As we welcome 2017 into the ranks of history, I come to you with an assortment of odds and ends this month instead of some great overriding theme.
First, due to an oversight on my part, I neglected to share with you my appreciation in the previous month’s newsletter for both the recognition of my 30th anniversary milestones (years of service at Salem and ordination) back on October 30th. Although I had the chance to write a note to the Consistory and to express my appreciation from the pulpit, I didn’t have the chance to do so in the Chapel Chimes. Not only did I want to thank you for the recognition of those milestones, but I want to share my appreciation for the gift of the liturgical stoles that were a part of the celebration (at this writing I’ve already had a chance to use the green and purple stoles—white will get worn on Christmas). My family and I were most grateful for the celebration and the opportunity to reflect on the years that we have shared together as pastor and congregation.
Second, Sunday, January 8th, which is observed on the liturgical calendar as “The Baptism of Christ” will give us the opportunity for each of us to remember and celebrate our own baptisms. Baptism is one of those occasions which is done only once but can be remembered and affirmed a number of times in a lifetime. We will have the chance to not only remember our baptism but also to reflect on the promises that were made on our behalf and claimed by us later in life.
Third, Salem will be hosting a Community Service of Healing on Tuesday, January 24th at 7:00 p.m. The service, which will include participation from other area clergy, will feature worship, a moment of teaching, and opportunities to seek out healing prayer and the laying on of hands, if that is desired. We had services like this some time back, and a number of our local clergy felt it was time to bring back the practice.
Last, I want to acknowledge the group of individuals who helped to repair the siding on the east side of Fellowship Hall. Spearheaded by Jeff Bender of the Consistory’s Property Committee, Jeff Greuel, Dick Groene, Andy Hartmann and Dale Miller became the work group that tackled the siding job–many thanks to all of you for a job well done.
That ends the laundry list.
May God bless all of you and all those who you love in the new year ahead.
Your servant in Christ,
Rev. Jim Hoppert