Sally’s Been Thinking About…Writing and Editing

I’ve been writing since childhood and have a natural gift for it. In my youth I penned essays and research papers on the plight of Native Americans, writing poetry on the native life and essays that spoke out against the Vietnam war and the way natives and anyone else who was different were treated.  My papers were dismissed far easier than praised but that didn’t stop me. I just needed a new view and a little more perspective. My admiration for Martin Luther King Jr. I devoured his works and witness and supported his efforts with my writing. That continued through my seminary studies.

While a seminary student, I was encouraged to keep writing. Among my many pieces, I included reflections on A Letter from Birmingham Jail, set next to my own reflection on many of King’s writings. My first professional position came when I wrote a grant to the State Government’s, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention. My second job came with funds from the Federal Government’s program, Head Start. I continued to write grant proposals throughout my career in Head Start and in congregations I served as ordained clergy.

As a pastor I wrote a lot more than I expected. I thought I would have study time, not funding proposal writing. It worked out well, as I was able to read before writing. The multiple bible studies I wrote and led called for even more writing, theological writing that contained common words rather than the theological language I wrote while in seminary. One of my favorite funding proposals was a small congregation in Southeast Iowa. I wrote the proposal so the men and women involved in making weighted blankets could expand their already prolific efforts.

Writing has been a long-held passion and a ministry as well. Give me a topic to write on and, if necessary, the research task as well. Next to any kind of ministry, I love doing research. Anything you want to know about Amelia Earhart or Sam Shepherd, step right up. I’m working with Teddi Yaeger on a piece of the public byways project right now, but my mind is eager for more.

Editing is new for me, but my sister, Sue Kirk taught me a great deal as she edited several articles and my latest book, Waiting for Good News. We worked together on earlier resources in the 1980s.

Sally’s Been Thinking About…Public Speaking

As a pastor, I have had the opportunity to lead worship and preach on a regular basis. Many years before that I was owner/operator of Sally Wilke Presents, offering similar services to the ones described in this blog post. I am a warm and personable speaker who engages and keeps the attention of any size audience.

I am able to speak on a range of topics, and again, I remind you that I love research. So…give me a topic to research. I will write and present the speech.

Sally’s Been Thinking About…Research.

I have already described my affinity for research, so I need not describe much more. Fortunately, I realized before I sold any research papers that it was illegal. That is how much I love sleuthing. My preference is for people, alive or deceased, and research on topics that include geography,

history, science (limited unless I can research without understanding). Reminder: Research can always be attached to any kind of writing.


Planning, presiding, praying with the family, and officiating at graveside.

Planning and counseling generally take place at a mutually agreed upon location, but may be completed via email, facetime or snail mail. Music is decided on by the pastor and the funeral director.

Fees are not negotiated with the family but are agreed upon by both parties. Especially when the deceased is unknown to the pastor or does not have a home congregation, she will meet with the family to plan the service, including music.


Wedding planning, officiating, and pre-marriage counseling

I am not a wedding coordinator. It might be more accurate to say that I work with couples of any gender and sexual orientation to develop the order of service, the vows, music and prayers.

Music and prayers will be reviewed in advance by the couple and the pastor. The pastor is the director and final word at the rehearsal and may or may not be able to attend the rehearsal dinner.

This will be a Christian marriage ceremony.


Officiating a funeral

Funeral services for indigent, non-Christian congregation members and any others in need of my services are provided. Funeral services include meeting with families and love ones, planning a Christian funeral, presiding at graveside, and participating in the funeral luncheon.

Presiding at funerals is one of my Spiritual Gifts given in Baptism, so they honor the deceased and provide God’s care to the grieving.


All fees associated with any of the services described above are comparable to local businesses. Please call or post for a quote.