April 2019   
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Shelly Forrest

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Pastor Shelly Forrest

I have been married to Mitch Forrest for 18 years. We met in seminary, but instead of pastoring, God redirected his path to work as a social worker. He currently works at the Central Illinois Agency on Aging in Peoria. Our faith in God is the cornerstone of our marriage, and we balance each other well. We have two children, Garrett (14) and Cece (11), and most of our energy is spent raising them.

More about Pastor Shelly:

I grew up in Minnesota. Both sets of grandparents are farmers. My parents own a metal fabrication shop. I attended Hamline University and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. I served in Johnston City for seven years, Monticello as an associate pastor for four years, focusing on children and family ministries, and most recently served in El Paso for seven years.


If you had 2 weeks of vacation, how would you spend the time?  We have always taught our children "it's not about where you are, it's about who you're with" when it comes to vacations. So, when we get time away, we try to see grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and other friends.


Having a daughter with asthma, we haven't been camping much as a family, but Mitch and I would probably go find a quiet lake at Glacier National Park and enjoy the quiet. With Cece, we enjoy city-themed vacations where there are museums and malls that are indoor! Our favorite vacation was to Washington D.C.


If were preparing to go to a deserted island, what would you request for your "last meal?" It would definitely be an Indian buffet! It's the only place you can get all of the interesting flavors all mixed together!


How have you seen God at work lately? I try to find joy in the small things because if it takes big things like wedding days and births to make us happy, we will not be happy much of the time.


I think the same is true in seeing God. I really should keep a list, because God is at work in so many little ways.  God is like that still small voice, not the raging wind! God's presence is constant.


 I see God at work in the love of brothers and sisters in Christ who carry each other's burdens which we do weekly in worship. A man I know is waiting to have his leg amputated, and he has that peace that passes understanding right now. That is God's Spirit comforting him. As I am writing this, there is a blood drive going on outside my office, and the person organizing it is doing so in memory of a man of faith who died of a rare blood disease. It is God who is at work in her heart to do something positive to impact the lives of others and give them the gift of life.


God works through our musicians to enliven our worship. God provides everything our family needs. God is good...all the time!


What is your favorite season of the year and what family activities do you enjoy during that season?  I love autumn. I enjoy the cooler weather that comes after a long, hot summer. I like sweatshirts and going to apple orchards. Fall festivals are fun.