This year, 2017, is a milestone for two important reasons.  First, the Lutheran Church will be celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation!  Here we recognize the nailing of the 95 theses on the Wittenburg church door by Martin Luther; thus beginning the church’s reform.  Lutherans all over the world have cause for celebration.

Secondly, our Lord has blessed our beloved Salem Lutheran Church to prosper and grow in this South Buffalo community for 100 years!  Thanks and praise to God!

We will be celebrating these two events throughout the year and culminate it in a banquet on Saturday, October 28, 2017; then a grand service of worship, praise, and thanksgiving on Sunday, October 29, 2017.

Salem's 100th Anniversary and the 500th Anniversary of
the Reformation Celebration Planning Update

Our committee and multiple smaller sub-committees have been actively planning these Anniversary celebrations. We do ask that the congregation pray for our efforts and success and also that the members of the congregation volunteer their time and skills when the committee asks for your help.

Project Agenda & Updates for June

1. Quilt Raffle – This beautiful quilt is finished and the raffle tickets are now being sold. The tickets will cost $2 for one (1) ticket and $5 for three (3) tickets. See Anniversary Committee members for tickets. The quilt is displayed in the Good Shepherd Room.
2. Note Cards – Please make sure to take the time to look at those note cards which feature colored pictures of four (4) of the stained glass windows in the church. The note cards can be found on a table in the Good Shepherd Room. The cost is $10 for a packet of eight cards and eight envelopes. These note cards make wonderful gifts.
3. 100th Anniversary Banquet – The Congregation will have a Celebration Banquet on Saturday, October 28th 2017 at Columns Banquet Hall (Alton’s) on Transit Road. Mark your Calendar!
4. Sweatshirts, Hoodies, T-Shirts, etc. - There is clothing available celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the church with this logo in red and blue. All proceeds will go to the fund set up to defray the cost of the banquet in October. If you would like to place an order, please fill out the form with checks made payable to Salem Lutheran Church. Postage will be added for those who need items mailed to you. If you would like to pick up from church, Julie Schmidt will contact you when the items(s) are ready to let you know to get them from church. Order forms are available and samples are displayed in the Good Shepherd Room.  Any questions regarding the clothing items or sizing, please contact Julie directly at 716-863-5848.

For pictures of the sweatshirts, hoodies, etc. and the order form click here→ 100th Anniversary Apparel

5. 2017 Calendar of Guest Ministers and Events – July 2017:
Guest Minister – Rev. David Belasic – July 31st
August 2017 –
Guest Minister - Rev. Robert Volkert – August 27th
September 2017 –
Guest Minister – Rev. Karl Brenner – September 24th
6.  June 11th Confirmation Reunion & Reception
From Sub Committee of Norrine Nagel and Elinor Jentsch: It was awesome! The church pews were crowded and the balcony was ¾ full. The singing especially “Holy, Holy, Holy” sent chills up our spines, it was so inspiring! There were approximately 250-275 people in church worshipping that day.
     Pastor Pingel led the 8:15 am service with Holy Communion. At the 10:45 am service Pastor Blemaster preached the sermon, read the Confirmation lists and with Pastor Pingel, lead us in prayers. Again, there were approximately 190 actual confirmands in attendance from 1918-2017. Thanks be to God!
     Appreciation also goes to the 100th Anniversary Committee for sponsoring this event. Especially to Pastor Blemaster, Elinor Jentsch and Norrine Nagel who put in hours and days of research, phone calls and meeting since January, to find addresses for all the confirmands and who with Pastor Pingel helped plan the day. We now have a basic file should similar events happen in the future.

The following are a list of those who helped to make the day go smoothly:

  • The 100th Anniversary Committee who provided snacks & treats.
  • The Women’s Guild members who provided sandwiches for the reception.
  • The Greeters/ Name Tag people at three stations: Judi Feltz, Paul Swierczynski, Barbara Turner, Christine Johnson, Gladys Matson, Sue Gifford, Judy Carr, Elinor Jentsch.
  • Those who helped at the reception: Sandy Mulvaney, Sue Gifford, Leslie Fuller, Joyce Vassallo, Lois Mudie, Judy Carr, Amy Newhall, Marjorie Zawada, Catherine Nagel, Norrine Nagel.

Special thanks go to:

  •  Steve Jarmusz who was able to relight the stove just before 10:30 am.
  • Harry Reeves, Paul Swierczynski, David Bartholomew and Dennis Conrad who came in early on Saturday morning to put the kitchen together.
  • Roy Sheppard for taking pictures.
  • Rich Landseadel, Mike Beiring, Jim Carr and David Bartholomew who aided with the clean up in the kitchen.
  • The mailing crew who assembled and prepared the 400+ special invitations: Claire Carlson, Sandy Mulvaney, Lois Mudie, Karen Slike, Marie Radtke, Maria Eitler, Janet Overdorf, Barbara Bartholomew, Elinor Jentsch and Judi Feltz.

This second highlight of our anniversary year was made possible by many people working together as brothers and sisters in Christ to show God’s presence in our South Buffalo community. In His Name we serve.

Next Committee Meeting – Saturday, July 22nd at 9:00 a.m.

Janet Overdorf 655-1929        Norrine Nagel 826-6745


The following was published by LCMS Eastern District President Rev. Dr. Chris Wicher in his “Breaking New Ground” June 2017 issue. Dr. Wicher is a son of Salem and St. Paul.
I had the privilege of attending the Confirmation reunion at my childhood church, Salem in Buffalo, on Sunday June 11th. This 100th anniversary year reunion was part of their yearlong observation of God's grace shining through these many years. The worship service was well done and the church was full that Sunday morning. Of course, the successful attendance was not without a lot of work and effort on the committee's part. I'm told that several of the long-time members worked with the pastor emeritus, Richard Blemaster, to seek out addresses and to address invitations to as many as they were able. I don't know for certain what the final tally was, but with hundreds upon hundreds who made their confirmation through Salem, I'm certain that number was impressive. One of the special features of Salem is its pictorial history of its confirmation classes. Salem is the only church of which I am aware in the Eastern District that has on display a photo of each and every confirmation class in its 100 year history without missing a beat. And they are all on display in its basement. Dare I say my pudgy 12-year old face, with a head full of hair, is in the 1970 picture?  

Among many other things, this occasion reminded me of Jesus' words to His disciples on the mount of Ascension. His final words to the 11 are recorded at the end of Matthew's Gospel. "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." 

Jesus commanded them, and us, to go, and in going, to baptize and to teach. Sitting there at the reunion service, I remembered how confirmation is one way the church follows Jesus' command. By confirming young and old in the faith, Salem, and your church too, is obeying the words of Jesus. There are other ways congregations instruct people in the oracles of God. For example, there is Sunday School, VBS, recess classes, Adult classes, youth events and the like. Obviously, confirmation is only a rite of the church but a good one at that. It is not commanded as such in the Scriptures, except to say, we are to teach. Confirmation is a way the Lutheran Church has come to teach people the faith. It is sort of a follow up on Baptism.  By Baptism we are brought into the faith. Confirmation, then, teaches us the faith into which we were Baptized.  How good for our faith is the ministry we call "confirmation."