As Way Opens

Early Friends were very aware of those who ministered deeply in their Meetings.  While they believed in the universal ministry of all persons, it was clear that some were gifted by God with unusual gifts in public ministry, and were therefore, given unusual responsibilities.  The meeting itself had not gifted the ministers – the meeting only recognized God’s gifts in their ministers.

They were called upon to use their gifts to train and nurture their meetings, and others as called upon.  Their meetings wrote their names down – or made record – of those so gifted.  This was called a ‘Recording’.  

 When Beth Henricks first began her recording process – now much more formalized than it was in the 1600’s! – a clearness committee was gathered to help her discern this direction in her life and ministry.  Her gifts were then recognized by our Ministry and Counsel, and approved by our Monthly Meeting.  Letters of recommendations were required for the Yearly Meeting Board of Training and Recording.  Here is a bit of what I had to share in March of 2014:

“Beth lives the gospel - the 'good news' of Christ.  Her life is good news!  She exudes an enthusiasm (en-theos; with God) that draws people to her, that makes them attend to what she has to say, and brings a loving response.  Regardless of the challenges she faces, and perhaps at times, because of them, her life of faith is a strong testimony to 'that of God'.  This is what she is able to bring to others - a ministry of presence.” 

I remember Duffy Fankboner suggesting that we not wait at all, and just record Beth two years ago!  Why is so much time given to this?  Each candidate faces the challenges of preaching in public, counseling, teaching, and study.  They are expected to be grounded in their understanding of Quakerism, of Christian life and faith, and in their own expressions of faith.  Some candidates don’t make it.  They discover that ministry is too much of a challenge, not supported well, or not what they had expected it to be.  They discover, as Fox said, that they are ‘professors’ and not ‘possessors’ of a deep faith in God – something that is essential to a life of ministry.  If anything, Beth’s gifts and faith have strengthened in the two years that have passed since I wrote that letter.  The wait has been long, but well worth it.  

I’m thrilled for Beth.  I’m thrilled for our Meeting. It’s not often that a Meeting gives birth to a Recorded Minister, and we have done so twice this year!  Both Katherine Murray and Beth were put forward for recording by our Meeting, and were celebrated at Yearly Meeting this July!  I’m thrilled for all those persons who do and will come under Beth’s pastoral care.  As we all know, she is a gifted minister of God’s good gifts.  Congratulations Beth! 


Joys & Concerns

A Celebration for Beth’s Recording! Join us after worship this Sunday, August 14th as we honor Beth as a Recorded Minister, and give thanks to God for this wonderful accomplishment. Friends are asked to bring salads or finger foods to share, as you can.  Let’s celebrate! Thank You!  

Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities

Sing for a Day – this Sunday, August 14th -  Ladies Only!  All women are invited to join Ruthie for a special Sunday sing… join together for rehearsal this Thursday
night, August 11th at 6:30, and then again Sunday morning at 9:30.  The piece is lovely, simple, and not difficult to learn.  Come once, or twice for practice, but come ready to sing! No experience necessary! 

Please note there is no Gentle Yoga Class this Friday, August 12. It will resume its normal schedule next week.

We are looking for Sunday School teachers for our children’s class starting Sunday September 11th. It will be from 9:00 - 10:00 and we have a curriculum provided for volunteers. If interested, please contact the office. Your help is appreciated!

Underneath It All – First Friends eighth annual underwear drive begins now! We are asking for donations of new underwear, as well as socks, t-shirts, bras, etc, from toddler to adult sizes! This is a program sponsored by the John H. Boner Community Center (2236 East 10th Street) which serves some of the poorest neighborhoods in Indianapolis. Social Workers will distribute the underwear to families as needed. Please place donations in the labeled box in Fellowship Hall.  Cash or checks are also accepted and may be made out to First Friends and placed in offertory plates if labeled as donations to the Underwear Drive. The drive begins now and ends Sunday, August 31. Contact the office if you have questions.

Streams of Living Water – Celebrating the Traditions of Christian Faith - Just as the Mississippi River watershed flows over a great expanse of territory, so does the expanse of Christian faith flow through time.  Friend Richard Foster brings us the story of this rich and meaningful journey, and we will study about it this Fall, through a sermon series and study group sessions throughout September and October. If you are interested in attending a study group, we welcome you, beginning the first week of September.  If you would be willing to lead a study group, with all materials supplied, please let Ruthie know.  Times and dates will be determined by the leaders/attenders.

Sermon/Study Topics
Streams of Faith
The Prayer-Filled Life – Contemplative Tradition
The Virtuous Life – Holiness Tradition
The Spirit-Empowered Life – Charismatic Tradition
The Compassionate Life – Social Justice Tradition
The Word-Centered Life – Evangelical Tradition
The Sacramental Life - Incarnational Tradition

Library Committee Update: This committee was formed to work with the meeting library Current members of the committee are: Lucy Beaver, Shirley Earl, John and Ileen Moorman. 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.
IFCL Film showing! IFCL Presents the documentary film “Quakers – That of God in Everyone”. This 90-minute documentary will introduce you to untold stories of Friends from the American Heartland who profoundly influenced the course of American history, simply by seeing that of God in everyone. The IFCL will be showing the film on Friday, August 19 at 7:00pm in the parlor. Quaker scholar and author Paul Buckley, who provides commentary throughout the film, will lead us in discussion at the conclusion. For more information, contact IFCL clerk Bill Chapman - 317-255-4739.

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 using “Shalom Zone” and advise us 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.

Quaker Haven Camp invites you to join us for their annual golf scramble!  Everyone is welcome to come Saturday, August 20 to play golf, fellowship, and join in the fundraising for QHC’s Capital Fund projects. The Scramble will begin with a 2 p.m. tee time at the Honeywell Golf Course in Wabash, IN.  We will play best ball in a foursome (you may put your own foursome together).  We will end the day with an awards supper at the golf course at 6:30 p.m.. There are prizes to be won and fun to be had.  The cost for the golf scramble will be $75, which includes 18 holes of golf, golf cart, and supper. Alternatively, you can sponsor a hole for $100.  The goal this year is $3,000.  Options include: sponsoring in memory of, or in honor of a loved one. Registrations are due by August 15 and Hole Sponsorships by August 13.

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, contact the office.

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.
Tip #2: We can take shorter showers – and baths with less water – and still get very clean.

 From 16 Things Kids can do to Help Care for the Earth, by Dana Kester-McCabe, 2006.