Fancy Newsletters

November 2018 – Kinda Coming Full Circle

It was a bleak day in a bleak neighborhood 15 years ago.  Tim France and I were standing in Salem Alliance’s south parking lot, surveying the Broadway strip.  Boarded-up buildings.  Used car lots.  One of those payday-loan storefronts.  Tons of litter and graffiti....

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October 2018 – Table Sitting, Setting, Serving

I’ve been in a lot of meetings lately.  But it’s a good thing.  Meetings mean tables … and we love tables.  As part of our fellowship with Street Psalms (www.streetpsalms.org) in Tacoma, we are digging into the concept of Table Sitting, Setting and Serving.  It’s a...

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September 2018 – Back to School 2018

After joining SLF in 1996, one of the first meetings I attended was with the superintendent of Salem-Keizer’s schools.  Homer Kearns was meeting quarterly with pastors and ministry leaders to build relationships and avert discord.  This was heady stuff back then … the...

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May 2018 – A Neighborhood Renaissance

When Jennifer and I were looking for a home to buy 20 years ago, we’d narrowed our search to three neighborhoods.  None of them were in the Realtors Top 10. Capital Park, aka “felony flats.” Grant/Highland, aka “the ghetto.” And the Edgewater area of West Salem, aka...

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March 2018 – Support Raul

When our colleague Kaleb Herring recommended him for an SLF internship, we took pause.  Of course, nothing with SLF is an automatic ‘no’ (we are a CaN-do team!) … but a high-school kid serving alongside three college-age interns all summer? “Raul can handle it,” our...

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January 2018 – How a Wintertime Golf Event was Born…

At SLF, we are profoundly blessed that part of our mission is to actively promote and support other ministries and nonprofits.  We attend their events and invite folks along.  We help them strategize their fundraising and write grants.  We sit on their boards and...

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December 2017: Advent

It’s been several months now.  I thought after Mom’s passing (December 2008) that I’d be used to it.  But autumn was always Dad’s season: Oregon and OSU football games on the TV with Jennifer’s parmesan-and-yeast popcorn … real fires in our fireplace with wood from...

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November 2017: The Great Season of Benevolence

Here it comes again. The Great Season of Benevolence.  From Thanksgiving to Christmas, good-hearted people come out of the woodwork to serve meals, donate clothing and wrap Christmas presents for “needy families.”  (Urk, I hate that word ‘needy’ …)  Such kindness is...

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October 2017: A Badge of Belief

“But Sam, it’s just a football field.” I heard it when SLF helped raise funds for the North Salem turf field several years ago.  I heard it again when we stepped up to help McKay High School do the same this year. I’m not hostile to the question.  Pouring more than a...

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September 2017: Back-to-School

Charlottesville, just like Ferguson before it, is sparking emotions.  Protests.  Blog posts.  Outcry. What if Charlottesville sparked action? I’m not talking about political action.  There’s plenty of that already.  I’m talking about positive action. Ongoing action....

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July 2017: What We Do

…our role is to build bridges; to connect people and organizations; to catalyze change.  Our first focus is the church community, an asset that was dormant and disjointed for many years.  We are also deeply called to all sectors of the community: schools, non-profits, agencies, law enforcement, government, business and neighborhoods.  People-of-faith … and People-of-goodwill. 

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June 2017: Fancy Friday Edition

‘The Gathering’ on May 4th was a beautiful experience of unity and fellowship for all of Salem-Keizer. Among the laity and the clergy of our community, alike.

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February 2017: More Than a Ride Home

You never know how valuable a ride home can be.  Jennifer and I always made ourselves available to the Viking Band members if they needed a ride home.  After practice.  After a football or basketball game.  After a weekend band competition.  After one of the many...

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April 2017: Remembering Doug Evans Coe

“How many churches are there in Salem now?” he asked.  It was 2001.  We were sitting in my car after taking a ‘fancy field trip’ around the north-Salem neighborhoods where he grew up. “Well,” I responded with some pride, “we just did a survey and there are nearly 200...

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March 2017: The Root Cause

People helping people.  It can be a sacrifice.  It can take us away from our leisure and our personal pleasure.  But it’s one of the best investments of time and relationship we could ever make.

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