As Way Opens
This past Sunday, we ended our Meeting for Worship by sharing three words with each other – I need you. So simple, yet so profound. Margret J. Wheatley points out our need for each other in the welcome to her book Turning to One Another where she writes,
“We have never wanted to be alone. But today, we are alone. We are more fragmented and isolated from one another than ever before. Archbishop Desmond Tutu describes it as ‘a radical brokenness in all of existence.’”
To acknowledge and vocalize our need is only the beginning. Coming together and talking with each other is key for us to “weave a fabric of care” and meet each other’s needs as God intended. At First Friends we are creating a plethora of opportunities (small groups, connection dinners, book studies, gatherings at local eateries and coffee shops, etc.) for us to stop ignoring one another, stop fearing people that are different than us or have differing views, and to discover what just may be at our depths – a need for each other.
This isn’t easy and it definitely takes time – what my friends and authors John Pattison and Chris Smith label “Slow Church.” Too often we misunderstand “church” for a structure rather than the interaction of the people. And as Quakers we understand what it means to be “slow” especially in our processes. Conversations take time, listening takes time, action takes time, and dreaming takes time – thus I believe First Friends is part of a “slow church” movement.
Maybe it’s time we put our smart phones down, turned off our TVs, and found some time in our schedules to get to know each other again. We need to reclaim what I like to call Togethering – where conversations, relationships, and imaginations can be rekindled for the good of our world and the benefit of our souls. Margret Wheatley says what we are doing is learning “how to work and live together in ways that bring us back to life.”
Will you join First Friends in some Togethering? Find a place or a person to connect with and let it bring you back to life!
Grace and peace,
Joys & Concerns
Many thanks to our Food pantry volunteers last week: Ray G, Phil K, Bill and Kathy F, Rik and Linda L, Beth S, and Jim D. 65 families were served. Thank you for your service!
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
AVP Workshop ~ Please note that the AVP workshop scheduled at First Friends this weekend is being postponed. Be on the lookout for additional information on the rescheduled workshop in a few months!
Come See the Thornburgs! This Sunday, March 4th, the Thornburgs will be showing photos and sharing about their mission trip to Belize last year. As you might recall,the family felt led by God to go to Belize and help with the facility renovation and provide other assistance to the Friends school. Thanks to your generosity, their Belize leading was made into a reality. Come visit them in Fellowship Hall after worship!
Monthly Yoga will be this Sunday March 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.
Are you subscribed to Western Work? Did you know that Western Yearly Meeting has their own newsletter? It’s called Western Work and it comes out several times a year. They have information about the happenings at other Meetings, event photos, reports, announcements, and upcoming events. The February/March issue is available now—and Pastor Bob’s writing is featured! You can find a copy on the bulletin board at the Meetinghouse or view it online here: https://goo.gl/nYci5P. If you’re interested in subscribing, visit https://www.westernyearlymeeting.org/newsletter/ to sign up!
Meditational Woods Bird of the Month ~ Longtime friend and recently retired teacher from Fishers High School, Brad J has been spending time in our meditational woods. We ran into him this week with his binoculars and camera. He is identifying all of the birds that come into our meditational woods and we will highlight what he finds each month. We are thankful to Brad for connecting us to our birds and to creation through the blessing of our beautiful nature site.
This is one of the smallest birds of our woods. The male, however, has a very loud song; its “Tea-kettle, tea-kettle, tea-kettle” can be heard from far away. One of the wren’s calls is a descending, “dee-dih-durp”, and it scolds with a “zhur-zhur-zhur,” especially when a predator (or human) gets too close.
You will recognize it by its reddish-brown back and cap, and golden-tan below, with a white eyestripe. The short, stubby tail may be held downwards, straight back, or upright. Males and females are identical.
This wren prefers brush piles, downed limbs, tree stumps, and low branches. Look for it especially in the far northeast corner of the Meditational Woods.
See the bulletin board for the birds seen in February.
Stamps for RSWR ~ Those interested in sorting stamps for Right Sharing of World Resources, please come to the parlor at 1 o’clock on Monday, March 5. The Monday Meditational Worship group will be eating their sack lunches and (for those who so desire) having their first stamp sorting party. We will sort for 60 to 90 minutes. The group plans to sort the first Monday of each month. For those who can’t make it on Monday, there will be opportunities at other times. If you think you might come on Monday, please let Amy know so she can prepare accordingly. If you have questions or would like to help, please contact the office at email@example.com
Indiana Daylily & Iris Society, featuring Leslie Bishop from Earlham~ The Indiana Daylily & Iris Society is starting up for the year! They hold their meetings on the first Tuesday of the month here at First Friends, and the public is welcome! Their first meeting of the year will be on Tuesday, March 6 at 6:30 in the Parlor. Their guest speaker is Leslie Bishop. Her presentation, “Spectacular-not Spooky, the World of Spiders” will introduce us to the fascinating world of spiders and their vital role in nature. She will focus on the interesting diversity and unique life styles of spiders that live right here in Indiana. Leslie is a retired professor of biology from Earlham College, where she taught for over twenty years. Since retirement, she has taught Wildlife Ecology in Tanzania, and has been a Fulbright Scholar teaching in Dominica. Her current interest is to raise awareness about the conservation of biodiversity, and to encourage people to learn about the natural world. For more information, visit http://www.indianadaylilyirissociety.org/
Eco Film ~ The next Eco-film showing will be Clean Disruption: Energy and Transportation, held on Friday, March 9th at 7:00-8:00pm at Epworth United Methodist Church, 6450 Allisonville Rd. Clean Disruption: Energy and Transportation features an award-winning presentation by Tony Seba, professor at Stanford University. Dr. Seba presents an amazing and hopeful analysis of new developments in energy and transportation that will revolutionize energy and transportation in the very near future. He explains why a 10x exponential development of renewable energy will nearly eliminate the use of fossil fuels within a decade. Often our environmental films focus on problems. No doubt it is controversial as the author makes some very bold predictions. We’ll have a short discussion afterward.
Also keep an eye out for more information on the April showing, which will be held here at First Friends!
Rise Up Singing! ~ The Sing Along will happen again on Friday, March 9, the second Friday of the month, at 7:00 in the parlor. We are using Rise Up Singing and Rise Again. Lyrics for all the songs from Rise Again are on You Tube and many from the older book are also available. If you don’t want to buy the books, charge your electronics and come ahead. You may email song requests and/or book orders to the office at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have an order already for two books, so if three more books are ordered there is a 20% discount on all. The larger size is $29.00, plus shipping. Slightly lower for smaller size. Dan and Beth H, founders of Indy Folk Series, will again be joining Jim K. Three guitars and lots of song and laughter along with the singing. Ends around 8:30. Our voices were tired by 9:00.
Babysitting Co-Op ~ Our babysitting co-op is happening on Saturday March 10th from 5:30 - 9:30, hosted by Jeff & Beth S. Dinner will be provided for the kids. Please contact the office at email@example.com if you would like to have your kids join in the fun that evening!
RESCHEDULED Family Bowling ~ We have rescheduled bowling for Sunday, March 11th at noon. Because of the change, please RSVP again and let us know if you are able to attend on this new date. We hope you will join us for this bowling party hosted by the Christian Education Committee 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.
The Absurd Cross: Escaping the Tyranny of Certainty & Satisfaction ~ See Peter Rollins and GraceUnlimited at Christian Theological Seminary (1000 West 42nd Street) on Saturday, March 24, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM. Even in the midst of our daily routines, we can be painfully aware that our world is precarious. At any moment we might be undone by the feeling that this world is absurd. In response, we shore up all manner of religious defenses that promise to keep the void at bay. In contrast, Peter Rollins argues that there is a religionless heart to Christianity that overturns the tables of meaning, clears out the temples of tidy answers and drives out the sellers of certainty. Here the supposed “good news” that we can be all that we can be, is exposed as bad news. In its place we will hear a gospel with the incendiary ability to break down our defenses against the abyss, so that we might confront it face to face. Join Peter Rollins and GraceUnlimited as they sensitize themselves to the scandal of this gospel message—a message that promises personal and political transformation only when we embrace a life beyond meaning, beyond certainty and beyond satisfaction, a life freed from the frenetic pursuit of wholeness, and from all the demons hidden along that path. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit https://goo.gl/MvxTN1.