As Way Opens
A couple years ago my family gave me a NASA t-shirt that reads, “I need space.” Growing up, I loved NASA and the possibilities of space travel, yet there was more to this shirt. As I have grown older and experienced a great deal of transition (especially this weekend as we plan to move into our new home) needing space has again been on my mind. This may be a bit different than outer space, but the sentiment still remains. We need space in our lives and we need to be aware of the spaces we occupy.
In an article I read recently titled “The Psychology of Space” by Megan McAuliffe, she states,
“Every minute of our lives is spent in physical dialogue with the space around us. The spaces we occupy directly influence our psychological well-being and creative performance. Space has the ability to shape who we are and how we behave.”
This week, I was introduced to a new space at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. That space was Sweeney Chapel. On my day off, I spent about 2 hours in the chapel all alone. I took my camera to capture some of the sites within this space and to help remind myself of the experiences I had while there. I am not completely sure if it was the modern architecture, the utter silence, or simply the fact that I could hear my own thoughts for the first time in quite a while, that made this space special. What I do know is that it afforded me an opportunity to get out of my routine, pause, and reflect on my own well-being.
I think too often we abuse the spaces we occupy. Our homes can seem like bunkers off the front lines of war, rather than places of solitude and nurturing. Our work spaces can seem like fortresses to the American Dream and industry rather than places where we are inspired and our creativity is expressed. Our worship spaces can seem like museums to our past instead of lively and welcoming places to engage God and our neighbors.
“Actually, space has so much influence on the way we live that it can literally empower or disempower us.” - Megan McAuliffe
I encourage you to take some time this week to reflect on the spaces you occupy. Do those spaces empower you? Do they afford you the opportunity to get out of your routine? Do they engage your senses and release your creativity? What new space may be calling you? It may just be the space you need.
Grace and peace,
Joys and Concerns
We had a good work day in the Woods on Saturday. Many thanks to Chelsea and Kendall Tinsley, Paul Sommer, Norma Wallman, Amy Perry, David Beatty and Dan Mitchell for their hard work in weeding the front entrance, the butterfly garden, the Meditational Circle and removing invasive trees and shrubs. As an added bonus, we weeded part of the courtyard and gave it a good watering.
We are exploring more stable pathway materials if funds become available in 2018. We'll keep you informed as things unfold.
Come join us on October 14th at 9 am as we tackle the overgrown shrubs facing Kessler. Weenie roast to follow!
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
The Henry’s are moving! The Henry Family is finally moving into their new home this weekend! They could use some help unpacking their PODS this Saturday anytime after 9am at their new home (contact the office if you need the address). Your help would be much appreciated! Your help is appreciated!
Christ and the Quakers ~ Join Dan L. for his new Sunday School class, “Christ and the Quakers” starting this Sunday September 24 at 9:00am in the Parlor. This class will explore various viewpoints on Christ from George Fox, John Woolman, Lucretia Mott, Rufus Jones, Elton Trueblood and others.
Youth Group Kick-Off! Calling all junior and senior high students! Please join us this Sunday after Worship for our Young F riends Youth Fellowship kickoff! We’ll have lunch, play games, and talk about the coming year for YFYF. Please join us for some fun!
Friendly Visitors Luncheon ~ The Friendly Visitors Luncheon planned for Sunday September 24 is being rescheduled. Please keep an eye out for updated information coming soon!
Sing Along With Jim K!
When? 7:00-8:30 Friday September 22
Where? Parlor at First Friends
Who? People who like to sing
What? Songs chosen mostly from Rise Up Singing and Rise Again, both songbooks compiled and edited by Annie Patterson and Peter Blood with early assistance by Pete Seeger.
Why? For our pleasure, delight, fun, relaxation and community building.
Future dates: October 13, December 1.
If you have either songbook, please bring it (or them). Jim will have a song list planned. If you have requests, we will have a list for the next time we get together. If you let the office know you are coming then we can be sure to have photocopies of the words for you.
Oak Leaf: Meeting for Reading: My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor book discussion will be held Tuesday, September 26th at 7 pm in the Parlor. All are welcome! Nancy Scott will be leading the group. If you're interested in reading ahead for next month, the October 24th title will be: The Muralist by B.A. Shapiro.
Mid North Food Pantry Drive ~ First Friends is doing its annual fundraising for the Mid North Food Pantry in September, rather than November, this year. The pantry is in need of funds due to heavy demand during a very busy summer. We are, once again, requesting cash donations rather than food items as the pantry can purchase a much greater quantity of food with donated dollars than we can at grocery stores. Children who attend Sunday School can continue to bring in food items. Food insecurity is as great as ever in Indianapolis. Please donate as you are led. Checks can be made to First Friends with a notation of “Mid North” or “Food Pantry”. Thank you.
SAVE THE DATE! We need your blood on Sunday, November 5th. We are having a blood drive from 9:00-noon in Fellowship Hall. Keep an eye out for more details in coming months!
Join Seasoned Friends for a field trip! Seasoned Friends will be traveling together for the Levi Coffin House tour in Fountain City on Wednesday, October 11. We will leave First Friends Meetinghouse at 9:45am by van, or feel free to drive yourself if you prefer. Bring a packed meal or grab a bite at Fountain Acres where we will be stopping for lunch. The tour is $8.00 per person (First Friends can provide assistance for admission if needed). We will arrive back at the meetinghouse at about 5-5:30pm. If you’re interested, you must RSVP to the Meeting Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-255-2485 no later than October 1st. We hope to see you there!
Participate in our "Sponsor a College Student" project! Just select a college student off the board set up in the meetinghouse hallway and send them notes, cards, treats, etc throughout the school year so they hear from someone at the Meeting and feel connected. We still have 4 students that need some love! Please make sure they’re not left out!
Spiritual Growth Small Groups ~ We are excited to offer spiritual growth small groups this fall starting Oct 2nd and continuing for a 6-week period. We will be studying the book by Joyce Rupp called The Cup of Our Life that examines the rich symbol of a cup in all its many forms to our everyday life. The groups will meet on different days of the week and will last 90 minutes each time. The groups will meet each week for 6 weeks. See the table below for details and to sign up, please visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5HNGH9K. You can also sign up by using the sign-up sheet that will be in the hallway this Sunday, or contact the office.
BeFriending Creation: Bi-Monthly Newsletter of Quaker Earthcare Witness ~ This issue of shares the stories of Friends in faithful action as they question the injustice of the status-quo and listen to the Spirit to determine how to live their values. Pamela Haines asks hard-hitting questions about Friends' relationship with money and finance. Jaime DeMarco shares how he moved from individual to collective action around climate change and Honor Woodrow describes her powerful experience on July's Climate Pilgrimage in New Hampshire. Mary Jo Klingel reminds us of the importance of connecting with the quiet and taking small steps that lead to connection and inspiration. Beverly Ward and Pamela Boyce Simms report back on their groundbreaking organizing around food sovereignty in the African Diaspora at the United Nations. To view the newsletter, visit http://www.quakerearthcare.org/bfc/volume-30-number-4. For more information, feel free to visit their website at http://www.quakerearthcare.org/.
SAWS Ramp Build ~ Those who are interested in helping with a SAWS ramp build on the morning of either October 14 or October 21 should notify Jim Donahue as soon as possible. The Shalom Zone is trying to determine which date folks would be available to build a ramp. The date that most folks can attend will be chosen. If you can make one of the dates, notify the office ASAP which date works best for you. We will notify you which date is selected. Thank you!
Buddy Bags are here again this year! We are collecting food for the kids at Allisonville Elementary School Fall Break. We are going to have 25 bags this year and they will be delivered on October 4th. What we need from you are the following donations: Microwaveable Entrees, Chicken Salad with Crackers, small jars of peanut butter, 4/packs of fruit cups, vegetables cups, pudding cups, and applesauce: small boxes of raisins, packets of oatmeal, boxes of Pop-Tarts, protein or granola bars, packages of peanut butter or cheese crackers, fruit roll ups and bags of goldfish. Cash or check donations will also be accepted. We all pulled together last year to make this work so I know we can do it again this year! Please contact the office with any questions.