The Salem Tidings

From the Pastor’s Desk

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! Psalm 100:4

 Note from Pastor Paola:

It is that season. Thanksgiving is in everybody’s mind. However, this year is nothing like before. 
Families are cancelling their traditional celebrations. People are not traveling. The news is suggesting alternative ways to celebrate Thanksgiving: dining virtually, scaling ack, perhaps celebrating outside (that would be difficult in Wisconsin!). I even heard an interview with turkey farmers concerned that they will not be able to respond to the high request for very small turkeys this year!
Some of us may feel sad.  I know I am. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but this year is going to be a challenge to be thankful. My family is scattered and will not gather for Thanksgiving or for Christmas for that matter. The level of pain, worry and grief in our country and around the world is just too much to bear some days. The spread of anger and hatred feels unstoppable. 
Yet, psychologists remind us that God wired us for gratitude.  Gratitude improves our physical, mental and spiritual health as well as our social connections. It enhances compassion and even helps us to sleep better. God knows how much we need all of this.  If we give up on expressing gratitude, we truly give up on hope.
Albert Schweitzer, a theologian, musician and physician who spent a big part of his life taking care the dying and very sick, as medical missionary in Africa in the midst of war and extreme poverty, said: “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”
I will start right here, and I hope you join me can too, by expressing deep gratitude for all those people in our lives who have rekindled the spark in our lives during these past few months. They have been lighting the flame within us and leading us to hope, have faith and even laugh and have good time during the last difficult months.
Among those people, I give thanks for you all, the family of Salem. You showed me one miracle of hope and love after the other during this time.
Salem has been our spark and flame within us.
May God Bless you,
Pastor Paola