Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. As I write to you, I am reminded of all the positive things continuing to happen at Salem. In early January, we hosted our first clothing swap and donation event in the fellowship hall. What simply started as discussion between Kasey and I after she convinced me to clean out my closet following some summer weight-loss, quickly magnified into a tremendous effort of community outreach and support.
This one-day event was so well supported by you, our faithful members, in addition to many members of our greater community, it swiftly became a weeklong event. In total, twelve large bags of some truly wonderful lightly used clothing, and a few boxes of shoes were given to our friends at Believe in Blessings Thrift Store in Elizabethville to further their ministry. A $250 Thrivent Gift Card provided refreshment for our volunteers and shoppers, purchased supplies, and paid to advertise the event. Many have asked that we make this a regular event for our parish. And with that enthusiasm, I will form a new outreach committee this spring, and plan another event to take place this fall. It was truly a humbling experience; one that did good for so many in our community. We are reminded in Matthew 25:35-40, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ … And the King will answer them, Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”
The Holy Spirit is actively moving the people of Salem by bringing us together in magnificent ways. Great efforts are being made to help our church embrace a more conservative congregation-approved spending plan. Members are lending their talents to the care and upkeep of our facilities, and we’ve seen the return of committees to help us stay on track and to continue moving forward in our mission. We’ve celebrated three baptisms and gained a new choir member. Much is being accomplished, and opportunities to serve are abounding. Don’t miss out on your chance to increase your involvement as we continue to grow!
As we approach the season of Lent, with great anticipation of what is to come in the glorious resurrection of our Lord and Savior, I encourage you to find a devotional to read in this season. I’d be happy to help you find one. Take time to pray and reflect on your faith. Take advantage of every opportunity to be in the presence of the Lord at his table in Sunday Mass, and the many additional Wednesday evening worship opportunities found in this season. Continue to be good neighbors and your face be the Light of Christ which shines to those who desperately need His mercy. You continue to be a blessing in my life. Peace be with you.