Blog: Forest Lake Talks

A Message from Ellen

August 17, 2022

August 17, 2022 Dear Friends, As I was praying the other morning, I had an idea about a series of articles for our newsletter on Christian Conflict. You might argue with me about who put that idea into my head or heart. But I am listening to the rising temperature of our national rhetoric and wondering what it looks like to be lovers of Jesus in a world of hate. I wanted to share with you some of what I propose every year to the new Elders and Deacons who are being trained to lead in our congregation about healthy…

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8/16/22 Devotional from Ed

August 16, 2022

Text: Acts 2:43-47 Awe came upon everyone because many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. Devotional: Back in school we used to dream about…

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8/8/22 Devotional from Ed

August 8, 2022

Text: 2 Timothy 3:14-17 (Common English Bible) But you must continue with the things you have learned and found convincing. You know who taught you. Since childhood you have known the holy scriptures that help you to be wise in a way that leads to salvation through faith that is in Christ Jesus. Every scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for showing mistakes, for correcting, and for training character, so that the person who belongs to God can be equipped to do everything that is good. Devotional: We talk A LOT about baseball in the Black household…

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8/2/22 Devotional from Ed

August 2, 2022

Text: John 1:19-28 This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way…

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7/25/22 Devotional from Ed

July 25, 2022

Text: Matthew 28:16-20 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him, but they doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Devotional: Have you ever watched…

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A Message from Ellen

July 20, 2022

July 20, 2022 Friends, There is so much going on at church right now that I can barely keep up!  It might seem like a quiet summer to you, but things are hopping here!  There is a lot of activity around the building.  This week the new HVAC equipment for the sanctuary is being installed!  And the Capital Campaign renovations continue.  There are some big decisions that Session will be making about how and when to move forward to address the largest construction project (kitchen, Community Room Bathroom renovations and the creation of a shower).  When Session makes decisions, we…

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7/18/22 Devotional from Ed

July 18, 2022

Text: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be ignorant. You know that when you were gentiles you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Let Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts but the same Spirit, and there are varieties of services but the same Lord, and there are varieties of activities, but it is the…

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7/11/22 Devotional from Ed

July 11, 2022

Text: John 14:27-29 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur you may believe. Devotional: The longtime dean of Union Presbyterian…

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A Message from Ed

July 6, 2022

July 6, 2022 Dear Friends, Early Monday morning, while the rest of my family was either asleep or playing Mario, I went over to my in-laws’ house to help clean out their attic. Their house had been damaged by one of the recent storms, prompting a need to rearrange and remove some things before any new construction could begin. Fortunately, Elizabeth’s parents are super organized, so while I wasn’t looking forward to the manual labor on July 4, I anticipated a straightforward, efficient process that wouldn’t take the whole morning. As I suspected, it didn’t! Their attic contained many of…

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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 abortions Women who have given birth and had those children adopted by others Women 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…

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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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