Forest Lake Talks

A Message from Ellen

April 27, 2022

April 26, 2022

Dear Friends,

Last Saturday I was up and out the door of our house about 7:30am focused on getting to a plant sale at the Riverbanks Botanical Garden!  I know that some of you are snickering.  You may get up early and stay up late for football and basketball games, I happen to get up early for plant sales!  It all boils down to what is important – right?

So, I arrived at the Gardens a bit after 8am and found my way to the sale entrance by following all of the cars!!  By the time I got into the plant sale, some of the most unusual plants were already claimed and the line to pay was doubled back on itself with people pulling wagons full of plants!  Amazing!  I did manage to purchase four new plants, about which I was very excited!

And, watching the long line of people wait patiently to pay for the privilege of owning new plants, I was reminded again of how very simple it is to figure out how to get people to participate in an event.  It all boils down to what we are paying attention to and what is most important to us. Most of what we do falls into the category of transactional participation: we participate because we get/receive in return.  I got up early, stood in line, paid money, and in return I got to take home four new plants for my yard.  That is who we are. And what is important to us is what motivates us.  Plants motivate me. Football motivates others.

I am grateful that so many of you are motivated by serving God and our community!  You get up early to set up for events like Earth Sunday or to pack backpacks with food or to teach Sunday School because you believe it is important.  And today I’d like to ask you to consider two events that are important to me, and could be, I believe, important also to you.

First, participating in our Earth Sunday celebrations this weekend is important because we are reminded of our status as created beings (this is different from being the Creator) and a part of what God has made.  Remembering this changes just about every aspect of how we live on and in the earth.  Come and join us!

Second, our congregation is partnering with Beth Shalom Synagogue and Masjid As-Salaam for an interfaith discussion on Wednesday, May 11th from 6:30-7:30 (followed by dessert and coffee outside weather permitting).  We have done this before, but as the polarization of our culture continues and hate speech seems more and more acceptable, coming to know our Jewish and Muslim neighbors is more and more important.

What gets you out of bed in the morning? What are your priorities, and how is your faith reflected in those priorities? I’ll be at both events and hope to see you there.

Peace and Justice,

Ellen F. Skidmore

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