Friday, September 26, 2014

Weekly News 09-26-14

SUNDAY MORNING

This Sunday morning at Salem will continue with some of the favorite hymns named two weeks ago. The Barry Robinson Chorus will also sing. Mark will deliver a sermon based on Acts 9, which tells of Paul’s conversion along the Damascus Road. The sermon topic is “A Plea for the Conversion of the Already Decided.”

BAPTISM

Halle Jane Borelli, daughter of Nick and Kelly (Blake) Borelli, will be baptized in worship this week. Halle was born in March.

SAFE CONDUCT TRAINING . . . This Sunday

This Sunday, at 11:45, Angie Shaw will conduct a training session in Salem’s safe ministry guidelines and procedures. This is for anyone new to one of our ministries working with children or youth and for anyone who is interested in a refresher course.

ISRAEL AND PALESTINE

By popular demand, the Mission Committee is having Karen and Dick Steele do an encore presentation on their Global Ministries sponsored trip to that region. They will present this Sunday evening, September 28, at 6:30. The Mission Committee will be serving dessert and beverage.

THE GOOD EARTH, BY PEARL S. BUCK

This classic novel set in the Far East is the book up for discussion at the next meeting of Salem’s book group. The gathering will be this Monday night, September 29, at 7.

THANK YOU!

Several people signed up last week to be helpers in the Sunday School, either as hallway shepherds or as substitute teachers. This spirit of volunteerism is wonderful to see. Thank you. If you missed the chance to sign on, or now regret that you did not sign on, there is good news! It is not too late. Julie Adams, our Sunday School coordinator will be happy to take your name.

THINK ABOUT THIS

Last Sunday two pictures from the worship service were posted on Facebook. They were in different posts by different people. As of this writing, a little line beneath one of them says it was seen by – get this! – 444 people. The sermon from last Sunday talked about Facebook (and the Internet in general) as one of the conditions that make this time now right for a new work of God. 444 people seeing something about Salem on Facebook put the proof in the pudding. We can magnify that number exponentially if more and more of our people upload similar posts. Inviting someone to church may be pushing your comfort zone a tad; so why not begin just by saying a little something about your church on Facebook or some such similar thing? There IS a hunger for this out there. People do want the gospel we have.

WISCONSIN CONFERENCE MINISTER CANDIDATE

The Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ announces that, after a year-long search, they present to the Conference a candidate for the office of Conference Minister. The candidate is The Rev. Franz Riegert, currently the pastor of our church in Grafton, WI. Salem has been selected as a site for a “meet and greet.” Area churches are invited here to meet Franz Riegert on Saturday, October 4, at 11:00 AM. All our members are welcome as well. Details of Rev. Riegert’s biography will appear in the October print newsletter.

MEAL TEAMS

Elisabeth Pankonin is now coordinating Salem’s Meal Teams. Lis notes we could use some additional team members. Being a team member meals that, on the occasions your team is asked to supply a meal to someone from our congregation, you may be asked to provide a dish, whether a casserole, a salad, or a dessert. Click “reply” and send a return email if you are interested or have questions!

EATING AGAIN, BUT IN A DIFFERENT CONTEXT

Sunday night meals: Our youth fellowship gathers on Sunday evenings for a meal, worship, and activities.  We welcome members of the congregation to prepare a simple meal for the group and join us at the dinner table.  It is a great way to get to know the youth of our church family. Sign up and details are on the Youth table in Fellowship Hall.

CROP WALK

There is no longer a local committee organizing a Verona CROP Walk. Salem’s Mission Committee hopes we can field a team of walkers to participate in the Madison CROP Walk like we did in other years before we started the local one. The Madison Walk is set for October 19, with registration beginning at 12:45, with the Walk itself starting at 1:30. First Congregational Church in Madison is the point of departure. We are particularly interested in learning if anyone is interested in being our team captain this year.

HERE’S A QUESTION . . .

What do Exodus 17:1-7, Genesis 6-11, and Psalms 104 and 114 have in common? Can you guess? They are all passages to be considered this next week by one of the three adult Bible studies now happening: the Adult Sunday School class, the Searchlight on Genesis, and the BLT on Psalms. It is not too late to sit in on one or all of these. Remember: Bible study is not about gaining information, cramming it into your head; it is about meeting with God and opening your soul.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Weekly News 09-17-14

LEADING PEOPLE TO GOD THROUGH MUSIC

“Leading People to God through Music” is the theme our Music in Worship Committee has selected for its work this year. With that in view, this Sunday’s worship service will be rich with congregational singing. Most every hymn we’ll sing was identified by worshipers last week in a survey asking for a list of favorites. Our hope is that these hymns of faith and blessing you have selected, and which you will join in singing Sunday, will draw your spirit closer to God. [Hymns identified as favorites last week that we cannot get to this week will be feathered into our schedule as the seasons roll along.]

THE CONDITIONS ARE RIGHT FOR A NEW WORK OF GOD

That is Mark’s sermon title for this Sunday. The passage to be read in worship is Acts 2:1-6. Anticipating Sunday morning, read Acts 2:1-21 and imagine what right conditions you think Mark might name. He seems to think things are lining up here at Salem for a new and mighty work of God akin to Pentecost.

THIS SUNDAY NIGHT AT THE CROSSING

High School Jr. and Sr. Youth will be worshipping at the UW Crossing and serving the evening meal this Sunday, Sept. 21.  You are invited to contribute an ingredient to our “Taco Bar” dinner. To sign on, you can follow this link which Laura has organized: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0944adae23a6fa7-crossing If you have trouble with that or have further questions, please be in contact with Laura.

THIRD GRADERS TO GET BIBLES

The Women’s Guild will present Bibles to our third graders this Sunday. The third graders on our list include Riley Dahlk, Marisa Denu, Max Dingle, Kaden Nechvatal, and Blaise Westphal.

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.

MEAL TEAMS

Elisabeth Pankonin is now coordinating Salem’s Meal Teams. Lis notes we could use some additional team members. Being a team member meals that, on the occasions your team is asked to supply a meal to someone from our congregation, you may be asked to provide a dish, whether a casserole, a salad, or a dessert. Click “reply” and send a return email if you are interested or have questions!

ISRAEL AND PALESTINE

By popular demand, the Mission Committee is having Karen and Dick Steele do an encore presentation on their Global Ministries sponsored trip to that region. They will present on Sunday evening, September 28, at 6:30. The Mission Committee will be serving dessert and beverage.

EATING AGAIN, BUT IN A DIFFERENT CONTEXT

Sunday night meals: Our youth fellowship gathers on Sunday evenings for a meal, worship, and activities.  We welcome members of the congregation to prepare a simple meal for the group and join us at the dinner table.  It is a great way to get to know the youth of our church family. Sign up and details are on the Youth table in Fellowship Hall.

CROP WALK

There is no longer a local committee organizing a Verona CROP Walk. Salem’s Mission Committee hopes we can field a team of walkers to participate in the Madison CROP Walk like we did in other years before we started the local one. The Madison Walk is set for October 19, with registration beginning at 12:45, with the Walk itself starting at 1:30. First Congregational Church in Madison is the point of departure. We are particularly interested in learning if anyone is interested in being our team captain this year.

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.