Forest Lake Talks

A Message from Ellen 8-1-23

August 1, 2023

August 1, 2023

Dear Friends,

This Sunday, August 6th, our summer intern, Katie Pittman, will be preaching in worship. Katie’s last day with us will be August 25th, but she chose to preach this Sunday. Katie is working part time with us this summer before she returns to Queens College in Charlotte for her senior year. She is discerning her gifts, passions, and calling. And whether or not church figures in her paid vocation, I am and will keep on praying that church community will always figure large in her life. Katie has told me that this congregation has been and still is her home church and she received from you a strong sense of faith and home. That is what I pray ALL of our children and youth receive from you.

In keeping the nursery, teaching the children and youth, serving as a FLY advisor or chaperone, or helping (or attending) Vacation Bible School what you are doing is investing in our children and youth (the future Katies of the world). By volunteering to drive the bus for our Senior Adults, or washing dishes after Kirk Night, you invest in this community and in all who participate. If you are concerned about divisions and fractures in our communities and nation, then I have a suggestion. Stop worrying about the national news – over which we have NO control – and start investing in people around you. Pay attention to the folks who sit around you in worship. If you don’t know them, cultivate some curiosity. Get to know them. Choose to invest in this community of faith by attending a study, discussion or participating on Wednesday evenings in the meal and programming called Kirk Night. When we invest in this community, our work pays big dividends. We are encouraged and challenged to grow. We have fun. [I almost never see a group in this church that does not laugh together] And we build links and community with each other. Instead of bewailing the fractures in our world, Church! Let’s get busy building connections and community.

How will you build a faith home at FLPC this year? In whose life will you invest some energy, love, and time? Faith is not a spectator sport. Faith is a ACTION WORD. If there is something that you want to attend and you cannot, then pray. The people on the prayer list have all asked you to pray for them. Pray for our children, youth, teachers, and school staff as they begin a new school year. Pray for our college students (and for the moms and dads who will be dropping children off for college for the first time!). Pray for our Compass Partners and the police partners who patrol our neighborhoods. Pray for the neighbors you do not yet know (on both sides of Decker Blvd).

You get my point. Don’t bemoan the distance. Start walking towards community! Build bridges! Get to know someone different from you. Cultivate relationships that are intergenerational. As the old saying goes, we are either a part of the problem or part of the solution. Invest yourself in something that is eternal – Love. Become an active part of Christ’s body on earth as it is walking, serving, and leading through Forest Lake Presbyterian Church. Church – lean in! Our children and youth need us. Our seniors need us. Our neighborhoods need us. Our schools need us. Christ has called us . . . . . to follow him into Christian community and into the world. Let me know if you need help figuring out how to do this. And – here is a hint – it all begins with the worship of God. See you there.

Ellen Fowler Skidmore

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