Adult or Intergenerational Studies
Chalking of the Doors
We will be blessing chalk during children’s sermon and sending it home this weekend (January 5 & 6) at all services!
The chalking of the doors is a centuries-old practice throughout the world, though it appears to be somewhat less well-known in the United Sates. However, it is an easy tradition to adopt, and a great way to gather as a family and dedicate the new year to God.
The formula for the ritual — adapted for 2019 — is simple: take chalk of any color and write the following above the entrance of your home: 20 + C + M + B + 19.
The letters have two meanings. First, they represent the initials of the Magi — Caspar, Malchior, and Balthazar — who came to visit Jesus in His first home. They also abbreviate the Latin phrase, Christus mansionem benedicat: “May Christ bless the house.” The “+” signs represent the cross, and the “20” at the beginning and the “19” at the end mark the year. Taken together, this inscription is a prayer to God to bless the home and all who might enter.
The timing for the chalking of the doors varies. In some places, it is done on New Year’s Day. More commonly, it is performed this Sunday — the traditional Feast of the Epiphany — the Twelfth Day of Christmas.
Using chalk mark the lintel of your door (or front porch step) as follows: 20 + C + M + B + 19 while saying: “The three Wise Men followed the star of God’s Son who became human two thousand and eighteen years ago. May Christ bless our home and remain with us throughout the new year. Amen.” “Chalking the door” is a way to celebrate and literally mark the occasion of the Epiphany and God’s blessing of our lives and home.
To see a short video from our Stewardship campaign about study click here.
Lunch and Learn!
Last year a gathering of life-long learners enjoyed weekly studies on Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Salem’s main floor chapel /lounge.
In mid to late January we will shift gears once again and explore the theme of Faith and Farming. Whether or not we are engaged in farming directly, we are all touched by the attitude agriculture takes toward God’s gift of creation. We will draw especially on the powerful ideas of an inspired Christian farmer-author, Wendell Berry, who has given us some of the most beautiful poetry, essays and fiction of the last six decades, all aimed at fostering an agrarian approach to community and food production.
Please consider joining us for our Lunch and Learn discussions. And why not help us turn up the joy by bringing a friend or two!!