As Way Opens
Conflict - some days it feels overwhelming and utterly destructive to read and hear about the many conflicts between countries, within our own country, between political parties as well as what we experience in our work places and our families. I sense in so many people a weariness and an exhaustion from the conflicts that we all face. We know in our hearts and minds that conflict has been built into our very creation from the beginning of time and if we are alive we experience conflict on a regular basis. Often times folks will work hard to avoid conflict but all that does is take our emotions underground and these feelings are submerged and can grow deep within us and will come forward at some point. But what seems different lately is the way many of our conflicts are debated through social media. There is a brittle tone in our voices in expressing our positions and a digging into postures that entrench us in opposite corners. It seems like we stop listening and just keep shouting. Our emotions are high and we tend to make sweeping generalities about “the other”. Studies have shown that people generalize from the worst behavior of others and from the best of their own behavior which creates a tendency to be self-righteous and indignant. I am so alarmed by this division.
What I believe with my entire being is that we are individuals with the Divine implanted in our hearts and we are united in so many ways. How do we connect with others that might believe differently in a way that unites us? I leave tomorrow for a vacation to meet up with several of my college roommates. I know they believe differently from me in many ways yet we love each other and share our joys and sorrows with each other. It is because we have an authentic relationship and connect at our deepest level that we can move beyond our differences. We know we have differences but that doesn’t define our relationship.
One of the conflicts in our political environment that I worry most about is that we focus on symbols that generate a reaction versus the ideals that these symbols represent. As Quakers we have rejected symbols and rituals because of the fear of worshiping that symbol or ritual versus the ideals, the principles and the experience behind the symbol. I pray every day that we answer this call of embracing the Divine in each of us and embracing the Truth behind the symbols, the shouting, the extreme positions.
Joys & Concerns
A HUGE THANK YOU to all those who helped (not everyone is pictured) in so many ways this past weekend as we made our final move into our new home in Fishers. It was such a blessing to our family that you came (in the unusually hot weather) and helped lift heavy furniture, unpack boxes, make, buy and bring food, and join us in transforming this new space into our home. We look forward to having each of you over after we are fully unpacked! THANK YOU ALL! The Henry Family
We’d like to recognize last week’s Mid-North Food Pantry volunteers: Kathy and Bill F; Linda and Rik L; Ray G; Christie M; Phil K; Carol and Jim D. Thanks to all these volunteers!
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
October Monthly Meeting ~ Please note, the Monthly Meeting to Conduct Business for October is being moved to Sunday, October 22 (fourth Sunday), so as to not cause conflict with the Festival of Faiths. We hope you will be a part of the festival – stay tuned for more info!
Minute on Racial Violence and Hate Groups ~ We’d like to share that at our last Monthly Meeting (September 17), the Meeting approved a minute from West Newton Friends Church on racial violence and hate groups. To read the minute in its entirety, please visit https://goo.gl/UktVuE.
Gentle Yoga notice ~ Please note that there will be no gentle yoga for the next two weeks (this Friday, 9/29 and the following Friday, 10/6).
Spiritual Growth Small Groups ~ STARTING NEXT WEEK! 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. The Sunday sessions have been cancelled due to lack of interest. The Wednesday and Friday sessions have been fully booked. To sign up, please visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5HNGH9K or contact the office.
We have ordered the books and will have them available for pick up this Sunday on the corner table in the hallway (or feel free to come during office hours that week). If you would like to reimburse the meeting, the cost of the book is $14.
Mid North Food Pantry Drive – Just a few days left!! 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.
Calling all green thumbs! The community gardeners will have a meeting on Wednesday, October 4th at 7 pm at the meeting house to discuss fall clean up and plans for the next gardening season. Please join if you are a current gardener or are interested in joining next spring!
Shalom Zone Electronics Recycling Event ~ If an item runs (or used to run) with a plug or a battery, you can recycle it! This includes (but is not limited to) appliances, TVs, DVD/VCRs, gaming consoles, fax machines, Christmas tree lights, calculators, toner cartridges, hair dryers, and more! The Shalom Zone is holding their annual Recycle Force event at Epworth United Methodist Church, 6450 Allisonville Road, on Saturday, October 7, 10am-2pm. Please bring any items you wish to recycle to Epworth on the day of the event. A $10 donation is requested for CRT type monitors/TVs smaller than 27”; a $20 donation is requested for appliances containing Freon (fridges, freezers, A/C units, etc) and TVs larger than 27”; any other monetary contributions are also greatly appreciated.
Youth Invasion! Russiaville Friends is hosting a Youth Invasion on Sunday, October 8th, 5-8pm! Come out and invade the town of Russiaville as Western Yearly Meeting launches their new year-long theme, SPOKEN: In Red Letters. All youth grades 7-12 invited. There will be pizza served at 5pm, and program starts at 6:15. If you love Quaker haven camp then you’ll love this! If you’re interested, please let them know you are coming and how many friends you are bringing: Russiaville Friends Church: 765-883-5986.
Join Seasoned Friends for a field trip! Seasoned Friends will be traveling together for the Levi Coffin House tour in Fountain City on Tuesday, October 10. 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 email@example.com 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 3 students that need some love! Please make sure they’re not left out!
Women’s Fashion Fundraiser For “Right Sharing of World Resources” ~ In order to benefit “Right Sharing of World Resources”, Sara Edgerton will host a fashion fundraiser for First Friends members, attenders and friends on Friday, October 13th and Saturday, October 14th. Mark your calendars, and plan to attend! Two independent stylists from cabi (an international fashion company owned by women) will share the cabi Fall 2017 fashion line during short trunk shows with a pop-up boutique at our church. A portion of their sales during the fundraiser will be donated to “Right Sharing of World Resources”. Please call the church at 317-255-2485 to reserve your spot, for more information and to receive a cabi invitation. You can also email Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org. RSVPs will be necessary. Trunk show times for both days are: 10:00 am, 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm at First Friends. Bring a friend along. If you are not familiar with the cabi clothing line, you can visit independent cabi stylist Abby Marmion’s website at: AbigailMarmion.CabiOnline.com to preview the clothes.
Full Circle Festival ~ Please join us downtown for Full Circle Fest on Saturday, October 14, 3-8pm! This is a FREE festival and a fundraiser for refugees in Indianapolis, organized by our own Ben Wertz. It is a celebration of culture, reflecting the diversity of Indianapolis through food, music, and storytelling. We will be using half of the circle to highlight four musical acts and four stories told by refugees in Indianapolis. Food trucks will provide refreshments, non-profits will set up booths to educate about the issue, artists will share their work, and diverse communities will gather in celebration. The festival will culminate with a collective art project. For more information, please visit https://www.fullcirclefest.com/.
Drumming, Gospel singers, a Jewish wedding, a regal rider on a large white steed, dancers, chanting monks.....and smiling Quakers! These are some of the things you might see at the Festival of Faiths on October the 15th at Veterans Memorial Plaza downtown. Once again we hope to have a good Quaker presence at the festival. We need volunteers to help set up, sit at tables and help take everything down at the end of the day. Set up will begin at 12:00pm and the festival officially opens at 1:00pm. Take down will begin 5:00pm. There will be a poster board sign-up in the hallway at the entrance to the main lobby in the meeting house. SIGN UP FOR WHATEVER TIME COMMITMENT WORKS FOR YOU! You can be there all day as I plan to be or you can sign up for a 30 minute shift. We particularly need people to help set up and take down.
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.
New Library Books Ready for Checkout! The library committee comprised of John and Ileen Moorman, Lucy Beaver, and Shirley Earle are working to enhance our library. To make you aware of the new additions, here are others you may wish to sign out. Thank you to Linda Lee for providing these summaries!
Down a Winding Road: A Life Story from Missions (Roscoe and Tina Knight) by Betty M. Hockett
A young couple are led to do mission work in Bolivia, without knowing either Spanish or the local language. With the support of Oregon Yearly Meeting they purchased a farm and began a school where students could help grow crops and tend animals to pay their expenses. This is a simply written story of faith, challenges, successes. After serving in Bolivia the family moved to begin yet another mission in Peru.
The book is one in the Life Stories series published by George Fox Press.
The Active Life: A Spirituality of Work, Creativity, and Caring by Parker J. Palmer
From the back cover: "The Active Life is...a deep and graceful exploration of a spirituality for the busy, sometimes frenetic lives many of us lead. Telling evocative stories from a variety of religious traditions, including Taoist, Jewish, and Christian, Palmer shows that the spiritual life does not mean abandoning the world but engaging in it more deeply through life-giving action."
The chapter about the shadow side of the active life has some insights I found particularly interesting. Also the "paradoxical interplay of contemplation and action." in chapter 7 Loaves and Fishes.
Four Score and Ten Years: Memoirs of Dorothy Pittman By Dorothy Pittman
"About her experiences as a Friends pastor and missionary to the Indians on Oklahoma and North Dakota and to Africans in Kenya. Also included are some of her drawings and poems."
Pittman gives details of daily life there at the beginning of what has become an important Quaker mission, complete with hospital and school. Those who have been to Kaimosi, if you have not already read this, are in for a treat. Others will be impressed by the scale of mission work in Kenya.
(Fragile binding on this book, so please handle with care.)
ICPN Conference ~ You are cordially invited to the Indiana Center for Parish Nursing (ICPN) conference on Friday, November 3, 2017 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. The location is Faith Lutheran Church 2200 S. High St., Bloomington, IN 47401. The topic is “Tools for Faith Community Nurses and Health Ministers”. The Keynote Speaker is Philip Gulley, author, pastor, & humorist. Additional speakers will provide tools for your ministries. The cost is $25 ($10 students) which includes conference fee, lunch and the ICPN annual dues. You are also invited to participate as an Exhibitor or Poster Presentation. The Vendor fee is $25 which includes 1 lunch, table, & chair. (Discount available for 501C organizations). Vendor names will appear in the handouts given to all participants. See the brochure here: https://goo.gl/brX5eQ, or for more information visit http://www.indianaparishnurses.org/.
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!