Frequently Asked Questions
In this pandemic time, we are working had to balance the need for physical safety and health with the need to be in worship and in community. So, when it is possible to worship at FLPC, worshipers are required to register in advance to ensure that we can keep a safe distance between those in the sanctuary. Registration links (when available) can be found under News and Events. Worshipers will be required to wear a mask, and congregational singing will not be allowed until health experts determine that we can do so without putting our collective health at risk. When you register to attend worship, you will be emailed an agreement that spells out the details of what you can expect from us and what we expect from you. Worship is at 10 am and is live streamed each Sunday. Nursery will be available for those who register to worship in person. As before, our congregation remains a traditional but relaxed congregation. People attend worship in everything from jeans to suits. You can expect traditional worship, an expectation of God’s grace, and a warm welcome!
Worship is at 10:00 am, and Ushers will be seating individuals and groups to ensure a safe distance between worshipers. Please arrive in time to allow the ushers to seat you. There will be a nursery available for children 1st Grade and below during worship. The nursery staff will give parents a beeper so that they can contact you if necessary, should your child need you during worship.
We are a place that values your presence more than we judge what you are wearing! It is more important that you come, than how you are dressed! However, the majority of Forest Lake worshippers are dressed in a way that might be described as nice casual. Men come in everything from suits to jeans. Women wear slacks or skirts/dresses.
A Lectionary is an assigned schedule of readings/passages from The Bible that are used both in daily worship and Sabbath worship in many Christian Churches. Forest Lake Presbyterian Church most often follows the Revised Common Lectionary. The RCL is a three-year cycle of passages that assigns for each Sunday and Christian holiday readings from The Old Testament, The Psalms, The Epistles or other writings, and one of the four Gospels.
The use of a lectionary as a focus for worship ensures that a congregation, over time, will hear the various voices and lessons of Scripture and not be captive to the favorite texts of the pastor. Use of the Lectionary allows a congregation to learn from the whole of Scripture, invites us to consider how multi-faceted and rich the message of Scripture is, and prevents us from focusing only on the messages of Scripture with which we are comfortable and so avoid the challenge that Scripture brings.
Infant and toddler nurseries (36 months and younger) are located on the first floor through the glass entrance on the Rockbridge Rd. side of the church building. When you enter through the glass doors (follow signs to the church office) and turn RIGHT through the double doors. Nursery staff will be waiting, and we ask that you take a beeper with you in case the Nursery Staff need to contact you during worship. Older children are invited to attend worship with their parents. Children’s bulletins will be available as you enter the sanctuary. We typically have a Time with Young Disciples during the worship hour. After that, parents may decide whether or not they would like for their children, 1st grade and below, to be dismissed downstairs. Parents are asked to gather their children from the nursery following worship.
- Sunday Morning - Youth are invited to both worship (at 9am or 11am) and to attend Sunday School Classes (at 10:00am).
- Sunday Evening - Our youth programming on Sunday nights is commonly referred to as FLY - Forest Lake Youth. During the school year, FLY normally meets at church from 5:30-7:30. Se Contact our Youth Director (email@example.com ) or our Youth Ministry Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org ), see the Church calendar or email us at email@example.com for more details.
- Wednesday Evening - During the School year, the youth normally agree to meet at a local restaurant to eat and to share in a faith discussion. Contact our Youth director or Youth Ministry Coordinator for details.
- Summer Programming - Each summer our 6th through 12th graders participate in Mission Trips and local mission projects, they attend the Montreat Youth Conferences, assist with Vacation Bible School and just get together to have fun!
If a church is called “Presbyterian” it means that our identity was formed in some important ways by the events of the Protestant Reformation that happened in Europe in the 13th - 16th Centuries. That history has shaped our theology and our government. However, there are multiple Presbyterian Denominations. Forest Lake is a part of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. This is the largest Presbyterian denomination in the U.S. and is by far the most diverse. With just under 1 ½ million members in around 9,400 different congregations, PC(USA) Congregations fall all along the theological spectrum and tend to be more diverse than the smaller Presbyterian denominations. PC(USA) is the only Presbyterian Denomination that mandates that women be equal to men in ministry and be equally represented on our leaderboards. PC(USA) is also the only Presbyterian denomination in the U.S. that allows same-sex marriage and ordains openly LGBT members in a committed relationship as clergy and as lay leaders.
If you are looking for a family of faith with whom you can worship God, study Scripture, laugh and have fun, ask your questions, and serve God and the world, then we want you to know that you are welcome at Forest Lake Presbyterian Church. We are most interested in helping people grow in their Christian Discipleship. Being a member is not required for you to participate in the activities of our congregation. But, once you know the authentic love and support of this church family, and have decided to make Forest Lake your faith home, then there are three ways to become a member:
- Baptism – If you have never publically professed Jesus Christ as God’s Son and your Lord and Savior or been baptized into the Christian faith, then we welcome you to make your profession of faith here. If you have been baptized in any other Christian Church then you do not need to be re-baptized to join Forest Lake (see Re-Affirmation and Transfer of Membership). Before being baptized, you will be given the opportunity to meet with one of the pastors to talk about the meaning of becoming a Disciple of Jesus Christ and the process of Baptism.
- Re-Affirmation of Faith – If you were baptized into any Christian community, but have not been an active part of any congregation for some time, you may wish to join Forest Lake Presbyterian Church by re-affirming your faith in Jesus Christ as God’s Son and your Lord and Savior. After conversations with one of the pastors, you will be given the opportunity to re-affirm your faith by answering three simple questions before a small group of the Ruling Elders of our congregation. There is no test and no requirements for knowledge! There is only an opportunity to say that you believe in Jesus Christ and that you want to learn what it means to be a disciple of Jesus, want to be a member of Forest Lake, and want to become involved and supportive of Forest Lake’s Community.
- Transfer of Membership – If you have recently been active in another Christian Congregation, but now wish to have Forest Lake be your primary faith home, then you may do so by requesting to move your membership to Forest Lake. You can do this by contacting one of the pastors, or by indicating your wish to join on the Friendship Registers that are passed among the worshippers every Sunday morning.
If you are not yet certain that you want to become a member of Forest Lake, or would like to talk more about what it means to profess faith in Jesus Christ as Lord, then know that we welcome your presence among us! At any time, feel free to contact one of the pastors to talk through any questions and discuss the simple process of becoming a member of Forest Lake Presbyterian Church.
We encourage guests and members alike to meet with our Discipleship Coordinator to learn more about what is going on at Forest Lake and to identify your strengths, talents, and challenges as you grow in faith and in following Christ.