Blog: Forest Lake Talks

A Message from Ellen

June 23, 2021

June 23, 2021 Dear Friends, “Please fasten your seatbelts and keep your hands inside the moving vehicle!”  Isn’t that what the operators of the carnival rides say just before we get turned upside down on some sort of ride?   Well, Presbyterians are not normally known for quick decisions or speedy change of directions, but “please fasten your seatbelts and keep your hands inside the moving vehicle.”  The Session met on Sunday evening and considered again our congregational practices as our community and nation move further away from the high rates and risks of COVID 19, and Session made some quick…

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6/20/21 Devotional from Ed

June 20, 2021

Text: Psalm 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God.” Devotional: Author Parker Palmer writes the following: “I once heard Alan Watts observe that a Chinese child will ask, “How does a baby grow?” But an American child will ask, “How do you make a baby?” From an early age, we absorb our culture’s arrogant conviction that we manufacture everything, reducing the world to mere ‘raw material’ that lacks all value until we impose our designs and labor on it. If we accept the notion that our lives are dependent on an inexorable cycle of seasons, on a play of powers…

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A Message from Ellen

June 9, 2021

June 9, 2021 Dear Friends, Sunday felt more like a real celebration of worship than it has in a long time (about 15 months to be exact!).  Having the choir back in the choir loft was exciting and different.  Having so many children and adults show up for Sunday School was amazing.  We heard children’s voices in the halls again.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow!  And then, Ed Black did an amazing job of organizing the 2nd graders to receive their Bibles and to lead us in worship.  It was a wonderful day – all the way around. …

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A Message from Ellen

May 26, 2021

May 26, 2021 Dear Friends, As June approaches, all of us are ready for some change.  We anticipate the end of school and time to rest and re-create!  We anticipate the freedom to gather with friends and family in ways that we will never take for granted again!  We are ready for change! And we were amazed and excited to hear the new guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control last week. I will say that while we are ready for change, when the pace of change is so rapid, I sometimes feel like I’m standing in the revolving…

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NEW FLPC COVID 19 GUIDELINES

May 19, 2021

At the Stated Session Meeting of May 16th the Session of FLPC had a long and thoughtful discussion about how to react to the rapidly changing evidence and practices in our community and nation.  As we had previously committed to follow national guidelines, last week’s drastic changes in the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control now mean that we must adjust.  Our concern, as always, is to act not only in ways that are convenient for us as individuals, but to act out of love for our neighbor.  We want to create a culture that encourages and supports individuals…

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A Message from Ellen

May 12, 2021

May 12, 2021 Dear Friends, Sunday, May 23rd is Pentecost Sunday!  That day we will recognize this year’s Confirmation Class and celebrate the sacrament of communion in worship!  Bill Wannamaker and Ed Black have led a group of 11 youth through a process designed to help them think deeply about what they believe and who they are and want to be.  We will receive our youth as adult members, and one young woman will be baptized.  In the Reformed (i.e. Presbyterian) tradition, most of the time we baptize infants.  We do this because we believe that “we love, because God…

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A Message from Ellen

April 28, 2021

April 28, 2021 Dear Friends, I don’t know about you, but I am beginning to feel like we do see a light at the end of the tunnel.  For the last few weeks, we have had more folks in worship, and last weekend I led a Presbyterian Women’s retreat with about 30 women in the Fellowship Hall.  We had some new Members join last Sunday and called the children who were in worship forward for “Time with Young Disciples” for the first time in well over a year!  On Pentecost we will welcome the members of the 2021 Confirmation Class…

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A Message from Ellen

April 14, 2021

Dear Friends, April 22nd is Earth Day, and the custom at Forest Lake Presbyterian Church is to hold an Earth Sunday on which we recognize and give God thanks for the gifts of creation, and think together about how to become better stewards of the creation God has entrusted to our care.  This year, Earth Sunday is April 18th, and our theme will be “Grow God’s Garden.” One of the “godmothers” of Forest Lake’s Environmental Stewardship work was Lee Pippen.  Lee died on March 25th after a lengthy battle with cancer.  But one of the last conversations I had with…

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A Message from Ellen

March 31, 2021

Dear Friends, I need to begin by saying “Thank You” to you, my church family.  I cannot tell you how much I have needed, felt, and appreciated your prayers and love in the last month or so.  I have experienced your prayers carrying me – both in a physical and spiritual sense – over the last 6 or 8 weeks.  And my family has been overwhelmed with your love and expressions of support.  I am so sad to have lost my mother to pancreatic cancer.  And I am also truly grateful to have had her as my mother for 83…

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A Message from Ellen

March 17, 2021

March 17, 2021 Dear Friends, I have had fun helping to put together the lists of Lenten Faith Practices that have been in the E-Newsletters each week of Lent.  If you haven’t looked at the E-Newsletters in a while (I know how hard it is to click open on everything that comes into our inboxes!), please take time to look at least one.  The suggestions are listed under the heading, “My Faith: Lenten Practices for Transformation.” Jesus called us to follow him, and that means that faith is a practice, a movement, and a way of going forward into the…

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A Message from Ed

February 17, 2021

Dear Forest Lake family,  Does 2021 feel like 2020 has gone into overtime? Do you need a prayer? Let’s start with this prayer adapted from Mark’s gospel:  Holy God, by the grace of Jesus Christ you know the tests and trials we face.   Walk with us through this wilderness.   Come to us with ministers of healing and visit us with messengers of hope, so that we may return to you in faith, believing the good news of the gospel; through Jesus Christ our Savior.  The season of Lent is a time of preparation in anticipation for the celebration…

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A Message from Ellen

February 3, 2021

February 3, 2021 Friends, On Sunday, I really hope that you will make a point to watch the worship service that will be streamed out at 10am.  It is Youth Sunday on February 7th!   And because of the pandemic, the youth and Bill Wannamaker (with Ed Black’s encouragement and brain trust) have pre-recorded the whole service.  Bill has edited it together and their worship offering will be streamed out at 10am!  While there are many things that we do not like about the pandemic, I am continually amazed and energized by the creativity that I see all around me.  People…

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A Message from Ellen – Jan 20, 2021

January 20, 2021

Dear Friends, As I write this, the inauguration of our new President and Vice-President are about to get underway.  With the events of the last few months behind us, I am sure that you join me in praying for a peaceful transfer of power and that our nation might not split into irreconcilable camps, but instead find a way forward that allows us to be unified for the common good even if we disagree on much. I am praying for peace. I am praying that cool heads will prevail, and that both parties will give up the past practice of…

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A Message from Ellen

January 6, 2021

January 6, 2021 Dear Friends, As we have all watched the virus infection numbers and positive tests rocket upward, and as we hear about virus mutations, it can be difficult to keep feeling hopeful.  What we thought was a light at the end of the tunnel seems to be receding.  But then again, we don’t know what will happen.  Everything we plan seems to be contingent on many things that we cannot control. A couple of weeks ago, as I was leaving church after a particularly “interesting day” of renegotiating and rethinking how we do everything, I was bragging to…

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December 25 Advent Devotional

December 25, 2020

In those days Caesar Augustus declared that everyone throughout the empire should be enrolled in the tax lists.  This first enrollment occurred when Quirinius governed Syria.  Everyone went to their own cities to be enrolled.  Since Joseph belonged to David’s house and family line, he went up from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to David’s city, called Bethlehem, in Judea.  He went to be enrolled together with Mary, who was promised to him in marriage and who was pregnant.  While they were there, the time came for Mary to have her baby.  She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son,…

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