Concerns, Announcements and Devotional Thought
A Weekly Ministry of Indianapolis First Friends Meeting
As Way Opens by Beth Henricks
I have been studying the history of Christianity as I pursue my Divinity degree at Earlham School of Religion. Our particular topic of review in the last 2 weeks has been the Reformation period (1500's) and the dramatic changes that occurred within the Church and the State. It was a time where Church and State were not separated so theology became the basis of wars, skirmishes and takeover of territories. Reforming the Catholic Church was under way before Martin Luther posted his 95 theses. At first, Luther thought he was just working to turn the Catholic Church back to its original form. Many other leaders of the Catholic Church had seen the problems of the Church of the late Middle Ages and hoped reform would come from within. But Luther's two big theological threats; was Jesus Christ physically present in the bread and wine of communion and how does God gives us grace (do we have any part in accepting grace or does the depravity of our sinful nature prevent us from any action in this act of grace) changed the reform from a tolerant approach of the theologian Erasmus to the hard line approach of Loyola, several Popes and the Spanish Inquisition.
In periods of danger and war, a hard line approach usually wins out over gentler and kinder people. A tragedy of the Reformation period might be the path of reform within the Catholic Church that could have been carried out without the need to defend the threat of Protestanism? It also points me back to the message of Jesus and what hard line approaches I might take that are really opposite of his message. Holding so tightly to our theological beliefs never leaves room for those cracks of Light and Love that need to break through.
May we create the space for the crack of Light to shine into our lives today.
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
Paul Riley is speaking in Meeting for Worship this Sunday! Paul is a recorded minister among Friends and along with his wife, Helena, has attended First Friends off and on since 1958. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear him speak. Daylight Savings Time begins this Sunday, so make sure you set your clocks one hour ahead before you go to bed Saturday night!!!
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.
Please join us for Community Soup this Friday, March 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! Are you going? If not… pray for those who are! Have you ever been to Quaker Haven? Many of us have, and we all have a chance to go next week… 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. WYM Pastors Retreat follows immediately afterward, on Saturday evening and Sunday. See the brochure, found at http://westernym.net/pdf/2015WinterRetreat.pdf!
The Affirmation class will be visiting Beth-El-Zedeck synagogue for their service on Friday March 13th. We invite anyone to join us that is interested in experiencing a Jewish service and to speak with one of their leaders afterwards. We will meet at Beth-El Zedeck (600 West 70th St) at 5:45 as their service starts at 6:00. The service will last about 75 minutes. We will meet with George Kelly, Religious Education Director after the service to have a question and answer time as we learn more about Judaism. If you would like to travel from the Meeting, we will assemble at First Friends at 5:00 p.m and drive over together. Let Beth Henricks (firstname.lastname@example.org) know if you want to join us.
Join us for an Eco-Film Series here at First Friends, at 7p.m. on the second Friday of each month through April. The next one is Friday, March 13th at 7p.m. called “Til The River Runs Clear”. This is the story of the grassroots effort to clean up the Hudson River. An amazing story led by folksinger Pete Seeger and the tireless advocacy of a community to return a river to its once wondrous beauty. An inspirational account of activism at its best. (30 minutes.)
Join us for the first 2015 Woods Work day, March 14th from 9 am-12 noon! We're inviting everyone to join us as we continue to care for our Meditational Woods. This year, we will concentrate on eliminating non-native invasives like amur honeysuckle and wintercreeper ground cover. These plants take over the area and crowd out the native plants that feed our birds and insects. After removing these invasive invaders, we will be planting native species to improve our biodiversity. All volunteers are welcome. We welcome any volunteers who would rather make some healthy snacks instead of digging weeds. Bring some tools and a cheerful spirit and we will have fun while we work. Future 2015 workdays are as follows: April 18, May 9, September 26, and November 7.
Because of heavy snow last Sunday, Rufus Jones will visit First Friends Meeting for Worship on Sunday, March 15th. Don’t miss this chance to hear from one of the most insightful Friends of our recent past, and to share in worship and experience with him. We’re so glad the trains from Haverford are still running!
The next Poetry Group gathering is at 2pm on Tuesday, March 17th. Jim Winters will present ‘Life and Poetry of T. S. Eliot’. All are welcome to join this discussion-style group.
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 email@example.com 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!
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.