As Way Opens
I spent the last week on vacation in Orlando visiting my brother and sister in law along with my old neighbor and good friend Penny. It was a wonderful week of relaxation and recharging in the warmth of the Florida sunshine. One day I was at the pool reading a fascinating book by John Dominic Crossan called God and Empire for my class on Peace and Social Justice. I looked up in the sky and saw the word LOVE boldly proclaimed against the bright blue backdrop.
I did a double take and then smiled and felt the warmth of this message cover my body and mind. This unexpected reminder in the sky connected to my readings of Crossan examining a significant question - Is God violent? Do we believe in a God of non-violence or a God that uses violence? There certainly is a lot of violence in the Bible, including the New Testament book of Revelation which describes the rapture, the second coming of Christ, and a new heaven and earth. Religion has been the basis of many of our wars and violent acts in our world. Is God behind all of this violence? Or is God in the word LOVE and seeks for all of us to embrace non-violence as our way of life? This is a difficult path as violence is embedded in our civilization. But Jesus calls us to this radical life and says numerous times to us that we need to create a new Kingdom here on this earth. Jesus describes this new Kingdom as one of love, justice through peace and non-violence. He sacrificed his life for this principle. It is the basis for our Christian religion. And yet it seems to have become twisted and intertwined with the violence in our culture. I believe Jesus continues to call us today to seek this path of non-violence (that doesn’t mean we don’t resist inequities and injustice) and become participants in taking the word LOVE out of the sky and living it out each and every day.
Joys & Concerns
Thank you to the Thornburg family for sharing with us last Sunday their adventures in Belize. It was because of your support they were able to go and make a difference!
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
Remember, Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday, March 11th at 2:00 am!! This means that we “spring forward” in time as we anticipate the wonderful weather to come with it. Don’t forget to set your clocks forward!
Eco Film ~ The next Eco-film showing will be Clean Disruption: Energy and Transportation, held this 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 this Friday, March 9 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 YouTube 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 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 this Saturday March 10th from 5:30 - 9:30, hosted by Jeff & Beth S. Dinner will be provided for the kids. Please contact the office (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 this 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.
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 will take place every third Thursday, 7pm at various breweries in greater Indianapolis. This month it will be Thursday March 15 at 7pm at Metazoa Brewing, 140 S College Ave, Indianapolis.
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, 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.
Celebrating Women~ This week on Thursday, March 8th we celebrate International Women’s Day. Last Sunday we started the celebration as we deemed it, International Women’s Sunday. After a challenging morning dedicated to the plight of women in our world, Linda L referenced a poem by Allyson Horton during waiting worship in the manner of Friends. Linda received permission for us to reprint this poem in celebration of women.
Understanding Eve by Allyson Horton (from her book Quick Fire)
I mean—to put it all on Satan might be a little unfair. Considering the fact that a woman has her own mind. Her own set of ribs. Her own eyes for examining both sides of a fig leaf. Nose for sensing fire in a single drop of rain. Her own lips for speaking when asked for directions. Brain for deciding left or right. A body bearing its own garden of lush fruits. And besides His, her own breath coursing through each flared nostril. And cravings scratching at the surface of her earth brown rainbow skin. Own teeth perfect for chewing the fat with a serpent. Her own seeds planted in hidden places. Her own dark voices, caprices, coiling inside. Her own solutions to curing mass ignorance, climate change, pre-inflation theories, and doubling the learning capacity of children. Her own reasons for not eating the waxed skin of an apple. And, wouldn't you say, her own ideas on how to get to the core.
Allyson Horton is a native of Marion County. She is also a graduate of Indiana University, and she received her MFA in Creative Writing from Butler University. Her poetry will be featured in the upcoming anthology It Was Written: Poetry Inspired By Hip Hop (Minor Arcana Press). She currently works and resides in her hometown of Indianapolis where she teaches at Butler University as well as within the Indianapolis Public Schools system.
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 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 J'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!
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/.