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Pastor’s Corner Rev. Barb Muhs, pastor, Salem Church of Lincoln Lincoln, Iowa

November 1, 2013
Northern-Sun Print
By the time you read this Halloween will be over. Our candy bowls will be empty, costumes will be packed away either for younger siblings, next summers garage sale or yes, in the trash. As a child Halloween was one of those celebrated holidays I could take or leave. My costumes were never anything special and my older siblings sifted through my treats to take what they liked for their lunches the next week, not to mention the let down the following day when it was all over. Just what was it about, “All Hollow’s Eve”? Age has taught me to appreciate the day following Halloween, “All Saints Day” Now that is something I can celebrate! Remembering the saints that have passed on through the centuries and in my lifetime. Our Catholic brothers and sisters have celebrated Saints for centuries and continue to do so. Those of us in the mainline churches have heard of the saints however we don’t celebrate them,their lives and their good deeds on a regular basis. Yes, we know of St. Paul, St. Joseph.St. Peter,St. Andrew (I’m sure you can name a few more in your memory bank), what about the saints that you have known in your lifetime? Those that have made a difference in your life, in your community in the world. Common in the churches of the St. Louis area or churches with a strong germanic heritage is the service of Totenfest. A special church service celebrated on the Sunday nearest November 1st. During this service names of church members that have past are read and candles are lighted for them, often a family member will receive a rose in memory of thieir departed family member. Special songs are sung and often remembrances are shared among the people. A touching somewhat emotional service for all people. Customs vary throughout the world on how this day is celebrated. In the south, people decorate the cemeteries, family members place new flowers on the graves of loved ones and the tradition continues. This year as in years past I will pause and give thanks for the many people that have touched my life and I will remember those who in the past year who have said their earthly good byes to family members. I will visit the graves of my parents and of Jon’s parents, I will celebrate the lives they have lived and the lives they touched and I will remember the words of John, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on, “Yes,”says the Spirit,”they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.” Rev. 14:13.



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