Tuesday, May 29, 2018

WELCOME
Thank you for visiting Salem’s website. We are an open and affirming congregation, and our mission is to witness to the word and work of Jesus so all people may know the welcome of God, worship with joy, grow as disciples, live as servants, and enjoy the strength of Christian fellowship. Here is a little taste of what is happening here over the summer.
SUMMER WORSHIP HOUR
Our summer worship schedule begins on Sunday, June 3. Beginning June 3 and continuing through September 2, Salem’s worship service will be at 9 o’clock. All are welcome and we hope to you as the community of the church gathers these Sunday mornings. Worship at Salem is traditional without being formal and its structure is uncomplicated. Each service hopes to speak to life today with light and love we believe come from God.
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL
On each night of July 22 through 26, from 5 to 8 pm, we will hold Vacation Bible School. VBS is an event for people of all ages (childcare will be provided upon request for children below 3 years of age). VBS includes a meal, music, stories, games, activities, crafts, and more. The theme is “Rome! Paul and the Underground Church.” Contact Sarah Pundt, our Christian Education Director, for more information.
SUMMER SALT EXPERIENCES
SALT is an acronym for Serving And Learning Together. These are hands-on experiences for Middle School and High School youth, providing opportunities to growth while serving. There will be two SALT adventures this year: “The Great SALT Madison Plunge” June 26 through 28 and the United Church of Christ’s “Great Lakes Regional Youth Event” to be held at Elmhurst College July 5 through July 8. Contact Laura Kolden, our Association in Ministry, to learn more about these opportunities.

WELCOME


Thank you for visiting Salem’s website. We are an open and affirming congregation, and our mission is to witness to the word and work of Jesus so all people may know the welcome of God, worship with joy, grow as disciples, live as servants, and enjoy the strength of Christian fellowship. Here is a little taste of what is happening here over the summer.

SUMMER WORSHIP HOUR


Our summer worship schedule begins on Sunday, June 3. Beginning June 3 and continuing through September 2, Salem’s worship service will be at 9 o’clock. All are welcome and we hope to you as the community of the church gathers these Sunday mornings. Worship at Salem is traditional without being formal and its structure is uncomplicated. Each service hopes to speak to life today with light and love we believe come from God.

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL


On each night of July 22 through 26, from 5 to 8 pm, we will hold Vacation Bible School. VBS is an event for people of all ages (childcare will be provided upon request for children below 3 years of age). VBS includes a meal, music, stories, games, activities, crafts, and more. The theme is “Rome! Paul and the Underground Church.” Contact Sarah Pundt, our Christian Education Director, for more information.

SUMMER SALT EXPERIENCES


SALT is an acronym for Serving And Learning Together. These are hands-on experiences for Middle School and High School youth, providing opportunities to growth while serving. There will be two SALT adventures this year: “The Great SALT Madison Plunge” June 26 through 28 and the United Church of Christ’s “Great Lakes Regional Youth Event” to be held at Elmhurst College July 5 through July 8. Contact Laura Kolden, our Association in Ministry, to learn more about these opportunities.




Wednesday, March 21, 2018

WELCOME!
Greetings, and welcome to the website of Salem United Church of Christ. Here is a bit of what we are concentrating upon at the present time. We are an Open and Affirming Congregation, and we invite your participation in these and other ministries of this church.

PALM SUNDAY PILGRIMAGE
Beginning at 9 o’clock the morning of March 25 we will hold a Palm Sunday Pilgrimage. This event, for children, youth, and adults, commemorates our Lord’s entry into Jerusalem for the last week of his life and teaching. Our pilgrimage begins at the UW Clinic on the corner of Mark Drive and Nine Mound Road, and then continues with a walk to the church followed by presentations at various “stations” at the church. The presentations mark the events of the Lord’s last days.

MAUNDY THURSDAY
This day in the life of the church remembers the night of our Lord’s Last Supper and his later arrest. We will mark the day with a worship service in our sanctuary at 7 PM. The service will include Holy Communion, which at Salem is open to all, and a set of readings with candlelight known as the Office of Tenebrae. Selections by Salem’s Chancel Choir and Barry Robinson Chorus will be interspersed between the readings. The readings recall how the disciples all forsook Jesus and fled. In recognition of the deep solemnity of this night, worshipers forego all greeting of one another at the end of the service and depart in silence.

GOOD FRIDAY
We mark the day of Crucifixion with an austere worship service at 7 PM.

EASTER MORNING
6:30 AM            Sunrise Service in the Sanctuary
7:30 AM            Breakfast at the Church (freewill offering)
10:30 AM          Worship in the Sanctuary

Friday, February 2, 2018

Thank you for stopping to visit Salem United Church of Christ’s website! Here is a taste of what this congregation is thinking about in February.
IS THERE ANY WORD FROM GOD?
We suppose some question like that brings you to our website. Your Internet search of churches grows out of a life situation that has you asking, “Is there any word from God for me?” We at Salem believe that there is. We do not pretend to have all the answers and we do not presume to dictate what the answer is for you. But we are ready to listen to your questions with compassion, witness to what we hold to be true, and walk with you as together we look to God in whom hope, courage, acceptance, and lasting friendship are found. We welcome you to be part of this life together under God.
FEBRUARY 5
A representative from the Badger Prairie Needs Network will be at Salem at 7 PM on February 5 to share with us about some of the programs of the Needs Network, especially the Food Pantry, and help us know more about volunteer opportunities. Coffee and dessert will be provided. Salem is proud of how the Food Pantry has grown, for, while it is no longer an entity of our congregation, the Verona Food Pantry began at Salem way back in the 1980s.
THE SEASON OF LENT
We Christians in this branch of the church divide the year into various and distinct seasons, each of which draws upon a particular aspect of the life of Jesus. The several weeks that precede Easter Sunday (this year April 1) are named the Season of Lent. It begins on February 14. We will be holding simple worship services each Wednesday night at 7 PM during the Season of Lent. The themes for these nights will address, in turn, the importance of prayer, the beauty of companionship, the power of solitude, and other topics suggested by events that happened the night before Jesus died upon a cross. All are welcome at these services. 
WHAT FAITH IN JESUS OFFERS PEOPLE TODAY
Beginning on February 18, and carrying through April 1, our Pastor will preach a set of sermons on Sunday mornings using brief biographies of New Testament personalities to help explain just what is on offer from Jesus Christ to people today. The emphasis will not be on the Bible biography so much as upon contemporary heart needs of men and women now alive. The hope is you will see yourself in the Bible personality and, better still, come face to face with the same Jesus who met that person’s need and who is ready to meet yours. Our worship services are pertinent, positive, and not full of heavy-handed judgment. They are easy to follow and traditional without being stuffy. You are welcome at them all, and we hope you can attend.
PARDON OUR DUST

Salem is having some remodeling work done in the church kitchen. This work will be happening during the months of February and March. It’ll cramp the style of our food-related hospitality some but we hope to continue to do what we can. Though this work will disrupt the church kitchen, it will not impede access to the church building, the sanctuary, offices, or Christian education spaces.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Thank you for stopping to visit Salem United Church of Christ’s website! Here is a taste of what this congregation is emphasizing in January.

ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF OPEN AND AFFIRMING
We will celebrate our one year anniversary of becoming an Open and Affirming Congregation on Sunday, January 28. The day will include morning worship, with Open and Affirming as a key theme, followed by a potluck meal. Open and Affirming means we are forthright in extending a welcome to all people, including persons of all ages, races, cultures, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, family configurations, economic circumstances, faith backgrounds, and physical and mental abilities. 

THE LORD’S PRAYER
The Lord’s Prayer may be lodged deep in your memory and you think of it warmly if not often. Others may grant it an honored place in their devotional life, some on a daily basis. Numbers of us, though, including those who repeat the prayer regularly, wonder what is meant by some of the words and about the differences between the way we say the prayer and the way some of our friends say it in their churches. Christian Education Director Sarah Pundt is leading a Sunday morning class on the Lord’s Prayer to help us learn more about this time-honored prayer and the place it can have in our lives. The class meets at 9 A.M. in the Conference Room. All are welcome to attend and to participate as much as they would like.
 
RECYCLE THE WARMTH
Salem is participating in the Recycle the Warmth program sponsored by St. Vincent de Paul, our neighbors across the highway. This effort collects gently used or new blankets, sheets, and other bedding, and/or receives $10 donations toward the purchase of new blankets or bedding. St. Vincent de Paul then provides bedding free of charge for those in need regardless of religion, race, or background. Our Mission Committee has placed a collection bin and offering envelopes for Recycle the Warmth in fellowship hall. The bin and envelopes will be available until the last Sunday in January.

HOLY COMMUNION
The play Hamilton has enjoyed much success in New York and elsewhere. Recent reports are that this play, based on the life of one of the Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton, is coming soon to Madison. The book upon which the play is based tells that when Hamilton was dying, from a gunshot wound suffered in a duel, he begged for someone to administer the Sacrament of Holy Communion to him. For him at that time the Sacrament was more than a ceremonial ritual of the church numbly repeated. It was a lifeline to Life. Communion is a mystery of our faith none can fully understand or explain, but we believe it communicates, under the power of God, the presence of Jesus Christ, the gifts of forgiveness and spiritual strength, and the promise of divine companionship now and always. We serve the Sacrament of Holy Communion to all who desire it during our 10:15 worship on the second Sunday of each month. Come. Take part. Discover how this can be for you a tremendous resource for living.

FEBRUARY 5
Representatives from the Badger Prairie Needs Network will be at Salem at 7 PM on February 5. They will share with us about some of the programs of the Needs Network, especially the Food Pantry, and help us know more about volunteer opportunities. Coffee and dessert will be provided. Salem is proud of how the Food Pantry has grown, for, while it is no longer an entity of our congregation, the Verona Food Pantry began at Salem way back in the 1980s.

Friday, January 5, 2018

KEY VALUES

No doubt there is a way to set up a template for these weekly mailings so that the masthead above does not need to be retyped each week. But I love typing our church’s list of key values every week. Our Council and committees worked hard formulating those several years ago, and the weekly reminder of them reinforces them in my mind. Our church wants to be faithful to God, relevant to today, open to all, and always striving to improve. Those values set our course in everything we do. Let it be our prayer that God grant that we live up to these ideals, embracing them in deed and not merely in print.

DECORATIONS

The time has come for our beautiful holiday decorations to come down. The dismantling will happen after worship this Sunday. Plan to stick around to help if that is something you would enjoy doing.

POINSETTIAS

The plants that have graced our chancel through the seasons of Advent and Christmas may be taken home after worship on Sunday. Thank you to all who donated a wreath or a poinsettia.

OFFICE HOURS

Office hours for the church staff are as follows:
            Rev. Dr. Mark Yurs, Pastor:     Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 11:30
            Laura Kolden, Associate in Ministry:   Monday through Thursday, 9:00 to 12:30
            Cara Bahr, Office Administrator: Tuesday through Friday of most weeks, 9:00 to 12:00
                                                                                                           

MEN’S FELLOWSHIP

The next meeting of our Men’s Fellowship will be held at the home of Harlan Hall on Thursday, January 11, beginning at 6:30 PM. Please contact the church office for directions to Harlan’s house.

OFFERING ENVELOPES

Offering envelopes for 2018 are available on a table at the back of the sanctuary. If you would like a box of envelopes, but do not see one there labeled for you, please contact the church office and we will forward your message to the financial secretaries. If you would like to transition to electronic giving please contact the church office as well.