Pastor's Corner
...musings from Salem's Pastor Kurt Traugott...


When I was serving First UCC in Elmira, the Susquehanna Asociation offered a series of retreats called “The Pilgrimage”.  I was trained to be able to lead these retreats and during the training we were given examples as to how we could be more intentional in our prayer life. By the time you read this we will be half way through the season of Lent.  As you know one of the spiritual disciplines of the season is to be intentional in our prayer life.


 I once heard a Catholic nun describe prayer this way: “Prayer puts us in touch with radiant forces.  It draws the great God down into the little heart, and raises the hungry soul to God who holds all things.”  Every time I think about what she said, I am reminded of one of those exercises.  You find a comfortable, quiet place to sit, you then place your hands on your knees, as you begin to pray, speaking to God, your palms down, then at some point your palms are up and in silence you open yourself to God’s



          Thus, it would seem that prayer means opening every channel of our lives to the “quiet glory” of God…being still that we may know that the Holy One is alive and ready to meet us in holy fellowship.  Where God, is there is clearness of mind.


          Where God is, there is confidence in living.  All the natural quiet confidence of God’s earth and its manifold life surges up to give us strength and courage.  Where God is, there is joy—joy as manifest in all the young, growing creatures of nature, joy as felt in the human spirit’s high adventure.  Where God is, there is renewal, restoration—tension relaxing, tiredness disappearing, guilt forgiven, in ward self refreshed and made whole again.


          So, as we continue to engage in prayer during this holy season, may we “Be still and know. . .”  Letting God’s great sweeping strength flow through us, God’s joy, refresh us, God’s beauty thrill us and God’s love bring us peace.


          May God bless you as you continue your Lenten journey to Easter.


                                                                                Pastor Kurt+