Forest Lake Talks

A Message from Ellen

August 6, 2021

August 4, 2021

Dear Friends,

We had all hoped that this Fall would be back to normal (if we can remember what that means). But the continued uncertainty of having a surge of delta-variant COVID cases in our community and nation is unsettling and makes planning difficult.  But I have decided to take another perspective.  I think it is amazing how resilient and how adept at change we have become!  What might have sent us into massive frustration and chaos two years ago is now more of an opportunity to practice flexibility. 

I can move back to wearing masks, because I want to protect not only my family, but those around me.  And I really want children to be able to go back to school and businesses to continue to stay open.  So, if my wearing a mask helps that, I consider it a minor inconvenience.  And, I have decided to embrace my new-found flexibility (we will see if it lasts).  Every decision we make may need to be renegotiated, depending on what the future brings.  It has always been that way, but it has taken 15 months of pandemic for me to learn that truth.

I want you to know that our Session has really embraced the challenge of getting back to important things like Bible Study, Sunday School, and worship, and figuring out how to do them safely.  Education Ministry just voted to set our Rally Day (the day when we normally return to more regular programming) for Sunday, September 12th. This date, after Labor Day, recognizes that families will still be juggling all sorts of issues as they begin school.  We don’t want to add to their burden, but we do intend to be their partner in forming children in the Christian Faith.  We want our children to come back to Sunday School!

Also, we have been in serious discussions about what the Sunday morning schedule should be.  Education and Worship Ministries met separately and then together (we normally don’t meet at all in July!), and the group voted unanimously to recommend that Session keep worship at 10am and to hold Sunday Morning Faith Formation Classes at 9am. 

Education, Worship, and the Staff would really like to have your input and opinion about this schedule.   Recognizing that everything can change, we will begin this way on September 12th and continue to evaluate if this schedule works best for everyone.  Education and Worship were concerned not to change more often than is required, and to continue to hold worship at a time that considers both those who like early worship and those who prefer worship later.  And they were concerned to set classes at a time that will make it easy for families with children to come to Sunday School.  So, if you would like to give your opinion on the proposed Sunday Morning Schedule, please send it to  and put SUNDAY MORNING SCHEDULE in the subject line.   I’ll make sure your input gets to Worship and Education. 

I hope you will join us in worship (online or in person), and that beginning September 12th you will add regular study to your schedule, either in a class on Sunday morning or as a part of an H3 Small Group. 

Flexibly yours!


Ellen Fowler Skidmore

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