As Way Opens
What an incredible day we spent together this past Sunday! Thank you all for sharing my last Sunday at First Friends with me – whether in presence or in spirit. So many lovely expressions of love and kindness were shown, and I can’t thank you all enough. The lovely choir piece at the opening of Meeting for Worship, the tender reading given as the Morning Meditation, the Children’s Message with hand-delivered notes from the heart, Shawn and the Men’s Chorus and their stirring rendition of ‘The Lord’s Prayer’… so many gifts in worship. And then, the party started! Thank you, Dan M., for the ‘sheepish’ backdrop filled with love – one ‘ewe’ could have pulled that off! And then Susan R. and her Fellowship Committee, and Ed M. with Ministry and Counsel, put together such a wonderful feast for our family of Friends. (Did you try one of Carrie’s cupcakes?) The decorations, all those photos (thank you Kathy R.!), Eric Baker at the piano, that beautiful song that Leslie K. wrote and sang with Jim, and the poem you all wrote with Linda L… and then the ‘wave’ of love that spread across the tables as Dan R. and Jim K. sang. And then… the print! The Sangrey/Jacobs print of ‘The Presence in the Midst’ will hang in a very special place in our home. Thank you for your generous gifts and your love. I will never, ever forget that day, nor will I forget you.
Retiring will certainly give me more time to thank God for the past five years of ministry at First Friends Meeting, and the entire twelve years of pastoral ministry that God has granted me. So much has happened in my life during this time, and I am grateful. I’m especially grateful to Jon for his encouragement, and for changing his life and work to support the changes in my life and calling.
Jon has reminded me that I will no longer be a pastor, but I will continue to minister, which gives me a sense of ease about leaving the work I’ve loved among people I’ve loved, and it’s given me a purpose in moving forward. I will wait to see what God will call me to do, other than enjoying my children and grandchildren, and building a life centered around my family.
I cannot say how long we will be in Iowa, but I can say that by moving there I will be more easily giving your new pastor the gift of absence that our friend Stan Banker has given me. To have been able to establish myself among you with the freedom to be myself was a good and generous gift. This is my intention for your new pastor, and one I hope you will honor with me, as well.
Your welcome, support, and care for me has made me feel like a part of a greater team of generous persons who care deeply about ministry with and for one another, and for those who have not yet understood the Quaker story of the direct experience of Christ’s presence, love, and light filling their lives. I look forward to hearing more of your story as you move forward in ministry. Thank you for all you have given me and my family. I will no longer be your pastor, but I hope to always be your friend.
Joys & Concerns
A BIG thank you to all our Mid-North Food Pantry volunteers on Wendesday, March 15! Volunteers included Ruthie Tippin, Helen D., Phil K., Ed M., Jim K., and Carol and Jim D. 10 lbs of food were delivered!
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
There will be a Called Meeting for Business on Sunday April 2nd right after worship to discuss a pastoral candidate. The Pastoral Search Committee will report at this Meeting the results of their search and their recommendation for the new pastor. We encourage members and attenders to join us that day.
Art Committee Meeting ~ The Art Committee, who is looking after the German Children's Giving Voices to Ghosts collective, will be meeting 4/2 at 9:45am in the Fellowship Hall in front of the stage. We will be talking about what we'd need to do to make this a traveling exhibit, possible places it could show and a possible permanent home. We are also looking for someone to do a good write up on Clarence Picket for the exhibit. Please send questions to the office.
A Few Notes from the Office… During this time of transition the office will now be open from 9am-3pm Monday through Thursday. Please note that office staff will be unavailable on Tuesdays from 1:30-3:00pm for our weekly staff meeting. Also, to help things run smoothly during this time, we’d like to remind everyone that the deadline for Friend to Friend submissions is Tuesday, and the deadline for Bulletin announcements is Thursday! Thank you!
2017 Short Play Festival: IndyFringe and the Indiana Writers Center have put together an emerging playwrights' showcase featuring ten-minute plays by exciting new playwrights who have been honing their craft at the Indiana Writers Center and presented by your favorite local theatre companies. Gary R.'s ten minute play is being showcased this weekend March 31-April 2nd. Anyone interested in attending, go to: http://www.indyfringe.org/2017-short-play-festival or contact the office for more information.
Easter Egg Hunt – Treats Needed! We are asking for contributions for our Easter Egg hunt on April 16th. Please consider bringing in treats and putting them in our basket in the front hallway.
College Care Packages ~ We ask for help to provide treats for our 10 college students as we will send a care box to our students as they prepare for finals. Or let Beth know that you want to contribute money to provide treats. Please bring contributions in by April 18.
The early-bird registration deadline for the Friends United Meeting Triennial is coming soon! Register before THIS FRIDAY, March 31st and save $30! To register, please visit: https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/Default.aspx?EventID=1877598
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 Indiana Daylily and Iris Society invites you! The IDIS is now hosting their monthly meetings at First Friends, and everyone is welcome! Their second meeting of the year will be Tuesday, April 4 at 6:30. The presentation, “Daylilies” will be given by Scott Elliott from Maneki Neko Gardens in Georgia. Please join us in the Parlor!
Right Sharing of World Resources (RSWR) board will be holding their semi-annual board meeting at First Friends from April 20th – 22nd. Our Meeting approved hosting this Meeting with Quakers from around the country.
Beth (who serves on the board) needs 4 or 5 more homes to be available for board members to stay with them. This will be for 3 nights starting April 20th and going through the night of April 22nd/morning of April 23rd - it includes a bed for these evening and breakfast each morning - please let Beth know if you would be willing to provide home hospitality. We also need a few people to bring in a pot of soup or salad on April 20th and 21st. A sign up sheet is in the front hallway or contact Beth.
You’re also invited to RSWR’s anniversary jubilee!! You are invited to join others in the 50th anniversary celebration of Rig ht Sharing of World Resources on April 23rd 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.
Music Survey Results! We now have the results from the survey you filled out to help us find a new music director. The music committee is now in the process of writing up a job description. If you have any questions about this or know of anyone interested in the position, please contact me Mindy S. or Carolyn T. To view the survey results, please visit https://goo.gl/cT4vFU.
Please clean your garden plots! It’s that time of year! Things are starting to warm up and greenery is starting to bloom! Nancy S. and Sam R., co-coordinators for the gardens, would like to remind everyone to please clean up your garden plots! Please contact the office if you are interested in continuing to keep your garden plot, or if you don’t currently have one and are interested in signing up!
Would you like to start to garden? Do you wish you had a green thumb? Do all your plants die? Try the City Gardener Program! Purdue Extension-Marion County is offering a series of classes for new or inexperienced gardeners, with a focus on gardening in urban areas. You’re welcome to come to any single classes or attend the entire series. Sessions are on Wednesdays, 6-8:30pm from March 22-April 26, Discovery Hall, Indiana State Fairgrounds. Fee is $5 per session or $20 for all 6 sessions. For more information, call 317-275-9286 or email: email@example.com.
"Would you like to help a guy earn his Eagle?" Purchase Spring Flowers, Vegetables & Herbs and Help Support an Eagle Scout Project! Fritz C. has begun his Eagle Scout project and needs to raise funds for a trail of trees that he will be working on this summer at Koteewi Park. Visitors to the park will be able to follow the trail and learn about 16 native Indiana trees and how the Native Americans used them as tools, clothing and even transportation. You can place orders online here: https://goo.gl/YinO6b. Thank you for your support!
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.
From Linda Lee – “Several people have asked for the group poem that was read at Ruthie's farewell luncheon printed in Friend to Friend. So here it is. Some of you will recognize lines you contributed.”
Views from the Pews
For Ruthie by Friends at First Friends
Her voice is like a bird singing of spring,
her spirit as cheerful as the good news she brings.
She always lifts my spirits,
reminding me of my amazing mother.
Her beautiful voice permeates my soul.
She spoke to me in God's voice: music.
Sweet sister of the spirit, yours is the voice we love.
Exuberance personified. Jumping for joy.
Mystic mother, exuding excitement.
Creator of powerful worship experiences.
That elegant signature.
Through mind, voice, and life she praises God.
Woman of God.
Literate deliverer of Love, Ruthie is warm, caring,
Her love lifted me, reminded me of God's Love.
She visited every activity and program at First Friends.
She invited people to share their skills and talents.
Passionate faith, creative intelligence.
Her kindness, her maternal spirit.
Strong opinions thoughtfully expressed.
Small dynamo with an aura of grace.
Spontaneous singer. Creating harmony.
Open to change, she is helps us be moved by spirit,
not confined by rigid programs.
Around her you can't help but be your best self.
Ruthie was my bridge over troubled waters.
Warm tender hugs sent me on my way.
Her love gave me space to be myself.
Love your spontaneity. You are a walking, smiling hug.
Jesus calmed the water. Ruthie calmed the little children.
She is caring friendly, happy, concerned.
Lillian singing in the balcony; Ruthie joining her from the pulpit,
a beautiful duet.
Bright spirit of welcome and grace, thank you
for giving us a way to begin the week in love, in truth, in happiness.
I am grateful for her visiting and reading Rain Cloud after my surgery.
She invited me to visit First Friends and now I'm a member.
The magnetic power of her presence.
She brought Quaker history into present worship.
Grateful for Ruthie's positive welcoming spirit and the way she beautified the meeting house.
She connected us to churches in our community.
Running toward the double doors after a gurney calling "Stop, stop! I am here
Silver streak with auto-smile, you are the real deal. You will sail away soon,
but leave an effervescent wake.
Thank you for being our spirit of song, our shepherd of joy,
our leader of love.
God bless you, Ruthie.
"Go in Peace, Walk in Love"