Concerns, Announcements and Devotional Thought
A Weekly Ministry of Indianapolis First Friends Meeting
As Way Opens by Beth Henricks
This past Sunday was a very busy day. I arrived early at 8:30 because I had copies to make, food to bring in for the Food Pantry, preparations to be made for our Grief Gathering and Children's Worship. And I wanted to join choir practice at 9:00.
My hands were full as I entered our building and walked past a visually impaired woman and her young son standing in the hallway. I said hello and then went into my office to drop off my things and hurriedly start all of the work I needed to complete in 30 minutes. I sat down and heard that still small voice say "What are you doing? There is a new person in your hallway and you walked right past her - go and speak with her and see how you can help her and make her feel welcome." I am ashamed to admit to you that my first response to that voice was "But I have church work to do". The tasks I needed to complete were important, but the real work of our Meeting is to live out the gospel of Love to each other. God was giving me a second chance and I took it. I set aside the work I wanted to complete and came back into the hallway and started a conversation with this new friend. I spent the next 25 minutes with her talking about our Meeting, opportunities for her son, helping them to the restroom and seeing our Meeting through the eyes of a visually impaired person (we have some work to do). My heart was touched to speak with her and her son, and to begin to hear her story.
Friends, the next 27 days are full of busyness and activities. I am praying that we will stay awake to our still small voice inside, and not walk past opportunities to connect with others and experience together the holiness of God's spirit binding us in human fellowship.
Joys & Concerns
Mid North Food Pantry will receive over $200 as our portion of the Ecumenical Thanksgiving Offering, taken at the Thanksgiving Service last Tuesday evening. A number of people from First Friends attended, sang in the Choir, and enjoyed this time of worship in thanksgiving with friends.
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
Please join us for Community Soup on Friday, December 5th, beginning at 5:30p.m. Enjoy soups, bread, and dessert in a relaxed atmosphere. No cooking, no dishwashing, and no charge. All are welcome. After dinner, join us for a screening of the film “The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It”. When a society overwhelmingly says military force is “just” and the term “Good War” becomes a mantra for that action. What is the price for refusing to kill? This month’s film is the story of several men who said “This I cannot do” to the challenge of using military force during World War II. Several of the men profiled were Quakers who faced many challenges by living out there faith in a time of war. A timely film in todays seemingly never ending global war. How do we as Quakers today respond to this challenge? Please join us for our December film selection “The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It”.
Babysitting at the Meetinghouse on Saturday, December 6th from 6:00 – 9:30 p.m. will be provided for our families. We will provide dinner for the kids. Please let Beth Henricks know if you are joining us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Royal Sensation is visiting First Friends! The talented Girls Choir from Hamilton Southeastern is led by our very own choir director, Shawn Porter, and they will be joining us in Meeting for Worship on December 7th. All are welcome at our regular meeting time of 10:15am - it’s bound to be a spirited morning!
Vespers will also be sung December 7th at 5pm! Invite your friends and family! Our choir director and organist, Shawn Porter has put together a memorable holiday celebration for us, and the choir has been practicing! Please mark your calendars and join us for a celebratory evening. A light buffet reception will follow.
Greetings Friends! You are all invited to the USFW Christmas Tea this year after meeting for worship on December 14th. Please come and enjoy the huge variety of tasty cookies baked and brought in 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. If you have any questions, please contact Jody Long at email@example.com. 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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com or call the Meeting Office at 317-255-2485. The sermons are also available both in text and audio on www.indyfriends.org.