Forest Lake Talks

A Message from Ellen

September 16, 2020

September 16, 2020

Dear Friends,

There is a lot in life that we cannot control. [Can I get an “Amen!”?]  But, there are still a lot of things that we can – if not control – affect.  There are things that I can do that only I can do, and I am responsible to do my part – no matter how small.  It is very easy these days to get caught up and spend hours worrying about things over which we have no control.  Instead, what if we agreed together to spend most of our time on the things we are actually responsible for, working in the places where we can accomplish good or prevent evil?

In this newsletter and the next one, I want to share two very specific places where, I feel strongly, we are all called to work for the good and against the evil: two places where we can each make a difference and live out our faith in positive ways.

First, I am convinced that we can each do some specific things as individuals to protect children against abuse. Every one of us can do some specific things that build our individual and congregation’s ability to protect children from abuse.  Would you be willing to watch a short video that educates you on the signs of child abuse?  Our Business Manager, Shannon Fancher, can send you the link to watch the video which takes about 30 minutes. Email her and ask – shannonfancher@flpc.org .   By doing so you will be better equipped to recognize abuse, to prevent abuse and to respond to it should you find a child being abused.   Another action you can take is to fill out congregation’s Child Protection Policy Application, if you have not already done so.  If you want to do this, email me and I will send you the information.  ellenskidmore@flpc.org .   Doing this will teach you about our best practices and give you some specific ways to keep children safe both at church and in the community. 

Our congregation has an unwavering commitment to protect children from abuse while they are in our community.  This is why we require child protection applications from every single volunteer that has access to children or youth under 18.  This is why we pay to run background checks on every volunteer.  This is why we require two, unrelated adults supervise children’s and youth activities.  I encourage you to take specific actions that will help you to protect our children and youth.  Everyone can do something.  Let’s be a congregation of those who do those things that affect our community and families in positive ways.  We have control over whether we spend an hour watching mindless TV or surfing on social media, or instead whether we will learn more about child abuse so that we can help prevent it, recognize it, and know how to respond appropriately.  Please join me in focusing our time and energy on what we can do to be parts of the solution to the problems in our world.

I have another specific idea for our next newsletter.  So, before then, please hear my plea today that you consider taking specific small actions to help protect our children and others from abuse.  Let’s do what WE CAN DO for the good of all of God’s children.

May God use and bless us!

Ellen 

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