As Way Opens
This past week, I went to the hospital to visit a member of our Meeting who had recently had surgery. She looked beautiful. I’d forgotten what lovely skin she had. She was pleased to see me, and was feeling and healing well. We spent time discussing her health concerns, the life of the Meeting, and then I asked her who her best friends were. She was stunned for a minute, and then replied, “Well, you and Jesus.” “Thank you friend,” I answered, “but tell me who the people are that you like to spend time with every day. Who are the people that matter most to you?” She quickly named three good friends who live in the same apartment building as she. “I have to get up at 3:00 in the morning to take my diabetes meds, and they’ll often come to sit with me, have a smoke and coffee, and talk.” She went on to tell me that two of those friends love to talk with her about God, Bible teachings, etc. “Ruthie, do you have any Bibles around? Their Bible is falling apart, and I’d like to give them a new one.” When I asked, it didn’t seem to matter what translation it was – whether it was the same as they’d had - all that mattered was that it would hold together. I assured her that I could do this, and I have one ready for her. This woman has nothing – less than nothing, really. She lives on assistance, has three chronic medical problems, and a number of social challenges. (When you have nothing, you often ask for everything, and she often does. What do you have to lose?) She is grateful for everything she is given. This time, she asked for a gift for someone else. She asked for a way to extend her love for others out of her own gratitude. Even in her lack, she is being filled. She continues to find sustenance – both in body, and especially in Spirit, from friends who bring Light into her life. My visit with her was meant to be a blessing to her, and as always happens, became a blessing to me. She was discharged that day, and I took her home, dropping her off at her apartment. I realized she would soon find a Valentine from me… in care of each of you in the Meeting. It’s a good thing to care about each other. It’s a good thing to belong to one another, isn’t it?
Considering the Query: How can we make the meeting a community in which each person is accepted and nurtured, and strangers are welcome? Seek to know one another in the things which are eternal, bear the burden of each other’s failings and pray for one another. As we enter with tender sympathy into the joys and sorrows of each other’s lives, ready to give help and to receive it, our meeting can be a channel for God’s love and forgiveness. From: Advices and queries; Britain Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice, 5th edition, @ 1995-2015 Quaker Faith and Practice
Joys & Concerns
Steve Rodino's brother, Tom Rodino, died unexpectedly this past Thursday in Elkhart, IN. His services were held there yesterday at Central Christian Church. Let us hold Steve, Ann, and Tyler, as well as the extended Rodino family in the Light and love of God as they move through this time of sorrow. http://www.elkharttruth.com/obituaries/2016/02/21/Tom-L-Rodino.html
Last week we published the Office Administrative position on several job websites. We hope to receive many promising applicants in the coming weeks, and if you know of someone qualified for the job, please let the office know. It is our policy to hire someone from outside the Meeting.
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
God’s Response to a Violent Nation: A Quaker Perspective Philip Gulley and Carrie Newcomer will be presenting “stories with musical responses” TODAY at 7:00pm. This event is sponsored by Trinity Episcopal Church. This is a part of their Lenten Series: Healing Our Violence. If Not Now, When? This event is free to the public, but donations are accepted at the door. Questions about this event? Please call, 317-926-1346
Quaker Affirmation Sunday School class - please join us for this interactive look at our Quaker faith each Sunday in the parlor at 9:00 a.m. Here is our schedule of topics:
February 28th - We will discuss discernment and how we conduct business and make decisions March 6th - We will study other religions and how they might relate to Quakerism March 13th - Daud will bring some young people from his Muslim faith community to talk about the Muslim faith for our understanding March 20th - Malte Maraj (Larry and Krishan Coffman’s wife/mother) will share with us about her Hindu faith March 27th - We will examine Quaker writers, artists and musicians Aprils 3rd - We will discuss what Quakers are doing in the world today April 10th - We will talk specifically about several Quaker organizations
Lenten Nourishment: Come join us this Friday for walking with Kathy Rhyne at the Monon Community Center in Carmel at 9:30 am. Also, this Sunday, February 28th join Bill Heitman at the Marott Apartments lobby for nighttime meditational at 6:30 pm. During the seven weeks of Lent, we will post a weekly blog entry on our First Friends website http://www.indyfriends.org/thoughts-from-friends/ inviting you to reflect each day on your relationship with yourself and with God. Bill Heitman will interview someone weekly about the spiritual practices that have enriched their lives. We hope that this will provide some inspiration as we travel through the last cold weeks of winter and prepare ourselves for the birth of new life at Easter. For more information, check the First Friends Upcoming Events section on our website.
Meet Caroline Stephen! Tuesday, March 1st at Fairfield Friends in the ‘Quaker Spirituality’ discussion group led by Steve Angell, Professor of Quaker Studies at Earlham School of Religion. Tuesday evenings at 7:00 PM - Fairfield Friends Meeting March 1, 2016—Caroline Stephen March 8, 2016—Thomas Kelly March 15, 2016—Margery Abbott Free of charge but a one-time donation of $10.00 for ESR is suggested. For further information, contact Sarah Lookabill (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Family Bowling on this Sunday February 28th after Meeting for Worship - calling all bowlers to join us for lunch and some bowling fun with your First Friends faith community. This is a free event; we will provide the games, pizza, and shoes! We will have prizes for the best scores (different age categories). We invite young and old to join us. We will meet at Woodland Bowl on 96th and Keystone at noon. Please let the office (email@example.com) know if you will join us.
Diane Randall, Executive Secretary of Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) will be in Indianapolis on - please join Diane and others at the Indiana Interchurch Center (1100 42nd St) on Sunday, March 6th from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. Food will be served and Diane will share the exciting updates on the Capital Campaign and talk about the future goals and plans of FCNL. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to www.fcnl.org/nowisthetime/rsvp.
Area Rally Date Change! Because of the conflict with the FCNL Gathering, the Spring Area Rally has been moved to Sunday, April 24th from 3:00 to 5:00. At this meeting, the combining of two Areas into one will be discussed: Central (First Friends, Valley Mills, & West Newton) and West Central (Amo, Fairfield, Hadley, Mooresville, Plainfield, West Union). Nominations for YM positions will also be discussed. A pitch-in dinner is planned, after the meeting ends. All are welcome.
Day of Remembrance~ As we prepare for Easter and the Celebration of Christ’s resurrection, it has become our custom to remember those persons from First Friends family who have passed away in the last year. We trust that they continue to live now in God’s presence, even after death. Circle of Care has created a large banner that will hang in Fellowship Hall, onto which everyone of us is invited to post a photo or two of loved ones who have died. Please add a note of explanation to your photos: sign your name, write who the photo is of, and why you choose this photo? The banner will remain up for several weeks, and on Sunday, March 6th we will gather together in Worship and recall these cherished ones.
Friends United Meeting is hosting a series of small group gatherings in the coming weeks and we would love to have you join us! Friends from across Indiana will be gathering to discuss the good work of FUM and how we can all better partner together and support our shared work both here in North America and around the globe. Part of the gathering will focus on Energize, Equip and Connect: The FUM Campaign. We are in the midst of a three-year $3,000,000 effort to strengthen FUM’s sustainability and enable us to launch several new initiatives, including many aimed at revitalizing our work and witness in North America. First Friends Meeting, Indianapolis ~ Sunday, March 13—4:00-6:00pm Carmel Friends Church ~ Sunday, April 24—4:00-6:00pm West Newton Friends Meeting ~ Wednesday, April 27th—6:30-8:30pm We invite you to choose the gathering that is most convenient for you. Please RSVP to Kim Schull at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know what event you plan to attend. There will be refreshments and great fellowship for all! We hope to see you there!
Western Yearly Meeting is having its annual Spring Retreat at Quaker Haven Camp on April 8th-April 10th. This year’s retreat will be led by Scott Wagoner, who is the founder and director of “Growing Edge Resources”. Scott has been a pastor for over twenty-five years. He is a graduate from Taylor University, and got his Masters of Divinity from Earlham. He will be speaking at Spring Retreat and Western Yearly Meeting sessions. This year’s retreat is focused on expanding the vision of discipleship. Please contact either the office or WYM PME Director Della StanleyGreen (email@example.com). The registration deadline is March 15th
Do you have shoes or others types of footwear that you no longer wear? If so, please drop them in the Changing Footprints container at the Donation Station in Fellowship Hall. All types are needed, including tennis shoes, dress shoes, casual shoes, sandals, flip flops, boots, slippers, and sports cleats. Last year 17,500 pairs of shoes were distributed, with most given to local nonprofit organizations; the remainder were provided to other countries. If we can increase the supply of shoes, we can distribute even more this year. Thanks for your past contributions!
Eco-Film Coming Up! Friday, March 11 – “Racing Extinction” In “Racing Extinction”, a team of artists and activists exposes the hidden world of extinction with neverbefore-seen images that will change the way we see the planet. Two worlds drive extinction across the globe, potentially resulting in the loss of half of all species. The international wildlife trade creates bogus markets at the expense of creatures that have survived on this planet for millions of years. And the other surrounds us, hiding in plain sight — a world that the oil and gas companies don’t want the rest of us to see. Using covert tactics and state-of-the-art technology, the Racing Extinction team exposes these two worlds in an inspiring affirmation to preserve life as we know it. From the Academy Award® Winning Filmmakers of "The Cove.” Extinction is a race we can’t afford to lose. (90 min., 2015) http://racingextinction.com/the-film/ The Eco-Film Series runs every first Friday of every month, 7p.m. at Cross and Crown Lutheran Church (5933 E. 79th Street). Each film is free of charge, although free-will offerings will be accepted to help defray costs.
Scout Sunday, will be celebrated Sunday, March 13th. If you are or ever have been a Girl Scout, Boy Scout or a Scout Leader, please email the office (office@indyfriends) with your name, troop number, and scouting role. We will have a fellowship hour sponsored by Christian Education with some popcorn and cookies.
“Friends of Nature Kids” ~ Natural Ruler~ You will need a ruler, pen, and paper. With your ruler, find something around you that is almost exactly one-inch long. Then find something two inches long and so on. Then draw a ruler on your piece of paper, but instead of using numbers at each inch mark, write down what you found in nature. For example, where it would normally say one inch, you might write “caterpillar,” and two inches might be “feather.” Now use your new natural ruler to measure larger things and record their size in natural measurement. From 52 Nature Activities by Lynn Gordon, Chronicle Books, San Francisco.