As Way Opens
Last week I had the opportunity to stay with friends that have a beautiful condo at 40th and Meridian on the 10th floor of the building. The condo has floor to ceiling windows throughout all of the rooms and the view of the city of Indianapolis is magnificent. I watched the city go to sleep as the evening progressed and felt this sense of calm and peace and God’s care of the universe as we all went to bed.
The next morning I was up early and watched as the city became awake and felt the sense of hope, promise, opportunity and a sense of participation in God’s creation making itself anew that day.
I thought of the scripture from Revelation 21:4-6
God will wipe away all tears from their eyes; death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away. And the one who was seated on the throne said, See I am making all things new. Also he said Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true. Then he said to me, It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.
I am a big fan of Richard Rohr and his writing from his blog on March 10th spoke to this idea of all creation continually being renewed and changed towards a new and better thing.
"God keeps creation both good and new—which means always going somewhere even better or, in a word, evolving. God keeps creating things from the inside out, so they are forever yearning, developing, growing, and changing. This is the generative force implanted in all living things, which grows things both from within—because they are programmed for it—and from without—as they take in light, nutrition, and water.
If we see the Eternal Christ Mystery as the symbolic Alpha Point for the beginning of “time,” we can see that history and evolution indeed have an intelligence, a plan, and a trajectory from the very start. The Risen Christ, who appears in the middle of history, assures us that, all crucifixions to the contrary, God is leading us somewhere positive. God has been leading us since the beginning of time and even includes us in the process of unfolding. We are invited to be a “New Humanity” (Ephesians 2:15b). Christ is both the Divine Radiance at the beginning and the Divine Allure drawing and attracting us into a more positive future. We are thus bookended in a Personal Love—coming from Love and moving toward an ever more inclusive Love".
May we bask in the knowledge that God is creating something new in each of us today.
Joys & Concerns
It’s been busy at the Meetinghouse! This week the Meetinghouse is getting some roofing done on the Northeast side of the building while the kids are on spring break. This will take care of repeated leaks the building has had in recent months. Thank you to the Trustees for taking care of our Meeting!
This past Sunday we loved having Jaimie Mudd give the sermon during Meeting for Worship. 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. After worship we had a blessing and a sending for her.
Sunday we also held a fundraiser for Right Sharing of World Resources (RSWR) in memory of our dearly departed Ann P. Thank you to everyone who came to share in fellowship and to support this wonderful cause. If you’d still like to support RSWR, it’s not too late! Simply send your donation into the Meeting or drop in the offering plate on Sunday with the memo “RSWR.” We are still trying to reach our goal to sponsor a RSWR project. Please consider supporting this ministry!
Let’s extend our thanks to our Mid-North Food Pantry volunteers last Wednesday! Beth F; Kathy R; Christie M; Linda and Rik L; Bill F; Tony M; Carol and Jim D. Thank you for your service!
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
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.
Coffee, Chocolates & Tea for Sale! ~ When you’re in Fellowship Hall this Sunday please be sure to also stop to see Beth, who will be selling tea, coffee and chocolates. Proceeds will go to Mid-North Food Pantry.
Cloth needed for MNFP ~ The Mid-North Food Pantry is requesting donations of heavier cloth (such as curtains or upholstery fabric). We are trying to have more earth-friendly, reusable bags for food pantry clients. If you have unwanted heavier fabrics that would be suitable for food pantry bags, please put them in the Donation Station Food Pantry bin (located in the northwest corner of Fellowship Hall). The following link has instructions on making fabric bags. If anyone is interested in making bags, please contact Carol D to volunteer, or the office at firstname.lastname@example.org. https://www.freequiltpatterns.info/free-tutorial---fat-sack-by-terry-atkinson.htm. We also need donations of unneeded suitcases with working roller wheels to help transport food for the recipients who carry their food back to their residences. These donations should be put near the Food Pantry Bin. Thanks!
Niagara Abrahamic Traditions Dinner 2019 ~ The Niagara Foundation cordially invites you to the Abrahamic Traditions Dinner. This is an annual event which strengthens friendship and understanding among people of the three Abrahamic religions: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. A variety of individuals, such as religious leaders, government officials, university professors, and community members, come together to engage in dialogue and honor the importance of religious diversity and inter-religious cooperation. This year the Indianapolis dinner will be held on Saturday, April 6th 6:30-9:00pm at Second Presbyterian Church, 7700 N Meridian St, 46260. This is a free event. Please RSVP by April 2nd at email@example.com.
Come experience interfaith worship with our Affirmation class! On Sunday, April 7 after Meeting for Worship our affirmation group will get the opportunity to see and participate in an Islamic service. All are invited to stop by the Parlor to also experience this service.
Meditational Woods Bird of the Month: March
Red-tailed Hawk: Goliath
Last month I reported seeing a Northern Mockingbird for the first time at the woods. In mid-March, as I was driving by the north entrance to the meetinghouse, I caught a glimpse of the mockingbird atop the awning over the steps. It was displaying the black and white by flashing its wings, and flipping its tail. I assumed it was a male putting on a courtship show for a female. I got out nearby to look for the female, and saw that my assumption was wrong. The large shadow on the pavement below indicated a large bird overhead. As the buteo (hawk) soared for a moment before flying away toward the woods, the reddish undertail told me it was a Red-tailed Hawk. The mockingbird was not doing a courtship display; it was playing David to the hawk’s version of Goliath. Of course, in this case, there were no slings and pebbles, and perhaps with my help, Goliath flew away. This likely means that the mockingbird has staked out a territory, and perhaps we will see him often during the nesting season. Might Goliath return? Perhaps! For now it is an “unresolved resolution,” if the reader will pardon the oxymoron. ~Brad J
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!
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 RSVP if you plan to attend by emailing the office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 317-255-2485.
Save the Date: Shalom Zone’s 5th Tuesday Event ~ The next 5th Tuesday event sponsored by the Shalom Zone churches will be Tuesday, April 30 at 7:00pm at Epworth United Methodist Church, 6450 Allisonville Rd, 46220. The topic will be Healthcare and Human Rights. Our speaker will be Fran Quigley, a clinical professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, where he directs the Health and Human Rights Clinic. He also edits the weekly publication, Faith in Healthcare, www.faithinhealthcare.org, and coordinates the non-profit advocacy group of the same name. This is a free event and all are invited to attend. We hope to see you there!
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!