Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Welcome to Salem United Church of Christ, and thank you for visiting our congregation's web page. Here is some indication of what is happening in our life these days.

"Homeless Bags" are the Sunday School mission project at Salem for 2016-2017. The bags are intended for people to have in their cars and give away to anyone who confesses homelessness or need and asks for money. The bags contain items such as toothpaste and brush, socks, water, bandages, tissues, and something nutritional. In addition, there is a card with information concerning numbers for agencies that can provide resources. Sunday School kids are organizing these bags and hoping the folks of the congregation will keep one or two in their car for ready distribution. This is one way our church is working to live out God's love and share the gifts of God.


During our Sunday morning Christian Education hour, which begins at 9 A.M., a group is gathering to think about our stewardship of the earth. The chief resource we are using is Earthwise: A Guide to Hopeful Creation Care, by Calvin B. DeWitt. These conversations are, in part, in anticipation of the 2017 Robert D. Mutton Lecture sponsored by the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ and featuring Cal DeWitt. For more on that lecture, please see the Conference website at www.wcucc.org. Our conversations around Earthwise and creation care are not at all limited to folks who want to attend the Mutton Lectures.

Salem is not "always asking for money," but it is not shy about offering opportunities to give or calling for the faithful use of one's resources, all in gratitude to God. When churches like Salem do talk about money, they do so along two lines. The first looks to help people see what they have received from God and asks for their grateful response. The second shares the good goals the congregation hopes to reach and asks people for their generous support. In no case do we tell people what they must give. Instead, we follow the biblical principal of asking people to do as they have proposed in their heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7). We are spending the second half of September and the first half of October celebrating a stewardship emphasis under the theme Sharing God's Gifts: Infinite Possibilities.

Nightly news stories getting you down? Expand your vision and find new inspiration: join your friends at Salem for a potluck dinner and discussion on Sunday, September 25, hosted by the Love Over Fear group. We are a small group dedicated to learning more about issues such as immigration and race relations that often divide our society and make people distrust each other. We call ourselves Love Over Fear, because we believe that our faith holds the answers to these issues. As Martin Luther King, Jr. put it: "Darkness can't drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate can't drive out hate; only love can do that." If you've been wishing you could talk about what's going on in the world today in a relaxed, supportive, faith-centered environment, then this event is for you! Bring a dish to share if you like. If you don't have a dish to share, come anyway! Let's get together Sunday, September 25 at 5:00 PM (potluck dinner) and 6:00 PM (discussion).