Blog: Forest Lake Talks

A Message from Ellen 11-8-23

November 8, 2023

November 8, 2023 Dear Friends, When I look around FLPC and when I read the announcements in the bulletin each Sunday, I am constantly amazed at the good work that is happening – as a matter of routine – in and through this congregation. The good that flows from this congregation is non-stop. A minister friend of mine recently snuck into worship one Sunday, and as she left, she said, “Wow! The energy in this place is so welcoming and energizing.” I have been teaching Officer Training every Sunday morning before worship for the Elders and Deacons that you elected…

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11/8/23 Devotional from Ed

November 8, 2023

Text: Psalm 1 1 Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; 2 but their delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law they meditate day and night. 3 They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper. 4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,…

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10/31/23 Devotional from Ed

October 31, 2023

Text: Genesis 2: 19 (CEB version) So the Lord God formed from the fertile land all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky and brought them to the human to see what he would name them. The human gave each living being its name. Devotional: In October’s Stephen Ministry meeting, one of our Stephen Leaders mentioned the recent loss of Rico, a SLED K-9 that died during a manhunt in September. This member had a special connection to Rico’s handler, as do all of our law enforcement officers who have the privilege of working with K-9s. More than 100 service K-9s, their…

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A Message from Ellen 10-25-23

October 25, 2023

October 25, 2023 Dear Friends, My heart breaks as I watch the news or read about the human explosion and tragic war in Israel and Palestine. I was heartened that so many of you made the effort to attend the vigil at the Jewish Community Center when we sent out an invitation to our congregation. And I know that you did that to show support to our Jewish neighbors and friends. But as the body count mounts and the sides begin to be entrenched, it is difficult to know what we can DO, beyond obsessing over the news (which is…

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9/20/23 Devotional from Ed

September 20, 2023

Scripture: Psalm 25:16-17 (CEB) Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. Devotional: One of the books we use in FLPC’s grief group is Good Mourning: Getting Through Your Grief by Allan Hugh Cole, and I like it because it puts things in language that I find relatable. For example, Cole writes that all humans have two things in common: We all have the capacity for love, affection, and devotion to others We all suffer loss It sounds obvious, but it took someone else’s gift of writing…

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A Message from Ellen 9-13-23

September 13, 2023

Dear Friends, If you are busy praying for things to get better in our world, but don’t know what to do beyond prayer, then I’d like to invite you to participate in the MORE Justice Process that begins at the end of September. MORE Justice is an interfaith, non-profit organization (Midlands Organized Response for Equity and Justice) that leverages the power of people to ask our elected officials for small measurable steps that are intended to make the Midlands a safer, better place to live and raise a family for everyone. FLPC has been a member of MORE Justice for…

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9/12/23 Devotional from Ed

September 12, 2023

Scripture: 1 Kings 16:23-34 23In the thirty-first year of King Asa of Judah, Omri began to reign over Israel; he reigned for twelve years, six of them in Tirzah. 24He bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver; he fortified the hill, and called the city that he built, Samaria, after the name of Shemer, the owner of the hill. 25Omri did what was evil in the sight of the LORD; he did more evil than all who were before him. 26For he walked in all the way of Jeroboam son of Nebat, and in the sins…

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A Message from Ellen 8-30-23

August 31, 2023

August 30, 2023 Dear Friends, As we turn the corner into fall, I want to thank the staff and volunteers who worked so faithfully and hard all summer to continue the life of our faith community as creatively and positively as possible. If you only come on Sundays, you might not have recognized the ongoing construction that has ruled the summer for your staff. Besides electricity and water being cut off and on at random times, living in the midst of a construction site brings its own “spiritual challenges.” Anyone can be patient when everything goes according to our plan.…

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8/17/23 Devotional from Ed

August 17, 2023

Scripture: Acts 21:27-36 27When the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, who had seen him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd. They seized him, 28shouting, “Fellow Israelites, help! This is the man who is teaching everyone everywhere against our people, our law, and this place; more than that, he has actually brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.” 29For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple. 30Then all the city was aroused, and the people rushed together. They…

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A Message from Ellen 8-16-23

August 16, 2023

August 16, 2023 Dear Friends, About two weeks ago, I sent a letter to the Richland School District 2 School Board to register my opposition to a proposal that they are considering that would allow students to be released during the school day and taken to a faith congregation for Religious Instruction during the school day. The letter I sent was sent under my name only and written on my own time. I do not speak for Forest Lake Presbyterian Church. Only the Session can do that. And I am aware that some of you may disagree with me on…

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8/9/23 Devotional from Ed

August 9, 2023

Text: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 (Common English Bible translation) 12 Christ is just like the human body-a body is a unit and has many parts; and all the parts of the body are one body, even though there are many. 13 We were all baptized by one Spirit into one body, whether Jew or Greek, or slave or free, and we all were given one Spirit to drink. 14 Certainly the body isn’t one part but many. 15 If the foot says, “I’m not part of the body because I’m not a hand,” does that mean it’s not part of the body? 16 If the ear says, “I’m not part…

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8/2/23 Devotional from Ed

August 2, 2023

Text: Psalm 46 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. 5 God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns. 6 The nations are in an uproar; the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice;…

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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…

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7/25/23 Devotional from Ed

July 25, 2023

Psalm 139:1-6 O Lord, you have searched me and known me. 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. 3 You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely. 5 You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it. Devotional: If you’ve ever watched How I Met Your Mother, you know that Marshall…

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A Message from Ellen 7-19-23

July 19, 2023

July 19, 2023 When I heard that the Southern Baptist Convention doubled down on their prohibition of women serving as pastors or in leadership roles where teen or adult males might be present I felt deeply sad. It has taken me some time to assimilate this news. Mind you, it is not new news. I graduated from Furman University when it was solidly Southern Baptist, and the fight was about whether or not students could dance (as if that were really decided on a denominational level!). Yes, I am that old. I am so old that the first woman ordained…

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