Concerns, Announcements and Devotional Thought
A Weekly Ministry of Indianapolis First Friends Meeting
As Way Opens by Ruthie Tippin
Where are you in the circle of your days? For many, this day is a holy day of fasting called Ash Wednesday and marks the first day of Lent. Remembering Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness, Lent is observed with 40 days of fasting, plus 6 feast days (Sundays) leading up to Christ’s resurrection – Easter Sunday. Ash Wednesday is named for the ashes blessed from the burning of the previous year’s palm branches strewn on Palm Sunday, with the words ‘Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.’ [Genesis 3:19b]
For Quakers, today is Fourth Day. While we acknowledge the separate marking of days by others for certain holy ritual, Quakers hold that each day brings the same power, goodness, and presence of God as any other. Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday are all remarkable in that, while they mark certain times and occasions in the life, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus, they have equal place with any other day held in God’s hand. What does this mean? Next Wednesday, any Wednesday, is a Wednesday we should remember that we are taken from the dust of the ground – and that to dust we will return. What will we do then, with the life we have been given? Each day – First Day through Seventh Day – are days to consider the circle of days given in a week, a month, a year, a lifetime - and to offer thanks to God for power, for presence, for purpose.
Reeve Lindbergh, American writer and teacher, has adapted the text of the “Canticle of the Sun” by Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) to create this gentle and lovely prayer of thanksgiving and praise. Here is an excerpt from his poem ‘The Circle of Days” https://wordverseuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/the-circle-of-days-lindbergh-st-francis/
Lord, we offer thanks and praise
For the circle of our days….
For all your gifts, of every kind,
We offer praise with quiet mind.
Be with us, Lord, and guide our ways
Around the circle of our days.
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
Monthly Meeting for Business is this Sunday following Meeting for Worship! All are welcome to join us in discussion of Meeting business.
Get comfort at First Friends with comfort food. Join us for a “Seasoned Friends” Luncheon (for retirement age or older!) on Tuesday, February 24th at 11:30am! Bill & Kathy Farris will be providing meatloaf sandwiches, tomato soup and macaroni and cheese; feel free to bring a dessert to share if you’d like! Also, bring your favorite game and stay after lunch to play games. Please RSVP to the Meeting Office at 255-2485 by Thursday, February 19th. We'd love to see you!
Ladies! Oak Leaf: Meeting for Reading will be discussing Leif Enger’s Peace Like A River on Tuesday February, the 24th, 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 2015, please contact Kathy Rhyne at email@example.com. The Children Act, by Ian McEwan is our upcoming book for March 31st.
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!
Do you have a talent you want to share? Saturday, March 21st is the date of the First Friends Meeting Talent Show! Vicki Wertz and Beth Henricks are our “Talent Scouts”. Please contact Beth Henricks at firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know that you want to participate. Start polishing those dancing shoes, and warming up your vocal cords… or preparing whatever talent you may have!
Church Women United: Every year, on the first Friday of March, women around the world join together to pray for the peoples of the world. It is a worldwide ecumenical event that focuses on prayerful action in the world. The service is written by women of a different country each year – this year, by the World Day of Prayer group of the Bahamas. WDP gatherings promote justice and equality for women through prayer, service, scripture, worship and celebration. Men and women – all people – are invited to join together in prayer. Friday, March 6th, Union Chapel United Methodist at 10:00 am in English and Friday, March 6th, Allisonville Christian Church at 7:30 pm in Spanish and English
The newest ‘Befriending Creation’ is out! The hard copy is available on the bulletin board in Fellowship Hall, in our recycle corner, or you can view it online at http://www.quakerearthcare.org. One of the articles in the newsletter focuses on the Quaker Statement on Climate Change. “Quaker Earthcare Witness (QEW), the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO), and Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) have developed a joint statement on facing the challenge of climate change. We invite all Monthly and Yearly Meetings and other Quaker organizations to join the statement. The text of the statement and an accompanying letter can be found on our website at: http://www.quakerearthcare.org/article/jan-2015-facing-challenge-climate-change-shared-statement-quaker-groups.”
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.