I want to write about three things. First, Lent… Ash Wednesday is almost here. February 13 is Ash Wednesday and marks the beginning of the Lenten journey that will lead us to the events of Holy Week – the Last Supper, the arrest of Jesus in the garden, his trial before Pilate, his death on the cross of Good Friday, and the glorious resurrection on Easter morning! The details of our Lenten worship are included in this SunBurst. Please look at them, mark your calendars and be a part of our worship, fellowship, study and journey.
The five Wednesdays of Lent following Ash Wednesday will centering around the hymn “Beneath the Cross of Jesus.” The five ELCA pastors of Hermantown and north Duluth will be doing a round robin, using a phrase from the hymn as the theme for their sermon. Each week you will hear a different pastor give his or her message from “Beneath the Cross of Jesus.”The other two things I wish to write about come from the Annual Meeting. Some about Salem’s budget for 2013… I haven’t talked much about money during the two years that I have been here. There was a period of time when finances were tough. Budgets were trimmed; belts tightened and a lot of watching the numbers closely. The members of the congregation are to be commended for pulling together, keeping things afloat and keeping the many ministries going! Great job! I think we have turned a corner
financially. We finished 2012 in the black. We’re still watching the numbers, but we’re expanding the budget here and there. Thank you for everyone’s generous support of prayers, time, abilities and dollars!
The 2013 budget shows a 6 plus percent increase over last year’s budget. This isn’t a huge increase but it is a stretch. The increase is due to inflation and expanding the ministries of what we do here and beyond Salem. I ask you to pray about your financial commitment to the ministries of this congregation. I ask you to be regular in your giving. I ask you to give a portion of what God has given you. Let’s ask God to bless what we give to Salem and may He cause through us, many miracles of hope, joy, learning and love to happen! Thank you for your generous giving!The Long Range Vision for Salem is the final thing I write about. This vision, adopted by the congregation, sets a direction for us to pursue over the next couple of years. It is not cast in stone but it is a guide to help us move forward in the areas of fellowship, discipleship, worship, ministry and evangelism. It is my hope that many of the specific items will be accomplished. It is also my hope that we will add new items to it, so that we’re looking down the road and asking the question, “What can we do, that God will bless, and that will enhance the ministries of Salem?”
Your input and involvement is crucial to making the vision become a reality. Help out, be a leader, join a committee or ministry team, and let your time and energy help move Salem along the path God has in mind for us!All Hands on Deck!