As Way Opens
Theologian Walter Wink once wrote, “Violence is the ethos of our times. It is the spirituality of the modern world.” Sadly, I am starting to believe this more and more as I listen to my children speak casually of lock-downs drills, live-shooter-evacuation plans, “Run, Hide, Fight” directives, and their growing fear of “When will it happen at my school?”
I was stilled on Tuesday as I watched a slow-motion video of seven thousand pairs of empty shoes which were placed on the lawn outside the US Capitol to represent every child killed with a gun since the Sandy Hook Massacre. It’s hard to believe that April 20th is the 20-year anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting in Colorado. Where have these 20 years gone? What have we done to stop this violence? What horrific atrocities we’ve endured.
To even think that our children have to take up the cause and plan a National Walkout Day (March 14) to try and get the attention of politicians, school administrators, and the national public, is beyond comprehension.
As well, it is bewildering to consider the fact that my family and I believe it to be a priority to spend our “family day” next Saturday at the March for Our Lives (from 11am-2pm at the Indiana Statehouse). We will be joining other children, youth, teachers, colleagues, and families as we together take to the streets of Indianapolis (and cities all across our country) demanding that our lives and safety become a priority, and that we end gun violence in our schools and communities.
Sadly, gun violence and mass shootings are only one manifestation of the violence that is permeating our lives and world. Quaker Parker J. Palmer wrote:
“Violence is done when parents insult children, when teachers demean students, when supervisors treat employees as disposable means to economic ends, when physicians treat patients as objects, when people condemn gays and lesbians ‘in the name of God,’ when racists live by the belief that people with a different skin color are less than human.”
Is it any wonder why violence has spiraled out of control? It is evident at so many levels.
Sadly, for most people, nonviolence does not come naturally. The seeds of nonviolence are planted deep within each of us. I believe it is far time we began cultivating and nurturing those seeds, whether that is marching with our children or simply treating our neighbors kindly. If we are going to reverse our current condition and create an ethos of peace, we must be willing to develop and hone our skills to promote nonviolence. Even though our daily actions may not make the evening news, living out our Quaker values in our homes, workplaces, and schools is the way we begin to create an ethos of peace. It is in the daily where change begins.
Grace and peace,
Joys & Concerns
A Big Thank-You to our food pantry volunteers last week: Phil K, Ray G, Christie M, Beth S, Bill and Kathy F, Carol and Jim D. Thank you for your service!
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
Youth Group this Sunday ~ Calling all youth! We will hold a combined Youth Group in the basement after worship this Sunday, March 18. It will be led by Aaron & Michelle Thornburg who will be talking about their trip to Belize and about service work. Please RSVP if you plan on coming, as we plan on providing lunch. You can RSVP with the office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christ in the Passover ~ All are invited to Christ in the Passover, presented by Jews for Jesus. It is being held this Sunday, March 18 at 6:00pm at Epworth United Methodist Church, 6450 Allisonville Rd. Attenders will be able to observe as Ofer Levy from Tel Aviv, Israel re-creates the traditional Passover service and explains how it foreshadowed Jesus’ death and resurrection. Ofer Levy will also be happy to answer questions after the demonstration. This presentation has been done in over 38,000 churches since 1973. This event is free and open to the public. If you have questions, please call 317-251-1481.
Garden Plots ~ Spring time is around the corner and the community garden is gearing up! Please reach out to the office at email@example.com if you are interested in having a garden box and participating in the organic community garden. Fresh produce and flowers are calling your name!
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. We will meet this Thursday, March 15 at Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Co. in Broad Ripple (please note the location change)! We have the "Conference Room" already reserved under "Bob Henry." See you there!
Volunteers Needed for Coburn Place ~ Please join us this Saturday, March 17 at Coburn Place from 9-noon for a work morning. We will be doing some fun projects to help the residents. Coburn Place is the only transitional housing available in the state for victims of domestic abuse. Each resident has their own fully furnished apartment rent free for a period of up to two years. When they leave Coburn Place, they take their whole apartment furnishings with them. Coburn Place is located on the corner of 38th and Park and the address is 604 E 38th Street. Please join us at 9am this Saturday and learn more about this wonderful place. If you want to carpool, please notify the office asap and we can arrange to meet at about 8:30. If you are driving yourself, the entrance is on the Park and you will need to tell the gate keeper that you are with First Friends. If you have any questions, please contact the office at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like more information about Coburn Place, please go to www.coburnplace.org.
Women at the Well – Discussion for Women ~ For several months now, the women of First Friends have been asking for their own Threshing at the Tap. We are proud to introduce Women at the Well- a gathering of women who ponder current issues and topics, where differing views are discussed, no decisions are made, and food and drinks are enjoyed. It will take place every fourth Thursday of the month, and our next gathering will be on Thursday, March 22, 7pm, at Flatwater (832 E Westfield Blvd, Indianapolis). Join other women of First Friends and enjoy a wonderful night of conversation together.
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.
Help a Nurse Practitioner ~ Janice H is a First Friends attender working at Hawthorne Community Center and is trying to help a lovely Chinese-American client named Sophie find a primary care physician office or similar setting for her family nurse practitioner preceptorship. This is her capstone practicum and she has lots of prior clinical experience and has worked the last seven years in out-patient surgery at IU Health. She has a BSN from Purdue. The doctor who has supervised her prior clinicals is on maternity leave. Her university (Chamberlain) leaves it up to the student to arrange her practicum and her employer has not provided any leads that were fruitful. The requirements of the supervisor are minimal: 1) a 5 min. online evaluation of the student at four weeks and end of practicum (eight weeks). 2) Completion of 125 HOURS of clinical experience with primary care patients, preferably between April 30 and June 20, 2018. Preceptor can be an MD, NP, or PA. If you can help or even provide a referral to someone who might be willing to help, please contact the office at email@example.com.
Spring Cleaning in the Woods: Put on your work gloves and join us in the Woods on March 31, 2018 @ 9 AM! We will freshen up the Woods for Spring! One team will cut back the switch grass, others will weed around the fountain area and others will pull out some more of that darn invasive honeysuckle. Our Woods is becoming a haven for local and migrating birds. (See Brad Jackson’s birding observations). Come enjoy the fellowship of working with others to care for creation. If you have questions email the office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our next Woods work day will by May 19th, so mark your calendars!
Join us for our Easter Celebrations!
Sunday, April 1st
10:15 Meeting for Worship
Children’s Easter Egg Hunt after the Children’s Message
Easter Brunch following Worship
The Ordinance Film Screening & Discussion ~ Join the Indiana Assets & Opportunity Network, an initiative of Prosperity Indiana and the Indiana Institute for Working Families, for a screening of The Ordinance, a documentary that examines the payday and auto title loan industry while also following a small Texas town fighting for change. After the screening, members of a coalition of consumer advocates will lead a discussion about the film and answer attendees' questions about the payday industry in Indiana. Coalition members include Erin Macey, Indiana Institute for Working Families; Glen Tebbe, Indiana Catholic Conference; Bill Chapman, Indiana Friends Committee on Legislation; and Marie Morse, HomesteadCS. The event will be held Tuesday, April 3 6:30-8:00pm at 1845 W. 18th St., Indianapolis.
Financial Education Class ~ Join us this spring, Thursday, April 5th for the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University class! Want to learn how to better handle your money, budget, and dump debt? Then this is the class for you! The class will be hosted by Sam R and her sister. This class has made a HUGE impact on the her life and her financial plan for the future and can do the same for you! Click here to sign up or copy and paste the link below. Also, you're welcome to contact the office if you have any questions at email@example.com. This will be a 9 week class held at East Tenth United Methodist Church, 2327 E 10th St, Indianapolis, IN 46201.
Education Training ~ The Christian Education Committee will be holding a training session on Sunday, April 22 from 11:30-1:15 in the Parlor. We will view a presentation by Julie Burk from the Indiana Autism Society on tips and strategies on how to teach kids on the autism spectrum as well as discussing our Sunday School and Children’s Worship curriculum. We will provide lunch and childcare for those with kids. Everyone who may be interested is invited. Since we have several children in our faith community that are on the spectrum, it could be very beneficial to attend this training so we are better equipped to provide a positive experience for all of our children. Please let the office know if you will be able to attend: firstname.lastname@example.org.
AVP Annual National Gathering ~ All are invited to join the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) annual conference held this year at Earlham College in Richmond. It will be on Memorial Day weekend, May 25-28. If you’re interested in registering, please visit https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/Default.aspx?EventID=2022849. In an attempt to bring their work to high school students, AVP is also trying to raise funds to help send some of their students to the conference as well. They have included in the program a youth panel discussion which their students will participate with youth from AVP programs in New Jersey and New York. They have invited the Peace Learning Center to be a part of this as well. This is an exciting opportunity for the students. It costs $100 to send one high school student to the entire weekend conference where they will have the opportunity to meet and learn from experienced AVP facilitators from across the country. If you’re interested in donating, please visit https://avpindiana.org/.