Wednesday, May 27, 2015

THANK YOU
Thank you for your interest in Salem United Church of Christ. Here are some of the emphases we are working on at the present.

WORSHIP THIS WEEK
Sunday morning worship at 10:15 is the highlight of our week. This Sunday, May 31, we will celebrate the Sacrament of Infant Baptism in our worship service. The pastor's sermon is "A Childlike Faith for These Grown-Up Days." Our Chancel Choir will sing. We like to think of our worship style as traditional without being stuffy. We'll have a place for you. Please come.

YOUTH PICNIC at DEVIL'S LAKE
Salem's youth will enjoy their end-of-the-program-year picnic this Sunday. It will be held at Devil's Lake. Youth need to be signed up to attend. Contact our Associate in Ministry, Laura Kolden, to get your name on the list and to find out what you should bring.

OPEN AND AFFIRMING
Open and Affirming (ONA) is the official designation in the United Church of Christ for a congregation that is intentionally welcoming and affirming of persons in the LGBTQ community. Salem has long functioned in this way but has not yet gone through the official process to be listed as an ONA church. We are beginning that process now. An organizational meeting is scheduled to begin working out an appropriate structure for our use of the ONA process. Contact the church, either by phone or email, to learn of the time and location for that meeting. ONA will not be debated at this meeting; concentration will be given only to structuring our process.

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL (VBS)
Plans are underway for Vacation Bible School. VBS 2015 will be held the evenings of July 27 through July 30. Each night will begin at 5:15 with a family meal and the program will run from 6pm until 8. The theme for VBS 2015 is ATHENS: Paul's Dangerous Journey to Share the Truth. A kick-off cook-out will be held at the church beginning at 4:15 on Sunday, July 26. Registration materials are available at the church. We hope to have registration materials online soon.

WEBSITE
Speaking of registration materials online soon, this Website is still in production. The goal is to have a fresh online presence that is user-friendly, both for the Website visitor checking us out and for the leadership teams here at the church as they provide material to be checked out.

MISSION AWARENESS and INVOLVEMENT
Vital churches constantly ask and try to answer the biblical question "Who is my neighbor?" Our leadership team for missions is now at work on ways to help us think about our global, local, and even environmental neighbors. Along the way, we will try to get a sense of the needs at our doorstep. Key components of this emphasis will include exploring the complexities of issues, confronting our complicities, and imagining strategies toward what we can do to help solve problems and relieve suffering. Keep checking back here for more information as the mission team continues its planning.

SUMMER READING: A Sermon Series for Summer Sundays
Every year there are recommendations for summertime reading. Local libraries, newspapers, magazines, and online publications all provide reading lists. The assumption is the summer days are freer, the hours are more relaxing, and one can kick back and enjoy a good book at leisure. Why not look to the Bible for summertime reading? It is a well-stocked library with offerings from a variety of literary genres sure to please a wide array of reading interests. Dr. Yurs will offer a sermon series this summer that recommends six Bible books for your summer review. The book review sermons will explore a family saga (June 14), an adventure story (June 21), a social commentary (June 28), a love story (July 12), a book of verse (July 19), and a biography (July 26).

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

WELCOME!
Thank you for your interest in Salem United Church of Christ. Here are some of the emphases we are working on at present.

WORSHIP THIS WEEK
Sunday morning worship at 10:15 is the highlight of our week here at Salem. This Sunday, May 24, is the Christian holiday known as Pentecost. It remembers the day God's Holy Spirit filled the first disciples, empowering them for mission. We are encouraging our members to wear red to worship this week. The pastor's sermon for the day is called "Why the Church Wears Red." The message has a kind of link to Memorial Day because the church's red on Pentecost Sunday relates to the Christian martyrs who gave their lives in service to the cause of Christ.

MEMORIAL DAY
We move out into the community on Memorial Day. Verona's official commemoration of Memorial Day, sponsored by the local American Legion Post, will take place at 10 AM at the Verona Area High School. Rev. Yurs has been asked to be the Memorial Day speaker this year.

BRAT FEST
A number of our people will be working at Brat Fest in Madison. We do this to help our Youth raise money for their summer mission trips, which we call SALT experiences. SALT stands for Serving and Learning Trips. Our Senior High students will be traveling to West Virginia in June and our Middle School students will be involved in an immersion experience here in Madison.

OPEN AND AFFIRMING
Open and Affirming (ONA) is the official designation in the United Church of Christ for a congregation that is intentionally welcoming and affirming of persons in the LGBTQ community. Salem has long functioned in this way but has not yet gone through the official process to be listed as an ONA church. We are beginning that process now. An organizational meeting is scheduled to begin working out an appropriate structure for our use of the ONA process. Contact the church, either by phone or email, to learn of the time and location for that meeting. ONA will not be debated at this meeting; concentration will be given only to structuring our process.

SUMMER READING: A Sermon Series for Summer Sundays
Every year there are recommendations for summertime reading. Local libraries, newspapers, magazines, and online publications all provide reading lists. The assumption is the summer days are freer, the hours are more relaxing, and one can kick back and enjoy a good book at leisure. Why not look to the Bible for summertime reading? It is a well-stocked library with offerings from a variety of literary genres sure to please a wide array of reading interests. Dr. Yurs will offer a sermon series this summer that recommends six Bible books for your summer review. The book review sermons will explore a family saga (June 14), an adventure story (June 21), a social commentary (June 28), a love story (July 12), a book of verse (July 19), and a biography (July 26).

Friday, May 8, 2015

Weekly News 4/30/15

Faithful to God . . . Relevant to today . . .  Open to all . . .  Striving to improve


Coming to you a day early! (There may be a new May bloom in Bloomington tomorrow who will need to be seen.)

SATURDAY . . . May 2 . . . Spring Clean Up and Work Day
Saturday is a Spring Clean-up and Work Day for the church. Volunteers are needed for work inside and out. You can come as early at 8 AM if you like. We hope to have the chores done by noon.

SUNDAY
Our worship service this Sunday will explore John 21:15-19 in terms of today. How do people who love Jesus feed Jesus’ sheep and lambs today? Who are the sheep and the lambs? Laura Kolden will be in the pulpit; the Children’s Choir and the Chancel Choir will sing.

SPRING SALAD LUNCHEON . . . Thursday, May 7
The Women’s Guild Annual Salad Luncheon will be Thursday, May 7, from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM. The meal consists of assorted salads, beverage, dinner rolls, and dessert. Proceeds go to support the mission work of the Women’s Guild as they contribute to camp scholarships, the jail ministry, nursing home ministries, and other local and international mission projects. All households of the church are asked to help this endeavor by contributing a salad. The cost of a lunch is $7.00 per person.

MEN’S FELLOWSHIP . . . Tuesday, May 5
Men’s Fellowship will meet at Julian Rhiner’s this Tuesday at 6:30. We gather for refreshments, conversation and a little Bible study.

PROJECT BEAUTIFY . . . Monday, May 4
We have done significant work to improve the structure and appearance of our building, but we have not yet completed the work of decorating it to the glory of God. “Project Beautify” is an interior decorating emphasis to continue what has been started. Its aim is to give a visual witness to our love for God and the church. It will creatively depict to members and visitors alike our love for God and the church and will give expression to the core values our Council, in collaboration with other committees, has identified as descriptive of our church. An organizational and brainstorming gathering will be held Monday, May 4, at 7 PM. Any and all are welcome and encouraged to attend to catch the vision and to share ideas. “I am doing a new thing,” says the Lord (Is. 43:19); “Write the vision; make it plain . . .” (Hab. 2:2).