Dear Family in Christ Jesus,

Salem to me has always been a “singing” church. We have always had a choir, and soloists, but the highlight of the year was always the summer when the choir took a break and sat in the congregation. That combined with the summer use of the piano made this place
really sing. Not every congregation sings like Salem does.

A while back I attended the funeral of a very sweet lady, who always made me smile and made me feel good. She had taught choral music for many years, was active in her church, played the piano and everything. She loved music and encouraged her children to learn music as well. Her two daughters both play piano and organ. What impressed me with her funeral was how her daughter had picked Psalm 100 for the service Psalm. “Make a joyful noise to the Lord all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing.” This line fully expressed my friend’s late mom. She was always smiling and happy. She was always supportive and kind, and she was always singing! Music flowed through her and brought joy to all she encountered, including to me.

Occasionally when she would visit, she would give me a big hug and a bright smile. She
was truly a joy and was joyful in the Lord. It showed on her face, and it showed in her voice. She was always making a “joyful noise” no matter what was going on in her life.

Making a joyful noise is important even in worship. God loves to hear every voice even if
it cracks or crackles and even if it isn’t quite in tune. Worship is participatory. We are not an audience, but we are participants uplifting their hearts, hands and voices to God in thanks for our salvation. It’s all about God and our response to God in our lives.

Life can be hard at times, and sometimes we might not feel like singing, but especially in
those times, make a joyful noise unto the Lord, who hears you, who hears us all. If for nothing else, sing with joy because God loves you, and the gift he has given you and all of us is salvation in his Son.

Sing out. Sing out loud, sing out proud, sing out joyfully, for God loves you!

In Christ,

Pastor Denise