As Way Opens
Today is the first day of Spring! FINALLY! YIPPEE! Over the weekend, Sue and I actually grilled-out for the first time in 2019. While on the patio, I took a brief inventory of our garden beds in our backyard. And to my amazement and excitement, life was breaking forth.
This inspired me this week as I was writing a week’s worth of devotionals for Fruit of the Vine a devotional from Barclay Press. Here is a bit of what I wrote,
“Most of us know that seeds have to be buried in the ground before they can rise up from out of the earth to produce new life. Think about that for a moment…when we see death around us, when people are being buried in the ground, when we are ending an era, when jobs, ministries, administrations, even buildings or businesses are closing, do we recognize that they may be making way for the possibility of new life? The “seed” is the metaphor for potential life to break forth!
But in our grief, in our pain, in our wanting to hold on to the past, or our idea of what we thought something should be. We too often cling to death and hinder the needed change. We miss the opportunities around us to embrace the life that is bursting forth, right now!”
This is much like my garden beds. They look so bare and dreary, and all winter I wonder if new life will ever spring forth. I often complain that winter-death is hanging on, yet each morning I take a look out my windows in anticipation of the first signs of resurrection – of life breaking forth from the humus of the earth.
I wonder how our perspectives would change, if we looked out the “windows” of our lives each day in anticipation for life to spring forth around us. We may begin to see the possibilities not just the death, expect a needed change instead of complaining, and find hope arising when we were ready to throw in the towel.
Let’s embrace this wonderful season as we seek the life that God is resurrecting around us.
Grace and peace,
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
Small Groups ~ Over the last week, 3 different book studies have begun. If you weren't able to make it to the first one, here is what we will be discussing in our next gathering of each. (The Tues group will not meet March 26th in lieu of Oak Leaf.) Contact the office, Bill H, or one of the group leaders with any questions.
· Monday March 25th 630p at Mary Ellen's led by Mary Ellen L and Deb S
"Unlearning God" by Phil Gulley: chapter 2 Phil's essay "We Revered Women Too Much to Let Them Lead."
· Thursday March 28th 7p at First Friends led by Kent F and Ed M
Men's group study on Viktor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning ": 1st half (through page ~45-50) of the essay on his story of being in concentration camps
· Tuesday April 2nd 7p at Panera in Fishers led by Jim and Leslie K
Richard Rohr's "Immortal Diamond ": chapter 1 and 2, appendix 1 on "True Self" and "False self"
Making Neighbors Even Better ~ The Indianapolis Peace and Justice Center invites you to a live “TED" Talk “Gentrification Done Right” next Wednesday, March 20th, 7:00-8:30pm. In this talk we will ask, “What makes a neighborhood a neighborhood?” Join us for a conversation about how art can help us rediscover what it means to be a community. It will be held at the Harrison Center for the Arts, 1505 N Delaware St., Indianapolis 46202. Questions? Call 317-288-0408 or email email@example.com.
Men’s Threshing Together ~ 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, March 21 at 7:00pm. See locations here: https://goo.gl/QhkXTo.
First Friends is excited to welcome special guest preacher, Jaime Mudd on Sunday, March 24th for our focus on Women’s History Month. Jaime and her husband, Dan, are both students at Earlham School of Religion. They also are the retreat leaders for our upcoming “Mind the Light” Retreat on Saturday, May 11th. Jaime has a plethora of talents and gifts to share. We look forward to her message and challenge during Meeting for Worship on the 24th.
Right Sharing Fundraiser in memory of Ann P ~ Please plan on joining us for a fundraiser here at First Friends Meeting in honor of our dearly beloved Ann P. It will be on Sunday, March 24th. We will have a simple meal as well as auction off a quilt in Ann’s memory made by the sewing group Ann was a part of. Our goal is to raise $6,500 to support a designated project for a group of women in India, Sierra Leone or Kenya (we can select the project). We will receive regular communication from the women and pictures of what they are doing. Right Sharing supports and funds small businesses run by women in these 3 countries. If you’d like to support RSWR, contributions can be sent to the Meeting office at 3030 Kessler Blvd E Dr, Indianapolis, IN 46220 with the notation “RSWR.” You can also drop off your contribution in the offering plate on Sundays. Thank you for supporting this important ministry!
Oak Leaf: Meeting for Reading is coming! Bob H will be leading On the Brink of Everything by Parker J Palmer on the 26th of March at 7 pm in the Parlor. Publishers Weekly Review: https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-5230-9543-8 Click on this link to follow event information on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/386275222161561/ Everybody is welcome!
Soup and Service! You are invited to join our First Friends community for the initial Soup & Service event immediately after Meeting for Worship on Sunday, March 31st. This informal soup luncheon will “kick off” First Friends’ annual campaign to raise funds for the Mid North Food Pantry, an organization that First Friends has assisted for about 15 years. You can expect to learn more about the pantry during the luncheon from some of the folks from First Friends who have volunteered at the pantry. You are invited to bring a dessert to share, but is not necessary. Please plan to attend.
April Eco-Film - A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet is the first big-picture exploration of the environmental movement – grassroots and global activism spanning fifty years from conservation to climate change. The film chronicles the largest movement of the 20th century and one of the keys to the 21st. It brings together all the major parts of environmentalism and connects them. It focuses on activism, people fighting to save their homes, their lives, the future – and succeeding against all odds. Please join us for the showing here at First Friends Meeting on Friday, April 12 at 7:00pm. See you there!
Crop Rotation Ideas; Free Seeds for Gardeners
Hello gardeners! Last issue we addressed planning your garden space and preparing the soil. We sent out a list of planting times for raised beds in our area. This information is also on purchased seed packets. Remember that you can refer to our garden notebooks in Fellowship Hall and in the garage. We also have a small seed library in the garage. Glendale Library’s Seed Library is open and patrons can check out five seed packets per visit and fifteen total packets for the season.
If you want to learn more about gardening and use a plot, please contact the office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There have been requests for crop rotation plans. FYI, heavy feeder crops like corn and tomatoes use up nitrogen and phosphorus in the soil. Leafy and fruity crops like lettuce and cabbage use up nitrogen. Light feeders include roots and herbs. Legumes like peas and beans add nitrogen and need phosphorus.
Spring Wildflower Hike ~ All are invited to join our very own Norma Wallman, author of Wildflowers of Holliday Park, for a leisurely spring hike at the park to see what’s blooming. Norma began personally documenting wildflowers on walks and has now collected 20 years of data specific to the flowers of Holliday Park. The hike will be on Saturday, April 13 from 10:00-11:30am at Holliday Park, 6363 Spring Mill Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46260. Tickets are $7 per person. Ages 16 and up. For more information or to register, please visit https://apm.activecommunities.com/indyparks/Activity_Search/nature-spring-wildflower-hike-holliday-park/13377.
Save the Date – Comedy with First Friends! Please plan to join us on Thursday, April 18 at 7:00pm for a comedy show outing! It will be at ComedySportz, 721 Massachusetts Avenue. This is a unique competitive Improv show which has been in Indianapolis since 1993. This show is appropriate for all ages, so bring the family! There will be no Threshing Together that night, as the men are encouraged to attend this event. Please keep tuned for more details as we get closer!
First Friends’ Experiment with Light Retreat – Registration Now Open! Please mark your calendars for Saturday, May 11, 2019, 9:00am – 4:30pm where First Friends will host this mindful and introspective retreat. The Experiment with Light Retreat draws upon early Quaker practices and contemporary meditation to help people move past intellectual and emotional blocks and encounter the Divine. This retreat will help you have a personal encounter with the Divine that lights the path of your life and animates your life in community. All are welcome to join. Breakfast and Lunch will be included. If you’d like to register, please visit https://goo.gl/forms/oo2Zb4L4UL6kL9jH3. We hope you will be there!