Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Welcome to Salem United Church of Christ. Here is a little bit about what we have going on at the present time.

The welcome we extend as church is based on the invitation of Jesus who said, "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest" (Mt. 11:28). People are busy. They are busy with activities good and needful. There are moments we are so busy it feels as though we do not have time to live our lives. Here at Salem we are trying to find ways to convey the message that God offers rest. The rest God offers is God's own presence. We invite you to join us in learning to know and love the rest we can have in God these busy days.

We hold our weekly worship service at 10:15 on Sunday mornings. Over the course of January and February, the pastor is basing his sermons on some of the parables of Jesus. These stories were a chief teaching tool Jesus used, and we can read them today for insight into him and into the nature of Christian faith and life.

Salem is presently engaged in a process aimed toward discerning whether we should list our congregation as an Open and Affirming Congregation. A set of conversations is scheduled to begin on January 14 and continue through the Thursday nights of February. Each session will begin at 7 and last approximately 90 minutes. The agenda for this set of conversations is the same one that we used in our Sunday morning and Monday evening sessions in October and November. Since our aim is to encourage the widest possible participation, we are offering this Thursday opportunity. Plans for conversations following a different agenda are being organized by our congregation's Membership Growth and Development Team.

A group of adults from this congregation will be traveling in January for a week of working and learning at Back Bay Mission in Biloxi, MS. A group of Salem's youth spent a week there in 2013, and several of our adults wanted to go, too, They will be away January 23 through January 30. We use the acronym SALT for these mission trips: Serving and Learning Together.

Our church's Music Department will offer a benefit concert the afternoon of February 21. Several of our choirs will sing and play music, and a free will offering will be received. The offering will benefit the Family Assistance Fund at the Verona Area School District. The concert is slated to begin at 2 o'clock.