Concerns, Announcements and Devotional Thought
A Weekly Ministry of Indianapolis First Friends Meeting
As Way Opens
I am personally thankful for your constant, faithful giving and for the many year-end contributions that have come to First Friends Meeting in support of our ministries, staff, and outreach. When the past year began, we made an intentional step of faith in extending ourselves to budget for more staff hours to cover Office Administration, and Children, Family and Youth Ministries. Over the course of the year, we have seen the effective work of our communications via website, newsletter, phone and email contacts, and interpersonal/interchurch help offered by our incredibly gifted Office Administrator, Amanda Bow. Our youth program has expanded exponentially with the birth of the Affirmation Program, bringing in fourteen middle school and high school youth who are learning what faith as a Friend means. Our Sunday School program is busy and active, as is our Children’s Worship time with many new children participating each Sunday in lessons devoted to Quaker concepts and character. In addition, parents are invited to spend a night out, as they form a babysitting co-op, allowing our children to get to know one another better. These programs, and many more including our Summer Vacation Bible School are under the watchful and devoted care of our gifted Christian Education and Family Ministries Director, Beth Henricks. These two persons care for many duties that would otherwise fall to your Pastor, Clerk, or Committee Clerks, and the scope of work would either not be done, or not be done with nearly the efficiency and care that it is because of their ministry positions on staff. Your giving matters. Your generosity matters. Your participation matters. Financially and personally. Many of you give of yourselves because you cannot give in any other way. I see you here often, cleaning, teaching, pruning, sorting, cooking, decorating, leading, caring. I often don’t see you, because you come when no one else is around. Our work is the work of devotion to our Meeting, and our Meeting is a gathering of those who are devoted to God. We are asked to love and serve God by loving and serving others. I am thankful for the many ways you do this, faithfully, mindfully, without expecting anything in return. I hope you will take time to notice the fruit of your generosity… those who are coming to worship with us, the children who are learning and growing as Friends, the community of love and strength you are building in love and light, under the care of God’s Spirit at First Friends.
Joys & Concerns
Our college students are returning to campus after their winter break. It’s been so good to see many of them at First Friends during the holidays! Please hold them in prayer as they begin another round of studies, and return to student life.
Our new carpet is being installed this week! The main hallway, Meeting Room, and Seeking Friends Sunday School Room are all getting new carpet! It’s such a blessing to be able to do a much-needed update to this wonderful Meetinghouse! Thank you Trustees for your careful stewardship.
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
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 made that stock donation. Thank you!
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!
A Greeter Story
Back in 1985 my husband Bob and I were starting our careers and living in Houston, Texas. We bought a condo in a very urban part of the city (Sharpstown for those of you familiar with Houston). We enjoyed the city but I had not found a church to call my own yet. Back then I was Presbyterian, so I visited several of those churches trying to find one I felt comfortable in. I found one not far from our condo – it was a small church on the other side of the Southwest freeway, across from the Sharpstown Mall. As I made my way to church I had to deal with the traffic (even on a Sunday!) but I wanted to give it a shot.
It was a little intimidating walking into a church you have never been to before, but just as I entered I was greeted by an older man who was very warm and made me feel welcome. He had a grey crew cut (back when crew cuts were not in fashion), and he was rather reserved. But he smiled, introduced himself as ‘John’, took my hand into both of his large ones and shook it warmly. He then guided me to the sanctuary where I was given a bulletin.
I really liked the church since they were multicultural and actively involved in the community, so I went back again the next Sunday. This time I took Bob. John was there to greet me and he remembered me from the previous week! Once again I felt welcome. We ended up joining that church and my son was baptized there. The man that welcomed me (John) continued to greet me each week and I owe my returning to him. If I hadn’t felt welcomed I wouldn’t have returned the second time and eventually joined.
Would you like to welcome people into our wonderful First Friends Meeting? I’m looking for people interested in greeting in the coming six months. I’m asking people to sign up for an entire month so greeters can remember new attenders from the previous week(s). If you cannot take the whole month I’ll work with you to fill in the gaps. Let me know if you are interested in this important ministry. You do not need to be an extrovert – just a welcoming person.
A_panah@yahoo.com or 317-250-4161
BeFriending Creation is the bi-monthly newsletter of Quaker Earthcare Witness. The most recent issue included an article by Roger Plenty, entitled ‘Considering the Consequences of Unchecked Population Growth.’ Here is a portion of the article: ‘During an economics course, the lecturer told us about Thomas Robert Malthus and his assertion that any population would grow until it absorbed all the resources available to it. My instant reaction was, "Of course: that’s absolutely obvious," so I was astonished when the lecturer went on to say that no one took any notice of that these days, and that events had proved Malthus wrong.’ If you’d like to read it in its entirety, please follow this link to the newsletter: http://www.quakerearthcare.org/bfc/volume-27-number-6
Save Your Stamps! Before your throw away all those Christmas Card envelopes, trim off the stamps and donate them at First Friends Meeting. The stamps are worth money, and go to support Right Sharing of World Resources. Peel ‘Em, Stick ‘Em, Send ‘Em, Cut ‘Em, Save ‘Em, Send ‘Em!
An Exhibition of Fine Art Prints from The Saint John’s Bible are on display at the Indiana Interchurch Center until January 31st. They are located at 1100 West 42nd Street, here in Indianapolis. There are also related special events being held there, such as a calligraphy workshop on January 10th, a panel discussion on January 21st, and many more. For information on events, please visit www.indianainterchurch.org.
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. Copies of Dan’s book, Lose Love Live: The Spiritual Gifts of Loss and Change is available in our office for $10 each.
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.
Save the date for the start of an Eco-Film Series here at First Friends, at 7p.m. on the second Friday of each month from February- April. The first one is Friday, February 13th at 7p.m. called “Silent Spring”. It is the story of Rachel Carson and the battle over her groundbreaking work “Silent Spring”. Carson and her research were savagely attacked by the chemical industry but Carson would not be silenced. A powerful story that sparked a revolution in environmental policy and inspired a generation to activism. (55 minutes. http://www.silentspringmovie.com)