As Way Opens

On November 29, a small group of Friends gathered on the last beautiful day of autumn to hand-pull euonymus (also known as winter creeper) in the Woods.  Euonymus fortunei was planted extensively in suburban neighborhoods for its sturdiness, evergreen coloring and rapid growth habit. Over the past decade, ecologists have recognized that this plant, native to Asia, has a negative impact on our Eastern United States and Canada. Our native species of flowers and other plants are smothered by euonymus. Ephemeral spring flowers can’t emerge through the dense mat. Insects that feed on these early bloomers have no source of nourishment.  This lack in turn affects our bird population, which can’t find enough protein-rich insects to feed their babies in the nest, putting our bird populations at further risk of decline.

With this knowledge in mind, Terry T., Amy P., Mary B., Dan M., David B., and John N. removed dense mats of euonymus along the fence bordering our neighbor to the east.  Terry sprinkled seeds for blue mist flowers and blue flag iris in the newly uncovered earth.  Hopefully in the spring many of these seeds will yield new life in rich soil that is now open to new possibilities.  We hope to have more days in 2017 to remove additional areas of winter creeper in the Woods.  Please let Mindy Sommers or Mary Blackburn know if you’d like to help.

Later I was reflecting on the spiritual equivalent of “invasive species.” I pondered what things were introduced into my life that have good qualities and yet are covering up my joy and creativity.  My winter creeper is my smart phone.  It is a great piece of technology that allows me to do so many things, and yet, has insidiously taken over much of my free time.  Checking Facebook, checking emails, Googling curious questions while avoiding loneliness or empty spaces.

If you were to clear the “euonymus”, the “invasives” in your life, what would you plant in the rich soil?  What would you like to see grow in your empty spaces?

Mary B.

Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities

Sunday School Classes begin for all Ages on Sunday, January 8!

  • Coffee Circle; ‘Wired Word’ – shared leadership
  • Seeking Friends; Thomas Kelly’s ‘Eternal Promise’ – shared leadership
  • Beth's Parenting Class will also start Sunday, January 15 in the Parlor.

Monthly Meeting will gather Sunday, January 15th.  Mark your calendars!

The Pastoral Search Committee invites you to contemplate and provide feedback on the following query this week: In your opinion, how can our new pastor best plan and lead a program of new member recruitment?  Please provide your thoughts on the query (or any other feedback on the search process) to Dan R, who will be looking forward to hearing from you just outside the Meeting Room after Meeting for Worship this Sunday, Jan 8!

We still need volunteers for the Mid North Food Pantry! ~ Due to the holidays, several of the “regulars” will not be able to volunteer at the food pantry on Wednesday, January 18.  These are all days that First Friends regularly staffs the pantry. If you are in town and available during any of these dates, please consider volunteering. Let the office know if you are interested. Thank you for your assistance!

Job Opportunity!  “A bite of Energy Snacks and Vending” operates and stocks vending machines on a route that serves multiple counties throughout central Indiana. They are looking for a competent, dedicated, and friendly employee to transport product and assist in restocking machines. Please contact the office for the full job description. If you know anyone looking for a job, please share!

Seasoned Friends will be Wednesday January 11 from 11:30 to 1:00pm.  Comfort foods consisting of meat loaf, soup and macaroni and cheese will be provided. Games will be provided to play after the lunch.   Please RSVP to the office by January 9 so proper amounts of food can be prepared.  Seasoned Friends for the rest of the year will be: April 12, July 12, and October 11.

Hey Guys!  Oak Leaf: Meeting for Reading is expanding the book group to everyone (both men and women) interested. Come discuss the Pulitzer Prize Winning novel: The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen, which will be led by Kristyn G. on Tuesday, January 31st at 7 pm in the Parlor.  If you’d like to have your name added to the email list, please contact the office ~ looking forward to February 28th’s discussion, Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance.  

Mark your calendars for the Eco Film Series!

February 10-  “The Last Mountain”- Official trailer here:

March 10- “Blind Spot”-Official trailer here:

April 14- “Bidder 70”- Official trailer here:

All films will be shown at First Friends at 7 pm in the Parlor on the second Friday of the month. If Friends have questions they can contact the office.