Recently, a group from Salem Lutheran joined forces with other community groups in our area to clean up the Middle River.  We went by kayak and canoe, picking up trash as we floated down river.  We collected tires, plastic bottles, old shoes, ladders, pots, pans, and a lot of basic trash.  It was a good day as we worked together caring for creation.


On September 7th Salem Lutheran will again partner with other congregations and community groups for an event called Rise Against Hunger.  We will be working together to assemble and pack approximately 25,000 meals to be sent around the world for people that simply need to eat.   I expect it will be a good day working together for those that are hungry.


I’m confident that not everyone involved in these two events were Republican.  I’m confident that not everyone was a Democrat.  I’m sure there were a wide variety of opinions on sensitive topics.  But while we were floating or packing food, we were together.  It was beautiful.  It was refreshing.  Division among people today is alive and well.  We are divided on issues of gun control, immigration, health care, abortion, vaccinations, global warming, etc., etc., etc…  You don’t need a monthly newsletter article to tell you that!  With so many opinionated voices in the world, I yearn for the day when we learn to listen to each other with a sense of hope, trust, and togetherness.


I know my yearnings sound way too optimistic, but I find real hope floating down a river with people from all walks of life, of different politics and opinions, with one common goal.  I find real hope as strangers gather to pack food for people we’ve never met, for our neighbor that lives on the other side of Earth.   In the midst of so much divisiveness in the world today, I invite you to be on the lookout for opportunities to do things with people who are different than you are.  I encourage you to participate in an event (like hunger) that all can be on board with toward a common goal.  The more we do things together, the better our relationships become with those on the “other side”.



From your optimistic Pastor