Concerns, Announcements and Devotional Thought
A Weekly Ministry of Indianapolis First Friends Meeting
As Way Opens by Beth Henricks
This past Sunday we completed the ninth lesson of our Quaker Affirmation class. We ended our nine months of class with “What are Quakers Doing in the World Today?” Jim Donahue and Bill Chapman joined us during lunch to talk about our outreach ministries at First Friends. We then studied some of the Quaker organizations like AFSC, FCNL, Right Sharing of World Resources and Quaker Earthcare Witness that are making a Quaker impact in the world today.
I felt a sense of melancholy during our class as this was our last class in our curriculum. What an amazing experience to share our Quaker identity with this group of young people. I am so appreciative of the parents who made a commitment to have their young folks gather together twice a month for this experience. We have reviewed our history, our theology, our testi monies, our process for discernment, Meeting for Business, how we relate to other religions, how we express our Quaker experience and what are we doing now. We have consistently had 9-11 kids for every lesson and every activity. I have loved each gathering as it’s been an opportunity to connect with our kids and have them step into their identity as a Quaker, as a person of faith and what that all means.
We still have Noah Baker Merrill coming to speak with our youth (and us) on May 17th. Our young people will present their “final project” in Meeting for Worship on June 28th and will receive an Affirmation certificate for completing this program. And many of these young people will join us on our trip to Philadelphia July 9th - 13th.
This Affirmation journey started almost 2 years ago - the opportunity to apply for the Lily grant, receive the financial support of our faith community, engage Vicki Wertz to write the curriculum, and have 12 kids participate has been a wonderful journey. In particular, I want to thank Deb Hejl and Ruthie Tippin for teaching the class several times through this nine months.
What a blessing and gift to step into this opportunity. As I meet other Quakers from around the country and tell them about Affirmation, they are interested in learning more and thinking about something like this in their Meeting. God has been at work through Affirmation and First Friends!
Joys & Concerns
We hold in love and care the people of Nepal as they grieve the loss of loved ones, care for the injured, and struggle in the work of clearing away debris and making room for newness in the midst of so much destruction.
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
Each year, our Meeting comes alive with the anticipation of new ministry and people to serve God in carrying out the work of Friends. If you are curious or interested in serving on any of our committees, please take a look at the attached document, describing what they are and do. The Nominating Committee will meet Monday, May 18th. We would welcome your contact with Clerk Kim Heusel by that time. Kim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 289-8723.
Mark your calendars for June 14th-June 18th - Vacation Bible School will begin on Sunday from 11:45am to 1:45pm, and will continue Monday thru Thursday 6:30pm-8:30pm. If you are interested in being a part of this VBS adventure, we’re looking for volunteers! All children 5th grade and under are welcome! The program we will be using is Everest: Conquering Challenges with God's Mighty Power. Contact Beth Henricks at email@example.com to register or for more information.
Come join us in the Woods this Saturday, May 9th from 9am-12 noon! We will be planting woodland natives in several areas, as well as continuing our work to remove winter creeper and honeysuckle. We even need a volunteer to apply some special fertilizer to our azaleas. We always have a good time making our Woods a more beautiful and wildlife friendly place. The more, the merrier!
Norma Wallman will lead a wildflower hike this Saturday, May 9th starting at 10:00 at Holliday Park (6363 Spring Mill Road). Please call the park to register (327-7180). See what follows those early white ephemerals.
Seasoned Friends – You are invited to a Luncheon for retirement age or older. The Luncheon will be Wednesday, May 13th at 11:30am. Kathy and Bill Farris will be providing different tuna salads and a soup, please bring a side or dessert to share. Come for food, fun, and friends.
The Summer Music Sign-Up sheet is on the bulletin board, be sure and add your name to share your music with the Meeting!
Steinway & Organ Concert on May 15th 7 p.m. Do you recognize these men? They are accomplished musicians who are coming to First Friends in May. The man on the left is Randall Frieling - a pianist who has performed in Europe, Canada and the USA. The man on the right is Martin Ellis. He has served as the organist at North United Methodist and 2nd Presbyterian Churches, and plays often with the ISO. We are excited to host them at First Friends Meeting. Buy your tickets now for our Steinway Piano and Casavant Organ Concert! This is a concert for all ages. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for those under 18 years. Consider inviting friends or family to join you and make an evening of it! Please call the office at 317-255-2485 or purchase tickets on Sunday mornings at the table in the hall.
The Quaker Haven camp registration deadline is May 23rd - if you are interested in having your children/young people attend Quaker Haven, the Meeting will provide for 50% of the cost if you register by May 23rd. Please send in your application to Quaker Haven with the required deposit and let the office know that your young person will attend. The application and information about the camp is available at http://quakerhaven.com/?cat=3.
Join us for a Conversation on the Future of Friends, May 16th at 7:00 p.m. Noah Baker Merrill will be here to talk about the future of Friends and projects like Quaker Voluntary Service. All ages are welcome as we share in song with Jim and Leslie Kartholl, listen for the Spirit, and discuss the future. Noah is a founder of Quaker Voluntary Service and in 2009, Utne Reader magazine recognized him as one of “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World.” In 2012, Noah offered the plenary worship address on behalf of North American Friends at the Sixth World Conference of Friends in Kenya. We are very excited to have him here to discuss the future. Please join us. If you would like to learn more about Noah, you can visit his website at http://anendlesslife.org/. Noah will speak in Meeting for Worship on Sunday, May 17th.
The Poetry Group will conclude the season with a meeting on Tuesday, May 19 at 2:00p.m. in the Parlor. Linda Lee will introduce Shari Wagner, who will share some of her poetry including “The Farm Wife Ruminates on Cows.” Please bring ideas on programs for next year.
On Pentecost weekend – May 22-25, 2015 – Friends United Meeting invites Friends to gather in Cincinnati, Ohio for a retreat experience entitled ‘Stoking the Fire’. We will follow a lightly-scheduled program of extended worship, prayer, plenary speakers, home groups, topical workshops and attention to the movement of the Holy Spirit. The gathering will begin on Friday, May 22nd at 3pm and go through Monday, May 25th at 1:30pm, held at the Jesuit Spiritual Center at Milford, located at 5361 South Milford Road, Milford, OH 45150. Visit http://fum.org/stoking-the-fire for more information.
· The Friends Educational Fund Scholarship for undergraduate African American students
· The Overman Family Scholarship, in memory of Jess and Mark Overman, for members and attenders of First Friends. High school seniors through graduate students are welcome to apply, though undergraduate students will be given first consideration.
The deadline for the applications is May 31, 2015. For an application please contact the office.