Concerns, Announcements and Devotional Thought
A Weekly Ministry of Indianapolis First Friends Meeting
As Way Opens by Ruthie Tippin
Michael Brown. Darren Wilson. Two people. One shooting. A city in crisis. A nation caught up in the anguish of death, violence, racism, fear. “Alexis Tucker, 19, of Ferguson, a sophomore at Howard University, watched from the parking lot of a Family Dollar store on West Florissant as protesters lobbed a couple bottles and as police barked commands and, at times, pointed their guns and nightsticks. "It's horrible," she said, "It's not representative of Ferguson, of fighting for justice.” And on it goes… a massive police presence now augmented by the National Guard, community leaders trying to persuade protesters to leave, a small band of agitators, some from as far away as California and New York. Many folk, declining to give their names, believe that what began with locals committing crimes of opportunity, later drew outsiders with little or no connection to the community -‘people who had been looking for a fight’. What price do we pay for violence? What price do we give to fear and anger? How much do we invest in hatred and suspicion? When will we begin to agitate for peace? How long will it be until people stream into Ferguson, Missouri from California, New York, Indiana, to agitate for peace? To stand in between those in conflict and ask them to listen to one another. To seek courage, rather than chaos. To find similarities, rather than differences. To find unity and purpose, rather than division and pain. Quakers have something to speak into this crisis. Quakers have something to do in this crisis. We can start by speaking to God. We can continue by speaking peace into our own communities. We can extend peace by speaking peace to those responsible for the governance of Ferguson, Missouri.
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
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
The choir is always looking for new members, and you don’t have to be a professional to join us! Our first choir rehearsal is this Sunday, August 24th at 9am. There will be no rehearsal on Aug. 31st, and we’ll start singing September 7th. Anyone interested in singing, please join us.
Stay after worship this Sunday for a Quaker Affirmation fundraiser lunch. There will be BBQ chicken and pork, baked beans and corn for a delicious lunch for your donations!
Jon and Ruthie invite you to an Open House! The date is set for Sunday, August 24th. Drop in any time from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at 2031 Mystic Bay Court, near Keystone at 80th Street. 'We're getting settled in, and would love to share our home with you.'
Don’t forget to bring in some undies for the 7th Annual Underwear Drive ‘Underneath It All’! Please donate NEW underwear, socks, t-shirts, and bras. All sizes are needed from Toddler sizes to Adult sizes for High School Students– they all need socks and underwear! If you don’t have time to shop, you can also donate by cash or check to First Friends, designated for Underneath it All. All donations will go to the John H. Boner Community Center, which serves some of the poorest neighborhoods in Indianapolis. Boner Center staff and volunteers work with five elementary schools every day during the school year and for six weeks in the summer. Social Workers will distribute the donated items to families as needed. Please place donations in the labeled box in Fellowship Hall. Cash or checks may be placed in offertory plates if labeled as donations to the Underwear Drive. We will be collecting until just after Labor Day. Contact Linda Lee if you have questions.
Finance Committee Report – 7/31/2014
For the 7 months ending in July 31, 2014, expenses exceeded income by $6,642. Although we are better than budgeted amounts, we encourage you to prayerfully consider whether you could increase your contributions to eliminate the deficit. Monthly Meeting approved a deficit budget for 2014 to allow us to expand our programs, with the faith that our members/attenders would respond positively by increasing their financial support if possible.
We have a need! Have you been looking for an easy way to get involved in our meeting? We are starting a funeral meal ministry and would like your help. There are a couple of ways that you can help this ministry. One way is to provide a dish when called upon via a phone call. These are usually short notice so the more people we have involved, the better. The other way to help is to be available to actually serve the meal to the family in need. It usually takes a few hours of your time and maybe a little bit of shopping for fill in food. If interested, please contact Jody Long at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-797-4505.
You are invited to participate in a Quaker presence at the 2nd annual Festival of Faiths on Sunday, September 7, 1-5pm at the Veteran’s Memorial Plaza (Meridian and Michigan St). Booths and activities will help us better understand and appreciate our neighbors from different religious traditions. There will be a main stage outdoors with a grand opening ceremony featuring sacred performances from Gospel, Native American, Sikh, Hindu Yakshagana, Jewish Klezmer, Middle Eastern, Contemporary Christian, Qawali (Punjab), and Buddhist traditions. While we enjoy the amazing talent, we will also learn about the history and religious significance of each of the performances. For more info about the Festival, visit www.facebook.com/IndyFestivalofFaiths. First Friends, North Meadow Circle of Friends, AFSC, WYM, and other Quaker meetings will have a ‘Quaker Booth’ at the Festival. If you’d like to help staff this, please let Ruthie know.
Western Yearly Meeting (WYM) and Friends United Meeting (FUM) 2014 Projects
First Friends, Indianapolis is just one of many Friends’ Meetings that comprise WYM and FUM. WYM and FUM exist to bring Quakers together to do work that individual meetings are not able to do alone. Each year WYM and FUM each sponsors a fundraising project which typically helps Quaker mission work. Set forth below are brief descriptions of the projects for 2014. Please help as you are led and able. Both projects are equally endorsed by First Friends’ Witness & Service committee. Your contributions should indicate which project (or both) you wish to support. Checks should be made out to First Friends. Thank you for your support. Please refer to the websites of WYM and FUM for further information about these Quaker organizations and these projects.
- WYM 2014 Special Project. This project is titled “Movin’ on Down the Road”...in Belize. WYM runs a Belize Friends School that helps challenged 8th grade boys pass a required test to obtain further education (the “further education” is equivalent to our high school). Without such “further education” these boys would typically have little direction for their lives, mostly ending up in a gang and doing what is necessary to obtain money to live. The Friends’ school in Belize assists approximately 20 students each year but would like to expand to include additional students. The goal of this project is to raise $10,000 for the expansion of this school ministry. You might recall that about a month ago, First Friends, Indianapolis hosted Dale Graves who asked for financial assistance for his anticipated expenses to go to Belize and be chief administrator of the school for the next year. This WYM project complements the efforts of Dale to help the school expand to accommodate additional children. The boys who desire to attend the Belize Friends School appreciate any help that you are able to provide.
- FUM 2014 Summer Mission Project. This project is titled “Education for Esther.” While visiting a Friends’ school in Turkana, Kenya, Quaker Eden Grace discovered that girls begin school in the first grade about the same rate as boys, but almost all drop out by the 8th grade. They drop out for several reasons...1) parents can’t afford to send them, 2) they are needed to work in the home, 3) they don’t have sanitary towels so they stay home one week each month, fall behind, get discouraged and leave school, 4) they marry in their early teens and begin having babies. Esther was the only girl in the 7th grade and it was unlikely that she would stay in school long enough to complete 8th grade let alone proceed to further education. Eden Grace promised Esther that if she would stay in school and complete 8th grade, we would send her to high school. FUM would like to ensure that all the girls who passed and qualified for high school would be given the necessary funds to continue their education in a Friends’ school in Turkana. It costs $400 per year to cover fees for one student. The promise that such fees will be available is a great incentive for these girls to stay in primary school and go on to high school. The goal of this project is to raise $20,000. Esther and many other girls in Turkana appreciate the help you are able to provide.
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