As Way Opens
This past Friday, we had one whopper of a wind storm that passed through our grounds! It took out a huge hackberry tree that has stood for many years. It was full and beautiful, standing tall and providing shade. It looked beautiful, but looks can be deceiving. Five years ago, the tree was cabled together. As it turns out, it was weak and rotten.
When I was a little girl, I used to watch ‘Captain Kangaroo’. I loved that show! Mr. Green Jeans, Grandfather Clock… such a great show for children. They ran a cartoon with Tom Terrific, and his arch-enemy Crabby Appleton whose motto was, “I’m rotten to the core!” This was Crabby Appleton's theme song:
My name is Crabby Appleton,
and I am simply awful.
It does my heart a lot of good
to do a deed unlawful!
I'm fond of gloom, impending doom,
I think good deeds are sappy!
I laugh with glee, it pleases me
when everyone's unhappy.
Let’s face it… there’s a lot of gloom and doom, unhappiness, and absolute rot that masquerades as strength. Until a big wind blows through, it’s hard to tell whether something is based on truth or falsehood. What is at the core of who we are?
Quoting Thomas Kelly, a 20th century Friend, in A Testament of Devotion, “If the Society of Friends has anything to say, it lies in this region primarily: Life is meant to be lived from a Center, a divine Center.” The Quaker testimony of integrity might be compared to a circle, the definition of which is “a locus of points, each of which is equidistant from an invisible point—the center.” For Friends, God is that invisible Center. The circle of one’s life is to be organized around the will and nature of that Divine Presence: a will characterized by the desire for a restored harmony in creation; a nature defined by love. Quaker integrity is about integrating those values into one’s life.
What defines who we are? What, who, is at our core? Are we easily broken, or can we withstand even the greatest storms? This is not a ‘sappy’ question… the invisible Center, the Divine Presence, the core of love, is rooted deeply, and is life-giving.
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
Join us this Sunday, for our Labor Day Weekend “Worship in the Woods’ - a lovely time of gathering with God in nature! If it’s raining, or the ground is too wet there, we’ll meet in Fellowship Hall. Please also note that the Office will be closed on Monday, September 5th in observance of the holiday.
Rotation teachers needed for our 3rd through 5th Grade Sunday School Class. You would teach once/month! Class begins 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, or Beth Henricks. Your help is appreciated!
Giving Voices to Ghosts - An exhibit at Marian University, including Post WWI and II German Children's Thank You Art, Stories and Poems. Giving Voices to Ghosts highlights some of the pieces in the collection. Here is a link to the entire collection: http://goo.gl/xzAZCa. After both World Wars, American Friends Service Committee gave aid and food to starving children and pregnant women in Germany. As a Thank You, these beautiful artworks, poems, stories and letters were sent from those children back to meetings in the States. The exhibit runs from runs from today, August 31st -October 7th. The reception is Thurs 9/1 - 4:00 at the Michael A. Evans Center for Health Sciences (3200 Cold Spring Road, Indianapolis, In 46222).
This exhibit is free and open to the public daily from 9-5. If you are interested in visiting, please contact Marian University Art Gallery Director, Crystal Vicars-Pugh, 317-955-6664, firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’d love to have you in our pool! The 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month give us an opportunity to “jump in” and help those who struggle for food, through our ministry at Mid North Food Pantry. Working from 10:00 to 2:00, teams of six to eight people work together to serve clients who come in to ‘shop’. We need a bigger pool of volunteers, and we’d love your help! Some of our ‘swimmers’ travel, become ill, have other responsibilities at times, and need others to take their place. Please consider suiting up, and jumping in – even for a quick dip! Please contact the Office if you’re able to help!
Which stream do you swim in most easily? Sign up for discussions about six different streams of faith, as we move through “Streams of Living Water’ in sermons and study this September/October. It all begins Sunday, September 4th! 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. Contact the Office or Ruthie if you’d like to lead or join. Times? TBA!
Adult Sunday School at First Friends Meeting begin Sunday, September 11th at 9:00am. Here are the choices for Fall Semester. Take a look and see what interests you most!
- Coffee Circle/Wired Word; current news events discussed in the light of scripture, and our response as Quakers to what’s happening in the world today.
- Seeking Friends; ‘Our Life is Love: The Quaker Spiritual Journey’ by Marcelle Martin focuses on ten elements of spiritual transformation as revealed in the lives of Friends past and present. "Questions for Reflection" at the end of each chapter invite exploration of personal spiritual life. Ten copies are available in the office. By going to the web site Inner Light Books, electronic copies can be downloaded.
- Old Testament Overview; a consideration of the writings of the Old Testament - their stories and significance in our lives today.
- Couples Tune-Up; a chance to check ‘under the hood’ and consider challenges that all couples face. A query-based group discussion class.
- Choir; rehearses each Sunday morning at 9:00 in the Choir Room
MSPC has some openings! Meridian Street Preschool now has two available spots for children in the Tuesday/Thursday 3/4 class for the 2016-2017 school year. Interested families can email the office.
Festival of Faiths! Coming Sunday, September 18th! The festival is held 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..
Join IFCL for a conversation & new book-signing with environmentalist author Scott Russell Sanders and environmental advocate Jodi Perras! Scott Russell Sanders is the author of twenty books of fiction and nonfiction, including A Private History of Awe and A Conservationist Manifesto. He is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at Indiana University, where he taught from 1971 to 2009. The event is being held on Friday, September 30 at 7pm in the Parlor. For more information, contact the office.
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 use energy wisely?
Tip #1: We can turn off: games, computers, lights, TV’s, stereos, and other appliances when we’re not using them.
From 16 Things Kids can do to Help Care for the Earth, by Dana Kester-McCabe, 2006.