated an amazing woman’s 97th birthday at the early service. Shirley Schrodt now lives in Independence, but always comes back to Salem to celebrate with her friends. She has touched so many of our lives, and we love the excuse to have flowers and treats for her special day! I wanted to share with you something amazing that happened behind the scenes that morning:

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.

https://www.npr.org/2021/05/09/995271758/megan-rohrer-elected-as-1st-openly-transgender-bishop-in-u-s-lutheran-church

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