Church News


We will not have an in-person Community Thanksgiving Eve Service this year. Instead, Our Annual Community Thanksgiving Eve Worship will be pre-recorded and a video will be posted to each church’s website. The video will consist of a brief message, prayer, and special music from each of the participating churches. You can view the service on Thanksgiving Eve and any time afterward on our website.

Check with other churches for their website addresses. We can still give thanks even during challenging times like these. God is with us. We hope you enjoy our Community Thanksgiving Video.


Thank you to those that attended our first ever Sip N Paint Event! (Masked) Participants got to paint their own Fall Flower Canvas and take home a treat from 419 Café. Thank you Brenda Binns for creating and instructing this class. Take a look at some finished masterpieces with their artists. This event helped to raise funds for future Outreach Events into our Community. We are a church with a mission even during times like these! If you missed this painting event, we are tentatively planning to do another one in Spring 2021. Keep checking our Facebook page for future event updates!


People ask or question why we offer The Whole New BOO (for 2020 The BOO Trail) for Halloween. We at Salem Church think Halloween can be a way to celebrate family, neighborliness and, yes, Jesus Christ.

The early church actually started what we call Halloween. The name refers to All Hallows Eve, which is the evening before the All Saints Day of remembering early Christian martyrs. We can share with our kids how it is a celebration of all those men and women who gave their lives for their faith. Besides the history of the holiday, we at Salem find this holiday a way to be a genuine witness for Jesus…a light in a dark world. 

We are called to reach out into the world around us and be the light of Christ by sharing what we have been given. Offering free, safe, events like our BOO is just one way we are living out our mission. The BOO offers children the fun of dressing up in costumes and receiving a safe BOO Bag of candy and treats. The Whole New BOO is an expression of our faith life.

Everyone’s costumes were amazing! Despite the rain and other obstacles, we were able to make this event a fun and safe experience for everyone! We hope you had a FUN Time on the BOO Trail. We look forward to seeing you again next year for A Whole New Boo (2021). 


The Whole New BOO (for 2020 The BOO Trail) for Halloween was a great success! We had 110 children registered! We were able to assign designated times for costumed (and masked) participants to walk through the Haunted BOO Trail. We are thankful we could provide a safe & fun event for local families. Volunteers also helped the night of, masked and gloved, to hand out goodie bags and oversee the event. It takes a team of dedicated, caring helpers to make our events run smoothly. We’d also like to extend a HUGE thank you to SERVPRO. Commercial air purifiers, generously donated for the event by SERVPRO, provided a continuous flow of clean air all along the trail.  


The nursery will be available for children (infant through 5 years old) during our entire Sunday morning worship schedule 8:30 am through conclusion of 10:45 am worship. Lynn, Angie, and other volunteers will be doing a thorough cleaning of the nursery prior to reopening. If you can, any extra help is appreciated! Please contact Pastor Warner if you can volunteer to help us reset, clean, and prepare to reopen the nursery. Read more about our reopening guidelines.


 Please welcome Lynn Nickels as our New Nursery Attendant.  Lynn will be working with Angie Brish as the two of them supervise infants / toddlers in the nursery.  Lynn is a member here at Salem and is also Angie’s mother.  Lynn has helped Pastor Warner as a Confirmation Camp Counselor in the past, and she is involved in many other activities here at church.  We will be restarting the nursery for Sunday Worship beginning next Sunday, September 27, 2020. 


 We had our first ever “Belated Bunny Trail” event on Sunday, August 30th, 2020. Normally, our Easter Egg Hunt is on Palm Sunday, but it was canceled due to coronavirus. In addition to rescheduling our egg hunt, Sunday (8/30) was also supposed to be the Annual Block Party – but this was also postponed. We still had the street reserved and the Easter eggs, so we got creative! What was supposed to be our Annual Easter Egg Hunt, turned into a Belated Bunny Trail; a series of Easter-themed activities up and down West Independence street.

After months of waiting our Bunny Volunteers were able to hand out the church’s stockpile of 1,500 Easter eggs to local children. Kids hopped down the bunny trail collecting eggs and completing a series of Easter-themed activities, receiving a goodie bag when finished. Activities included an egg balancing walk, hula hoops, guessing games, and more.  Volunteers running each activity were wearing bunny ears, latex gloves, and masks with bunny noses and whiskers. Our team planned out each part of the trail to make sure everyone stayed within all the necessary COVID safety guidelines. We wanted to do something that was safe and fun for all our local families. We are committed to being a part of the community and providing a fun, safe place for kids. For a first-time event – this Bunny Trail was a success! Thank you to everyone who helped.


(6/20/2020) Lay Leader Brenda Binns and others volunteering in Gilberton to assess damage from last week’s floods and give residents a hand with removing water-damaged materials from their homes. This is going to be a long- term recovery project. Help or donate through the United Methodist Church, the Red Cross or the Salvation Army. Contact Brenda Binns to help make lunch Wednesday 6/24 for the residents and volunteers.

Brenda Binns
570-617-1342 (cell)
[email protected]


Despite COVID-19 (and the possibility of rain!) we were still able to have our Annual Worship in the Woods! Thank you to everyone that came out and joined us for a lovely outdoor worship. Even though this was not our usual Worship in the Woods we still had a great turn out. A special thank you to our Ministry leaders, Denny Booher for preaching, Wendy Campbell and the Praise Band for providing us with music, and other volunteers and helpers who made this possible. We look forward to worshiping in the woods again next year!


Thank you to everyone who came out on Saturday, June 27th, 2020 to help clean the church in preparation for in-person worship. We appreciate the hard work and donation of your time and efforts to keep out congregation healthy and safe. Volunteers deep-cleaned all church surfaces, vacuumed, sanitized and disinfected areas throughout the Church. A lot more people helped than who is pictured here. We appreciate the kindness and support of those who volunteered their time.


The VFW Post 2198 and Legion Post 369 Honor Guard marched, following a nontraditional parade route, on Monday, May 25, 2020 in honor of Memorial Day. They departed at 8:00 AM with an Orwigsburg Police escort. As per tradition they fired a salute at each of the town’s three cemeteries and the revolutionary marker. Even through challenging times, it is important to remember our heroes. Thank you for your commitment to honor all those who gave their lives for our freedom. Thank you to those that made this possible. (See more photos below.)


“Instead of sitting around and feeling sorry for everything we can’t do now, my friend Rose and I masked up and answered a call for help from the local Salvation Army.” – Brenda Binns.

Getting ready for the Salvation Army’s weekly food distribution….this week Rose and Brenda  got to play with eggs! “We packaged 2700 without losing any!!!” Trucks will go from the Salvation Army location to Allentown, Hamburg, Pottsville, and many other communities. Still feeding the hungry. Thank you, Salvation Army & volunteers!

Contact Brenda Binns at: [email protected]  if you want to help with the prep work on Mondays in Lebanon. Or you can call Becky Netznik at (610)-698-1904 during business hours to sign up for helping at Hamburg on Tuesdays or to receive a box of food.


Is God calling you to lend a hand? The Salvation Army is in need of your help! If you are willing and able, please consider volunteering to help with preparation of food boxes.

Monday through Thursday from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM Salvation Army needs volunteers for preparation of food boxes to distribute to families. MAny hands make light work!


The Lebanon Salvation Army Corp is about 40 miles (50 minutes) away from Orwigsburg. (Located at: 1031 Guilford St, Lebanon, PA 17046 ) Volunteers should enter around the back into the loading dock area. Susan Carlson is also currently volunteering Mondays / Wednesdays. Individual volunteers are always welcome to show up on their own too. If you are interested in coordinating a time to volunteer along with Susan, please contact her ahead of time at (603-943-2171). Any help is appreciated!

Susan Carlson heading to Lykens with 150 boxes of frozen meals (4 family meals in each box), 120 dry goods boxes and 600 eggs! Thank you Susan for your willingness to go out of your comfort zone to drive trucks of food to those in need! 


At their April combined meeting, the Church Council and Finance Committees here at Salem UMC voted to make a donation of $2,000 from the Mission & Ministry Fund to the local Orwigsburg Food Bank in the month of June.  Many people have been very generous in giving toward the Mission and Ministry Fund over the past several months.  The Mission and Ministry Fund is the Pastor’s Discretionary Fund used to help people in need and to support various efforts and activities in the community.

We have shared that we had funds to help people who may be struggling during this crisis but we haven’t had any families come and ask for help.  Neither have we heard from others about specific needs in our community.  We offered help through word of mouth, the newsletter, and in talks with the local police and community leaders.  Pastor Warner shared this information with Church Council and Finance and it was unanimously decided that we would donate $2,000 to the Orwigsburg Food Bank to help provide food to local area residents.  We still have funds available for individual / family needs as they come up.

Our Mission Team, Team Orwigsburg, also made a donation of $5,000 during May 2020.  The Mission Team had planned on a mission trip to South Carolina to repair homes.  The trip was canceled because of the Coronavirus outbreak and stay-at-home restrictions. 

Mission trips like this often cost more than $20,000 for materials, food, lodging, gas, donations to organizations helping people in the area, and more.  Since the trip was canceled and we didn’t spend the funds, the team voted to donate $5,000 to the Orwigsburg Food Bank. And other dollars will be used for local mission in our area.


Our congregation is committed to sharing God’s love and making a positive difference in our community through mission outreach and other ways. Not only can you be a part of helping through giving to the Mision and Ministry Funds. You can help us decide what our next mission project should be!


Let us know who to help. Please contact Pastor Warner by emailing him at ([email protected])  or the church office at ([email protected]) and let us know if you are aware of a need where we might be able to help.

Are you in need of assistance? Please read the following articles below to see where Salem UMC can assist you. 


(By Sharon Booher) When we were finally encouraged to wear a face mask, I immediately thought about making them (I could hear my sewing machine calling me from the closet). The Face Mask Project began with the United Methodist Women (UMW) when I realized a few more ladies were interested in helping with this undertaking.  So far, we have completed and donated, approximately 200 masks.  Someone suggested that I keep count of the masks completed, but for me it was a labor of love and service, not about the number. I am always looking for service projects for the ladies and this seemed to be an awesome idea. The Salem Church members have always been so supportive of the UMW and I thought it was a great way to give back to the people. Then the project seemed to take a life of its own and it grew to family, friends, neighbors and former nursing colleagues.  I recently mailed twenty masks to a nurse working at LVH-Schuylkill and delivered sixty masks to the Pottsville Soup Kitchen. Many people are donating thread and material to this project, and we continue to need additional supplies.  If you have any materials you would like to donate  let me know by calling 570-366-0184 or [email protected] 


If you, or someone you know, needs a face mask — contact UMW president, Sharon Booher, at either (call) 570-366-0184 or (email) [email protected] so we can help.  There is no cost to receive a face mask; however, any donation for supplies and postage is greatly appreciated. GOD is great! — Sharon Booher   

Pastor Warner
215-990-4581 (cell)
[email protected]

Kathi Street
412-716-7285 (cell)
[email protected]

Brenda Binns
570-617-1342 (cell)
[email protected]

Denny Booher
570-294-8668 (cell)
[email protected]