As Way Opens
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
This has long been my favorite scripture… there’s something about naming God as the God of hope that lifts me, inspires me and strengthens me. God provides so much for me, but one thing I need more than anything is hope. Hope for the world, hope for my family, hope for my ministry, hope for you.
This past week has been an absolute joy for me, as our Meeting children (our “Little Quakers”) met for Bible School. I got to do the music, and I love music and children! You just can’t top it! The theme for VBS was all about Jesus as Light… in darkness, in fear, in lostness, in waiting, in all the circumstances of life. Imagine this: Fellowship Hall was totally dark, and in came all our kids with lighted head lamps strapped to their heads, like a swarm of fireflies, bringing light into the darkness. It was remarkable, and a joyful blessing. Light invading the darkness. Light refusing to give way to darkness. Light, moving through time and space, carried in joy!
Our world can seem very dark at times in many ways – personally, ecologically, politically, physically, spiritually. How do we overcome the darkness? By taking a deep breath of Light, and exhaling darkness. By moving determinedly through the darkness. By living in the Light of the God of hope. By remembering that the Light of Christ is strapped to our heads and planted (the Seed Christ) in our souls. By remembering to look up and out, noticing the Light of Christ in others. By acting in ways that brings Light into the darkness of others’ lives. By refusing to give way to darkness–not through our own strength, but through the power of the God of hope.
One of my favorite songs from VBS was all about hope… here are some of the lyrics. I hope they will bless you, as they have me.
I can’t help but feel a little down, a little worried when I look around.
That’s why my hope is in – my hope is in the Lord.
I fix my eyes upon the God who gives,
‘Cause all I need is what I have in him.
That’s why my hope is in – my hope is in the Lord.
My hope is in the Lord. I belong to him. He will never let me go.
Joys & Concerns
A Celebration for Beth’s Recording! Beth Henricks has been recognized as a Recorded Minister by WYM, and it’s time to celebrate! Join us after worship on Sunday, August 14th as we honor Beth, and give thanks to God for this wonderful accomplishment.
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
Please note that the USFW calendars are no longer available and will not be sold this year.
THANK YOU to all who donated and put money in the “Treasure Chest” during VBS. These funds are helping to raise money for FUM’s Summer Project of helping the Friends Theological College in Kenya equip solar panels (see more info below). Together we raised $319.38!
FUM Summer Mission Project: Power to Pastors - This year’s FUM Summer Mission Project is to support Friends Theological College (“FTC”) located in a rural area in western Kenya. One of the challenges FTC has is frequent power blackouts. This inhibits the ability of students to check out library materials, access items at the library, do research, and use the computers. FTC plans to install 32 solar panels (costing $1,500 each) to help alleviate this power shortage problem. Friends United Meeting (a global organization of which First Friends is a part) has set a goal of $20,000 to help FTC acquire the needed solar panels. Please help as you are able. Witness & Service will match all contributions from folks at First Friends (up to an aggregate match of $1,500.00) which are given for this project. Checks may be written to “First Friends” with a notation of “FUM-Power to Pastors”. Your support is appreciated. This is the final week for this campaign so if you desire to support this project, please do so this week.
Please join us for Community Soup (Salad) this Friday, August 5, anytime between 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. Since it is summertime, we will serve, and are asking folks to bring salads rather than soups. No cooking, no dishwashing, and no charge.
MSPC has an opening! Meridian Street Preschool has an available spot for a child in the Tuesday/Thursday 3/4 class for the 2016-2017 school year. Interested families can email Christy Sommer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Library Committee Update: This committee was formed to work with the meeting library. It came out of a request by Ruthie Tippin for volunteers to assist in organizing the current meeting library and plan for its future. Several individuals have volunteered to assist in updating the excel record of library holdings. Library archival material has been removed to an area of the library that has constant climate control. The committee is working on a donation policy for the library, straightening up the current adult library area and adding relevant items to the collection.
The committee is looking forward to input from monthly meeting and meeting members on library operations. Questions that need to be considered include:
1. What is the purpose of the meeting library?
2. What should be in the collection?
3. How should it be used?
4. Where should it be located?
5. What financial resources should be allocated to it?
6. Who should have oversight of it?
Committee members thank meeting members who have worked diligently on the meeting’s library in years past and looks forward to receiving a fuller understanding of the meeting’s library history and role in the life of the meeting.
SAWS PROJECT - The Shalom Zone is taking applications for the “SAWS” project (Servants At Work). This is a project (much like Habitat for Humanity) that constructs ramps to homes for low income disabled folks. The materials are pre-cut and delivered to a site where 6-10 volunteers assemble the ramp for the homeowner. No special skills are required. The ramps typically take 5-6 hours to assemble and are assembled on a Saturday that works for the group. Several Saturday dates are typically provided from which the group will choose one (or two...if there are enough volunteers) that work for them. Volunteers need to sign-up ahead of knowing which dates will be assigned and it is just fine if the date doesn’t work for a particular volunteer. The idea is that there be a volunteer pool from which a sufficient number of folks will be able to work on a particular Saturday date. If you would like to help with this project, please sign up at the SAWS website...www.sawsramps.org and advise the office that you have signed up. We would like to have folks from each of the Shalom congregations participate in the initial build so that each congregation can have someone who experiences the ramp build. Contact the office with any questions you may have.
Sing for a Day – Sunday, August 14th - Ladies Only! No men allowed!!!
Okay girls – have you been longing to sing, but just haven’t had the chance? Well, now you do! You’re all welcome to join Ruthie and prepare a choral piece to sing in Meeting for Worship on Sunday, August 14th. No experience necessary! Just bring your voice, and lift it to the Lord! We will practice Thursday night, August 11th at 6:30, and then again Sunday morning at 9:30. Come once, or twice for practice, but come ready to sing!
Earlham School of Religion is receiving an evaluation committee from its accreditor, The Association of Theological Schools, on September 19-22, 2016. In preparation for and as a requirement of that evaluation, the school invites comments in writing to the school and/or to the Commission concernting the institution’s qualifications for accreditation. Comments may be sent to Earlham School of Religion, Attn: Jay Marshall, 228 College Ave., Richmond, IN 47374 prior to September 16, 2016. The school will appreciate any help that can be provided.
The Indy Festival of Faiths is coming up on Sunday, September 18th from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. at the Veteran’s War Memorial. The Indy Festival of Faiths is an annual gathering in downtown Indianapolis designed to recognize, highlight, and celebrate the diverse religious landscape in central Indiana. Let’s represent Quakerism! We are looking for volunteers to help with our booth. If you are interested in assisting or want more information, call Ed Morris at (317) 691-5542 email@example.com or Bill Chapman (317) 255-4739 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quaker Life has a whole new look… and lots more to offer!
The new digest has all of the same quality, but many more articles, spiritual and devotional content. 80 pages of great imagery, poetry, stories and Quaker insights to help move us inward and forward in faith. Take a look the next time you’re at the Meetinghouse, and consider a year-long subscription that will come quarterly. Groups of five persons can get a discount at $30.00/year. Individuals? $40.00
Leave a green footprint! ~ The Earth is an amazing and beautiful place. All its riches will last, so long as we learn to use only what we need.
How can we make our water supply last?
Tip #1: We can turn off faucets so they don’t drip.
From 16 Things Kids can do to Help Care for the Earth, by Dana Kester-McCabe, 2006.