From the Pastor’s Desk – February

 If there is one word that I think can define how this last year went, it is music. In fact, I think it is bigger than that, so let me put it this way: 


The return of the choir and bell choir, along with the continued contribution of our many other talented musicians, defined the year of worship in the Presbyterian Church of West Salem. Back over summertime, a survey was released asking what people were looking for in worship. There were a number of ideas, but the only consistent one was: We want more music. 

Shortly thereafter, Vicki Arndt came back on as Choir Director, and the difference could be seen almost immediately, not only in the liveliness of our worship services, but in our attendance. It seemed like everyone had more energy, and it showed in other facets of our worship life as well, and even drove strong participation and attendance in ecumenical services with Our Savior’s Lutheran and St. Theresa’s Catholic Churches. 

I want you to know… I’ve heard the message and look forward to an even greater variety of music in 2024, as well as opportunities for musicians who are not yet a part of our regular worshiping life. 

Other aspects of life in the church have seen some change. We had the last of our rummage sales, the end of an institution that started to help finance an associate pastor position and became a regular part of the budget, run by a hard-working team of volunteers. The absence of rummage sale money from the budget will be a change, but I also want to point out something important as we look at it. 

Change is good, change is normal, change is a sign of life. Ministries come and go. What we can’t do is allow fear of the future to push us to cut back on ministry. The rummage sale ended because the team that ran it was tired, and there was no one to take their place, but new opportunities will arrive, and its up to us to step forward and take them, and to continue to use the money we have to drive new opportunities. 

At the end of 2023, we had three separate giving initiatives going, and we rose to those initiatives with flying colors. So, as you read this report, and look at the budget, I don’t want you to see reduction, or retraction. I want you to see a church of great generosity, and great resources, from money, to physical plant, to our super-talented people. 

Let us take that mindset of optimism and generosity going forward, so that we will always look forward… not back. 

Pastor Dan