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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…

Connecting at Christmas

I grew up in a military family, moving every 1 to 3 years, leaving friends behind for new adventures. I learned from my parents to take lots of pictures, keep addresses and phone numbers, and stay in touch by sending Christmas cards every year. When we lived away from our grandparents, which was almost always, my mom wrote long letters to them every weekend to keep them updated, as long-distance…

Persistence is Key

Don't give up the fight. Stay the course. Nothing worth doing is easy. There are so many motivational quotes about being persistent — I suppose it's human nature to want to give up instead of pushing through. Our scripture this week tells the parable of a widow who bothers a judge nonstop until he grants her justice. If your family, friends, or career involves advocating for a person or cause,…

Spreading Blessings

Do you have time? Can you help? When are you available? I’m guessing you’re as bombarded with these questions as I am, and I am guilty of asking them a lot. Yet, I seem to be surrounded with people at Salem who are happy to help, thank goodness, as leading a church temporarily without a pastor requires teamwork! We are so blessed to have such dedicated members of Council, team leaders, and staff…

God’s Timing

Have you ever tried to make something happen, and no matter what you did or how long you struggled, it never worked out? Then later, under different circumstances, what you thought you wanted happened differently? I have heard so many stories of couples struggling to have a child, and when they finally adopted a child, they got pregnant. Maybe because the pressure was gone … or because they had…

Be the Samaritan

“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” Isn’t that the truth? What makes this quote even more fascinating is who said it: millionaire Malcolm Forbes! I imagine most people he encountered could “do nothing for him,” and yet he makes a valid point: we are to treat each other with respect, no matter what we get in return.

Jesus…

Experience God Like a Kid

This is my favorite week of the summer. Every morning, I get to spend 90 minutes with incredibly energetic, creative, thoughtful kids bringing a story from the Bible to life. This week we’re chasing spies, marching around the sanctuary, shouting “Hallelujah!”, and knocking down walls. But we’re also explaining the promises that God fulfills, wondering if He could really love us no matter what,…

Can We Live in Unity?

If you know me, you’re probably not surprised that I am an extreme optimist. I look for the good in people and situations. This can be … ahem … annoying, as I like to “romp through my field of daisies” instead of looking at things in a more realistic light; I leave that up to my auditor husband!

God obviously created us to be different from each other, and I find it so interesting…

Which Voice Do You Hear?

The Jews in Jesus’ day had been waiting for their Messiah for a very long time. This Sunday, we will hear them ask Jesus again if He is the Messiah; but when they don’t like his answer, they want to stone Him. He tells them they don’t believe because they are not one of His flock, and they don’t recognize His voice.

“But the voice of truth tells me a different story: the voice…

Palms to Passion

The great dichotomy Sunday is upon us: where we begin with Hosannas and celebration, and quickly move to the story of Christ’s passion and betrayal. Holy Week continues as we show Christ’s love by serving each other on Maundy Thursday, and contemplate His sacrifice with beautiful music in the Good Friday Tenebrae service.

I love the word dichotomy: it is a contrast between two things,…

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