Forest Lake Talks

A Message from Ellen 2-20-19

February 20, 2019

February 20, 2019

Dear Friends,

 There are so many things happening, that I almost don’t know where to begin.  Life seems to offer us so many wonderful opportunities to work for the purposes of Christ and Christ’s Church.  Let me highlight a few.

1.  If you are, as I am, aghast at what is emerging as the state of public housing in our city, then I want you to know two things.  First, our congregation (thank you Pam Bowman and some of our youth and adults for delivering our gifts) gave a donation of both supplies (cleaning and otherwise) to the Columbia Housing Department, and we gave almost $500 of gift cards that could be useful to displaced residents.  That is a wonderful mercy response.  Mercy is essential, but mercy is not all we are to do!  We are also to pursue justice.  And, it just so happens that the grass-roots non-profit of which our congregation is a part – MORE Justice – has chosen to focus on housing for our special emphasis in 2019.  So, MORE Justice now has three foci:  Education, Mental Illness and Housing.  If you want to do more than only mercy, then plan to come to church on Wednesday, February 27th at 6:15 in the Fellowship Hall.  You will hear more about MORE Justice and be invited to become part of the solution to the problem!

2. If you are, as I am, regularly at a loss for how to approach God when I seem so weak in faith, then I Invite you to come and worship with us on Ash Wednesday, Wednesday, March 6th, at 6:15pm in the Sanctuary.  This is a brief service in which we mark the beginning of the Christian Season of Lent – a time of introspection, prayer and spiritual discipline.  We will participate in the ancient practice of marking ourselves with ashes to symbolize our repentance, our humility, and our wish to be part of the redemption of the world.  Much better than watching the evening news – yes?  Nursery available and children are encouraged to come.

3. If you are, as I am, worried about the polarization and hatred that seems to be gaining momentum in our public debates and in our culture, then I invite you to be a part of a three-part listening and discussion series called, Critical Conversations: Muslims and Christians Together.  For three consecutive Wednesdays – March 13, March 20 & March 27 – We will welcome Muslim Imam Omar Shaheed and members of the Masjid As-Salaam (that is the Mosque on Monticello Road with whom we have held joint food drives for our School Districts).  The first night will be our opportunity to listen.  The second two Wednesday nights will be about authentic, respectful discussion around what we share and where we differ.  If you want to do something positive to be an antidote to the divided rhetoric and to learn more facts, then come and bring a friend!

Need I say more!?  I hope to see you.

Grace and Peace,

 Ellen Fowler Skidmore

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