As Way Opens
Last year I was introduced to the Howard Thurman book, The Mood of Christmas and Other Celebrations. The poems and essays really spoke to me; I have re-read it this Christmas season and I have gained new insights. Here is an excerpt from The Singing of Angels:
"There must be always remaining in every man’s life some place for the singing of angels - some place for that which in itself is breathlessly beautiful and by an inherent prerogative throwing all the rest of life into a new and created relatedness. Something that gathers up in itself all the freshets of experience from drab and commonplace areas of living and glows in one bright white light of penetrating beauty and meaning - then passes. The commonplace is shot through now with new glory - old burdens become lighter, deep and ancient wounds lose much of their old, old hurting. A crown is placed over our heads that for the rest of our lives we are trying to grow tall enough to wear. Despite all of the crassness of life, despite the hardness of life, despite all of the harsh discords of life, life is saved by the singing of angels.
If the theme of the angels’ song is to find fulfillment in the world, it will be through the common man’s becoming aware of his true worthfulness an asserting his generic prerogatives as a child of God. The diplomats, the politicians, the statesmen, the lords of business and religion will never bring peace in the world. Violence is the behavior pattern of Power in the modern world, and violence has its own etiquette and ritual, and its own morality.”
May we all grow into our crowns, saved by the singing of angels and fulfilling this song through our efforts for peace.
Joys & Concerns
This past Sunday we enjoyed our Children’s Christmas Pageant put on by our kids! Thank you to them for sharing with us the Christmas Story. Also many thanks to Chrissy S and Foster S for being our Mary and baby Jesus, and thanks to Beth H, the organizer and director of the event! (Photos provided by Kim H and Bob H.)
We had a great time Caroling on Sunday! We stopped at The Stratford, American Village, and the Forum before finishing the night at Steak n’ Shake. We got to see dear Friends, sing the night away, & bring cheer to some very deserving people. Thank you to all who came! (Photos by Bob H)
Thank you to everyone in our Meeting and community who volunteered to bring in gifts for our sponsored families this Christmas. Easterseals picked up the packages this week and were astounded by your generosity! They were moved and are certain the families will be overjoyed. The packages filled up their car impressively. Thank you everyone!
We had lots of fun at the annual Christmas Tea this past Sunday! Thank you to everyone who brought in cookies to share. It was a great time as we enjoyed each other’s company, some delightful tea, and some tasty treats! Thank you to Jody L for organizing the event, and to Kim H for providing us pictures!
FCNL’s Young Adult Programs! Did you know that Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) has a variety of programs for young adults? Here’s what’s available:
· The Young Fellows Program allows recently graduated individuals (up to 29 years old) to work as fulltime members of the FCNL staff for 11 months. Benefits include salary (meets DC living wage standard), healthcare, paid vacation, and sick leave. Fellows will be placed on various teams at FCNL, including legislative, communications, and outreach teams. For more information or to apply, visit https://www.fcnl.org/updates/young-fellows-program-32?utm_campaign=yap&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ak Application deadline for this program is February 18, 2019.
· The Advocacy Corps allows young adults, 19-30 years old, to lead locally-based grassroots campaigns to influence members of Congress. Participants take part in a 10-day immersive training in community organizing, local media outreach, and lobbying. Participants commit 25 hours a month for 9 months and receive a financial stipend. Application deadline for this program is April 19, 2019. For more information visit https://www.fcnl.org/updates/advocacy-corps-34
· Spring Lobby Weekend is an advocacy event for students happening March 23-26, 2019. This event will include three days of lobby trainings and speakers followed by one day of lobbying on Capitol Hill. This March we will be revisiting our immigration work started at last year’s event, and we are excited to welcome 450 young adults to Washington, DC to tell their stories and make their voices heard! If you have any questions or are interested in recruiting young adults in your area, please contact Larissa@fcnl.org.
· Summer Internships are also available! If you are looking for an internship this summer, apply for the Summer Internship program. Deadline is March 29, 2019.
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
Office Notice: The office will be closed for the holidays Monday and Tuesday December 24-25.
Friend to Friend News: Please note that there will be no Friend to Friend next week due to Christmas and the holidays. Look for our next issue Wednesday, January 2nd.
Sunday School Notice: There will be no Sunday school on the next two Sundays, December 23rd or 30th.
Singalong Notice ~ Friends, please note that we will not hold our monthly Singalong in the Parlor in December. We will begin again in January.
We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Men’s Threshing Together ~ If you are interested in gathering with other men who mull over current issues or topics, where all points of view are heard, no decisions are made, and all in a non-threatening atmosphere over a meal, then Threshing Together is for you! Join us for our next meeting on Thursday, December 20 at 7:00pm. See locations here: https://goo.gl/HosLVg
Festival of Carols ~ The Indianapolis Symphonic Choir Presents Festival of Carols! Dan R and Bill P are both part of this group. Make 2018 the holiday season you will forever remember! With 5 performances to choose from, the Midwest’s beloved holiday tradition includes your favorite carols and Christmas music featuring the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and musical surprises for kids from 1 to 92. Performances will be December 21-December 23 at the Palladium at the Center for Performing Arts. For more information or to buy tickets, visit indychoir.org!
Join us on Sunday, December 23 for a Special Meeting for Worship! You have been asking for a service filled with the singing of carols during the holiday season, and we have heard your request. On Sunday the 23rd, we will have a special Service of Carols and Their Stories. Come learn the stories behind some of our favorite Christmas carols and then join in singing them together. It should be a lovely morning of celebrating the season. Also, the service will include a time of waiting worship in the manner of Friends. Bring your voices and be ready to sing!
Reflections of Peace, Joy, and Hope: A Service of Poetry and Song: This Christmas Eve, Dec 24, join us at 5:30pm for a special Christmas Eve family worship that will include reflective poems, special music, and a story for the children - all to help us enter our Christmas celebration! Join us as we reflect and celebrate together this Christmas Eve.
Oak Leaf Meeting for Reading ~ Join our Oak Leaf Meeting for Reading book group for Thursday December 27th’s pick ~ American Fire by Monica Hesse. We will meet at 7pm at the home of Carolyn Tinsley. Do you need directions, and/or are you interested in being on the Oak Leaf email list? Please contact the office at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can view our book list for 2018 here: https://goo.gl/A7bm2r.
Unprogrammed worship on Sunday, December 30 – Please note that due to the holidays we will be holding unprogrammed worship in the parlor on December 30th at our usual time of 10:15. This is a nice quiet time for us to worship in the traditional Quaker manner. We hope you will join us if you can. Happy holidays!
Martin Luther King Jr Celebration Service ~ Please mark your calendars for a service in celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, organized by the Shalom Zone. It will be held at 11:00am on Monday, January 21, 2019 at Cross and Crown Lutheran Church, 5233 E 79th St. We will gather together as a community of churches to remember and celebrate Dr. King’s dream of racial harmony and social justice in America. This commemorative service is a public testament of our common values as communities of faith actively seeking the shalom of the city as the prophet Jeremiah reminds us. Through the inspirational words of Dr. King and in the singing of songs of hope and freedom and as we share a luncheon with our neighbors, we become renewed and refreshed for the new work ahead. For more information, or if you’d like to help/volunteer, please visit https://goo.gl/L5wGxN
Meditational Woods Bird of the Month for December:
Tufted Titmouse – The Rock
If you have a bird feeder at home, you probably know this species. Tufted Titmouse is in the same family as the chickadees and is often seen with them. The gray color, crest, black eye on a pale cheek, and an orange patch on the side, clinch the identification. This bird is a fussy one, always warning of danger, especially when the danger is a human. The fussing sound titmice make is easily imitated and can be used to bring a titmouse closer. It is called “pishing”. To do it, make a shh sound (as if you are quieting someone down), but start it off with your mouth shaped to say a “p” before the shh. Do it over and over. If there is a titmouse around, it will likely come over to see what the trouble is.
The bird is very dependable in the neighborhoods around our meeting, and it visits our woods often. So dependable, that I could give it the nickname…The Rock. Jesus gave the nickname to one of his disciples, one who was very dependable (except for that one bad night of triple denial). So, what is the tie-in? After several weeks of bleak midwinter weather, we will have a sunny, perhaps balmy, day. You may hear a male Tufted Titmouse sing, even though it is late December or early January. What is its song?
“Peter, peter…peter, peter”
Get it? Dependable Tufted Titmouse: Peter: The Rock (Matthew 16:18)