March 24, 2020

Psalm 146: 5-7
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry.

Reflection: Last fall, Kris and I had the pleasure of enjoying some vacation time in Seattle. Seattle has many good sites to see, interesting places to experience, and a variety of transportation options to get from one place to the next. During one of those “transport occasions,” our driver asked if he could stop for a quick errand along our route. He stopped at a wholesale food store and said he would be back in just a couple of minutes. He promptly came out of the store with many small boxes of food items, mostly granola bars and similar snack food, and loaded them into the back seat of his car, leaving just enough room for one of us to be able to sit in the back seat. As we traveled to our destination, our driver seemed to be on a bit of a “mission” to find as many homeless people standing at street corners as he could and happily give them a box of granola bars. As we continued on our journey, I could tell our driver was intentionally choosing his path to go where he knew there would be needy people on the streets. Many times he would recognize people that he had given food to before, and sometimes he even knew their names. On one occasion, he asked if we could hand him two boxes of food, because he knew the woman at the upcoming street corner had a large family to feed. Each time, after giving the food, he said “God bless you.” As I watched this repeated action of joyful giving, the verse “It is more blessed to give than to receive” was being lived out right in front of me. I saw the kind heart of a cheerful giver, the compassion of a caring person, and an inspiring passion for helping those in need. For me, this was an especially touching moment. You see, our driver on this particular journey was our son, Kyle, who lives in Seattle. I thank God and I thank Salem for sowing seeds of Jesus’ love in our children who have grown and matured into faithful, active Christians.

Prayer: Gracious God, we give you thanks for using Salem Lutheran Church as a faith-filled assembly to share your Good News. Help us to recognize the needs of our neighbors, both physically and spiritually, and give us the courage to meet those needs. Amen.

-Dave Griffith

OUTDOOR WORSHIP CANCELLED
DUE TO PEORIA HEALTH ADVISORY
In response to the recent Health Advisory issued by Peoria City/County Health Department describing rising levels of COVID cases and concerns, the planned outdoor worship service has been cancelled. Worship will still take place live at 6pm, but with worship leadership only. It will be recorded and available for viewing by 8am on Sunday, July 26.
 
This decision is not taken lightly but very seriously as we strive to follow health officials recommendations and cautions. We do this because we love one another and want what’s best for one another. In this time of pandemic, that means refraining from indoor as well as outdoor gatherings of larger sized groups.

The drive by farewell for Kristen will still take place on Sunday beginning at 10:30am as we will remain in our cars. Thank you for your cooperation. 

Pastor Craig
Craig Swenson, Senior Pastor