Forest Lake Talks

A Message from Ellen

November 9, 2022

November 9, 2022

Friends,

As the Halloween candy gets buried in the Thanksgiving paraphernalia, and is then overshadowed by towering, blow-up Santa decorations, it is easy to be distracted.  Over and over again, Jesus reminded us that if we are looking for God we should not look to the centers of power, wealth, influence or popularity.  Once an old Rabbi was asked why so few people were finding God.  He replied, “most people are not willing to look that low.”

Remember that Christian faithfulness is not defined by how many likes you get on a Facebook post, or how many people agree with you, or how many gifts we give or receive.  Faithfulness is a relationship of everyday choices to love, to be patient, to be generous, to be kind, and to seek to see the face of the risen Christ in everyone we meet (Yes – even your political opponent!).

As practice, I invite you to come to the Interfaith Thanksgiving Community Service on Sunday, November 20th at 4pm.  This year the service will be held at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church. There will be a nursery, an offering for Harvest Hope Food Bank, and thanksgiving worship offered to God!  And even better yet, coming to this service allows us in a small, concrete way to get to know our neighbors – Jewish and Christian – and to live out what it looks like to vote with our feet for reconciliation and community instead of division and suspicion. 

Then, we will begin the Christian Liturgical Year anew with the first Sunday of Advent on November 27th.  This is the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend, so work on your calendars to make it possible to be in worship.  Invite your houseguests to worship!  This year, your staff have chosen to focus on the themes of Longing and Hope. The loss, and frustration of the last three years makes for complicated living and personal and national trauma. We hope this Advent to give you permission to bring those hurts, griefs, and losses to God in prayer and worship, and to ask God for healing, comfort, and relief! When we know longing, and we know that we need a Savior.  And when Jesus was born, Scripture tells us that the very source of our hope and the answer to our deepest longings was born in Bethlehem to a poor couple without insurance or a hotel reservation.  Look low this holiday season if you want to find God.

Inside you will find a summary of the events of Advent and Christmas, and invitations to worship, to serve, to learn and to bring to God our whole selves for healing, comfort, and reconciliation.  Hope in the Lord!  Come and walk with us as we seek the hope of the world and live in ways that help us express the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

See you in worship!

Ellen F. Skidmore

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