As Way Opens
As we head into Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, we are called to dream. MLK’s acclaimed “I have a dream speech” has always inspired me to think big and hope for more than may currently be available to my senses. Below I have crafted my own “I have dream” speech for First Friends. As you will notice, the lyrics and phraseology resemble MLK’s, but it speaks more specifically to who we are as a unique Quaker meeting. May it inspire you this week.
Even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the Spirit of God. I have a dream that one day soon Quakers will rise up and live out the gospel (good news) without shame, fear, or hesitation. I have a dream that one day people who we have offended, and those who have offended us will be able to sit down together at the table of reconciliation set by our God. I have a dream that one day Indianapolis First Friends will be a place known for freedom and a place of justice for ALL people – no matter their race, culture, gender, sexual orientation, life circumstance, status, or capacity to understand and comprehend God’s mysteries. I have a dream that our children and youth will not be judged on external factors like appearance, special needs, skills, or abilities, and instead be judged by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day as I look out over our meeting gathered I will be able to see women and men, young and old - ALL ministers - each and every one a worshiper of God involved in the work of the ministry, not out of guilt but out of a deep response to their Inner Light and calling. I have a dream of a meeting that is passionate about sharing their faith with those hopeless and broken in our neighborhoods and communities here and abroad. A dream that we would not be fearful, but compassionate, articulate, giving, and loving as we live out the good news through service to our neighbors. I have a dream that we would, each one of us, take seriously God’s call on our lives and spend time in expectant waiting and discernment on what it is we are to do, so that we may be able to love God and love our neighbors to the fullest extent. I have a dream that our meeting would rise up above any struggles or divisions that may present themselves to become a shining light to Indianapolis and to the world. Not for the recognition of our community, nor for the praise of other people, nor for the glory of our yearly meeting, but for the glory of God and God alone!
And on our way to that day, we will be able to join hands and sing the words of the worship anthem:
"There is no one like our God. Greater things have yet to come and greater things
are still to be done in this city, greater things have yet to come,
and greater things are still to be done here.”
Join me in living the dream this week and as we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. this Sunday during Meeting for Worship.
Grace and peace,
Joys & Concerns
Mid-North Food Pantry ~ 94 families were served at Mid-north food pantry last Wednesday with the assistance of Phil K, Christie Moulton, John and Ileen M, Chelsea, Kendal and Carolyn T, Barb O, Rik L, Bill, Kathy and Beth F and Sylvie and Emerson S. Thank you, all!
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
Youth group will meet this Sunday at 11:30 in the basement for lunch together and then will separate into senior high youth meeting with Ben W and junior high youth meeting with Michelle and Aaron T. Our youth activity this month will be ice skating at the Coliseum on the Indiana State Fair grounds on Friday, January 19th at 7:30 p.m.
Coats, Scarves, Hats, Gloves, Mittens ~ Please donate your unwanted warm clothing to meeting for Boner Center to give to those who need them. There is a box on the stage.
We are in need of volunteers next month for the Mid North Food Pantry! ~ Due to the holidays, several of the “regulars” will not be able to volunteer at the food pantry on Wednesday January 17. If you are in town and available during any of these dates, please consider volunteering. Let the office know if you are interested or have questions. Thank you for your assistance!
Threshing at the Tap - (def.) a gathering of men who mull over current issues or topics, where all points of view are heard, no decisions are made, and beverages are enjoyed.
Threshing at the Tap takes place every third Thursday, 7pm at various breweries in greater Indianapolis. This month it will be on Thursday, January 18 at 7pm at Black Acre Brewing, 5632 E Washington St, Irvington.
Also, Ladies of First Friends, be watching for information about a similar event for you coming by the end of January!
Monthly Yoga (not to be confused with weekly Gentle Yoga on Fridays) will be on Sunday January 28th at 11:30 in the basement as well as Sunday February 4th - both practices will be led by Kristyn G. Several varieties of yoga practice will be explored, such as yin yoga, vinyasa yoga, and restorative yoga. The class is open to all levels and members of the class will help determine the content of the practice.
Oak Leaf Book Group 2018 ~ Be sure to mark your calendars for 2018 Oak Leaf Meeting for Reading dates:
January 30 ~ Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
February 27 ~ The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
March 27 ~ Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
April 24 ~ A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety by Jimmy Carter
May 29 ~ Truevine by Beth Macy
June 26 ~ In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
July 31 ~ Testimony by Scott Turow
August 28 ~ American Heart by Laura Moriarty
September 25 ~ Sourdough by Robin Sloan
October 30 ~ The Hour of Land by Terry Tempest Williams
November 27 ~ The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The group meets at 7pm in the Parlor. All are invited!