Happy September to all you Saltines! Also, a happy two year anniversary to our website and monthly newsletter! Two years ago today our first newsletter came out! While we had a couple that came out a bit late, we haven’t missed even one in the last two years! I hope you find value in our newsletters and I hope that you enjoy the writings, verses, songs and recipes that they include every month. It has been a joy for me to write them over the last two years and I look forward to continuing in them for as long as I can. I thought, in honor of our newslettervesary, I would take this month to talk about the guild and how it has changed in the last year. The guild and website have come a long way in the last two years and a yearly guild update wouldn’t hurt.
While I didn’t include a guild number last year I know our member number has grown. We now have 360 members with an average of 10-40 online at a time. I have said before, in past newsletters, that Salt doesn’t do any active recruiting. We are not one of those guilds you see planted in the home cities advertising our guild and asking for new members. We rely on word of mouth recruiting and individuals seeking us out (via Facebook, website, forums; such sites where they can search for Christian guilds and find us). Some may wonder why we choose to run our guild this way and may even accuse us of laziness, but that’s not it at all. Numbers don’t matter to me. I don’t care how many people are in the guild. I care way more about the quality of fellowship in our guild and on the Lord’s guidance and growth of our guild. I believe this kind of “recruitment tactic” puts the growth in the Lord’s hands and not in ours, so we can focus on what really matters in the guild, that’s the people, not the growth. That being said, each and every one of you, I truly believe, was brought to us by the Lord and that is so cool to me! He saw our little community and thought “you know what Salt could use? You!” Thank you Lord, so much for bringing these people to our guild; they are all so valuable to us! If you ever have any friends or family or even just other players that get talking with you and express interest in joining Salt just let any online officer know. If there is no officer online you can send me a mail with their character or account name and I can send an invite when I am online next. I will note also, though, that we periodically purge our membership of inactive players. Inactive players are those who have not been online for 1 year or more. We do this regularly in order to provide room in the guild for new and active players. If you are one that took a leave of absence from the guild and come back to find out that you have been kicked, please don’t take offense to it. We are delighted to resend invites to any member who may have been purged due to inactivity, just contact any officer for a re-invite!
A year ago today, I reported that we were one upgrade away from our guild being Max level. I don’t even remember what level that was. Since then we have hit max level a couple different times! Not long after we hit max level the first time a few more upgrades were released. Thanks to all your handiwork we were able to plow through these new upgrades with lightning speed and get back to our new max level. We’ve been maxed out, at Level 69, for most of the year, though I expect new upgrades will be released with the new expansion pack: Path of Fire. A couple highlights on the upgrades we have achieved since this time last year include additional harvesting nodes, adding leather and cloth nodes to the berry, lumber and ore nodes we already had. It also introduced guild anthems which play every time our guild has some sort of achievement, completing a guild mission or claiming a WvW objective for example. Thanks to the scribes in our guild we now have many cool new decorations and member created jumping puzzles to make our guild more enjoyable for everyone! Thank you to everyone who donates their tokens to the guild decoration trader because those many tokens make our decorations possible. Also, thank you to those who donate unneeded items into the guild bank. Being able to share items with each other is a blessing to both the giver and the receiver. What a wonderful opportunity to bless each other.
One of the biggest ways our guild has changed is in its weekly events. Sadly over the fall/winter/spring of last year we saw significant decline in participation over all our weekly events. Some events came to a screeching halt after weeks and weeks of zero interest. Because of that we decided to take a much needed break from events over the summer, summer being our biggest down time of the year anyway. It is our hope that being declined events during these last few months will fuel your desire to join them again this fall. Our events can only be successful if we have people to attend them. Now, I’m not trying to guilt you into joining an event by any means; but if you’re at all interested in one, please don’t be shy! Voicing your interest, even if you can’t attend, will show us that our events are still desired. It’s quite possible that the game has changed to a point where events just aren’t important to anyone anymore, and if that’s that case then that’s ok, but we are going to give it one more shot by bringing them back this month. Fabulous Fractal Friday will have a kick off night TONIGHT, Friday Sept 1 at 9:00pm EST. Tonight Jen and Jimmy will be running fractals as a chance to reconnect to them and the members who run them, but also to evaluate interest and determine how fractals will be run from here on out. So if you are at all interested in Fractals please be there at 9:00pm EST tonight so we can count you in. If you are interested but cannot attend tonight please send a PM or Mail to Jennifer.2605 or Jimmy.8402 and let them know that way, this is crucial to the formation of our weekly calendar. TBDT will begin again the second Tuesday in September: September 12 at 10:00pm EST. Because of a lack of interest when we took a break for the summer TBDT will begin again as a bimonthly event. We will meet the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month at 10:00pm EST. TBDT (To Be Determined Tuesday) will kick off again with a Map Boss night! For this event we will jumping across many maps following the spawn of many map bosses. Please bring your highest and most complete character to make this easier and to make sure you make it to each boss on time. I have been having major internet issues over the past few months that make playing the game a bit difficult. We’ve been working hard at getting these issues fixed but so far very little seems to help. I am starting up TBDT in the hopes that my internet connection will allow it, so if I drop connection a lot I may need to reevaluate leading an event until I am sure the problems have been fixed. Also, bear in mind that I am 7 months pregnant and will be due with my first baby boy at the end of October; this may also make event leading a bit of a challenge for me for a time. I appreciate your patience as we figure out these things. GUILD MISSIONS will be starting up again in September as well. Like TBDT Missions will begin again as a bimonthly event and will be held the 1st and 3rd MONDAY of every month at 8:00pm EST. Yes, due to schedule conflicts with the missions leader we have switched mission days! We’ve held them on Sundays for as long as missions have been around until now, so make special note of this change and keep an eye out for reminders in the Message of the Day, Facebook and Twitter. Since the first Monday of September is actually Labor Day we will skipping it and the official start up will be held on Monday September 18th at 8:00pm EST. This is an event that can be enjoyed by any member at just about any level, there are some restrictions depending on the missions we are assigned that week but we will do our best to ensure that everyone is able to participate. I have updated the official guild calendar to reflect these event day/times and changes. You can find our event calendar on the website under the Guild Wars 2 Tab; you can also find it on our Facebook Page and as a link in the Pinned Post in our Facebook Group. I will do my best to keep this updated with any cancellations and holidays, but remember, my life is about to get very crazy! WvW doesn’t have its own event night going on the calendar, but I have been enjoying it a lot myself and hearing from others who enjoy it as well. I have been WvWing long enough that I think I would feel comfortable leading a small group of guildies around from time to time. I know we have many different servers represented in our guild and that makes WvW very hard to enjoy as a guild. I am on Fort Aspenwood and if you are also on Fort Aspenwood and interested in WvW please let me know with either a PM or a Mail in game. I will compile a list of those on my server and interested and we can go from there; see if we can put something together.
Another change that has taken place in the last year is the change in our voice chat. We had been using a private TS server graciously hosted by Matt (a.k.a Mice in game, thank you Matt!) and have recently switched to Discord. For those of you who have never used Discord I assure you it is an easy and effective way to chat vocally with guild members. You can access discord two different ways, one is a downloadable app for your computer and the other is through a web browser. Discord allows you to have one account and be part of multiple communities (not at the same time of course). If you are a part of any other guilds or groups that use Discord you can join multiple groups then just pop between them as you please. I am still learning how to use Discord, but it seems to be easy so far. You can find us by clicking this link: http://discord.gg/5h8uBHZ . You can also find this link written in the Message of the Day on the Guild Panel in game as well as the pinned post “Important Guild Info Is Here” at the top of the Facebook GROUP. My only request is that you make your Discord profile name to represent your in game character or account name so we can know who’s who on Discord. Thank you and I do hope you will join us here!
The second expansion of Guild Wars 2 comes out later this month and will take us into a new region of Tyria: The Crystal Desert. Starting September 22 you can venture into this new and gorgeous area of the map. Pre-purchase is already available for the expansion so getting it early will ensure you are set to explore on release day! You can pre-purchase via the Trading Post in game as well as the GuildWars2.com website. The standard package for PoF, which includes the expansion as well as a Max-Level Boost, is $29.99 but you can also buy the Deluxe and Ultimate package which include all sorts of other fun things to enjoy with the expansion. PoF will include 5 huge new maps to explore, new elite specs for every class, mounts and a new available guild hall. It’s going to be an awesome new adventure and I hope to see you in the Crystal Desert starting Sept 22!
Well, I think that’s enough from me for now. I look forward to seeing you all in game and hopefully at some of our weekly events in the next month!
God bless you all and may you have a wonderful September!
(Vasshti, Guild Leader)
“To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:11
• New Saltines •
konawolv; Agent of Jyggalag; Luregas; Casaspun; jsc; sekhment; bonefish; Shadowewolfe.
Be sure to give a warm Salty welcome if you see these new Saltines in-game!
• September Verse of the Month •
“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O Lord.
You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths,
you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for the darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.
If only you would slay the wicked,
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
They speak for you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you,
and abhor those who rise up against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.”
• September Song of the Month •
Love Broke Thru
• September Recipe of the Month •
Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf
You would never guess this turkey meatloaf is packed with mushrooms, but that’s what makes it so darn delicious. Lots of finely chopped mushrooms add flavor and moisture, often missing from the typical turkey meatloaf. When choosing which mushrooms to add, white button mushrooms will work perfectly fine. For more flavor, try one or a combination of brown cremini, portobello, or shiitake mushrooms. The mushrooms need to be very finely chopped. You can do this by hand or use a food processor.
Makes 6 Servings
– 8 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and very finely chopped
– 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
– 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
– 1 tablespoon oil
– 1 teaspoon kosher salt (divided)
– 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (divided)
– 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
– 7 tablespoons ketchup (divided)
– 1 cup (60 grams) panko bread crumbs
– 1/3 cup (80 ml) milk
– 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
– 1 1/4 pound ground turkey (92% lean)
– Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet (or 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan) lined with aluminum foil.
– Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened; about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the mushrooms, a 1/2-teaspoon of salt, and a 1/4-teaspoon of pepper. Cook until the mushrooms give off their liquid and it boils away; about 10 minutes.
– Transfer the onions and mushrooms to a large bowl, and then stir in the Worcestershire sauce and 3 tablespoons of the ketchup. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
– Meanwhile, combine the breadcrumbs and milk in a small bowl.
– Stir the breadcrumb mixture and the eggs into the mushrooms and onions. Using a fork or your hands, gently mix in the turkey, a 1/2-teaspoon of salt and a 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. The mixture will be very wet.
– Form the meatloaf into a 9-inch by 5-inch oval in the middle of the prepared baking sheet. Spread the remaining 4 tablespoons of ketchup on top.
– Bake the meatloaf in the preheated oven until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meatloaf registers 170 degrees F, about 50 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.
• September Tip of the Month •
Did you know that the Guild has a number of FREE guild enhancements in the Guild Hall? From the spawn Waypoint go South into the Tavern and find Nathan the Bartender [Guild Enchancements]. He has a 20% Crafting Boost, 10% Map Bonus Rate, 20% Gathering Boost, 10% Karma Boost, 10% Magic Find Boost, 10% XP Gain, 10% PvP Reward Track Gain, 10% WvW XP Gain, and a 10% WvW Reward Track boost. All of these boosts are totally free and last for 24 hours! You can only have one active at a time but you can switch them out at any time! Come find Nathan the Bartender for your free boosts today!
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”