Now is the Time for Diversity



Now is the Time for Diversity

You are invited to learn more about the new Diversity Initiative at Salem, and to consider joining in its development.

“Now is the time” is the theme of Salem’s current capital campaign, not only because our building needs repair, but because we are re-gathering for in-person worship; and we want to come back stronger than ever for mission, trusting in the Bible’s message that “today is the day of salvation!”

Salem’s church council has also decided since God’s mission means welcoming all people, now is the time for our family of faith to build on its history of celebrating God’s great gift of human diversity. The council has authorized a Diversity Initiative to explore the establishment of a permanent committee and program to strengthen Salem’s commitment to diversity of all kinds.

If you are interested in learning more, and/or volunteering your time and insights for this project, please join us for an introductory Zoom session, either on Tuesday, June 15, at 11:30 a.m., or the evening of Wednesday, June 16, at 7:00 p.m. If you are unable to attend either of these Zooms, call or write John Seraphine at 815-895-9736 or, for more information. (See below for links to Zoom sessions.)

At the start of each worship service our Pastor joyfully declares, “Whatever your skin color, no matter who you vote for, no matter who you love and marry, no matter what you think of organized religion, you are welcome here.” This initiative will help us do the hard work of living up to those words, because we do believe all people are made in God’s image, and that in Christ God reconciled the world to God’s self, making us ambassadors of that reconciliation.

We do these things not to fill pews, but to fulfill God’s will for us. We are called to live out

God’s design for the world by truly loving our neighbors as ourselves. Our lives are richer when we honor the diverse gifts people bring to our community. We believe now is the opportune time for such an emphasis. Growing divisions among God’s people have opened the eyes of the present generation, who now hunger for the gospel of a gathering God, and who now search out communities where they can worship and work together in the spirit of that message.

This new initiative will address all dimensions of diversity, both in our congregation and in the  larger community. We will extend hospitality to Salem’s visitors. We will also find ways to fully involve God’s people in the life and leadership of our congregation. In the wider community we will facilitate opportunities for Salem members to meet with and listen to diverse others. We will also enable a growing number of Salem members to join with others in advocating for equity, justice and the nurturing of inclusive neighborhoods, all in the name of Christ.

So, join us if you can. Here is the link to the first Zoom session option:

Time: Jun 15, 2021 11:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 894 7511 3777

Passcode: 495305

Phone in: 1-312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

Here is the link for the second Zoom session option:

Time: Jun 16, 2021 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 831 2515 9879

Passcode: 878874

Phone in: 1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)