November 20, 2018

By: Gretchen Petrakis

RENEWING GOD’S HOUSE THROUGH LEARNING AND GROWING:  Psalm 65:10 You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth.


As a lifelong member of Salem, it has been a privilege and a blessing to be involved with Sunday School for more than half of that time.  Working with children, as their faith develops and grows, is truly inspirational. The imagery in Psalm 65 speaks to this work. We never know how seeds of faith, once planted, will grow.  The growing is God’s work. The planting is ours. Planting seeds of faith is not a one-way street. I have learned just as much over the years from the children, as I have tried to teach them.  Children have an eagerness and joy to share what they know and the most profound words and thoughts come from them.


Psalm 65 describes a world alive with the bounty and glory of God.  While many scholars believe that its original use was for thanksgiving celebrations at harvest time, its possible applications today are many.  With its wide-ranging portrayal of an undefiled, joyful creation, along with the people delivered, at peace, and praising God, it provides a vision counter to what we tend to see in the world today.  Children understand this about God. As adults, we know it also, but I think we let other things get in our way. We forget to look at the world “through the eyes of children.” Our vision is clouded with other matters that we carry along the way with us.


Martin Luther had this to say about this psalm, “Thou art the right Master cultivator, who cultivates the land much more and much better than the farmer does.  He does nothing more to it than break up the ground, and plough, and sow, and then lets it lie. But God must be always attending to it with rain and heat, and must do everything to make it grow and prosper, while the farmer lies at home and sleeps.”  God is not a distant, far-off God, but visits the earth and continues creating and providing for life into the present. Children understand this. They help me remember it, too.


Dear God, Thank you for providing your grace to me like rain on the crops.  Your continued presence gives me joy and blesses my life. Help me to remember to be child-like in my faith and understanding of you.  Continue to rain your love on the earth and its people. In your name we pray. Amen.

About us

Salem Lutheran Church affiliated with the E.L.C.A. Salem is a vibrant welcoming Lutheran community that, through the grace of Jesus Christ, is connected within by love and reaching out in hope to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with one another, the community and the world.

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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