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.

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 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.
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.

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.

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


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.


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.


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 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


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 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.