As Way Opens
I was moved by this writing of Barbara Brown Taylor that I share with all of you.
We glimpse our own relative size in the universe and see that no human being can say who God should be or how God should act. We review our requirements of God and recognize them as our own fictions, things we tell ourselves to make ourselves feel safe or good or comfortable. Disillusioned, we find out what is not true and we are set free to seek what is - if we dare- to turn away from the God who was supposed to be in order to see the God who is. Every letdown becomes a lesson and a lure. Did God fail to come when I rubbed the lantern? Then perhaps God is not a genie. Who, then, is God? Did God fail to punish my enemies? The perhaps God is not a cop. Did God fail to make everything run smoothly? Then, perhaps God is not a mechanic. Who, then, is God?
Over and over, my disappointments draw me deeper into the mystery of God’s being and doing. Every time God declines to meet my expectations, another of my idols is exposed. Another curtain is drawn back so that I can see what I have propped up in God’s place. No, that is not God. Who, then, is God? It is the question of a lifetime, and the answers are never big enough or finished. Pushing past curtain after curtain, it becomes clear that the failure is not God’s but my own, for having such a poor and stingy imagination. Barbara Brown Taylor
May we glimpse God today with a giant sense of mystery and imagination.
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 hold social justice issues before members? Please provide your thoughts on the query (or any other feedback on the search process) to Joyce B, who will be looking forward to hearing from you just outside the Meeting Room after Meeting for Worship this Sunday, March 12!
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.
Babysitting Co-Op on Saturday, March 11! March 11th will be our babysitting co-op evening from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m. This is a free night of babysitting that will be hosted by Amanda and Micah C. & Kristin N. Please let the officeknow if you would like to attend.
Calling all Youth! Youth Group will be meeting Sunday, March 12 from 11:30-1:30 in the basement. Don’t miss it!
Sap Run ~ The Sap is running and so are we! The 5k Sap Run/Walk and 1 mile Sap Stroll on Saturday, March 11 at 9am, will raise funds for the operating expenses of Quaker Haven Camp. Runners, walkers, and "strollers" will pass the maple trees where the buckets are collecting sap to be boiled down into syrup. Following the awards ceremony every participant is invited to the dining hall for an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, where the syrup for your pancakes has been boiled down from the sap of the local maple trees! Sausage, juice, and coffee will also be available. Register at http://getmeregistered.com/saprunandbreakfast
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.
We Need Volunteers! First Friends is in need of extra volunteers to help at the Mid North Food Pantry next Wednesday, March 15, as some of the usual volunteers will not be available. Please let the office know if you can help!
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.
The Meditational Woods Committee is meeting Saturday, March 18 to tackle the invasive euonymus (winter creeper) and honeysuckle. Winter creeper is an invasive ground cover that smothers the native wildflowers that we are trying to restore to the landscape. Come join us from 9- 12 noon or any time you have to share. Contact Mary or Mindy for questions.
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.
April Worship Schedule
Come join us in April for guest speakers and a wonderful time of worship sharing!
April 2nd – Message by Beth Henricks
April 9th – Message by Dan Lee
April 16th – Message by Beth Henricks
April 23rd – Message by Bruce Birchard, former General Secretary of Friends General Conference and the Clerk of the Right Sharing of World Resources Board
April 30th - Worship Sharing
‘Disturbing the Peace’ Film Showing ~ All are invited to attend a film debut at West Newton on April 5th. DISTURBING THE PEACE, a film that follows former enemy combatants - Israeli soldiers from elite units and Palestinian fighters - who have joined together to challenge the status quo and say “enough." This film reveals their transformational journeys from soldiers committed to armed battle to nonviolent peace activists, leading to the creation of Combatants for Peace. It will be premiered in Indianapolis at West Newton Friends Meeting 6800 S. Mooresville Rd, Indianapolis on April 5th. The evening will begin with a soup supper at 6 p.m. and then follow with the film and discussion at 7:00 p.m. The film runs approximately 90 minutes. There is no charge for the film or the supper, but donations will be accepted to help pay for the food and film. A trailer for the film is available here: https://youtu.be/A95PDQWr4xs
Western Yearly Meeting is having its annual Spring Retreat at Quaker Haven Camp on April 28th-April 30th. This year’s retreat will be led by Joyce Shroeder, M.S.. She was the keynote speaker at the Earlham School of Religion Leadership Conference in both 2012 and 2015. In 2014, She was the Plenary Speaker at New York Yearly Meeting’s Summer Sessions. Working as a consultant, she has a masters degree in Organizational Development and Leadership. She has been a member of Purchase Friends Meeting (New York YM) for nearly 20 years. This year’s retreat theme is Flex Your Mind, Build Your Body. For more information or to register, please visit https://www.westernyearlymeeting.org/wymretreat or contact Della Stanley-Green (firstname.lastname@example.org). The registration deadline is April 15.
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.
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