Salem Presbyterian Church
Monday, November 28, 2022
Connecting, Supporting, Exploring Faith Together

Member Vickie Saewert

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Photo courtesy of Vickie Saewert.

The first time Vickie came to Salem Presbyterian Church was around 2006. She had found the church via an Internet search and the phone book. She didn’t know anyone at the church and visited alone, and Barb Helsel asked her to sit right next to her. Barb patted her hand and was very nice to her, taking Vickie under her wing. Vickie enjoyed Reverend Sara Shields’ sermon and the service very much that day. Very soon after that visit, within only a week or so, State Road 135 closed for construction and so Vickie could no longer get to Salem Presbyterian.

Vickie then attended Corydon Presbyterian Church.  She loved the people at Corydon Presbyterian and loved the pastor, but never felt comfortable. At that time she’d just moved away from everything she had known in Missouri, and didn’t know anyone in the area. She’d moved from her job, her friends, her church family, and her children, and said she felt a little lost. Vickie feels the main reason she never felt comfortable at the church in Corydon is because God really wanted her at Salem Presbyterian Church. She wanted to go somewhere she felt comfortable and where she could get involved, and that was closer to home because Corydon was such a long drive for her. And then State Road 135 opened back up and she came a second time to Salem Presbyterian Church. That day when she walked in, she felt a sense of comfort come over her. She instantaneously felt this was the church in which she was supposed to serve. She told me, “I knew I wanted to serve someplace. I knew I was needed someplace, but I just hadn’t found it. And when I came in I immediately knew. It’s like I just relaxed and knew I was home.” She hated that she’d had to miss out on a couple years because of the highway being closed, that she had missed out on a couple years of getting to know people and on the intimacy of a church family.

I asked Vickie how she knew this was her church home. She said Sara was very welcoming, and that Susie Lopp and Alice McGinnis invited her to come sit with them. Vickie said, “When you’re sitting by yourself, you always feel kind of funny, and they’re just like, ‘Come over here and sit by me.’ I am married but because Jeff’s out of town much of the time, a lot of times I’m by myself, which can feel kind of lonely and awkward.” But Vickie looked around and noticed there were a lot of people whose spouses had died or whose spouses don’t come with them to church. For this reason Vickie feels that even when she’s at Salem Presbyterian Church without Jeff, she isn’t alone; she fits right in. And she said it’s impossible to resist the outpouring of love from Susie and Alice.

While Vickie felt instantly at home at Salem Presbyterian Church, before becoming a member it was important to her to make sure Jeff would be comfortable too. Jeff travels so often, she had to wait for him to be able to come with her. Seeing how Jeff responded to the love of Alice and Susie on his first visit was one of the most fulfilling moments of Vickie’s time at Salem Presbyterian Church so far. Vickie explained that the first Sunday Jeff was able to visit, Alice and Susie were waiting at the door in the narthex for him, and when he came in they grabbed him and told him he’d be sitting with them. Vickie was singing in the choir that day so couldn’t sit with him. Vickie said, “I knew where I was with God, but to have my husband enjoy and relax and be teased and be made comfortable was very important to me.”

Before Jeff was able to come visit Salem Presbyterian, Vickie was asked if she would like to join the choir. She had mistakenly thought she needed to be a member of the church to be in the choir and was assured that was not the case and so she joined. Vickie has a lot of joy and it just comes out in song. She enjoys being a part of the choir because she can sing loudly just how she’s feeling.

Vickie feels that God leads her in her job. Being a photographer, she is fond of and tries at all times to practice 1 Corinthians 10:31: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” She believes God called her to photography. Vickie said, “Finally I have an avenue that I can see God’s beauty and actually put it on paper. Because if you look for the beauty of a person and can capture that on film, you can put it on paper and you’ve saved it. There it is."

- Excerpted from an interview by Trina Brown for the April 2011 church newsletter.