Concerns, Announcements and Devotional Thought
A Weekly Ministry of Indianapolis First Friends Meeting
As Way Opens by Ruthie Tippin
Where do you see Christ this Christmas? In all the hustle and bustle? In the Christmas jingles and carols on the radio and in the stores? In the quiet peace of a walk at night? Christ is everywhere!
It’s an exercise in patience as we wait in line (or wait online!) for goods and services, but in our waiting, if we take a second look, we can find the joy, compassion, tenderness, and love of Jesus. It’s a discipline of time management, but if we take a few moments for reflection, we can discover the breath, the stillness, the gentleness, the restorative strength of Jesus. It’s a matter of choice, but if we focus our thinking on beauty, we can find Jesus in the smile of a stranger, the power of a strong, cold wind, the red berries of a tree stripped bare.
Christ has come. Do we see him? Are we, like those wise men, intent on discovering Christ this Christmas?
Joys & Concerns
Vespers Evening was a Blessing! Many thanks to Shawn Porter, our Chancel Choir, the Flute Choir and the Handbell Choir, Jim and Leslie Kartholl, Chelsea and Kendall Tinsley, our readers - Bill Heitman, Tiffany Beaver and Sam Miller, our First Friends Children and Christine Pfiester for their musical gifts. It was a joy to welcome the storyteller – Gladys Sowder – this year, as well.
The Vespers Buffet was a Smash! What a lovely way to meet new friends, and to spend time together with old friends, too! Delicious food and delightful company were made possible by our wonderful Fellowship Committee. Many thanks to everyone who helped.
First Friends collected 1,647 lbs. of food for the Mid-North Food Pantry in November. Each of the four adult Sunday School classes collected more than 150 lbs. The children’s classes also did well with the Preschool class collecting the most with 94 lbs. The adult Quakerism class led the adult classes by collecting 621 lbs. Thanks to everyone who helped in this worthy cause.
Our Preschool Co-Op has joined our Mid North Food Pantry Drive! The children and their families have joined with us this past month, bringing in lots of food! Thank you MSPSC!
Thank you to everyone who donated blood during our Blood Drive. The Blood Center was most happy that we were able to have 14 folks show up to donate. They are already asking when we would like to schedule our next drive. Thanks for giving “the gift of life.”
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
You are all invited to the USFW Christmas Tea after meeting for worship this Sunday, December 14th. Please come and enjoy tasty cookies baked by our members. It is a great time to get to know our many new members and also get reacquainted with old friends. If you would like to donate at least 2 dozen cookies, they can be dropped off on December 13th from 10-11 or the morning of the 14th. Please join us for a great time and good cookies!
Please join us for Christmas Caroling on Sunday, December 14. We will meet at 4:20 p.m. at The Stratford, 2460 Glebe St., Carmel. We will sing there, at Marquette Manor, and at The Forum. After caroling, we will eat at Steak ‘N Shake at 86th and Westfield Blvd. Everyone is welcome, both children and adults. Musical talent is not required! If you have any questions, please contact the office or Carol Donahue.
Conversation on Same-Sex Marriage - Friends hold that all people are equal in the eyes of God and have equal access to the “inner light.” This profound sense of equality leads Friends to treat each person with respect, looking for “that of God” in everyone. We welcome all persons whatever their race, religious affiliation, age, socio-economic class, nationality, ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation or mental/physical ability. We are now forming a Team of five to eight individuals from across the congregation to revisit how First Friends Meeting will recognize same-sex marriage while building a stronger community of faith. All proceedings will be guided by listening to others, inviting the loving presence of God, and encouraging everyone to share their perspectives in a supportive environment. The second Conversation on Same-Sex Marriage is planned on Sunday evening, December 14, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. The purpose of this session is to encourage dialogue about this issue, and provide a pathway for those interested in serving on the Team in 2015. Please contact Andy Cunningham, Mary Blackburn, John Beede, or Ruthie with any questions, comments or concerns. Please come join the conversation, everyone is welcome!
Oak Leaf Ladies and Reading Friends! Please join the Oak Leaf Meeting for Reading at Ruth Kelly's home for a Holiday Lasagna Dinner on December 16th at 7 pm. We will be talking about Front Porch Stories by Phillip Gulley, we thought it might be fun to tell some of our own stories that evening as well! Bring a side dish and a book from home for a Holiday Book Swap. People who haven't previously attended book discussion are MORE than welcome to come join us! Please contact Ruth on her mobile at (812) 322-9954 or via her email Rgkelly4@att.net for directions!
Do you need a quick, easy and healthy appetizer for an upcoming holiday party or family gathering? And as an added bonus, would like to help raise funds for MSPC? The Preschool Co-Op is having a fundraiser. Thanks to a generous donation of vegetable trays from Caito Foods, MSPC is now taking orders for veggie party platters with 100% of proceeds to benefit our school. WHAT? Vegetable party platters; each 3lb tray includes broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, celery, and dip WHEN? Place orders between now and December 12; veggie trays will be available for pickup at MSPC on December 18 & 19 HOW? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to place your order (payment will be due Dec. 18-19)
Christmas Eve is Coming! Plan now to attend our very special Christmas Eve Service at 5:30 on December 24th. Christmas Carols, Handbells, Children and Families, special music, the Christmas Story, candlelight, and a time for Silent Worship, promise to bring us to the manger that night. Invite your friends and family for this meaningful time together.
Lucretia Coffin Mott is coming to Meeting for Worship on January 4th! Be sure to return to Meeting after the first of the new year to meet and enjoy hearing from Lucretia… and to celebrate her 222nd Birthday! (We have a party planned for her during Fellowship Hour!) Lucretia Mott was a Friend, a women’s rights activist, an abolitionist, a religious reformer. Don’t miss her!
Discovering God in a Changing World. Save the date for the second of an exciting 4-part program series with Dr. Dan Moseley right here at First Friends! The second session is January 31-February 1, where Dan will focus on hospitality, creating space for others, and assessing the role of companionship. It will consist of a Saturday retreat from 9-1pm, Meeting for Worship on Sunday at 10:15am followed by a luncheon and then a Q&A with Dan. There is no fee, but you are encouraged to pre-register with Amanda Bow in the office at email@example.com.
Would you like to receive a copy of each First Day’s sermon? Simply sign-up for Wednesday Word by sending an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Meeting Office at 317-255-2485. The sermons are also available both in text and audio on www.indyfriends.org.