Forest Lake Talks

A Message from Ellen

June 24, 2020

June 24, 2020

Dear Friends,

Our Church feels like it is the proverbial duck these days – gliding along with little apparent movement on top of the water, while our feet paddle furiously under the water’s surface.  The Staff and Session of Forest Lake have been working furiously in the midst of changing and no consensus about what is safe and what is not safe.  And increasingly I am hearing of churches who are beginning to re-open.  Some of you have been asking me, “What? When? How? Now?”

This Sunday we will hold our second drive-in worship service at 8:30am.  We learned some things from our first attempt that we hope will improve this second try.  You are invited to drive into our Rockbridge Parking lot before 8:30 where you will be guided to a parking space by an usher.  You may print your own bulletin from the email that the church will send out on Friday, or ask the Usher to give you one.  All worshipers must remain in their cars and the building will not be open for water or bathrooms. You will tune your radio to FM 91.9 and hear us leading worship through your radio.  So, you get to control the AC AND the volume!  Because of the heat and the car emissions, we will work to keep the service shorter than normal.  But the benefits of worshiping together from our cars are multiple.  First, it was really fun last time just to see people and we were able to have conversations with each other from the distance and safety of our own cars.  And, since we are all self-contained in our cars, we can sing together!  Singing is not something that health experts say is wise when we return to the sanctuary.  So, if you are intrigued, come and see!

Then, on Sunday evening the Session will meet to consider the descriptions of what we are calling “Stage 2”.  Stage 2 is the plan that has been described by the Session Ministries and Staff to outline what we believe are practices that will balance our need and desire to gather and our moral obligation (and obligation of love of neighbor) to keep each other safe.  Even if Session approves the plan, I do not know what the collective wisdom will be about setting a date to re-open when the cases of COVID-19 are still spiking.  So, I ask that you pray for wisdom and courage for our Session.

Staff has begun to try to wrap our heads around what we think we may or may not be able to do come August and September.  We are making plans to roll out an exciting plan for small group study and discussion for all adults.  We can do this, because small groups of ten or less can meet either remotely or in person now.  So, stay tuned for possibilities for more new and improved H3 Small Group options in July!

We know that you are also paddling hard under the surface as well, and we have heard from you that you are also weary of zoom, and having to renegotiate everything you do, and of not knowing what the future holds.  Be assured that we are praying for you!  And, if you need me or any of our staff, please do not hesitate to call or email us!!!  I am convinced that while we do not know what the future holds, we know and believe in the God who holds that future.  So, do not let your hearts be troubled. (John 14:1)


Ellen Fowler Skidmore

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