THE PASTOR'S HEART
Summer is upon us and some of our Salem students are graduating from high school, our Sunday School children will be promoted, and we will observe Memorial Day, as usual. Many of our students will be entering their projects in the local county fair and some of our children already have begun their soccer, baseball, and softball seasons. This is what we do every summer around Salem.
We are also trying a few new and different things this summer to enhance our spiritual growth. On May 20, the women of our church are holding an event by and for women of the community: Living Loved. On July 9, an actress portraying Holocaust survivor Corrie ten Boom will be joining us for breakfast cookies and coffee and worship here at Salem. On August 12 (from 6:00 to 9:00 pm) our church will be a part of something very big as we minister to the youth of our two counties.
One of our own church members, Morgan Wolff, volunteered to use her musical skill to help me judge high school bands form Porter and LaPorte Counties on Saturday, May 13. The winners of those bands will "battle it out" at the covered outdoor pavilion at the Valparaiso Family YMCA on Saturday, August 12, from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Children, youth, and families of Salem Church are invited to come out and watch the bands perform. While Morgan and our other judges are making their final decision, "Seven Glory" (a local Christian band from Valparaiso) will play upbeat inspirational music outdoors for all to enjoy. Food trucks with refreshments for sale will be available. Support Salem's investment in the youth of Porter and LaPorte Counties by joining part of our church family at the "Battle of the Bands."
Read the rest of this edition of PeaceTalk to be aware of the many other opportunities offered to you on behalf of Salem United Church of Christ!
Dear Salem UCC,
How quickly our three years together have sped by! Over the course of our shared ministry together, we have tried some new things and we have been able to sustain our church. I especially have appreciated your support of and your openness to supporting the Society of St. Andrew and also Growing Hope Globally and other mission-related projects what we have tried out over our time together. Highlights of our ministry together certainly would be: (1) the Palm Sunday Passion Production on March 25, 2018, which was Salem’s Two-Act musical and dramatic production that engaged a very large number of our church family; and (2) the 150th Anniversary of Salem United Church of Christ, which also engaged a very large number of our church family (including many from our past who came back to celebrate).
We as a congregation have helped to nurture Melissa Smoker as she pursues ministry with our faithful prayers and our offerings from our Student Fund. Melissa will be assigned a new UCC mentor from the Northwest Association of the Indiana-Kentucky Conference of the UCC as she continues her ministerial education.
Joe and I are grateful for the time that we have shared with you. Our ministry has called us to serve the Native American population right here in the southwestern part of the U.S.A. My final Sunday with you will be on Sunday, September 8, and our moving van will arrive at some point that next week to move us out of the Salem parsonage. As is customary for ordained clergy in the UCC, once we settle in at our new church, my ordained ministerial standing will be transferred from the Indiana-Kentucky Conference to the Southwest Conference of the UCC.
Please join us for worship on Sunday, September 8. Chris Birky (whom many of you know) will begin his interim ministry at Salem on September 15. The following Sunday, Mark Roeda from South Bend will fill our pulpit. The following weekend is Scarecrow Weekend (worship at Scarecrow Square), then Chris Birky will be back at Salem on October 6 to officiate at our communion table on World Communion Sunday. Meanwhile, Salem’s Search Committee will continue to move forward with the search for a Salem UCC’ 25th permanent (“called and settled”) pastor.
I am thankful to so many of you who have enhanced our ministry together. Please continue to pray for Joe and me and our family – as we share continue to pray for you!
Grace and Peace,