As Way Opens
A couple weeks ago, I heard Lidia Yuknavitch speaking on a radio program as I commuted home from the meetinghouse. Not only is Lidia a bestselling author, she is also a TED Talk presenter. Her TED Talk, The Beauty of Being the Misfit has brought her much acclaim. (You can watch the TED talk online here: https://youtu.be/9AgCr2tTvng). Just recently her talk has been expanded into a book titled, The Misfit’s Manifesto. So moved by her interview, I literally stopped my car on the side of the road that day and ordered her book. This week I began to read it devotionally. I am not even halfway through the book, but there has been a recurring thought present in my mind.
Quakers are the misfits of American religious circles.
In her book, Lidia makes it clear there are many different ways to define being a misfit. She says the definitions usually include, “a person who is different from other people and who does not seem to belong in a particular group or situation...” You have to admit it, Quakers are a peculiar people - we are different, we don’t always belong. Probably because...
...when others are focused on answers, Quakers are asking queries.
...when others are wanting a quick resolve, Quakers take their time.
...when others want performance, Quakers want to keep it simple.
...when others want to be loud and even boisterous, Quakers get silent and listen.
...when others want rigid rules, Quakers want a fluid faith and practice.
...when others focus on fear tactics, Quakers seek peace and reconciliation.
...and that list could go on. Lidia doesn’t want us to have a pity party about our misfittery - actually she wants us to embrace it. She believes the world needs misfits right now, and to me that means the world need Quakers, too! It’s clear, that the social script we continue to be given by our American religious culture is not working. The religious labels and framing stories we have been given no longer fit or apply to us. The radical voices that stand for our S.P.I.C.E.S (simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship) need to be heard again. I sense Lidia’s call to us Quakers in this thought:
“Misfits transform fear and anger and grief into expression rather than destruction -- we give something of value to the rest of culture rather than succumbing to our own misery, particularly when those around us recognize our value.”
We don’t have to be a dying religious society in America. Instead, we have the potential to be a transformational group of misfits whose voices have the ability to change our world. Misfits Unite!
Grace and peace,
Joys & Concerns
Our own David B is part of the annual winter show! This show which is held at the Art Center is focusing on collage, montage and assemblage art this year. David Beatty is featured as a local artist. The exhibit runs from Feb 7th through April 7th with the reception on Friday Feb 9th 6-9PM at the Art Center, 820 E 67th St, Indianapolis, IN 46220. Congratulations, David!
A big THANK YOU to Mark K who spent an afternoon gluing our parlor chairs - some which were in dire need of repair. We appreciate Mark’s attentiveness and willingness to help.
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
Rise Up Singing CORRECTION~ The Sing Along will happen (weather permitting) on Friday, February 2nd at 7pm in the Parlor (please note the correct date and change of location. We will be having two guitarists this time: Dan H (AKA substitute yoga teacher for Beth H) and the generous Jim K who has already led us several times. If you want to suggest three songs so that Jim can prepare ahead of time and copies can be made if needed. We are using Rise Up Singing and Rise Again as our primary selection guides.
Sacred Masterworks ~ The Indianapolis Symphonic Choir Presents Sacred Masterworks on Saturday, February 3 at 7pm at the Schrott Center for the Arts. Dan R and Bill P are both part of this group. Making its return to the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir’s season after more than 20 years, Igor Stravinsky’s setting of the Psalms is paired with texts from the Mass, the Bible, poetry by Walt Whitman and music by Ralph Vaughan Williams. The annual Sacred Masterworks concert series includes the Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms and Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem in a one-night-only performance. Tickets are on sale now at indychoir.org!
Scout Sunday February 4th ~ Current and former Scouts, please submit your information to the office so we can recognize you on February 4th. Please send your name, Scouting Organization, Troop number and Scout rank. Email email@example.com or call 317-255-2485.
Monthly Yoga (not to be confused with weekly Gentle Yoga on Fridays) will be on Sunday February 4th at 11:30 in the basement, 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.
Family Bowling ~ Please join us for a bowling party hosted by the Christian Education Committee. It will be Sunday, February 11th at noon at Woodland Bowl, 3421 E 96th St. First Friends will provide 2 games, shoe rental, pizza and drinks for everyone. Please RSVP with the office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seasoned Friends Wednesday, February 14~ Join us on Valentine’s Day at 11:30am for Seasoned Friends luncheon and fellowship for all who are retired or of retirement age. Lunch will consist of comfort food with a Valentine’s twist. We will meet in the Parlor and enjoy each other’s company with games and movies. Please contact the office if you’ll be able to join us. Hope to see you there!
Community Soup & FCNL Priorities ~ Witness & Service will host the next Community Soup Thursday February 15 from 5:30 pm – 7 pm. Everyone is invited to this very informal dinner. If you’d like, you’re welcome to bring a soup but not necessary. During dinner, starting at 6:30, anyone is invited to join us for our FCNL priority setting. This dialog takes place every two years, to discuss what legislative priorities we would like for Friends Committee on National Legislation to focus on during the next Congress. FCNL seeks the input from all Quaker Meetings and Churches to compile its list of priorities to work on with Congress. We welcome your input and encourage you to join us for soup, discussion, or both!
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. PLEASE NOTE we are changing the date in February so as not to conflict with Community Soup & the FCNL priorities discussion. It will be held Thursday night, February 22nd at 7pm at Taxman Brewing, 29 S Main St, Fortville, IN 46040. We hope to see you there!