Friday, May 30, 2014

Brat Fest Volunteers on Memorial Day weekend.

Brat Fest is a great fund raiser for the Salem Youth Program.  Thank you to all of this year's volunteers participating throughout the weekend!  The Baez's and Wieland's were there for the Friday morning shift, and here they are in action.

Weekly News 05-30-14



We move to worship at 9 o’clock this week! Mark’s sermon, suggested by Matthew 8:27, is entitled “A New Recommendation of Jesus.” Read that verse from Matthew and begin to ask yourself, “What sort of man is Jesus that people pay attention to him today?”


This week’s Moment for Mission in worship will focus on DAIS. Earlier this year Salem allowed itself to be listed Domestic Abuse Intervention Services as one of the organizations willing to help people in emergency need. Since that time we have helped several women, mostly with car repair costs. And how important is that to someone in an abusive situation! A representative from DAIS will be present Sunday to help explain this agency and its work.


Summer worship attendance for each of the last two years, 2012 and 2013 was barely at the 90 mark. We can do better! We have done better! The 2011 average – when we were torn apart in construction and without air conditioning! – was 108. We can do better than that, too, but, for now, let’s try to get there. Do all you can to help Salem average 108 people in the pews this summer. What can you do? At least these two things: strive for a better attendance yourself and pray for a better attendance by all. We can overshoot the 108 goal with your help. What do you say? See you in church!


The “Mission Outpost” display area in fellowship hall is growing each week. So far our Moments for Mission in worship have highlighted the Red Cross, the Crossing, and Meals for Madison. Interpretive pieces on these missions are on display, as are flyers and posters describing some of our larger mission involvements nationally and globally. Check out this sign of Salem’s life.


This Sunday evening the youth will hold their end of the year picnic. The gathering will be from 5 until 8 at the church.


Salem’s Men’s Fellowship will meet on Tuesday, June 3, at 7 pm. We will be at Kevin Booth’s house.


Salem’s Women’s Guild will have its last meeting of the season on Thursday, June 5, at 1:30. Laura Kolden will be the program leader.


Lisa Hart will be commissioned to authorized ministry in the United Church of Christ on Friday, June 6, at the 6:45 pm opening worship service of the Wisconsin Conference Annual Meeting. This will be held at the Green Lake Conference Center. Visitors are welcome.


The Verona Area Needs Network Food Pantry has a garden plot at the Badger Community Gardens. Volunteers are needed to help weed and harvest vegetables. To volunteer, you can call Karen Fletcher at 845-6075 or drop her an email at The pantry is also in need of old nylon stockings for tying up tomatoes. These can be dropped off at the church, the pantry, or in the pantry’s bin at Miller and Sons Supermarket.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Weekly News 05-23-14


Worship will begin this week at 10:15 as usual, even though there is no Sunday School. Our beginning time will not revert to 9 o’clock until June 1.


Our worship service this week will take on a Memorial Day theme. Mark will preach on “The Story of a Young Enlisted Man.” Can you guess what Bible character that might be? Our hymns will include some of those our people love this time of year: How Beautiful Our Spacious Skies, God of the Ages, and This Is My Song.


Claire Ann-Jean Tlusty will be baptized in our worship service on Sunday. Claire was born on January 24 to Leroy and Kira (Steele) Tlusty. Her great-grandparents are Dick and Karen Steele.


This week’s Moment for Mission in the worship service and addition to our growing “Mission Outpost” in fellowship hall focuses on “Meals for Madison.” Salem has been a regular participant in this mission project for several years. Not only does it help us reach out to and learn from persons who are less financially fortunate, the Meals for Madison program offers us an opportunity for ecumenical partnership. Karen Williams, from our Mission Committee, will share information about this ministry.


The church office will be closed on Monday, May 26, for Memorial Day. But you probably knew that. But do you know this? The church’s regular office hours are weekday mornings, and we can be (generally) relied upon to answer the phones or enjoy your dropping in during those times. If you can’t reach us at those times, we try to do a good job responding to phone messages promptly. Press “1” for Karen, “2” for Mark, and “3” for Laura. (Sorry, even the church has to conform to that kind of routine.)


Several of you are helping at Brat Fest in the effort to raise money to support our Youth SALT events. Thank you! In the throng of people at Brat Fest your efforts may go unnoticed by other members of the church, but they are not unappreciated. Wherever there is a need, people from Salem can be found helping. That is such a wonderful thing. People not prone to use the word “awesome” might even call it that.


Salem’s Membership Growth and Development team has at least two new members! Cari Bass and Dana Zurbuchen are now part of this important effort. And there is a small number of others giving it some thought. Thanks to all!


Here’s an early note about the next Men’s Fellowship meeting. A number could not make the last one and so may not have the next on the appropriate radar screen. The next meeting is Tuesday, June 3, at 7 o’clock, at Kevin Booth’s house.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Weekly News 05-16-14


This Sunday’s worship service will include the Rite of Confirmation for our two ninth graders. Our two Confirmands are Max Driftmier and Noah Nechvatal. The Chancel Choir will be singing and Mark will preach on 2 Timothy 1:14.


Our 2013-2014 Sunday School year comes to a close this week. THANK YOU to our teachers and to Julie Adams, our Sunday School Coordinator, for all your faithfulness over the course of this year. We will recognize these folks in worship on Sunday, giving all of us an opportunity to thank them publicly.


Salem’s Bikers will meet at the church at 5 pm tonight, Friday, May 16. They will take the bike trail to Riley for dinner and drinks, and be back to the church before dark. If you would like to be part of this or have questions, please contact Cindy Remus.


Tomorrow – Saturday, May 17 – is the date for the Southwest Association’s Ecclesiastical Council for Lisa Hart. Lisa is in line to become a Commissioned Minister in the United Church of Christ, and the Ecclesiastical Council is the last step toward her authorization. The event will be held at 10 AM at Memorial Church in Fitchburg. Do come and offer support for Lisa. Our Women’s Guild is providing refreshments at the close of the Council’s work.


Salem’s Mission Committee is sponsoring a series of “Moments for Mission” in our worship services. This began last Sunday and will continue for several weeks. Each week a different mission in which we can participate will be brought into focus. Last Sunday Debbie Bass highlighted the “One-a-Week Club” for Red Cross blood donations. This week our focus will be on The Crossing, the ecumenical campus ministry on University Avenue. A display area can be found in fellowship hall. New information will be added each week as the moments for mission progress.


The week July 21 (Monday through Thursday) is set for our 2014 VBS. The theme is Babylon: Daniel’s Courage in Captivity. Save the dates!


VBS is not only for children! Mark will be leading a class in The Book of Daniel each of the VBS evenings. Why not begin reading a chapter of Daniel a day now? In less than two weeks at that pace, you will have the entire book read. Think about “Daniel’s courage in captivity” and make ready to be part of these summer evening studies.


Did you know there is a flower calendar on the kiosk in fellowship hall? Are you aware that you can sign up to donate flowers for the altar on Sunday mornings? And did you know you can identify those donated flowers in the worship bulletin as being in memory of someone or in honor of some event? You are aware of all that now! Contact the church office for further information on what to do after you sign up to provide flowers.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Weekly News 05-09-14


Part of our prayer time in worship this week will be lifting up by name (where we can) the 276 Nigerian girls kidnapped from their school by the terrorist organization Boka Haram. The girls were kidnapped in mid-April and Boka Haram announced it intends to sell them into slavery. Their families are desperate and frantic. Worshipers will receive a slip of paper bearing the name of one of the girls or bearing the phrase “Child of God, name unknown,” and will be asked hold this girl in prayer both during our time of worship and throughout the week. The United Church of Christ congregations in the Madison area and throughout our Southwest Association are joining in this prayer effort.


At the close of this week’s worship service, while the final hymn is in progress, children will be invited to come forward and select a plant to give to their mother, grandmother, or other person of choice. Salem’s Men’s Fellowship is providing the plants, and even those without children to select a flower for them are encouraged to take one as a token of our Christian love and esteem. The Sacrament of Holy Communion will be observed during worship, the Chancel Choir will sing, and Mark’s sermon will focus on the story of a New Testament woman, “The Woman Who Turned Her Home Over to Jesus” (Acts 12:12).


Salem’s Mission Commission is sponsoring brief “Moments for Mission” during the next several worship services. Each week the focus will be upon some are mission project that invites our participation and support. This week we will be thinking about American Red Cross Blood Drives.


Salem’s Bikers will meet at the church at 5 pm Friday, May 16. They will take the bike trail to Riley for dinner and drinks, and be back to the church before dark. If you would like to be part of this or have questions, please contact Cindy Remus.


On Saturday, May 17, at 10 o’clock in the morning, Lisa Hart will be examined by the Southwest Association of the United Church of Christ to determine her fitness to serve as a Commissioned Minister in the United Church of Christ. At an Ecclesiastical Council the candidate for authorization presents a portion of a paper outlining her understanding of the faith and fields any and all questions from those gathered. The persons gathered then vote to determine whether the candidate should be authorized as requested. You are invited to participate in this Ecclesiastical Council and show Salem’s support for Lisa. The Council will take place at Memorial UCC in Fitchburg.


The Youth and YMT send out a HUGE bouquet of thanks to all who made last week’s pie auction such a wonderful success! The delicious pies that were made, and all who bought them, help make out summer youth SALT adventures (including a trip to the Great Lakes Regional Youth Event at Lakeland College) a reality. Over $2,700 was raised, and the youth are deeply grateful. Special thanks to John and Cari Bass for their creative production of the Pie Wars video. (You can find it on YouTube at ).
And many thanks to all the choirs, directors, soloists, instrumentalists, and readers who made last Sunday’s worship a time of spiritual renewal and inspiration for the glory of God. We appreciate your gifts of time, preparation and ability in leading the congregation in such meaningful worship.


The devotional booklet The Upper Room for the months of May and June is available for pick up on the table in the church’s north entryway (by the elevator). If you are not familiar with The Upper Room, it is a daily devotional aid that includes a scripture reading, brief meditation, and prayer for every day as an aid to accompany your walk with God. The Women’s Guild supplies Salem with this subscription. Large print copies of the booklet are available on the table as well.


More will be coming in the print newsletter for June, he thinks, but Mark would like to report that Scotland was wonderful and he thanks all of you for your prayers while he was away. His time in the library with the papers of the Rev. Dr. James S. Stewart was richly rewarding and stimulating in terms of setting sights on the work ahead for Salem.