Forest Lake Talks

A Message from Ellen

June 17, 2022

Way back on Sunday, March 13th we held a meeting of our congregation, and everyone heard about the beginning of an exciting partnership between our congregation and a local non-profit called Serve & Connect.  We heard from the Executive Director of Serve & Connect, Dr. Kassy Alia Ray, as well as representatives from both the Forest Acres Police Department and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department about how our congregation can be a catalyst to bring good and long-term change to the neighborhoods near us [Percival Road, Woodfield Park, and the Greater Woodfield neighborhoods for starters].  It was very exciting to hear about the possibilities!

And some of you might be wondering what has happened to that partnership!?  It is alive, well, and growing!  Remember that it takes time for the smallest seeds to grow, but an acorn CAN grow into an oak tree.  There is a small task group appointed by Session that has been meeting several times a month with representatives from Serve & Connect, local police jurisdictions, school social workers and principals, local non-profit leaders, all of whom know our target area and have insights into the dynamics, strengths, and needs of this area.  We have been listening to each other!  Session has committed and given Serve & Connect the money required to hire a full-time project manager to keep our partnership growing and moving.  The goal is to create a sustainable, site-specific Compass Site that will continue to work in these neighborhoods into the future in a way that is in partnership with FLPC, but is not dependent on or solely run by our church.  We are NOT going in to “fix” those neighborhoods.  We are going in to offer a hand up and to support those who want to build and rebuild communities that are safe and in which adults and children can thrive and families can be supported. This is long and slow work.

But we do have a beginning point! The group is planning a community event on Saturday, July 23rd from 12 – 3pm.  Details will be planned and confirmed at a meeting (to which you are invited) on Wednesday, June 22nd at 4pm at The Petersen Presbyterian Church [8131 Brookfield Rd. Cola 29223].  If you’d like to be a part of this good news mission, then please plan to attend this meeting to plan our first community event.

Jesus said, “To what can I compare God’s kingdom? It’s like yeast, which a woman took and hid in a bushel of wheat flour until the yeast had worked its way through the whole.”

Luke 13:20-21

I hope to see you in worship!

Ellen Fowler Skidmore

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