Concerns, Announcements and Devotional Thought
A Weekly Ministry of Indianapolis First Friends Meeting
As Way Opens
What we have waited for has finally come… family is arriving, gifts are wrapped and set under the tree, the table is set. Christmas is here! With anticipation, hope, and patience we have waited. And in that waiting, our time has been filled – preparation has called us to work, to think, to act in ways that move us forward. Waiting has not been an empty space, but rather a space filled with intention. We have anticipated presence. We have hoped for gifts. We have cultivated patience by remaining open to all that is possible. These are the things that have held God’s children since our beginning – through our forming, our living, our struggles, and our release.
What we have waited for has finally come. God has come as Light – True Light – that gives Light to all people. Christ’s birth into the world – into our lives – brings Light to each one of us. What will we do with this Light? Will we receive it into ourselves, making it our own, warming ourselves with its heat, filling ourselves with its energy, recreating ourselves with its life? Will we share this Light with those who do not recognize it, with no understanding of its presence, its gifts, its possibility? Will we reflect the brilliance and beauty of this Light to others with its love?
So many are waiting, just as those in Luke’s Gospel story of Christ’s birth… Zechariah, Elizabeth, Simeon, Anna, Mary… As Henri Nouwen writes, ‘The whole opening scene of the good news is filled with waiting people. And right at the beginning all those people in some way or another hear the words, “Do not be afraid. I have something good to say to you.”’ For all those who have waited so long, I have something good to say to you… Christ the Light has come!
Joys & Concerns
We gave 135 lbs of food to the Mid North Food Pantry last week! Our volunteers were kept very busy and were able to serve 105 families. Thank you to all who donated and to all of the volunteers. Collectively this year we have given 3,572 lbs of food to Mid North Food Pantry. Thank you for all of your generosity!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to each and every one of you from your staff at First Friends Meeting! We will not have a Friend to Friend newsletter to send out next week, but watch for it in the New Year! Ruthie will be traveling between the holidays, returning on New Years Day. Please contact Beth Henricks or Mary Blackburn for any needs or concerns.
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
Join us tonight for our very special Christmas Eve Service at 5:30. 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. Invite your friends and family for this meaningful time together.
Meeting for Worship will gather on Sunday, December 28th, with our traditional ‘open sing’ of beloved Christmas Carols. Mary Blackburn will lead us in meditative worship considering friendship. Bring your friends. Invite your family. Enter into our treasured gathering among Friends.
Do you want to get Quaker Life Magazine sent to your home? Subscribing with our Group Plan means that you save on your subscription! The regular rate is $26, but if you are on our plan it’s only $20! If you would like to add a new subscription or renew your current, please contact the office at email@example.com and submit your payment of $20. Please write your check to First Friends and write Quaker Life in the memo line. The renewal date is January 13th, so please let us know by then!
Finance Committee Report – 11/30/2014 - For the 11 months ending November 30,2014, expenses exceeded income by $22,235. We are hopeful that increased December giving will allow us to have adequate income to cover our expenses for 2014. We appreciate the financial support that many have shown to First Friends! We are grateful for a donation of stock on December 16, the source of which has not been identified. Please contact Finance Committee Clerk Carol Donahue at her NEW email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you make that stock donation. Thank you!
Beginning in 2015, our Monday night Yoga class will change their weekly meeting time to 6-7pm. The instructor is Annie Spilbeler. Class will remain donation based, with a suggested amount of $10. Newcomers are welcome.
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!
Gathering Group is Tuesday, January 6th at 7:00 pm. Friends gather to do all kinds of handwork: crochet, knitting, rug working, whatever you want to do. All are welcome to join in and create.
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.