Blog: Forest Lake Talks

A Message from Ellen

November 7, 2018

Dear Friends, On Sunday, November 18th at 4pm our congregation is invited to join with the Jewish and Christian Congregations in and around our North Trenholm Road area to give God thanks and in recognition of the national holiday of Thanksgiving!  We will worship that afternoon at Rehoboth United Methodist Church.  Nursery is provided. The records say that our congregation has participated in this Community Thanksgiving Service since 1987!  And, to my knowledge, this is the only Interfaith Thanksgiving Service in Columbia! Rabbi Eric Mollo (Tree of Life Congregation) said that the Jewish community has estimated that there were approximately…

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A Message from Ellen

October 24, 2018

Dear Friends, Election season is upon us, and I do make an effort to be informed on the issues and candidates. But it is difficult to keep up, and the volume and venom of the campaign ads from both sides cause me to want to quit participating or listening. Am I alone? What keeps me going is the conviction that my Christian Faith requires me to work for the common good. And the way our country has determined that decisions shall be made is through our political process. So, while I do not believe that the political process should be…

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Transformed by . . . . . . Presence

October 19, 2018

Last Sunday, the focus of my sermon was on “Presence”. I spoke of two types of presence.  Psychological Presence is choosing to be present – body, mind and heart – to those who matter to us and to the events that are actually happening in front of us.  But Christian or Spiritual Presence means choosing to be present – body, mind and heart – to God.  And, in my own experience, the most important discipline in this practice is quiet and contemplation. If growth in faith means that we are able to move from “God do my will” to “God’s…

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Presence

October 16, 2018

The most basic claim of the Christian faith is that God is present to us, totally and completely, in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God loved us too much to leave us alone and so came to us in human form, thus assuring us of God’s comfort and guidance in every stage of our lives. Even today, we experience this divine presence in the continuing work of the Holy Spirit in and through us. The Bible supports such an understanding in numerous places. Psalm 16:11 says, “You make known to me the path of life; in your…

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Transformed by . . . . . Reconciliation

October 11, 2018

The practice or virtue of reconciliation has ALWAYS been at the heart of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.  [2 Cor 5:19] That is not new.  But, what we have before us is an urgent need for and a radical call to reconciliation because of the hatred, polarization, partisanship and anger that seems to be bubbling up in the world on every level in our current age.  We are not the first generation…

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A Message from Ellen

October 10, 2018

Dear Friends, I received an invitation that I want to extend to you. The Central Carolina Community Foundation is sponsoring a community discussion about the things that make our community great and the things that need to be changed. Our congregation – along with all sorts of congregations and community groups – is invited to hold Table Conversations on Wednesday, October 24th in order to identify strengths and challenges facing our local community. The whole process is called On the Table, and you can find out more about this initiative at www.OnTheTableCola.org . The goal is to have as many…

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Transformed Into . . . . . . Generosity!

October 5, 2018

At first blush, generosity may seem to be a very strange place to begin when we talk about the values and practices that we need to embody and live out if we want to become more like Christ. It seems strange because Forest Lake Presbyterian Church is already a very generous congregation – both as individuals and collectively. If I listed the ways in which this group of Christian disciples are generous, I wouldn’t have time to say anything else.  Suffice it to say that in every way, I am constantly amazed at the generosity of the members and guests…

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Thoughts on Generosity

October 1, 2018

The second of our four values for the year ahead is generosity. It is a word that reminds us both of the nature of God and of life as God imagines and desires it for our world. The Bible is clear that generosity is a part of God’s identity and that we demonstrate God’s presence in the world when we live in a generous fashion. Numerous stories about generosity are found in the Bible, from the story of creation to the story of final redemption, so that even a quick survey of the Bible makes it clear that generosity is…

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Transformed Into . . . . . JOY!

September 28, 2018

I remember when I first felt – deep in my own heart – the conviction of wanting the words of Psalm 51:10-12 to be my real prayer: Create in me a clean heart, O God, And put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, And do not take your holy spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of your salvation, And sustain in me a willing spirit. It convicted me because I was tired and resentful and worried and I was taking it out on everyone around me. And, I really…

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A Message from Ellen

September 26, 2018

September 26, 2018 Dear Friends, I hope that you will accept my invitation to think about how you might grow in your faith and Christian life by thinking/praying about/focusing on the four values that your Elders and Deacons are using as a focus for their leading and planning in our congregation. We are focusing on Joy, Generosity, Reconciliation, and Presence over the next four weeks. Please listen to the sermons, seek out and read our church blog (www.flpc.org ) and consider how God is calling you to change and to be transformed to better reflect God’s love and purpose onto…

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Joy

September 24, 2018

It is not hard to find joy in the pages of the Bible. Biblical texts remind us over and over again that joy flows from the heart of God and is God’s gift to us in both good times and bad. “Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy (Psalm 47:1). “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice (Philippians 4:4). It is easy to make the case for joy as a central part of the Biblical narrative. And yet joy is not always easy to understand or to recognize. We can start…

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Transformation . . . . . Into What?

September 20, 2018

The Officers of Forest Lake – Elders, Deacons and the Elders and Deacons elect all met together over the weekend of September 7 -9 for our second annual fall retreat.  The purpose of the retreat was to focus our hearts and minds on what it means to be “transformed head, heart and hands in the service of Jesus Christ!”  And to do that we began on Friday night by focusing on four values that Ellen Skidmore and Dan Holloway had chosen.  The values – drawn from Scripture – were chosen because Dan and Ellen believe that when and where we…

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Letters Home: Dear Forest Lake – From Montreat Youth Conference

September 6, 2018

Even though I have been involved with Forest Lake Youth (FLY) for several years, I have never had the opportunity to attend the Summer Youth Conference in Montreat until last week. I must tell you it was an amazing experience. Overall there were over 1200 youth and youth leaders from as far away as Ohio and Kansas. The theme for the week was “Lift Every Voice” and we learned how to use our own voice while respecting all voices as we relate to God and other believers. Each day our youth participated in a large group session with energizers, singing,…

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Letters Home: Dear Forest Lake – From Montreat Youth Conference

July 19, 2018

Even though I have been involved with Forest Lake Youth (FLY) for several years, I have never had the opportunity to attend the Summer Youth Conference in Montreat until last week. I must tell you it was an amazing experience. Overall there were over 1200 youth and youth leaders from as far away as Ohio and Kansas. The theme for the week was “Lift Every Voice” and we learned how to use our own voice while respecting all voices as we relate to God and other believers. Each day our youth participated in a large group session with energizers, singing,…

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Letters Home: Dear Forest Lake – Can You Guess 2?

July 13, 2018

Which Church is This?

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