A Message from Ellen 4-25-18
April 25, 2018
In 2010, our congregation completed a strategic planning process that identified Christian Discipleship as our “organizing principle.” An organizing principle works kind of like a filter. When we are looking at what FLPC might do and be, all of that has to pass through the filter that helps us determine which activities, studies and investments help us most effectively be and become disciples’ of Jesus Christ.
The church may be and do many wonderful things. The problem is never what to do, but always “which” to do. So, just as each of us make priorities that guide the use of our own time and budgets, so also The Session of Forest Lake is charged to keep our purpose and mission in mind while we decide how best to spend both time (staff and volunteer) and money! So, the questions we raise are questions like: Which activities and events are most transformational for people trying to grow in their own faith? Where are people in need of skills or experiences to continue to grow in their own faith and how can we provide those? How can we encourage people who attend FLPC to “pick up” their own faith and take responsibility to plan a course of action and study that will challenge them to continue to change more and more into people who look like/act like/represent Christ in the world?
In fact, every Sunday, we speak our vision when we say that “Forest Lake is a congregation that is dedicated to the transformation of head, heart and hands in the service of Jesus Christ!” When we first adopted that vision statement, we intentionally kept the statement singular or individual. Sometimes we slip and make it plural (heads, hearts and hands), but the original intent, and what Session approved, was singular. We are dedicated to the transformation of head, heart and hands in the service of Jesus Christ.
Maybe this doesn’t make much difference to you. But to me the singular form reminds me that each and every one of us have a responsibility to follow Jesus. There is certainly much that we do together as a Body of Christ. But, Jesus’ call was not a general one to a crowd. Instead, the call to follow Christ is to you and to me. And to the extent that we decide to follow Jesus with our own time, talents and treasure – our own head, heart and hands – to that extent will we be changed and transformed after the image of Christ. You – yes You – are called to choose to follow Christ with your own head, your own heart and your own hands.
And I think that when we each choose to take on this challenge as individuals, we will participate in the process of allowing Forest Lake Presbyterian Church to become more and more a gathering of disciples who are busy following Jesus, and less of a group of members focused on their member rights. Jesus’ call to follow is one that you and I must decide to answer for ourselves. I want to invite you to come along as FLPC tries to walk the disciple path.
See you in worship!
Ellen F. Skidmore