Forest Lake Talks

A Message from Ellen

March 17, 2021

March 17, 2021

Dear Friends,

I have had fun helping to put together the lists of Lenten Faith Practices that have been in the E-Newsletters each week of Lent.  If you haven’t looked at the E-Newsletters in a while (I know how hard it is to click open on everything that comes into our inboxes!), please take time to look at least one.  The suggestions are listed under the heading, “My Faith: Lenten Practices for Transformation.”

Jesus called us to follow him, and that means that faith is a practice, a movement, and a way of going forward into the world.  It is easy to get stuck and think that the Christian faith is only a way of thinking or a list of things we “must believe.”  Belief is important, but how we live has a profound affect on what we believe.  So, practicing our faith not only sets our habits in ways that help us live what we say we believe.  But our beliefs get tested and refined as we try to live them.

I have had fun focusing on what we CAN DO, instead of focusing on what we cannot do.  And you will find ideas that you can do by yourself, with others, with children or grandchildren.  Sylvia Trimmier has suggested lots of ways to use the music of the faith to help us practice our faith.  The Staff has come up with all sorts of inventive ways to walk our beliefs and every week there have been different suggestions.  Feel free to go back in your email and read them all!  And if you are reading this and you do not email, feel free to call or email me or Adele and we can mail you a hard copy!  Do not be so overcome by what we cannot do, or by the inertia of the daily urgent, that you miss the opportunity to do that which might lead you closer to know, love and serve God.

And speaking of what we CAN DO, I am excited and encouraged by the increase in in-person pre-registration for worship for the last two Sundays.  As more and more people receive vaccines, I believe we will begin to be able to gather more safely.  Staff and The Session are working now on what we call “Stage 3” reopening plans and will communicate with the congregation when we can come to an agreement on how to balance community gathering and safety.  For now, we ask that you continue to wear your masks and follow all safety advice, but I am hopeful that the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer. (I’m trusting that the light is not a train!)  Inside this newsletter you will find an insert that lists all the options for Holy Week and Easter observations – more ways to live out your faith.  Jesus said, “Follow Me!”, and I invite you to do just that, beginning today.

Peace and Justice,

Ellen Skidmore

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