Staff and Leadership

PASTOR
The Rev. Dr. Mark E. Yurs is the longest-serving pastor in our church's history. He has been with Salem since 1991. 


Mark views himself as a teaching minister. He tries to develop sermons that use the Bible to shed light on life today. Mark is an attentive and sensitive pastor as well as an effective teacher. He understands what an old-time preacher meant when he said, "In every pew there is at least one broken heart." Mark strives to be caring toward that broken heart, and open to and accepting of all who look to Christ for hope, help, and courage. The above tells of Mark's serious side, but you really understand him only when you know his light-heartedness and his delight in finding humor wherever it can be found. One of our pastor's favorite texts is the one in which Jesus says, "I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete" (John 15:11). 

Mark has taught Preaching and Worship on the seminary level, and has written extensively in the fields of preaching and ministry. He is the author of three books (see below), numerous articles, and is a contributing author to a number of other books, including Feasting on the Word and Feasting on the Gospels, commentary series published by Westminster John Knox Press. His writings also appear from time to time in the well-known devotional publication These Days. 

He holds the Bachelor of Arts degree from Carroll College (now Carroll University), Waukesha, WI, and both the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, Dubuque, IA. He was ordained in 1982 and served St. John's United Church of Christ, Belvidere, IL, for nine years prior to coming to Verona. In 2001, Dubuque Seminary awarded him its distinguished alumni award, the Herbert E. Manning Award for Excellence in Pastoral Ministry. 

Mark is married to Sherrol, and they have three grown children. 


Books by Mark E. Yurs:
  • Answers to Real Problems:
    • Harry Emerson Fosdick Speaks to Our Time
    • (Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2008)
    • Available on www.amazon.com
  • Being A First Church:
    • What a Pastor's First Congregation Should Know
    • (Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2003)
    • Available on www.amazon.com
  • Meeting God Again
    • (Lima, OH: Express Press, 2000)
    • Out of print

ASSOCIATE IN MINISTRY - LAURA KOLDEN

OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR - CARA BAHR

DIRECTOR OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION - SARAH PUNDT

MUSIC DIRECTOR-  DAWN LINGARD

CHOIR DIRECTOR - JANET DAHL

BRC CHOIR ACCOMPANIST - JULIE SUNDBY

BELL CHOIR DIRECTOR - CARRIE COENEN

COUNCIL PRESIDENT - LISA HART

YOUTH CHOIR DIRECTORS -