As Way Opens
My mind and heart have been heavy as I wrote these words yesterday on April 18th as it was one year ago that I lost my husband Jerry to a six-year journey of Alzheimer’s. The year since his death has been filled with so many moments of joy and sorrow. I can’t express to all of you the importance of this faith community in my grieving process and healing. You have shown me love, grace, care and compassion and I will be eternally grateful for how you surrounded me with your presence in so many tangible ways.
Part of my sorrow this year has been the experience of trying to sell the home that Jerry and I built 20 years ago and raised our son Greg in as we moved there when he was two. I have had two buyers back out of offers for the house and it’s been on the market for quite some time. With these negative experiences, I had come to resent the house and felt hatred to an asset that it seemed like no one wanted. The house was interlinked with the pain of watching Jerry decline and I felt like I didn’t want to step foot into it again.
I decided I had to go there last Friday morning and check things out as this is the prime time to sell one’s home. I pulled into the driveway and saw the beauty of early flowers and flowering tress throughout the grounds. There were lots of weeds to pull and I got to work digging out weeds and trimming things. I worked up a sweat and felt some satisfaction from my work. I sat on the front porch of the house and for the next hour I remembered the big events and the everyday ordinary events that happened in our home. We had amazing neighbors with kids our age that could play in our cul de sac with everyone watching out for each other. I sat there and thought about the incredible experiences that Jerry, Greg and I had in that home. I was breathing in the experience of the beauty of creation in and around the home. I felt a love and connection to the home that I had pushed away. And I was remembering Jerry without dementia and the life we had together.
Friends, sometimes when things seem out of control we just need to go pull weeds. And we need to sit silently and remember God’s love and care and reflect on the goodness of our lives.
Joys & Concerns
Elena J. recently won second place in the chess club competition at her school. Elena is in third grade and we are so proud of her. Great job, Elena!
Thanks to Susan R. and the Fellowship Committee for creating a festive atmosphere and providing a wonderful brunch for all to share this past Easter. This group helps generate our sense of community and fellowship throughout the year.
Our youth leader, Ben Wertz created Something Story, a music and multimedia project that he has been working on for a while. It's a story about finding home in a friend and the journey back from heartache. Hfell in love with the creative process and made an artifact to encapsulate his experience. He is releasing this project in four phases, CHAPTER ONE was released on April 10th. CHAPTER ONE is love. It's the euphoric warmth that comes with finding yourself in someone else. It's an homage to the moments when your dreams feel real and you have someone to share them with. Enjoy. Somethingstories.com. CHAPTER TWO will be available Monday, April 24th.
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
We are excited to welcome Bob Henry, his wife, Sue, and their three sons to First Friends! Bob will begin serving as our Pastor the first week of July. After much consideration, our Pastoral Search Committee, Ministry & Counsel, Clerks' Council, and Monthly Meeting were pleased to extend the call to Bob, who has over twenty years of experience in various ministries, and has most recently served as the Pastor at Silverton (OR) Friends Meeting. Please keep his family in your prayers as they head (back) to the Midwest, and look out for your invitation to a Welcome Picnic for the entire Henry family later this summer!
Please note that Monthly Meeting to Conduct Business will be this Sunday, April 23 after worship. As always, all are welcome to attend.
Please be advised that the Meridian Street Preschool Co-op’s annual rummage sale this year has been cancelled due to low vendor interest.
Requiem Choir Performance ~ The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Indianapolis Symphonic Choir are performing Brahms' Requiem Friday at 8 and Saturday 5:30. Bill P. and Dan R. sing in the choir. If not involved with Right Sharing, Friends would find this a meaningful performance and message of hope.
You’re invited to RSWR’s anniversary jubilee!! You are invited to join others in the 50th anniversary celebration of Right Sharing of World Resources this Saturday, April 22nd (please note the corrected date) at First Friends at 5:00 p.m. Dinner will be provided and you will hear about the exciting work of the organization and its future. Colin Saxton will give a message that evening. Please let Beth know if you can attend.
The Meditational Woods Committee is meeting Saturday, April 22 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.
Community Garden Work Day ~ The community garden will have a community work day to prepare for spring time. We will meet and work Saturday, April 22nd from 1-5 pm. We will rebuild some boxes in need of repair and weeding. We will finish up our work Sunday, April 23rd from 1-3 pm. Please join us! Also if you had a garden bed last year but are not interested in having a garden bed this year please clean your garden bed and/or join us for the work day on 4/22/17. If you are interested in having a garden plot or attending the garden day please contact the office.
Shalom Zone - Love Your Block Community Clean-Up ~ On Saturday, April 22, in conjunction with the IMPD and area churches and community groups, Shalom Zone will participate in the "Love Your Block Community Clean Up Day". This is a wonderful opportunity to go out into the community and work side by side with both residents and other groups, to help make a difference, one neighborhood at a time. Volunteers will assemble at 8:30 am that morning at the Avondale Meadows YMCA at 3908 Meadows Drive, and clean-up will last until about noon. If you’re interested, please sign up online at http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f094facaa22a75-love.
Oak Leaf: Meeting for Reading: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead will be held Tuesday April 25th at 7 pm in the Parlor. All are welcome! Carolyn T. will be leading the discussion. If you'd like to read ahead for next month, the May 30th title will be: Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Asian.
Furniture for sale! Ruthie left some furniture to the meeting that is for sale. In the office hallway you’ll find a beautiful oak bookcase, 7ft x 3ft x 1ft, selling for $50 or best offer. In fellowship hall you’ll see a lovely wooden desk, approx. 3.25ft x 2ft x 2.5ft tall, $50 or best offer. It’s an antique arts & crafts desk, handmade in 1916. It can be used as a desk, side table, TV stand, etc. If you’re interested in purchasing either of these items, please contact the office. The purchase price will be donated to First Friends.
First Friends Library Book Sale ~ For the past several months the First Friends Meeting Library Committee has been removing library materials from the Library as per the guidelines given the committee last year by the Ministry and Counsel Committee.
The sale will be held on Sundays April 30 and May 7 during the Fellowship Hour. Materials will cost $2.00 for Quaker books and $1.00 for non-Quaker books. Proceeds from the sale will enable the purchase of new materials for the Library.
The committee recognizes that some of the material discarded from the collection due to condition, not meeting Ministry and Counsel Committee guidelines, or being duplicate copies in poor condition, will have donation information. The committee understands the sensitive nature of this material and suggests that members purchase such material for their home collections where the recognition may continue to be of personal value.
An Opportunity to Support Changing Footprints: Changing Footprints, a local nonprofit group that collects gently used shoes for those less fortunate, has applied for a grant sponsored by Gannett (owner of USA Today and The Indy Star). Could you please help us get the votes we need? Just do this (you can vote every day through May 12):
1. Use Google and type in act.usatoday.com.
2. Click on A Community Thrives-USA Today, then click on Vote Now.
3. Find our entry by clicking on the magnifying glass, then type Changing Footprints next to the magnifying glass.
4. Click on the “Vote” button on our entry page, and fill out the required information.
We appreciate the past support you have given Changing Footprints. Please continue to donate the footwear you no longer need in our Donation Station bin in the corner of Fellowship Hall! Thanks!
Our building is available for rent! Did you know that you can rent rooms at First Friends Meeting for your own events? Besides weddings, our building has been rented for meetings, seminars, performances, and more! Fellowship hall is great for large groups and presentations. The Parlor and other rooms can also be rented for smaller groups as well. There are discounted rates available for members! If you’re interested in booking our space, please contact the office.