Forest Lake Talks

A Message from Ellen

January 18, 2024


Dear Friends,

This week, we held our second Kirk Night Supper for 2024, and Jodi Beckham led the B365 group that she and I are co-leading. It was a good night!

If you haven’t come to eat supper at church on Wednesdays in a while, or if you have never done this, I want to recommend it! Apart from the fact that food is prepared and served that I/we don’t cook (what a blessing!), the chance to talk to friends old and new is truly valuable! In a world that drives division, here is an opportunity – sitting in plain sight – to build connections. Why would we NOT come together to eat? All you must do is reserve your supper spot (to be sure we have enough food). Both your stomach and your heart will be fed.

If you can only come and eat, that is good. But what is great is to follow that supper with a chance to think, pray, discuss, and learn more about our faith. In addition to the B365 group that Jodi and I are co-leading, Sheree Ansley is leading discussions on the television series, The Chosen. This is a way to enter the story of Scripture imaginatively, in a way that is based on Scripture, and that invites us to think about what it might have been like to meet Jesus.

Making a practice of investing in our faith community, with your time, talents, and treasure, is something that we all promised to do when we joined this congregation. There are many ways to do this, Wednesday night is a good one, but far from the only way. And, it is still NOT TOO LATE to join in with a B365 Group. B365 is our congregational initiative to read through the whole Bible in a year. We have already begun, but we are not so far gone that you couldn’t catch up. In my experience, it is always difficult and life-changing to read Scripture. It is always easier to read the difficult and ancient texts of our faith with support. That is the function of the B365 groups. The hard part of this practice is making it a habit to read Scripture daily. That is not easy. I have struggled to fit it into my days and nights. But I have to ask myself, in what sense do I consider myself a Christian if I do not know what Scripture contains? If B365 is too much for you, then pick another faith formation class.

When we are filled with a desire to know God, then there will be nothing that can stop us. We all pursue what we love. What do you love? My prayer – for you and for me – is that we will be filled with a desire to love God, to know God, and to serve God. When that is true of us, God will be able to change the world through us. Transformation of our Head, Heart, and Hands in the Service of Christ. That is us.

See you in worship!
Ellen F. Skidmore

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