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Monday, September 15, 2014

Weekly News 09-12-14

WORSHIP THIS SUNDAY

September 14 will be a Communion Sunday for us. Prepare for worship by thinking about what it means to sit at the Table of the Lord in fellowship with your sisters and brothers in Christ. Cara Bahr will read our focus text, Acts 1:15-26, around which Mark will preach on “The Church’s Need for New Leaders.” The Chancel Choir will sing “Arise, My Soul, Arise!” Remember that our worship service is now at 10:15.

ADULT CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

The Christian Education theme around here these days is Faith under Construction. There are loads of opportunities for adults to tend to the (re)building of their faith. Here are three prominent ones.
The Adult Sunday School Class: This gathering convenes in the Conference Room and we discuss one of the lectionary passages assigned for the Sunday. We are starting the season looking at the Old Testament reading, and so we are in The Book of Exodus. This week we will think of the crossing of the Red Sea (Ex. 14:19-31) and we will relate it to how God helps us when we feel caught in difficult situations. Mark leads.
The Searchlight on Genesis: This class will meet start on Monday, September 15, at 7 pm, and meet for six consecutive Mondays. We will read and discuss the Book of Genesis particularly as it relates to faith and life today. If you are attending, please have the first two chapters of Genesis read for the first session. Mark will lead.
The BLT on Psalms: This class will start on Friday, September 19, at 11:30 am, and meet for six consecutive Fridays. Over that time we will at least begin to familiarize ourselves with the Book of Psalms. “BLT” stands for “Bag Lunch and a Text” so bring a sack lunch. Mark will lead.
Don’t let that word “class” throw you. This isn’t a bit like high school or college where you have to pass some prerequisite classes before you can take these. Every single session is for beginners, as it were, because we are all beginning where we are right now. You can do it!

CONFIRMATION SET TO BEGIN

Confirmation classes for 2014/2015 are set to begin. We will start September 24 at 7 pm with an Orientation Session for parents and Confirmands. The session will last approximately thirty minutes. Confirmation classes are open to persons in the eighth and ninth grades.

LENDING A HAND WITH CONSTRUCTION

The Faith under Construction theme has a place for you. You won’t need a hard hat. Just a good heart. Our Sunday School teachers do a fantastic job, but they could use your help. We could use hallway helpers to assist with discipline, bathroom breaks, and so forth. Some extra hands are also useful with crafts from time to time. Contact Julie Adams or the church office and we will help get you connected. There is no greater way to help build a child’s faith.

AN INTERESTING STATISTIC

Commissioned Minister Lisa Hart shares this statistic which came across her desk at the Wisconsin Conference office. It is from a recent Gallup poll. 82% of the people who do not attend church say they would if someone were to invite them. Yet only 2% of Christians ever invite someone to worship.

CATALYST CONVERSATIONS

The Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ is hosting “Catalyst Conversations” at various times this fall. The Conference’s Church Development and Renewal Team is using these conversations to explore the strengths of Conference congregations, what it takes to revitalize a congregation, and how congregations in the Conference can be in ministry together toward renewal and strength. Anyone who is a member of a UCC congregation in Wisconsin is welcome to attend. The nearest Catalyst Conversations will take place October 15 at the Conference Office in DeForest from 1 to 4, and at Swiss Church New Glarus on October 16, from 6:30 to 9:30 pm. Mark will be attending the Catalyst Conversation in New Glarus. Let us know in the church office if you are interested in helping strengthen our church and our Conference in this way.

SCHEDULING MEETINGS

If you schedule a meeting at the church for a group, committee, or activity, please contact the church office with the date. Our facility is used quite extensively through the week and room allotments have to be rather carefully coordinated for some of the weeknights.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Weekly News 09-05-14

THIS SUNDAY

There is much happening this week at Salem gets a new program year under way!
Our Christian Education program is taking place this year under the theme Faith under Construction. This Sunday will have the “groundbreaking” events that will get the year going.
9:00am – Enjoy donuts and juice, meet the Sunday School teachers, and tour the classrooms.  Children will also meet with Krista and Colleen to prepare music for morning worship.
10:15am – Morning worship including music from the children’s choir and commissioning of our Sunday School teachers.
4:00-6:00pm – Children of all ages are invited to join us for an evening of fun and fellowship.  We’ll enjoy music from ‘Some Assembly Required’ and yard games at our all church family BBQ potluck. Bring a dish to share. The Board of Christian Education will be providing pulled pork sandwiches. 
6:00-6:30pm – Middle School and High School Youth registration and informational meeting

MORE ON THIS WEEK’S WORSHIP SERVICE

The Chancel Choir and the Barry Robinson Chorus return this week. The introit will be offered by the Chancel Choir; the anthem and Benediction response will be given by the BRC. Mark will preach under the topic “The Church at the Start of a New Term.” Acts 1:1-14 will be the starting point for the message.

BY THE WAY

Worship is at 10:15 this week. But you knew that.

LENDING A HAND WITH CONSTRUCTION

The Faith under Construction theme has a place for you. You won’t need a hard hat. Just a good heart. Our Sunday School teachers do a fantastic job, but they could use your help. We could use hallway helpers to assist with discipline, bathroom breaks, and so forth. Some extra hands are also useful with crafts from time to time. Contact Julie Adams or the church office and we will help get you connected. There is no greater way to help build a child’s faith.

SECRETARY

Karen Steele will be on vacation September 7 through 14. If you have notes for the September 14 worship bulletin, please send them to Mark at myurs@salemchurchverona.org.

SCHEDULING MEETINGS

If you schedule a meeting at the church for a group, committee, or activity, please contact the church office with the date. Our facility is used quite extensively through the week and room allotments have to be rather carefully coordinated for some of the weeknights.

TO BEGIN IN TWO WEEKS

A Searchlight on Genesis will begin on Monday, September 15, at 7 pm. This class will meet at the same time for an hour on six consecutive Mondays. We will read and discuss the Book of Genesis particularly as it relates to faith and life today. Please have the first two chapters of Genesis read for the first session.
A BLT (Bag Lunch and a Text) on Psalms will begin on Friday, September 19, at 11:30 am. This class will meet at the same time for an hour on six consecutive Fridays. We will familiarize ourselves with the Book of Psalms. Bring a sack lunch.
Mark will lead both the Searchlight and the BLT classes. And don’t let the word “class” throw you. While we draw upon the thoughts of Bible scholars and others, these sessions are not intended to be of an academic nature and purpose. Instead, we are attempting to use the Bible responsibly to shed the light of God on life today. You can do it!

CATALYST CONVERSATIONS

The Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ is hosting “Catalyst Conversations” at various times this fall. The Conference’s Church Development and Renewal Team is using these conversations to explore the strengths of Conference congregations, what it takes to revitalize a congregation, and how congregations in the Conference can be in ministry together toward renewal and strength. Anyone who is a member of a UCC congregation in Wisconsin is welcome to attend. The nearest Catalyst Conversations will take place October 15 at the Conference Office in DeForest from 1 to 4, and at Swiss Church New Glarus on October 16, from 6:30 to 9:30 pm. Mark will be attending the Catalyst Conversation in New Glarus. Let us know in the church office if you are interested in helping strengthen our church and our Conference in this way.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Weekly News 08-29-14

AUGUST 31

This Sunday will be the last for our summer hours. Worship will be at 9 o’clock this week, but at 10:15 on September 7.

FAITH UNDER CONSTRUCTION

God is currently at work in the life of every individual, in the life of every family, and in the life of the church as a whole. This conviction is our starting point. God is at work in you now. With this conviction in mind, Salem’s Board of Christian Education has set as its theme for the 2014/2015 year Faith Under Construction. The aim of every Christian Education class is to use the Bible to help people young and old imagine how God is active in life today and how they can best respond and participate in that work.

“GROUNDBREAKING”

The “groundbreaking” for our Faith Under Construction year will be Sunday, September 7. There will be events both in the morning and in the late afternoon.
·         On September 7, Sunday School classes will begin at 9 o’clock. There are classes for children (beginning at age 3), youth, and adults. This first Sunday gathering will include morning treats, teacher introductions, visits to the classrooms, music, and more!
·         Also on September 7, from 4 to 6, there will be a “Groundbreaking Picnic” on the church grounds. Everyone from the church is invited to this potluck style picnic as we celebrate together our excitement at discovering what God is building in and among us.

BUILDING WITH MUSIC

Do you love music and singing? Do you have a gift for music that you would like to share? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, it may be time for you to join one of Salem’s choirs. You are warmly invited to an “open-house-style” rehearsal on Wednesday, September 3rd: the Barry Robinson Men’s Chorus meets at 6 pm and the Chancel Choir meets at 7 pm. Drop in and see what choir is all about! Singing with our choirs means that you will put your musical gifts to use in the serve of God while experiencing a very special kind of Christian fellowship and community. If you have any questions, please talk with Emily Worzalla or email her at emilyworzalla@gmail.com.

MEN’S FELLOWSHIP

Salem’s Men’s Fellowship will hold its September meeting on Tuesday, September 2. The gathering will take place starting at 7 pm at the home of Dick Steele.

WOMEN’S GUILD

Salem’s Women’s  Guild will hold its September meeting on Thursday, September 4. This gathering will be at the church starting at 1:30 pm. The program leader this time around is Debbie Bass, and Gladys Behnke and Carla Hageman will serve the lunch afterwards.

MEMORIALS

Two new memorials have been purchased for the church and we will make special acknowledgement of them on September 7. New Pew Bibles have been purchased in memory of Lucille Cleveland and Ruth Zurbuchen, and a new white board has been placed on the Conference Room wall in memory of Thomas Gering. Through these memorials in their names, these three people who all loved Salem and Scripture and learning will continue to be involved in the spiritual welfare and Christian growth of our congregation. We are grateful.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Weekly News 07-25-14


Due to the vacation noted below there will be a four-week hiatus in these weekly mailings. This is the last that will appear until August 29.

LAST SUNDAY

The third piece in the Concerts on the Hill series was conducted last week. It was a four-movement piece on 2 Samuel 22:47: “The Lord lives! Blessed be my rock, / and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation.” The opening measures wondered how many of us today really believe God lives. In some somber tones, it wondered if the church itself – not our church alone, but certainly our church, too – has lost sight of the Christian truth that God is a living Person.

CONCERTS ON THE HILL

Mark’s summer sermon series on some anthems from the Old Testament concludes this week with “An Inspirational Number Sung by Angels.” The sheet music for this is found in Isaiah 6. We will sing the hymn these verses inspired.

VACATION

Mark will be on vacation July 28 through August 24. Should you or your family have pastoral needs arising during that time, please contact the church office.

MOVIE NIGHT

Please join the Membership Growth and Development team for Marcus Theater $5 movie night this Tuesday evening. The movie we are going to see is Wish I Was Here, the story of Aidan Bloom, a struggling actor, father and husband, who at 35 is still trying to find his identity and purpose for his life. He winds up trying to home school his two children when his father can no longer pay for private education and the only available public school is on its last legs. Through teaching them about life his way, Aidan gradually discovers some of the parts of himself he couldn’t find. Because the movie is just coming out this weekend, there are no show times listed on the theater’s website. However, we usually try to attend the 7ish movie. If you are interested in going, please contact Cari Bass.

MEAL TEAM ACTIVATOR

Last week’s mailing asked for a volunteer willing to activate one of our meal teams as need arises. Lis Pankonin – already the Guild’s “Sunshine Lady” – volunteered to take this over from Donna Weis. Thank you, Lis!

MUM PLANTS

Someone who inspired by the “Hanging Gardens of Babylon” that were part of our VBS set is orchestrating a project of beautifying our church yard with mum plants. Folks can donate mum plants by bringing them to the church and leaving them by the canopied entrance. If you would like to help with the planting, you can do that, too. Donations will be accepted through August 10. If you have questions, please contact Rosemarie Wieland.

CAMPING NEXT WEEKEND

Everyone is invited to camp out on the lawn here at Salem UCC, Friday, August 1st through Sunday, August 3rd. Bring your tent or camper, lawn chairs, snacks, lawn games, board games, and friends. You are welcome to stay for any length of time that works for you (if you can only stay for part of the weekend or if you would like to visit for the day). We will have access to the church for use of the bathroom, kitchen, and in case of inclement weather. We will plan meals as they come and go to Miller’s as needed. Please contact Kelli Malueg for questions.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Weekly News 07-18-14

LAST WEEK

Last Sunday, using the Song of Deborah, the sermon asked if anyone has confidence in God anymore, and it warned of turning away from God.  Here is a bit from that message: “Don’t you see that we are in desperate need today of recovering this kind of confidence in God? What has happened to it? Does anybody think anymore that God can step out of eternity and do something today in the real life happenings of the world? Is there any hope today that God is more than an idea, more than a subject for a Sunday morning? Is there any confidence that God is alive enough to bless lives, to stir souls, to strengthen spirits, to make the mountains tremble and the stars do a divine bidding? What has happened to faith like that? Is there any left? We need again the old confidence in God.”

THIS WEEK

This week the Concerts on the Hill series continues with “The Bible’s Signature Tune.” The focus text is 2 Samuel 22:47, part of a song from David. Ponder this verse in anticipation of Sunday morning. What does it say about God? What does it say about the individual person under God? How is this the signature tune of the Bible?

VBS . . . Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday!

Vacation Bible School, with the theme Babylon: Daniel’s Courage in Captivity begins Sunday afternoon with a kickoff cookout at 4:30. Meat and drink will be provided, and the rest will be potluck style. On the subsequent evenings, VBS will run from 6 to 8, with a light supper at 5:30.

THIS IS FOR ADULTS, TOO

You may have childhood VBS memories, but VBS is not alone a kid thing. Mark is running a class for adults, too, and along the same theme: Babylon: Daniel’s Courage in Captivity. Think about that theme for several solid moments. Isn’t there something in your life that seems to hold you captive? Aren’t you in search of the courage to hold up under or to break out from that captivity? That is what the adult class is about. It is not about academics – what can be known about the Bible, its history and its meaning. It is primarily about connecting with God. Come, get yourself some of this!

THANKS!

After last Sunday’s announcement about our tattered flag, several of our worshipers looked into it following the service. Sing the old flag was torn and wrapped around it pole, it was taken down. Richard (“Mercy”) and Gladean Zurbuchen brought a new flag over and it is now flying high! Thanks to all of you.

MEAL TEAM ACTIVATOR

Donna Weis has been doing a wonderful job activating Salem’s meal teams when a need arises. Unfortunately for us, Joe and Donna are soon moving to Baraboo. That puts us in need of someone new to activate a meal team from time to time. What happens is this. We try to provide a little sign of Salem’s support by taking a simple meal to someone’s home when they return from a hospital stay. We have several meal teams, each with a “captain”, who prepare the meals. The activator calls a captain to let it be known there is a need. The captain then calls people on his or her team. Often Donna has been using these weekly mailings as her way of knowing who has been hospitalized. She would be happy to school the new volunteer in what needs to be done. So. Is there a volunteer? Let Mark know if you are interested.

GETTING TO 108

Getting to 108 is easy. There are four steps. Only four. (1) Vow to be 1.  (2) Keep your vow. (3) Pray for 107 to do the same. (4) Trust God for the results.

CANOPY TENTS

Salem’s VBS could use some canopy tents (like the ones used for tailgating and for farmer’s market) to shape our marketplace in Babylon. Several of you were gracious enough to loan us yours last year, and it would be wonderful if we could use them again. VBS in July 21, 22, 23, and 24. See Julie Adams if you have a tent like this to offer.

VBS MISSION PROJECT

Vacation Bible School adopts a mission project every year. This year VBS is supporting Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS). The folks at DAIS have asked that we focus our collection efforts on new linens for use at the shelter: twin sheet sets, twin comforters, towels, pillows, and pillow cases. In addition, gift cards in any amount for stores like Copps, HyVee, Target, and Bed, Bath and Beyond would be appreciated.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Weekly News 07-11-14

FIERY FURNACE!

This has to be the lead this week. Wednesday Sherrol Yurs was at the church most of the day making a prop for VBS. She made Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace. She made it out of cardboard and construction paper. That is all. Well, Wednesday night, close to midnight, the Yurs’s phone rang, notifying them that the church fire alarm was sounding. When Mark walked through the building with fire and police personnel, all that was found was Nebuchasherrol’s “fiery” furnace! True to the biblical story, Sherrol’s Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were unharmed, nothing was singed, and not a whiff of smoke was to be found!
So you all best be getting ready for an authentic VBS! Babylon: Daniel’s Courage in Captivity, begins with a kick-off on Sunday, July 20. VBS classes begin Monday, the 21st. Mark is running a class for adults as well. Details follow on the kick-off, and later bits of news tell of other VBS needs and opportunities.

VBS COOKOUT KICK-OFF

All our church members and friends are invited to our Sunday, July 20th, VBS cookout kick-off. The festivities begin at 4:30 pm. We will preview the week to come as well as have lots of food, fun and games, and, if it works out, there is a chance we will have a Royal Animal Courtyard. Folks will be able to sign up this Sunday.

CONCERTS ON THE HILL

The Concerts on the Hill sermon series resumes this Sunday, July 13, with “Music from a Peasant Uprising.” This piece is based on the Song of Deborah, from Judges 5. The background for this musical selection from scripture is one of the Bible’s most gruesome stories. But there are three particularly helpful notes to hear in it today. Such will be our theme as we gather for worship this weekend.

CONTAGIOUS

The Christian faith is highly contagious. It can be said that faith is more caught than taught. More people come to faith because they see it in action than come to faith because they are told to believe. Being one of the 108 is one of the best ways to “catch” Christianity and help others catch it, too. Whether you want to grow as a believer, grow the church, or help someone else become a person of faith, the best way to start is to be 1 of 108. You’ll become contagious.

POTLUCK AT THE FITZWILLIAMS/SHAW’S

Angie Shaw extends an invitation to the church family to attend a potluck at their home, 207 Todd Street, on Friday, July 18th at 6:00pm. This is a farewell gathering for the Young Ambassadors from Germany and the host families. The schedule did not allow them to attend Salem with their student, so they want folks who are interested in meeting her, and the others, to have the opportunity to do so at this pot luck.

CANOPY TENTS

Salem’s VBS could use some canopy tents (like the ones used for tailgating and for farmer’s market) to shape our marketplace in Babylon. Several of you were gracious enough to loan us yours last year, and it would be wonderful if we could use them again. VBS in July 21, 22, 23, and 24. See Julie Adams if you have a tent like this to offer.

VBS MISSION PROJECT

Vacation Bible School adopts a mission project every year. This year VBS is supporting Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS). The folks at DAIS have asked that we focus our collection efforts on new linens for use at the shelter: twin sheet sets, twin comforters, towels, pillows, and pillow cases. In addition, gift cards in any amount for stores like Copps, HyVee, Target, and Bed, Bath and Beyond would be appreciated.

SPEAKING OF DAIS

We do not share any of the specifics of the people we help through Salem’s partnership with DAIS. That information is kept appropriately and necessarily confidential. But you might like to know that, just yesterday, Salem was able to help a woman who asked only for tire repair. She had one leaking tire that was making transportation to and from work next to impossible. We covered the expense of tire repair. That’s all. A small thing. But how BIG a thing is that for someone in need, and who hopes to be able to trust again. Thanks for your simple, but helpful, gifts.

GREAT LAKES REGIONAL YOUTH EVENT

Twelve youth from Salem are at Lakeland College July 10 through 13 for the UCC’s Great Lakes Regional Youth Event. Our youth participants are Kevin Cashman, Elena Durnen, Ellie Fitzwilliams, Nic Graese, Katie Hart, Israel Kwilinski, Morgan Moll, Zach Nechvatal, Sawyer Quade, Marisa Reniero, Matthew Reniero, and Laura Williams. Our adult leaders are Cathy Kwilinski, Dick Steele, and Laura Kolden. And Lisa Hart has been doing grand work toward this event as a member of the staff of the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ, the host Conference. Both Chuck and Lisa Hart are present at GLRYE, and we claim them as ours as well! We hope all of you are there having an absolutely splendid time.

EGG CARTONS

The Verona Area Needs Network thanks you for your past contributions of egg cartons to the Food Pantry, but wishes to inform us they are no longer in need of carton donations.

UPDATE

Well, all of these notes are supposed to be updates, aren’t they? This one is for those who are curious to know what happened as a result of the neutral pulpit for Rev. Laura Yurs. The search committee unanimously recommended her to the congregation. Further conversations will now take place between Laura and that congregation’s Church Council, and a date for a trial sermon will be set for the relatively near future.



 
 
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MISSION STATEMENT:

We witness to the word and work of Jesus
that all people may
know the welcome of God,
worship with joy,
grow as disciples,
live as servants, and
share the strength of Christian fellowship
all for the glory of God.
502 Mark Drive
P.O. Box 930125
Verona, WI 53593

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