As Way Opens
This week I had the opportunity to read a book of my choosing to each of the four classes at the Meridian St. Preschool Co-Op which meets in our building. I love reading stories to kids. Sadly, in many ways it is becoming a lost art. Books are now being uploaded to e-readers, smart phones, and tablets while children slip off to a corner and allow their devices to do all the work for them. There is very little, if any, personal interaction with a book, a reader, or the environment in which they occupy.
Since it was Halloween, I decided to read a book by Linda Williams titled, The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything. A book that takes a light approach to our fears and finds surprising possibilities amidst being scared - a lesson we could all learn from in our day and age.
Each class of children engaged in their own way, as they tried to pay attention with the excitement of Trick or Treating awaiting them soon. While reading, I noticed something about these children. They were not just engaged with the book, they were engaged with my excitement for the book and for them. As I read, the kids became more comfortable, more willing to engage in questions, and even participate in the actions. By the end of the book, I had them doing the actions and yelling out the descriptive words - and the best thing was that we were doing it TOGETHER! Now, when I walk down the hall I have a new relationship with these children - and you could say it was all due to reading a book together.
In Chris Smith’s book, Reading for the Common Good: How Books Help Our Churches and Neighborhoods Flourish, he says,
“Reading is a vital practice that can -- if done carefully and well -- ultimately contribute to the health and flourishing of our communities. The term flourishing comes from the roots that mean “flower”; to flourish is to bloom, to emerge into the full glory for which God has created us. Flourishing is the opposite of sin and brokenness and suffering. It is an English synonym for the Hebrew word shalom, which means total peace, health and well-being.”
So this week, take some time to pick up a book and read it with a child, a friend, a spouse, or join a book club or discussion and realize that in doing so you are being a “peace maker” and helping your community to bloom!
Grace and peace,
Joys & Concerns
Thank you, Friendly Visitors! This past Sunday Circle of Care hosted a thank-you luncheon for our Friendly Visitors. They’re the ones who care for those who cannot make it to our Meeting on a regular basis. We’d like to thank them for another year of service in this important ministry. Thank you, volunteers! If you’re interested in the Friendly Visitors ministry, please contact the office at email@example.com.
Announcements & Opportunities
Daylight Savings Time ends at 2am this Sunday, so don’t forget to set your clocks back an hour before you go to bed, or you may show up to church an hour early on Sunday!
Christ and the Quakers ~ Our Christ and Quakers Sunday School Class continues Sunday in the Parlor. We'll be discussing John Woolman's views on Christ. Please join us!
Vespers is Fast Approaching! Vespers is coming December 3rd. If you would like to participate but can’t come to choir on Sundays, please come November 18th at 10:00AM to learn the music with the choir. We would love to have you join us for this joyous occasion! ~Eric & the Choir
Community Soup ~ Witness & Service will host the next Community Soup tomorrow, Thursday November 2, from 5:30 pm – 7 pm. Please note that again we are hosting on a Thursday instead of Friday. Everyone is invited to this very informal dinner. As the weather is cooling down we will be serving soup. If you’d like you’re welcome to bring a soup but not necessary. Our motto is: No cooking, no cleanup, no cost! Hope to see you there.
Babysitting Co-Op ~ Our babysitting co-op is happening on Saturday November 4th from 5:30 - 9:30, hosted by Chrissy and Trent S. Dinner will be provided for the kids. Please contact the office at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to have your kids join in the fun that evening!
Blood Drive! Please join us for a blood drive held in conjunction with the Indiana Blood Center this Sunday, November 5th from 9:00am-1:00pm in Fellowship Hall. Walk-ins are welcome, but anyone interested is encouraged to RSVP here: https://www.donorpoint.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/111168.
Donors must be 17 years old (16 with signed parent permission slip),
meet height /weight eligibility requirements, be in good general health, and present a photo I.D. at registration. To view eligibility, visit http://www.indianablood.org/Donors/Learn/Pages/Eligibilty.aspx.
If you have any other questions, please contact Kristine Pierce(email@example.com).
NEW Sunday Yoga Classes - Yoga is a practice well suited to the Quaker experience. (Or, is yoga an experience well suited to the Quaker practice? ☺) We will explore asana practice, meditation, and breathwork as a way to experience inner Light. Several varieties of yoga practice will be explored, such as yin yoga, vinyasa yoga, and restorative yoga. The class is open to all levels and members of the class will help determine the content of the practice. Class will be offered once monthly. Please note we have changed the date from the second Sunday of the month to the first Sunday of the month, from 11:45-12:45ish. We’ve also changed the location from the Parlor to the basement. There will be an opportunity for a pitch-in lunch immediately following. Please join us at our next session on November 5th. If you’d like to contribute to the class, any goodwill offerings are appreciated!
Community Garden ~ The cold is setting in and the frost is nearly upon us—so please clear out your garden plots as soon as possible! To tend to your gardens, the Glendale Library is also offering cover crops for free. These will help enhance the nutrients in the soil, and need to be planted now if you plan on using them! Also, please let us know if you’d like a garden plot for next year. Contact the office (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you’d like to hold your spot for next year!
Poverty: A Community Responds ~ The Faith & Action Project at Christian Theological Seminary kicks off its second year with a free panel discussion featuring national speakers on poverty on Wednesday, November 8 from 7:00-9:00pm. It promises to raise challenging questions and offer innovative solutions. The Faith & Action Project at Christian Theological Seminary connects, inspires and empowers faith communities and others to implement effective solutions for people confronting poverty. Through annual public events and grants, the Faith & Action Project seeks to ignite a collaborative, interfaith and inclusive movement for well-being and justice in our community. The seminar is at Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, 350 West Maryland Street, Indianapolis, IN 46225. For more information, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/poverty-a-community-responds-tickets-37739678394?aff=es2
Words Matter! Writing for Healing, Action, & Change ~ Indianapolis First Friends Meeting is hosting a workshop for the Spirit & Place Festival this year! Join four talented writers—Philip Gulley, Diana Ensign, Amber Stearns, and Barbara Shoup—as they explore the power of words to spark compassion, dialogue, and positive change. Words are powerful! Written language imparts knowledge, shapes thoughts, spurs ideas, and provokes action. Words inspire, uplift, and motivate. Misused, words can be a tool for manipulation or bullying. It matters how we use them. Do our words create positive change in the world? Do our words send waves of fear and anger? Or do our words unify? This panel presentation will examine the power of words and will ask attendees to answer in writing, “How have you been inspired to use your words to create change?” Selected responses will be published in NUVO. Prior to the panel discussion and after the discussion enjoy music by classically trained guitarist Michelle Qureshi. This will be held Friday, November 10, from 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM in the Meetingroom. This is free and open to anyone! Walk-ins welcome, but RSVPs encouraged by Nov. 10. Please RSVP here: https://goo.gl/27bwng.
Silent Auction and Talent Show! ~ Friends, music can lift us all up into the light! We have installed a lift in the choir room which means that the choir room had to move which means that we need a new piano. We are having a talent show/silent auction to raise money for the new piano. Do you have a secret talent? Do you have something to share? We are looking for your talents. For the silent auction we need anything but clothes. Own Colts season tickets you can’t use? Have a son or daughter who can cut grass? Maybe an old piece of furniture you don’t need? Maybe someone else can use these things! Please donate items and leave them on the stage clearly marked for the silent auction. Please plan to attend November 11 at 7pm for Quaker talent night and silent auction!
The Indiana Friends Committee on Legislation (IFCL) was honored at the Indiana High School Press Association’s annual fall convention Friday, Oct. 20, for support of a First Amendment bill for student journalists. Dr. Bill Chapman, IFCL lobbyist, accepted the award on behalf of the organization’s effort during the 2017 legislative session. New Voices legislation speaks to the Quaker belief in “truth to power.” Some high schools throughout the country promote strong journalism programs and encourage students to report about important issues that relate to teenagers. But some administrators control potentially controversial coverage, a practice that has prompted some states to pass specific legislation to ensure that students attending public high schools can report about relevant topics. IHSPA also honored Rep. Ed Clere, (R) New Albany and Rep. Ed DeLaney, (D) Indianapolis, the New Voices bill sponsors. For more information, please visit http://www.quakerifcl.org/2017/10/ifcl-honored-at-the-indiana-high-school-press-associations-annual-fall-convention/
Ecumenical Thanksgiving ~ Tuesday evening, November 21st at 7:00 is the date and time set for our annual Shalom Zone Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service, this year at St. Pius X Catholic Church (7200 Sarto Dr, Indianapolis, IN 46240). Everyone is welcome! First Friends, Cross and Crown, Allisonville Christian, and St. Pius congregations will join together in worship and song, as we give thanks to God for the many gifts and graces we receive. Join us in thanksgiving!
Grief Gathering on Sunday November 26th after Meeting for Worship - Circle of Care is hosting a lunch and discussion for those who have experienced a loss of a family member or cherished friend. This lunch and time together is a tangible way our Meeting is demonstrating our care for each other during times of sadness. We will also be featuring guest speaker Dan Mosley, author of Lose, Love, Live: The Spiritual Gifts of Loss and Change. We invite anyone that is interested in gathering with others to share and reflect on the experience of loss. Feel free to bring any family members. Please contact the office (email@example.com) if you plan to attend. This event is hosted by our Circle of Care.