Forest Lake Talks

A Message From Ellen

November 20, 2019

November 20, 2019

Dear Friends,

Though you will receive this letter before Thanksgiving, I want to welcome you to the Advent Season!  You have been seeing Christmas decorations in stores since before Halloween, but the first Sunday of Advent is December 1st.  And inside this newsletter is a summary of the events, opportunities and services that will guide our preparation for the coming of the Christ Child.

This year, the editor of The Presbyterian Outlook, Rev. Jill Duffield, has challenged us to think about the distinctiveness of our Christian celebration of Christmas.  We understand very well that many people think that the colors of Christmas are either red and green, or silver and gold (I heard that exact Christmas Song in a store the other day!).  But the color of the season for Christians is PURPLE.  And Rev. Duffield challenges us to think about how to be distinctively Christian through purple preparation, purple praise, purple penitence and purple divine power.

During the Advent season, you will be able to read Jill Duffield’s insightful and thought provoking Advent devotionals by picking up a printed copy in the Connecting Point Lobby.  Her devotionals will also be posted on our church blog on Sundays.  Every other day of Advent, our church blog will feature devotionals written by members and guests of our congregation.  If you subscribe to the blog through our Church’s website the devotionals will be emailed to you each day.  And then each Sunday will bring a challenge to observe a distinctively Christian Advent in a world that values red and green or silver and gold much more than purple.  I’d love to invite all of you to consider how you prepare and celebrate the season of Advent and Christmas in ways that are counter-cultural.  

There is nothing wrong with red/green or silver/gold, but they are not colors around which to build our lives.  Purple is a color that invites us to prepare to be distinctive in a world that values many things that do not prepare us to receive the God who comes in the form of a newborn baby and who calls us to follow despite the cost.  As the schedule gets crazier and the pressure mounts, ask yourself what it might look like to celebrate a Purple Advent that will allow us to celebrate a Christmas Day that is about light coming into darkness, about joy overcoming grief, about peace in the midst of chaos and that calls us to a power unlike the power valued by the world and culture in which we find ourselves.  Come and be purple with us.


Ellen Fowler Skidmore

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