Forest Lake Talks

A Message from Ellen 6-21-23

June 21, 2023

Dear Friends,
Thursday, June 22nd at 10am, Serve and Connect and Richland School District 2 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (a MOU) to formalize a new partnership between these two important organizations. Serve and Connect and RSD2 have outlined common goals like safety for families in our community, and the creation of specific programs aimed at helping students and staff thrive in our schools. There was a press conference held in the RNE Auditorium to announce this partnership, but you know that bad news travels much faster and farther than good news. So, I want to elevate the good news and ask that you seek it out!

Serve and Connect has four Compass sites all over the state of SC, and the Compass site initiated by FLPC (north of Decker Blvd) is the newest of this partnership model. However, this is the FIRST ever partnership with a whole school district in Serve and Connect’s work. This partnership between Serve and Connect and Richland School District 2 will not just benefit our Compass site. The partnership is for the whole district. But this partnership IS A DIRECT RESULT of our Compass site work. Because FLPC invested in listening to our neighbors, needs and issues in our schools have surfaced in such a way that meaningful solutions that bring police and schools to the same side of the table can emerge! If it is bad news that a high school student would bring a gun to school, then it is good news that our work in the neighborhood has created some specific programs and partnerships to address directly the causes of this terrible reality. This is what is called bringing GOOD NEWS to bad news. I can’t tell you how encouraging this is to me. I hope so also for you. Good job, Church!

And if you are excited to become a part of bringing good news to bad news, then please plan to attend (or better yet volunteer on the sign-up link on our website under “News and Events”) the Fun in the Sun event on Sunday, June 25th from 3-5pm at Jackson Creek Elementary School [7150 Trenholm Road Extension 29223]. There will be a DJ, glitter tattoos (that’s where I’ll be!), food, and lots of fun. It is a safe and non-threatening way to get to know some neighbors that you and I are not going to meet in our everyday routine. If you cannot come this Sunday, then go ahead and mark your calendars for the 2nd Fun in the Sun Event on Sunday, July 30th from 3-5pm at Forest Lake Elementary School. And there will be more events once school begins again as well, so please watch your newsletters and the church’s website.

And, I hope that if you are in town, and are able to do so, that you will be present in worship on Sunday. All that we do needs to grow out of worship, where we are reminded of who God is and who we are. That is the foundational good news that results in all the other forms of good news. So, good news people always begin with worship. See you there!

Ellen F. Skidmore

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