Concerns, Announcements and Devotional Thought
A Weekly Ministry of Indianapolis First Friends Meeting
As Way Opens by Ruthie Tippin
This past week was filled with four days spent together with our larger family of Friends in Plainfield, IN for the annual sessions of Western Yearly Meeting. Never let it be said that our Yearly Meeting does not pay attention to current concerns in our Meetings, or in the larger concerns facing the church in the world. There it was, on the agenda for Friday, July 18th: ‘Prayerful consideration of the Court Decision on Indiana law regarding marriage”. At the close of four active sessions of business, YM Clerk Dale Graves called our attention to this concern, saying that many Friends had asked both Dale and Wanda Coffin Baker, WYM Supt., what Western Yearly Meeting’s response was. Their answer was to ask the YM – to begin the conversation with the YM at this session, under the care of the Spirit.
A time of reflection was offered for the recent Supreme Court rulings regarding marriage. Under the Clerk’s direction that leadings come – not from fear or anger, but from love – three persons spoke out of the silence, drawing our attention to the description of creation and marriage found in Genesis 1 & 2, the conflict between culture and biblical faith, and the Spirit of God found in both those under the law and apart from it shown in Peter’s dream found in Acts 10. Another person spoke of the difficulty this issue has been for our Yearly Meeting, with some persons leaving us and some being asked to leave. The same person quoted the Apostle Paul - that ‘now we know only in part’ – that Western Yearly Meeting must be certain to learn from the past, to look toward the future, and to proceed in love.
No decisions were made. No action was taken. No issues were settled. They did not need to be that day. The Spirit of God was evident, in the generosity of listening, the openness to speak, and the very fact that our Yearly Meeting realized the need to be responsive to concerns that all Christians, all faith communities, all persons face. Quakers live real lives in real life context. We do not live in silent communities, separated from the world. We are a part of God’s great unfolding, living, creative, vital Breath. Let us all breathe deeply, listen generously, and act and speak always in love. The conversation has only just begun.
“Understand this, my beloved brethren. Let everyone be quick to hear - a ready listener, slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry. For one’s anger does not promote the righteousness God wishes and requires.” James 1:19-20 Amplified
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
Our Vacation Bible School program, Wilderness Escape begins this Sunday, July 27th at 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. and will include lunch. Our adventure continues Monday, July 28th through Thursday, July 31st at 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Our Fellowship Hall will be transformed into Camp Israel with a variety of tents and tribes! Kids up to fifth grade are welcome. Please consider signing up your kids, grandkids, neighbor's kids for this wonderful experience. Please let Beth Henricks (firstname.lastname@example.org) know if you have any questions.
Monthly Meeting for Business is this Sunday following Meeting for Worship! Last Month’s Meeting Minutes are available by contacting the office at email@example.com.
Please join us for Community Soup on Friday, August 1st, anytime between 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. Enjoy salads, bread, and dessert in a relaxed atmosphere. No cooking, no dishwashing, and no charge.
Peace Fest 2014 - Sunday, August 3 – 1:00 pm – Potluck Lunch at FFM! Historic Peace Churches will gather - Shalom Mennonite, First Mennonite, Northview Church of the Brethren, and Friends Meetings through the Indy area - to share and celebrate the goal of peace in our community and world. Tim Nation, Director and Co-Founder of Peace Learning Center will speak and lead us in a training session. First Friends is hosting this potluck lunch and gathering. Please bring a main dish, salad or side, or dessert. Come one, Come all!
Gathering Group is Tuesday, August 5th 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.
Come and experience the Dairy Barn at the Indiana State Fair - we are one of the volunteer organizations that has been approved to work the Dairy Barn on Saturday August 9th. We need to provide 14 people from 9:30 am to 9:45 pm and the Dairy Association will donate $1100 for our Quaker Affirmation Class. Please contact Beth Henricks (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to work the shift from 3:30 pm to 9:45 pm. Kids need to be 15 years old or can be accompanied by a parent if 12 - 15. You will be provided several breaks and all of the Dairy Barn food you can eat (who could turn this down). You can also visit the fair prior to your shift as we will provide the ticket into the fair.
We will no longer be collecting pill bottles for WYM. The clinic has gotten additional funding and will be able to purchase new bottles. Thank you!
Ladies! Oak Leaf: Meeting for Reading will be discussing Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief on the third Tuesday of August, the 19th, at 7 pm in the Parlor. If you would like to be on the email list or need a copy of the book list for 2014, please contact Kathy Rhyne at email@example.com. Shakespeare Saved My Life, by Laura Bates is our upcoming book for September.
Come join us on August 23rd from 9:30-12:00 for a work day in our woods. We need some help pulling weeds and placing mulch around the fountain area. The weed wrench needs to be used on the ever invasive honey suckle, along with some stick clean up and general clean up along the road way. This is in preparation for our worship in the woods August 30. Please come help as long as you can. We don’t ask that you need to stay the whole time. Thank You now from all of the Woods Committee for you time in helping us. Mindy Sommer & Mary Blackburn, Co-Chairs
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.