Blog: Forest Lake Talks

A Message from Ellen

June 29, 2022

June 29, 2022 Friends, No matter how you feel about the action of the Supreme Court to overturn Roe .vs. Wade this past week, I want to remind you that in our faith family and in our own families there are: Women who have had abortionsWomen who have given birth and had those children adopted by othersWomen who have given birth to children they did not want and who needed but did not get support or help to raise those children from their family and community.Those who long to have a child but have not yet been able to conceive.Those…

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6/27/22 Devotional from Ed at Camp Fellowship

June 27, 2022

Text: Genesis 1:27 (CEB) God created humanity in God’s own image,         in the divine image God created them,             male and female God created them. Devotional: This week’s theme at Camp Fellowship is “God’s masterpiece.” Have you ever thought of yourself as a masterpiece? You are! Each of us has been given special gifts from God that we can use to love and serve God and one another each day. How will we use them? Our hope this week on the shores of Lake Greenwood is simple: Remind our children, counselors, and staff that we are all children of God, made…

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A Message from Ellen

June 17, 2022

Way back on Sunday, March 13th we held a meeting of our congregation, and everyone heard about the beginning of an exciting partnership between our congregation and a local non-profit called Serve & Connect.  We heard from the Executive Director of Serve & Connect, Dr. Kassy Alia Ray, as well as representatives from both the Forest Acres Police Department and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department about how our congregation can be a catalyst to bring good and long-term change to the neighborhoods near us [Percival Road, Woodfield Park, and the Greater Woodfield neighborhoods for starters].  It was very exciting to…

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A Message from Ellen

June 8, 2022

Dear Friends, Seven of us went to celebrate the end of the annual justice cycle for MORE Justice [Midlands Organized Response for Equity and Justice] on May 23rd.  We gathered in the gym of Our Lady of the Hills Catholic Church in Irmo with Christians, Jews, and Muslims of every color and socio-economic stripe to commit ourselves to continue to work to accomplish small, measurable steps that will make our community a better place for everyone. One project that MORE Justice has worked on and that you can help support is the funding of an Affordable Housing Trust Fund for…

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Gun Violence

May 26, 2022

Where are you today? How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I bear pain in my soul, and Have sorrow in my heart all day long? Psalm 13:1-2 (NRSV) Have mercy on me, God, according to your faithful love! Deliver me from violence, God, God of my salvation, so that my tongue can sing of your righteousness. Psalm 51:1, 14 (CEB) Why do you boast, O mighty one, of mischief done against the godly? You love evil more than good, and lying more than speaking the…

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A Message from Ellen

May 25, 2022

May 25, 2022 Friends, I know that many of you will be travelling for the Memorial Day weekend.  It is a great joy and relief to be able, once again, to go and to do.  If you are travelling, I hope that it is a source of great joy and refreshment for you!  Please come home to us safe and well!!! School is almost done and after Memorial Day, summer begins in earnest!  Yay!  I have some squash growing and had a piece of watermelon the other day that was delicious!  But even as the seasons change, I hope and…

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5/22/22 Devotional from Ed

May 22, 2022

Text: Revelation 12:7-11  And war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back, but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world-he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven proclaiming, “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority…

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A Message from Ellen

May 11, 2022

May 11, 2022 Dear Friends, I have good news and bad news.  Actually, if I told you all of the good news about life at Forest Lake, I wouldn’t get to anything else.  I’m sure you have noticed the beautiful new playground, the refreshed landscaping, the new security cameras, etc., etc., etc.  We just signed a contract to significantly improve our sanctuary sound system, and we are very close to having all we need to get bids on the renovations of the kitchen, Community Room Bathrooms, and the shower addition. The Capital Campaign will, eventually, provide a cash infusion for…

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5/3/22 Devotional from Ed

May 3, 2022

Weekly Devotional Author: Ed Black Text: Matthew 3:7-12 But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “I baptize…

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A Message from Ellen

April 27, 2022

April 26, 2022 Dear Friends, Last Saturday I was up and out the door of our house about 7:30am focused on getting to a plant sale at the Riverbanks Botanical Garden!  I know that some of you are snickering.  You may get up early and stay up late for football and basketball games, I happen to get up early for plant sales!  It all boils down to what is important – right? So, I arrived at the Gardens a bit after 8am and found my way to the sale entrance by following all of the cars!!  By the time I…

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4/26/22 Devotional from Ed

April 26, 2022

Weekly Devotional Author: Ed Black Text: 1 Peter 1:17-21 17If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent fear during the time of your exile. 18You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. 20He was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake. 21Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised…

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4/20/22 Devotional from Ed

April 20, 2022

Weekly Devotional Author: Ed Black Text: 1 Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. Devotional: When listening to a recent sermon by Rev. Scott Black Johnston, I learned about this interview between Yale Divinity School professor Miroslav Volf and his former student, Fyodor Raychynets, now a pastor in the Ukraine and head of the Department of Theology at Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary. Raychynets posts updates on Facebook of what it is like on the ground right now, including being explicit about the hunger crisis and physical damage all around. His realistic portrayal of life in the…

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A Message for Ellen

April 13, 2022

Dear Friends, On the Abraham’s Table interfaith podcast that FLPC is sponsoring, Rabbi Case, Imam Shaheed and I just completed a series of podcasts on spiritual disciplines.  Each of us took a session to talk about the spiritual disciplines and practices that our faiths teach. And what was compelling to me was the realization that all our faiths teach practices aimed at connecting us with God, self, and the other, and that unless our spiritual practices help put God at the center of our lives, then the practices are useless. Observance and the celebration of Easter is THE central spiritual…

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4/4/22 Devotional from Ed

April 4, 2022

Here’s a copy of yesterday’s sermon, written in narrative style. Text: Mark 6:30-32  The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. Devotional: “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” If Jesus told us to do this, could we do it? And, if this was…

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A Message from Ellen

March 30, 2022

March 30, 2022 Dear Friends, We will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on Sunday, April 17th.  And the week before that Sunday is full of events that remind us of Jesus’ teaching, his commands, his suffering, and his promises.  Lent and Holy Week are intended to be invitations for us to evaluate our own lives, practices, and hearts, and to work intentionally on our own transformation in faith.  Ed Black and I have been leading small group discussions on Richard Rohr’s book, Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps.  And the discussions in both of our groups have been…

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