Forest Lake Talks

A Message from Ellen 6-26-24

June 26, 2024

June 26, 2024

Dear Friends,

Each night before I go to sleep, I list for myself three or four things for which I am grateful. I began that practice during the pandemic, and it has been a good reframing tool for me. The pandemic taught us all that there is much about our own lives that we do not control. Aging teaches us that a requirement of becoming fully human is to learn to let go of things, people, and circumstances. And I find that a gratitude practice helps me remember how very much I have been given. There is so much that I have and receive that I have not earned: air to breathe, the ability to walk, the food and housing I am privileged to have. I encourage you to try some intentional way of practicing gratitude.

One of the things for which I am grateful every year is the foresight that the Session of FLPC had in 1997 when they created the first “Endowment Board.” The Session, with support and help from Rev. Dr. Eric Skidmore went to work to invite the congregation to make planned gifts through their estate planning to the Endowment Fund. The purpose of the fund was to “expand and enrich the mission of the Church,” by giving away a portion of the interest earned on the principal. The primary purposes for those funds are to support:
(1) Local programs, especially those of an outreach nature; such programs can be underwritten until their cost can be assumed by the budget or the need is otherwise fulfilled; and
(2) Unusual (unbudgeted) repairs and maintenance of Church property and equipment.
When I arrived as your Senior Pastor in August of 2006, the balance of the Endowment Fund principal was approximately $71,500. Today the balance of that fund is $1,563,702! That balance represents the overwhelming generosity of FLPC members and guests who have made gifts large and small to the fund. Many members gave gifts to the Endowment Fund through their estate planning. I did not know until after my own Mother died, that she had included the FLPC Endowment Fund in her own will! That is planned gratitude.
What those gifts produced this year was $78,344 to GIVE AWAY! The Endowment Committee (a group of seven individuals appointed by The Session), receive and evaluate Endowment Fund Requests in the Spring of each year and then FLPC awards grants both inside and outside our congregation. The list of FLPC Endowment Grant Recipients for 2024 is listed inside this newsletter. I encourage you to
(1) Pray for and include the work of these projects. I pray that they will bring light to darkness, hope to despair, and faith to the fainting.
(2) Consider making a gift to the Endowment Fund yourself.
I am proud to be a part of a congregation that has been given much and has decided to pass those blessings forward. When God called Abraham and Sarah and blessed them, they were blessed by God IN ORDER THAT they could be a blessing to the whole world. Because of the foresight of this Church’s Session and the generosity of so many of you, we are blessing our own community in a powerful way. Good job, Church!
See you in worship! We have a lot for which to give God thanks!
Ellen F. Skidmore

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