Concerns, Announcements and Devotional Thought
A Weekly Ministry of Indianapolis First Friends Meeting
As Way Opens by Beth Henricks
I have been reading the biography of Lucretia Mott, called Valiant Friend by Margaret Hope Bacon. I have always loved biographies because they give you depth and color of an individual's experience beyond the broad and highlighted events of their life. Before reading this biography of Lucretia, I knew she was one of the great Quaker women in our history, but I didn't feel like I knew her and her experience.
It was troubling to find out that many Quakers both Orthodox and Hicksite believed Lucretia was a heretic and troublemaker. Many of these Quakers used the Bible to debate and refute Lucretia's passionate service to the cause of freeing slaves as well as the championing of women's rights. There are many verses in the Old and New Testament that validate and describe the idea of slavery as common practice and allowed by God. (Here are a few - Genesis 17:9-13, Proverbs 29:21, Numbers 31:25-47,Proverbs 19:10, Ephesians 6:5, Colossians 3:22, I Timothy 6:1-2, I Peter 2:18-20). The Bible was also used to silence Lucretia on the equality of women (I Peter 3:7, I Corinthians 11:3-15, I Corinthians 14:34-35, I Timothy 2: 11-15). It is hard to believe today in 2015 that Lucretia Mott was rejected by so many Quakers. Particularly when she is now considered such an important and visionary figure in history.
Of course, she was advocating for changes that would significantly alter the economic, moral and social practices that had been accepted and embraced for centuries. Change agents are often rejected by their own kind. Many of the Quakers just wanted her to be quiet on these issues and wait. Lucretia felt so strongly that the Spirit was calling her to action. And while she studied and quoted the Bible often, she believed that it must be read and understood in the context of its time and that the Inner Light must be our ultimate guide.
What I love most about Lucretia is how she was kind and welcoming to her enemies and those that disagreed with her. She was not going to walk over them, but walk beside them through their hopeful journey of insight and reflection. But she knew that she must walk this path.
What is the path that we are called to walk in today? Will we walk beside each other and not over one another on issues that might divide us? Will we use the Bible to guide us but not enslave us? I am thankful for people like Lucretia Mott that show us a way to be faithful, Spirit led and passionate for the best ideals of our Quaker Testimonies.
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
February 8th is Scout Sunday! Were you a Scout? Are your children? Please send the Scout’s name and troop number into the office for recognition. Also, we are looking for help from Scouts as greeters, ushers, and during Meeting! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to participate.
Be an Usher in 2015! A great way to serve and meet people at Indianapolis First Friends Meeting is to become a Sunday usher. Ushers only need serve once a month. This duty is so beneficial, not only to the meeting each Sunday but also to the usher as well. An Individuals or an entire family that would like to usher or simply know more can sign up on the bulletin board in the hallway or contact Dan Linginfelter at email@example.com for more information.
Hospitality, Companionship, Creating Space for Others…Discovering God in a Changing World. Join us for our second of an exciting 4-part program series with Dr. Dan Moseley right here at First Friends, January 31-February 1. It will consist of a Saturday retreat from 9-1pm, Meeting for Worship on Sunday at 10:15am followed by a chili luncheon, provided by M&C, and then a Q&A with Dan. We’ll have breakfast foods available on Saturday, and if childcare is needed, please let the office know. There is no fee, but you are encouraged to pre-register with Amanda Bow in the office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Copies of Dan’s book, Lose Love Live: The Spiritual Gifts of Loss and Change is available in our office for $10 each.
Gathering Group is Tuesday, Feb. 3rd at 7:00 pm. Friends will gather to make scarves for the homeless to help them stay warm. You are invited to bring yarn and join the project!
Please join us for Community Soup on Friday, February 6th, anytime between 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. Enjoy soups, bread, and dessert in a relaxed atmosphere. No cooking, no dishwashing, and no charge.
It’s Time to Retreat! Have you ever been to Quaker Haven? Many of us have, and we all have a chance to go next month… for the Western Yearly Meeting Retreat, March 6 & 7. Friends will gather from all parts of Indiana and Western Illinois for an overnight stay, worship, fun, and the challenges that Jim Griffith* will bring as our speaker. Vision and Vitality will be served generously! Come and join Beth and Ruthie… we hope to have a great crowd from First Friends. Register now for best prices. See the brochure, found at http://westernym.net/pdf/2015WinterRetreat.pdf! Send it in pronto!
Save The Date! Saturday, March 21st! First Friends Meeting Talent Show! Vicki Wertz and Beth Henricks are our “Talent Scouts”. Susan Rains is our “Hostess with the Mostest”. Start polishing those dancing shoes, and warming up your vocal cords… or preparing whatever talent you may have!
The Preschool Co-op is hosting a Rummage Sale here at First Friends on April 18th!!! They are organizing and hosting the event themselves, but we will share in the proceeds. We are asking our members/attenders to bring in items for sale as they are cleaning out closets, cupboards and garages. We will accept all items (except no drop side cribs, car seats or bumbo seats). Please start bringing in your items and place them in the unused Sunday School room with the sign that says Rummage Sale.
IFCL Lobbyist Needed: Indiana Friends Committee on Legislation (IFCL) has announced a Search Committee to fill the staff position of lobbyist to the Indiana legislature. IFCL has for decades worked as a legislative action group advocating the social concerns of Friends to Indiana legislators. The position is a paid position. Bill Chapman is heading the Search Committee and can be contacted at email@example.com or (317) 255-4739. You can learn more about IFCL at quakerifcl.org.