As Way Opens
As I mentioned in my sermon from this past Sunday, January is often a time to resolve to do things differently and to be better. It’s kind of a clean slate, a fresh start, a time to reinvent oneself (just ask the gyms and the weight loss industry).
This month, you and I will vow to exercise more, eat less, abstain from our vices and vow to become the people we hope and want to be. Yet by early February, our good intentions will have been tested and, too often, found lacking (again, just ask the gyms and weight loss industry). Our struggles and failures – both major and minor – hopefully don’t prevent or stop us from striving to do better. We must continue to reflect, learn, and make adjustments to be successful.
While processing my own personal resolutions and goals for 2019, I began to wonder. What would New Year’s resolutions/goals for First Friends look like? I came up with the following.
In 2019, I hope to see First Friends resolve to effectively…
declare the Quaker Way through our words and actions.
become a faithful presence in our neighborhoods.
incarnate the attributes of the life of Christ.
discern and seek wisdom together.
discover, develop, and utilize our assets.
embody a non-violent, reconciling and supportive way of life together.
embrace our Quaker identity as a unique expression of the Christian faith.
You may want to print those out and put them on your refrigerator and reflect often on how we are doing or what else we could be doing – always asking “What is my part in this?” I look forward to how we will live out these resolutions in 2019!
Happy New Year,
Joys & Concerns
Thanks to all who helped on January 2nd at the food pantry: Krishan C, Ray G, John and Ileen M, Beth H, Rik and Linda L, Beth F, Christy M, Dan H, and Bill & Kathy F. We served about 90 families. We will again need help January 16 since we will still be missing some of our regulars. Please consider volunteering if you can! Thank you!
Last week some of our IFCL folks went to the statehouse to offer donuts at the entrances and to ask for support of the redistricting bill. They were joined by about 30 other people representing other groups.
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
Affirmation Class for our youth will resume on Sunday January 13th at 11:00am. Bob will lead the discussion on Quaker Theology. See you there!
Please donate your plastic bags to Mid-North Food Pantry! The food pantry is out of plastic grocery bags and could really use some more. If you have extras you’d like to donate, please drop them off in the box labeled “plastic bags” in Fellowship hall near the Donation Station. Thank you for helping Mid-North Food Pantry!
Donate your gently used winter clothing! Coats, scarfs, hats, gloves that you no longer need will be welcomed by the John H Boner Center. Children who may be wearing underwear donated by you, would appreciate outgrown jackets, coats, etc. (Outerwear does not need to be new.) You can drop off donations in a collection box in Fellowship Hall on the stage. Thank you for your generosity!
Men’s Threshing Together DATE CHANGE ~ 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, January 24 at 7:00pm. Please note this is the fourth Thursday instead of the usual third Thursday of the month. See locations here: https://goo.gl/QhkXTo.
Rise-Up Sing Along! The first Sing Along of 2019 happens on the third Friday, January 18. Under the leadership of our talented Jim K, join in singing a variety of mostly well-known songs chosen from Rise Up Singing and Rise Again. Song sets will be provided. This joyful event takes place in the parlor at First Friends Meeting (3030 East Kessler Blvd) at 7:00 PM.
Christian Prayer Unity Service ~ At least once a year, Christians are reminded of Jesus’ prayer for his disciples that “they may be one so that the world may believe” (John 17.21). This is an ecumenical service where Christians all over will gather to pray. This year, First Friends Meeting will be hosting the prayer service for Indianapolis on the evening of Sunday, January 20 at 6:00pm in the Meetingroom. We are asking anyone who is able to please donate cookies or snacks for the service—please contact the office at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help. Thank you!
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 please visit https://goo.gl/L5wGxN. If you’d like to volunteer, please sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a0f4ca4ad2ea20-mlkservice.
Heritage Place New Year Open House & Membership Event! Have you ever wondered what Heritage Place of Indianapolis is all about? Now is your chance! Talk with one of our wonderful instructors; learn about our weekly educational programs, our home-based services and our programs that happen “now and then”! It will be held Wednesday, January 23, 10:00am-2:00pm at the Common Ground Church Building, 4550 N. Illinois St (SW corner of Illinois and 46th Street). Refreshments will be available, no reservations necessary, and plenty of free parking—come anytime! For Seniors 55 and up. For more information, visit www.heritageplaceindy.org.
Western Yearly Meeting Spring Retreat ~ All are invited to Western Yearly Meeting’s spring retreat on Saturday, March 2 hosted here at First Friends Meeting. This is a one-day church growth event for everyone who is interested in exploring avenues of growth for their Meeting. The theme is Christ’s words, “If I be lifted up I will draw all people unto me.” (John 12:32) Sessions include:
· Identity – In this important session we will not examine how we currently see ourselves and our situation, but how we might see our circumstance in Christ.
· First Impressions – This session helps us to examine our churches and congregations in ways that acknowledge our struggles but also identify our struggles.
· Appreciative Inquiry – In this session we will take an inventory of all the resources we have through which we might build or rebuild a dynamic and vibrant ministry.
· P.A.G.E. – Utilizing a simple assessment tool (poor/average/good/excellent), we can evaluate what ministries and programs we might need to change, invest more into, or even eliminate.
The retreat for pastors is on Friday from 4:00pm to 7:00pm and the retreat for all begins Saturday at 8:30am and ends at 7:00pm. Cost is $30 per person and includes meals. You can find the brochure here: https://goo.gl/BfHAVY. To register, fill in and send the registration form here: https://goo.gl/nxSLvh. The registration deadline is February 1, 2019. For more information, contact Sue Whitesel at email@example.com.