As Way Opens
Catholics and many other Christians around the world will celebrate Ash Wednesday today, opening the season of fasting and prayer known as Lent. Forty six days before Easter, ashes taken from the previous years burned palm branches are traced on persons’ foreheads in the sign of the cross with the saying, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” They are worn as a visible sign of penance.
Early Friends moved away from outward signs and symbols, turning instead to their meaning, rather than their representations. This is why you don’t see crosses in early Friends meetinghouses, and why we don’t have a cross in our Meetingroom. It is why Friends generally, do not celebrate Ash Wednesday with the outward marking of a cross. George Fox spoke of ‘the inward cross’ – the Power of God in us. “So now people are to be brought from their outward crosses to the Cross of Christ, the Power of God within them and from the dead image to the image of God… And all these crosses of wood and stone… must all be thrown down by the Power of God, which is the Cross of Christ. To the Light must they be turned, which answers to that of God in everyone, before they come to feel Christ to rule and reign in them. Then the outward, dead crosses of stone, wood, silver or gold they shall not need… to put them in remembrance of Christ or bring him into their minds. For those who are come to the Light… and believe in it, they feel the Power of God, they feel Christ and his Cross, which is the Power of God.” 
Many find help and comfort in outward signs and symbols. For this, I am grateful. But the greatest help we have is in recognizing that the power of the resurrection – the life-giving power of God that was made known in Christ’s resurrection – is made known in each of us. The Light that answers to that of God in each one of us, fills each one of us… not with ashes, but with fire.
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
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 support the world mission of the church? Please provide your thoughts on the query (or any other feedback on the search process) to Jim D., who will be looking forward to hearing from you just outside the Meeting Room after Meeting for Worship this Sunday, March 5!
Opportunity to Volunteer ~ On Sunday, March 5 from 1-3 p.m., we would welcome volunteers from First Friends to help sort donated shoes at the Changing Footprints shoe room. We are located at 9302 N. Meridian St., Suite 382. We are on the northwest corner of 93rd St. & N. Meridian St. at the stoplight. Park behind the building and enter the main door. Take the elevator to the third floor. Please contact Carol D. if you are available and interested! If you arrive after 1 p.m., please call Carol’s cell phone so she can open the locked entrance door for you.
In 2017, World Day of Prayer is celebrated on Friday, March 3rd. You are invited to celebrate this day in Indianapolis at Northview Church of the Brethren at 10:00 am, 5555 46th St.
World Day of Prayer (WDP) is an international event that unites Protestant, Roman Catholic, Orthodox and other Christian women and men in over 170 countries in prayer. With origins in the 19th century, World Day of Prayer became an official call to prayer under its present name in 1927. In its present iteration, World Day of Prayer is celebrated on the first Friday of March around the world. Throughout the day, from the first sunrise to the last sunset, our prayers follow the sun’s path around the globe. Spoken in hundreds of languages and dialects, WDP strives to bring “informed prayer and prayerful action” to our communities. The host country for 2017—providing the theme, worship materials, and a focus for prayer—is the Philippines.
The Indiana Daylily and Iris Society invites you! The IDIS is now hosting their monthly meetings at First Friends, and everyone is welcome! Their first meeting of the year will be Tuesday, March 7 at 6:30. There will be two presentations entitled "Effective Methods for Controlling Moles" and "Median Iris Rule Supreme in 2017", showing pictures of some regional iris gardens and giving a preview of the Median Iris Society Mini-Convention coming up in May. Please join us in the Parlor!
2017 Eco-Film Series continues
March 10- “Blind Spot”
Official trailer here: https://youtu.be/ok4onUXvL8o
Please join our area faith community for film and discussion- 7 p.m. in the parlor at First Friends
Blind Spot is a documentary film that illustrates the current oil and energy crisis that our world is facing. Whatever measures of ignorance, greed, wishful thinking, we have put ourselves at a crossroad, which offers two paths with dire consequences. If we continue to burn fossil fuels we will choke the life out of the planet and if we don't our way of life will collapse.
For more information please contact the office.
Day of Remembrance ~ Sunday, March 12th As we prepare for Easter and the Celebration of Christ’s resurrection, it has become our custom to remember those persons from First Friends family who have passed away in the last year. We trust that they continue to live now in God’s presence, even after death. Circle of Care has created a large banner that will hang in Fellowship Hall, onto which everyone of us is invited to post a photo or two of loved ones who have died. Please add a note of explanation to your photos: sign your name, write who the photo is of, and why you choose this photo? The banner will remain up for several weeks, and on Sunday, March 12th we will gather together in Worship and recall these cherished ones. After worship, please join us for Fellowship Hour hosted by Circle of Care.
Hear our own Dan R and Bill P sing! You’re invited to hear Dan and Bill sing in Mendelssohn’s Elijah as part of the Indianapolis’ Symphonic Choir’s 80th Anniversary Celebration! It has been proclaimed as “one of the greatest choral works ever.” Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah anchors the Symphonic Choir’s 80th Anniversary Season and features world-class soloists. Tickets are on sale now and start at just $15. This is one night only, Friday, March 17 at 8:00PM at The Palladium.
Ruthie’s goodbye celebration is coming up on Sunday, March 26th. We will have a pitch in lunch and program right after Meeting for Worship. Please bring a dish; sides and salads for last names A-M, desserts for N-Z. If you can, we’re asking that you send in a copy of a photo of meeting activities and people during Ruthie's tenure (for her to keep). Send or drop off your photos to the office; if you’re unable to get the photos to the office in time you may bring the pictures that day, to put on a board at the party. To show our appreciation for Ruthie’s time and energy here at First Friends, we are also welcoming any love offering or contribution for this purpose. Please send in your contribution to the office or with your regular offering identifying it is for Ruthie.
Every three years, the global community of Friends United Meeting gathers to celebrate our life together, to grow in our ability to serve the world, and to worship Christ our Lord! Along with our Triennial host, Great Plains Yearly Meeting, FUM invites and welcomes Quakers from all over the world to join us in Wichita, Kansas, on July 12–16, 2017. We will meet on the campus of Friends University, and look forward to seeing you there. Messages will spring from Thomas Kelly’s book, “The Eternal Promise.” The early-bird registration deadline for the 31st Friends United Meeting Triennial is coming soon! Register before March 31st and save $30! To register, please visit: https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/Default.aspx?EventID=1877598
FCNL Capital Campaign ~ Friends Committee on Legislation (“FCNL”) is presently promoting its capital campaign “The World We Seek: Now is the Time.” This campaign began on July 1, 2012 and runs until June 30, 2017. The goal is to raise $15 million for the following purposes: 1) Strengthen and expand its work with young adults; 2) Create a Quaker Welcome Center; 3) Advance FCNL priorities and presence through the Friend in Washington program: and 4) Establish stronger connections between Friends’ local activism and federal lobbying. You can find out more about this soon-to-end capital campaign in the letter on the bulletin board in the Witness and Service area or by going to FCNL.ORG. You can also talk with Beth Henricks who is Clerk of this capital campaign.
Zionsville Poetry Contest! All residents of Indiana are invited to submit poems for a public art project. The winning poems will be stamped into a Village sidewalk in Zionsville. Entries are $10 for adults and $5 for youth; they must be no longer than 8 lines and are due by March 30. Submit poems to Zionsville Cultural District, 225 W. Hawthorne St., Zionsville, IN 46077 or online at www.zionsvilleculturaldistrict.org. For more information, see the press release here: http://www.zionsville-in.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=99