About Salem

Salem Lutheran Church was established in 1884 and is a congregation affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in the SW MN Synod.  We are nestled in the beautiful Des Moines River valley in Jackson, MN.

Jackson is a “STAR” community located in a rich agricultural area along Interstate-90 in southern Minnesota, approximately 90 miles east of Sioux Falls, SD and eight miles north of the Iowa border.  Our community is proud of it’s’ agriculture, industrial and retail businesses, education systems, churches, parks, recreation, tourist attractions and service organizations.  Beautiful, new walking trails meander throughout the community, connecting our scenic river valley, parks and tree-lined hills with the sense that Jackson is a good place to live and raise our families.  We are proud to call Jackson our home.  Visit Jackson’s website at: http://www.jacksonmn.com

The community of Jackson has a rich ethnicity, with descendents coming from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Bohemia, Czechoslovakia, Scotland, England, Southeast Asia, and more.  Numerous churches and denominations are found here, many of which were formed among their own ethnic backgrounds.  Jackson is comprised of Lutherans (ELCA and LCMS), Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians and the Assemblies of God.

Salem Lutheran Church has a rich German heritage.  In its’ earlier days the German language was used for preaching, teaching and hymn singing.   Back then, our congregation was yoked with St. John’s Lutheran Church, which was located about eight miles south of Jackson, in scenic Petersburg township.  Though St. John’s congregation and church building no longer exists, it was located on the grounds of St. John’s cemetery, where many of our former members are buried.

Salem’s Affiliation
ELCA:  We are a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).  The ELCA, with its national headquarters in Chicago, IL, is comprised of approximately 10,500 congregations located across the fifty states and Caribbean and within 65 synods.

Region Three; SW MN Synod; Shetek Conference: We are one of 269 congregations within the SW MN Synod, which is one of nine synods in Region 3 of the ELCA.  Within the SW MN Synod we are one of 32 congregations in the Shetek Conference.

We are also a corporate member of Shetek Lutheran Ministries (SLM), located on the shores of Lake Shetek, north of Slayton, MN.  SLM offers many intergenerational opportunities including camping, retreats, youth  trips, recreation and more.

What We Believe
See the “What we Believe” page.

Salem is about “Family.”
The size of our congregation, having approximately 340 baptized members, affords us a comfortable, family atmosphere where people know and care about each other.  Visitors are warmly welcomed. We look forward to having new members join our congregational family.  Following worship services we love visiting and getting acquainted at weekly summer coffee fellowships and monthly fall-through-spring fellowships.  An occasional potluck dinner brings out the best of what Lutherans love: good home cooking and visiting!

Ecumenical Participation
* Mid-week Lenten Worship.

* “Worship, Word & Watermelon”: On Sunday evenings during the summer the community is invited to the historic Fort Belmont site for a free, informal  worship service, followed by an outdoor fellowship. Participating congregations share the responsibility of leading the worship services and serving watermelon.

* City of Jackson: The Salem congregation has participated in various community events, such as caroling at Jackson’s annual “Holiday Fest” the first weekend in December and serving free hotdogs at “Franks-A-Lot” in June.

The church season begins when we welcome in the Advent/Christmas season with a Hanging of the Green service, followed by a time of fellowship.  We enjoy Christmas caroling for some of our members every year.  A traditional candlelight service with Holy Communion is held on Christmas Eve.   Families can spend time with their families on Christmas Day.

During the season of Lent we share our Holy Week worship services with Belmont Lutheran Church. Easter is anticipated as a festive time to behold our beautifully adorned life-size cross, filled with fragrant Easter lilies.  We celebrate Holy Communion at two worship settings with a hot breakfast served in between the sunrise service and second service.

On Mother’s Day we honor our ladies by giving them each a fresh flower.  Dads are remembered in Father’s Day with a special gift, as well.  In the spring our teachers are recognized and high school and college graduates are honored.  High school graduates receive hand-made quilts from the congregation.

Summer time worship is generally held at 9:30 a.m. on Sundays, versus 10:15 a.m. from Labor Day through Memorial Day weekends.  On Sunday evenings in the summer we participate with our community in ecumenical worship, knows as  “Worship, Word & Watermelon,” at Jackson’s historic Fort Belmont site.  Following an informal worship service in a “country church” building, refreshing watermelon and fellowship are enjoyed outside on the lawn.

Our fall schedule gets back on track sometime in mid-September, when education classes resume.  Wednesdays are a busy day at Salem with Released Time classes for grades 3-5, confirmation classes for grades 6-8, family suppers, “Wednesday Night Live” (Sunday School) for ages three-grade five, adult Bible studies and monthly congregation council meetings.

A “Bible Sunday” takes place on Reformation Sunday (last Sunday in October) when third graders receive a Bible from the congregation.  Affirmation of Baptism (a.k.a Confirmation Sunday) is also held on this Sunday in October.

The first Sunday in November is All Saint’s Day and a time to remember the loved ones who died the previous 12 months by presenting a rose to family members.  In November we celebrate Stewardship Sunday with a traditional roast turkey “Thanksgiving” dinner with all the trimmings, compliments of the congregation council.

In November we also participate in supporting an outreach ministry, The Banquet, which is a soup kitchen in Sioux Falls, SD.  We and our sister congregation, Belmont, provide and serve a delicious supper to over 400 guests.  We began supporting this very worthwhile ministry in 2004.   In the spring and fall of the year we clean road ditches along a stretch of highway that our congregation adopted.

We remember all of our members throughout the year by praying each Sunday for those who will celebrate birthdays and anniversaries week.  Baptismal anniversaries are recognized on the third Sundays of the month at our worship service.  We offer prayers regularly for those men and women serving in the armed forces.  Those being baptized receive personal banners and a knitted prayer shawl from our prayer shawl ministry.

The women are involved with the Women of the ELCA, having two Bible study circles and biannual business meetings.  Women help support a variety of ministries.  They enjoy getting together for “sewing days” to assembling hundreds of quilts each year and share in fellowship.