Salem Lutheran Church

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Giving Thanks!

I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving! In my sermon this past Sunday, I noted that Thanksgiving is not a religious holiday. After the 8:00 service, one woman noted that she was surprised to hear me say that; after all, she said, “Didn’t the founding fathers intend it as a time of giving thanks to God?”. So that got me thinking; I did a little reading Sunday evening and, sure enough,…

Invited to Use What We've Got

In case you haven’t noticed, this time of year the days are getting shorter and darker and Mathew’s texts that we have been reading have been are getting darker, too. Jesus’ parable of the talents that we just read doesn’t exactly give us a warm and fuzzy feeling, does it? I mean it ends with that great command, “As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where…

Connected

Dear Salem Family,

In Adult Sunday School this past Sunday we talked about service and the needs right around us. As we discussed service, we discussed what we can do for others. Then we began to talk about what we’re doing with others. Part of service is being in relationship with others and not always doing things for them, but developing a relationship with them.…

Got Oil...

1Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; 4but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. 6But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is…

Invited to be Happy

“Blessed are the poor in spirit… blessed are those who mourn…” Most of us know these words well. We call this passage the Beatitudes, and they are words attributed to Jesus as he gave his Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew. But to be honest, I often struggle with them because I don’t see how one who is mourning, for example, feels blessed.

The word we translate here…

​We are Blessed

I absolutely love "The Message: the Bible in Contemporary Language" by Eugene Peterson. If there’s ever a scripture you have trouble understanding, try reading it in "The Message" — it’s more conversational and relevant to our world today. We’ll be reading the Beatitudes this Sunday from Matthew, and I’d like to give you both translations of my favorites:

Matthew 5:3 “Blessed…

Invited To Be Free

Today is Reformation Sunday, and aside from being the day we celebrate the Affirmation of Baptism, or Confirmation as we so often call it, for seven of our young adults, it is also a very special historical moment not just for Lutherans, but I would argue for all Christians, throughout the world. This year, we commemorate the 500th anniversary of Luther’s October 31, 1517 posting of the…

Time to Seek Reform

This past Sunday, October 22, our 2017 confirmands offered their statements of faith. It is one of my favorite Sundays here because I am always moved by the sincerity and honesty of our young folks as they share where they are in their faith journey, and the struggles and joys they have experienced so far in their lives. The other thing that is powerful for me about these statements is to…

What the World Needs Now…

Dear Salem Family,

A passage from a book I’m reading currently got me thinking. One chapter is called No Strings Attached. Jen Hatmaker writes, “I was scared, first and foremost of God…I was also scared to love people. What if they were wrong? Wrong about what you ask? Oh, just anything. Wrong living, wrong ideas, wrong faith, wrong crowd. If I loved someone ‘wrong,’ then I…

Invited to Gather & Change

Now isn’t this a cheery text! I mean, just when you think things are looking good the whole premise of the parable seems to take a turn for the worse with those final two verses, when the king says, “ 'Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:13-14). This…

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