Concerns, Announcements and Devotional Thought
A Weekly Ministry of Indianapolis First Friends Meeting
As Way Opens by Beth Henricks
Last Sunday, at the start of Meeting for Worship, I was standing in the back of our Meeting Room, observing a beautiful sight of Friends worshipping together across faith traditions and ethnic backgrounds. What a joy to have Daud Abdur-Rahman share the message of his journey to becoming a Muslim, his journey to our Meeting and his desire to bring communities and faith traditions together. It was a special moment in the history of our Meeting as we opened our hearts to each other and found our connection to the source of all life and creation - the Divine. It was a holy time and the Spirit was present.
Even more inspiring for me was the two hours our Affirmation class spent with the youth from the Muslim community that attended on Sunday. We had close to 30 young people together in the basement; breaking bread together, experiencing an abbreviated Muslim service, learning about the Muslim faith and asking probing questions about each others’ faith. There was a great exchange of experiences with the youth and some of the parents. But the most inspiring moment during our time together was watching about five different clusters of kids gather from both of our communities eating, talking, asking questions and sharing stories. This all happened in a spontaneous way and it showed me how very much alike we are within, even though we look different and practice different rituals. The experience of God is expressed in different ways but the impact, the transformation and overwhelming love was evident to me in the face of each young man and woman in that room - what a powerful expression of God’s presence. I was truly overwhelmed at that moment.
I hope this experience opens each one of us in a way that expands our world and our understanding of God. We hope to keep our young people engaged together and plan future events so that we can give expression and reality to seeing that of God in each person.
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
Mark your calendars for ‘A Friend from Guatemala’ this Saturday, March 28th at 7:00 pm. Iglesia Amigos of Indianapolis will be hosting a concert right here at First Friends with Pianist Jonatan Pinto. He will be playing classical, sacred, and folk music. Friends from throughout the area have been invited, and we hope you are a part of the audience!
Palm Sunday Celebration! Our children will bring palm branches in to the Meetingroom this Sunday, as we welcome God’s Spirit in remembrance of Christ’s entry into Jerusalem. George Kelly, the Education Director from Synagogue Beth el Zedek will be here to share his message about the Jewish Jesus – a timely word, as Christ came to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. Join us, and bring family and friends!
Please join us this Sunday after Meeting for Worship to experience a Seder dinner led by our guest speaker George Kelley, Religious Education Director at Beth-El Zedeck synagogue. This gathering will replace our normal fellowship hour and we invite everyone to join us for this interesting experience and ritual meal. We will be eating and drinking symbolic foods as part of the Haggadah that George has prepared for us, as well as a buffet of chicken, roasted potatoes and vegetables later in the meal. We should be done by 1:00 p.m. We are providing childcare in the nursery for kids under 3 - children 3 and over will join in the dinner as the Seder meal is really geared to educate children about passover so it will be interactive and lively. We hope you will be able to participate in this gathering!
Easter is April 5th! Bring your family and friends as we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord together on Easter Sunday! Here is the schedule for Easter Sunday:
9:00 am Sunday School for All Ages
10:15 am Meeting for Worship, Egg Hunt during Children’s Worship
11:30 am Easter Fellowship Brunch
Goodies are needed for the Easter Egg hunt! Please bring in goodies to fill the eggs! All candy must be individually wrapped, but we’d love to fill the eggs with other items as well, erasers, stickers, etc. There will be a basket in the hallway to put donations. All donations are appreciated!
Adult Sunday School Classes: Did you know that Quakers are talking about Quakers? Two or our three adults classes are discussing Quakers, and you’re invited to join in! Quakerism Class is discussing the life and writings of Rufus Jones, and meets in the Parlor. Seeking Friends is moving through “Quakers in America” by Thomas Hamm. And of course, Quakers are discussing current events with ‘Wired Word’ in Coffee Circle. Great stuff, with great people! Join in!
Same Sex Marriage: First Friends has been actively pursuing God’s voice in speaking to and through the hearts and minds of our Meeting. After Conversations held for our Meeting in November and December, our Ministry and Counsel has been reaching out to a number of people who attend our Meeting. Every person encounters God’s voice and holds God’s Spirit within them, and it is our hope and desire to learn as much as we can about how God is leading us individually, as we seek to move forward corporately. One of the strengths of our congregation is our diversity, and unlike other congregations, people choose to participate at First Friends because we find ways to express unity, without uniformity. How do we do this in regard to marriage? Ministry and Counsel continues to bring this to the light of God’s leading, and is meeting next week, specifically with attention to same sex marriage at First Friends Meeting. If you would like to express your views, and have not yet been contacted, please feel free to call or email any one of our Ministry and Counsel members: Ed Morris, Andy Cunningham, Duffy Fankboner, Micah Cordray, Ann Panah, Barbara Oberreich, Becki Heusel, Amy Perry, Mary Blackburn, Barbara Dubois, Eric Tinsley, or John Beede.
The Co-Op is gearing up with preparations for the rummage sale on April 18th. Here is a list of things that are needed:
1. Baked goods - They will sell baked goods and coffee during the Spring Sale on April 18th. Please consider donating the following: Cookies, Bars, cakes, pies, etc...Homemade and store bought are great! Drop-off for these items will be all day Friday April 17th in the Fellowship Hall kitchen. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help!
2. Paper Grocery Bags - Do you shop at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Super Target or anywhere that offers the large brown paper grocery sacks? Please save these! These will be used the day of the sale and we would appreciate as many as we can get. Please drop these off on the table in the Spring Sale room (across from the Handicap Bathroom) anytime you are in the building.
3. Hangers, Hangers, Hangers - Please bring your old children's hangers, your wire dry cleaning hangers, any extra hangers! They are needed to hang up clothing to make shopping easier and more organized. If you go to Tuchman's or any other dry cleaner, someone has mentioned that they have used hangers for free. Pick up a bunch and drop them off in the Spring Sale room - we would appreciate it!
4. Your STUFF! The more that we have to sell, the more our sale will make. There is one more furniture/large item pickup on April 11th, from 11am to 1pm. Email Ashli at email@example.com for pickup!
Good news for Gardeners! This year’s garden advisor will be the Master Gardeners Help Line. See a bug? See fungus or blight? Take a sample of the offender to a Master Gardener at the State Fair Grounds and find out what to do. Linda Lee needs to know from last year’s community gardeners if they want to keep their plots. Each plot owner will be held accountable for their own weeds and for notifying the coordinator if advice or assistance is needed. Please post your name prominently at your site so we know that site is wanted and not to be assigned to a new gardener. There will be some paint available to mark the wooden frames. This year, as a group we need to finish cleaning up all the debris from last year’s blight and then plant only blight resistant tomatoes in a different place. Garden clean up should begin now, and early planting of peas, kale, soon followed by arugula, radishes, lettuce can begin soon.. New gardeners, let Linda Lee know ASAP. Her goal as organizer is happy gardeners proud of their healthy, well-tended, productive garden. We will need a schedule of people responsible for mowing between the raised beds. If we want a community section, then we need a schedule of gardeners responsible for hoeing, weeding, watering, disease monitoring and harvesting that garden on a regular basis. Contact Linda Lee at 317-465-0628 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ladies! Oak Leaf: Meeting for Reading will be discussing Ian McEwan’s The Children Act on Tuesday March, the 31st, 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. A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson is our upcoming book for April 28th.