The Salem Tidings

From the Pastor’s Desk

For where two or three gather in my name I am with them.”   Matthew 18:20

A Note from Pastor Paola:

There are days when I feel so discouraged and pessimistic about the future of our world, our country, our church denomination, and even my family. What divides us seems overwhelming, even stronger than what unites us. The desire to communicate and reach out to those who are different from us seems to become less every day. In fact, direct face-to-face communication is becoming rare. Meanwhile isolation and loneliness is rising to dangerous levels. The fear of the stranger has been rising, creating more anxiety and disconnections among people of all ages and backgrounds.
But there is a place that gives me hope. It is Salem on every Sunday morning as we gather in worship. And trust me, I am completely genuine as I say this.  
We are different from each other. We have different opinions on many topics. We vote differently. We were brought up with different priorities and life expectations. We all have our quirks and annoying qualities that can become challenging to tolerate at times. Yet we gather in worship together, we work in mission and outreach together, we dream and build the future of Salem together. We communicate (even if it is not always easy) face-to-face. And more importantly, we pray for each other, we bear each burdens, and we care for each other.
I am so blessed to be part of this community, and I hope you are too. You see, this is not our doing but it is God’s doing. I believe that if you had to sum up in a single word what God is up to, what God’s goal is in creating the universe and the people who inhabit it, the word would be community. In community, we recognize our humanity, our need for each other, our incompleteness, and our imperfections. In community, we recognize the need for our Redeemer. 
And God is still in the business of redemption, specializing in bringing something very, very good out of something bad.
For this reason, Salem is a place that gives me hope and allows me to look into the future with joy, even in the midst of all the darkness inside and outside of us.
I can’t wait to be in worship with you all this Sunday!  
Pastor Paola