As Way Opens
I was standing in our Meeting's kitchen yesterday watching 3- and 4-year old’s from the MSPC Co-op running around our playground with complete abandon and pure joy on their faces. Several of the parents and kids had spread blankets on the ground and were eating lunch from their backpacks. The temperature was 66 degrees with a slight breeze. And the trees and flowers were bursting with possibility and beauty. I could hardly come inside yesterday when I arrived at the Meeting as nature was beckoning me to stay outside so I did walk through our meditational woods and felt God’s presence in my heart, under my feet and in the air. This is what spring and the idea of resurrection does to us. It takes us out of our dark corners of suffering and loss and shows us that we can experience a new life. And that new life has been under our feet all the time, but we couldn’t see it until now.
Why do I always forget every year how glorious the earth is in spring? This picture of a rhododendron bush outside of my home reminds me so much of my father who has now been gone for 13 years. We had a bush just like this one at our home growing up and my dad loved that bush and all the flowers he tended to with such care and grace just like he did with his kids. I feel blessed that I had a father that sometimes gave me a glimpse of God and the love and grace that is right here before us, inviting us into communion. May we all on this very day stop with what we are doing and breathe in God and sit at this communion table of nature and live in the mystery of resurrection.
Joys & Concerns
Mid-north food pantry served 97 families last Wednesday. Thanks go to: John and Ileen M, Kathy R, Ray G, Beth F, Mara S, Christie M, Linda and Rik L and Bill and Kathy F. Special thanks go to Kay C, provider of many wonderful reusable bags, which were received with great appreciation.
We had a beautiful Easter Sunday, filled with laughter, smiles, sunshine, and fellowship. We send our thanks to the Fellowship Committee for the beautiful Easter Brunch they put on for us after worship. Also thank you to Kathy R and Ann R who took pictures that day! If you’d like to see more pictures, visit our Facebook at www.facebook.com/Indyfriends. Also, many thanks to those who bought flowers to help make our Meetinghouse beautiful on Easter morning! Many of these flowers were dedicated to beloved friends and family.
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
Save the Date! First Friends Women’s Retreat ~ Please mark your calendar for our Women’s Retreat on September 20th - 22nd 2019. The retreat will be held at the Benedict Inn Retreat and Conference Center in Beech Grove and will start with dinner on Friday and end after worship on Sunday. The theme of the retreat is Know Thy Selfie - Discover More of Yourself and How you Relate to Others. We will be exploring the Enneagram personality program with lots of time for fellowship, quiet time and some fun activities. Keep an eye out for more information as we draw near!
Christian Education Sunday School Survey ~ How is the Sunday School hour at 9am working for you and your family? How can it be improved? Please take a few minutes to fill out our survey to help us evaluate our Sunday school offerings and make them even better! This feedback is important to make sure our Christian Education here at First Friends is the best it can be. Find the survey at http://bit.ly/2vb98b0.
Calling All Graduates! ~ As we do each year, we will be honoring our graduates on Sunday, May 20th. If you or someone in your family is graduating from high school or college, please notify the office so we may acknowledge them! firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-255-2485.
Help Support Right Sharing of World Resources! Thank you all who have supported Right Sharing of World Resources this year as we try to raise money to sponsor a RSWR project in memory of Ann Panah. Right Sharing of World Resources (RSWR) is an organization that helps fund and support small business run by women in Kenya, India, and Sierra Leone. We are only $292 away from our goal to sponsor a project in Kenya. We will receive news and updates from the women we help support. Please consider making a donation as we are so close to reaching our goal! Thank you for your generosity!
College Care packages - It is time to send care packages to our college students as they prepare for their final exams at school. Due to the late Easter holiday, we will put out boxes this Sunday, April 28 which will also be the only Sunday the boxes will be set out. We will prepare to mail them the following day. Please feel free to fill the boxes with goodies like candy, cookies, cards, and other treats. Please bring enough for all 6 of our college students. Don’t have time to shop? We will gladly accept donations—and we will do the shopping for you! Just leave your check in the offering plate on Sunday with the notation “college packages” or send your donation to the office. Time is limited as final exams are already nearly upon us! Thank you for your support!
Garden Work Day ~ If you are a gardener, or interested in helping out in our garden, you are invited to our garden work day which will be held Saturday, April 27 at 9:30am. Anyone is invited, no RSVP needed! We hope to see you there. Also, it’s still not too late to reserve your plot if you’d like a space for the season! Simply contact the office at email@example.com.
A Gathering of Hope for Friends who have experienced loss ~ Circle of Care is glad to present our “Gathering of Hope” on Sunday, April 28 after Meeting for Worship. This is a gathering for anyone who has experienced any kind of loss in the last year, such as a job loss, relationship loss, pet loss, divorce, etc. We will hold a lunch and a facilitated discussion on loss and grief. If you’d like to attend, please RSVP with the office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-255-2485.
Oak Leaf: Meeting for Reading is this coming Tuesday night! This book was suggested by Dan R who found The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe a real encouragement! The discussion is on the 30th of April at 7 pm in the Parlor. Click link for the New York Times Review: https://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/books/review/the-end-of-your-life-book-club-by-will-schwalbe.html All are welcome!
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!
Connecting with Creation ~ This month we have be talking about our love of nature and the 4 Rs of Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. This Sunday, May 5, we will be reusing and recycling those old T-shirts that you have tucked away in a drawer that you don't wear and don't want to give away. Bring them to First Friends and we will turn them into reusable shopping bags that you can use to go grocery shopping or pick up smaller items at the drugstore. You can politely refuse a plastic bag because you have your supercool repurposed T-shirt shopping bag. Come join us on May 5 with your old T-shirts in hand. A plant based light lunch will be available.
Last Wednesday, Indianapolis hosted its second Sustainability Conference at IUPUI. Have you noticed the change in our weather patterns? How the wind is blowing stronger, how winter temperatures fluctuate wildly, and our spring rainfall is heavier with more flooding than in the past? These are all signs that our earth is warming up. We invite you to consider how much our Hoosier environment means to you. The following chart lists the top 10 most effective actions that humans can have on the health of the planet. For more details, go to www.Drawdown.org to learn more.
Solutions by Rank:
Calling anyone with a green thumb! Terry T is looking to give the garden beds around the Meetinghouse some TLC. If anyone is interested in helping keep our Meetinghouse green and lively, please contact Terry at email@example.com!
Do you have a changing table? Are your children getting older and perhaps you have a changing table you no longer need? First Friends is looking for a changing table for a new nursing station that we will be setting up in the meetingroom balcony. If you or someone you know can help, please contact the office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-255-2485.
Come join our merry band of peaceful Weed Warriors! We are planning the following times to enhance the beauty of our meditational woods. Here are our weeding dates for April and May. We will meet from 9-10:30 am to avoid the heat and damaging sun. If the Spirit moves us, we can go out for coffee or tea afterwards. We are focusing on the entry, Peace pole, butterfly garden and Worship Circle while maintaining our wildlife area. Please join us on May 3, May 8, May 13, May 22, and May 29 for additional work days. We don't expect you for every one of these dates, but the more the merrier and many hands make light work! Mid May we'll re-evaluate the frequency. Thank you, ~Mindy S and Mary B, co-clerks
Volunteers Needed! Quaker Men are planning to build two raised garden beds for residents of Friends Apartment Homes. Friends Apartment Homes are behind the Yearly Meeting Office in Plainfield. The date is Saturday, May 4th beginning at 9:00 a.m. Work should be completed by noon. Battery powered drills are needed for the work. No hammers are needed. If you can come, please let Wayne Carter know at email@example.com. Thank you.
Please join us on May 5th! All are invited to join us in Fellowship Hall after worship on Sunday, May 5th. We will have a belated Earth Day celebration. As mentioned in the “Connecting with Creation” article earlier, please bring your old t-shirts as together we will learn how to turn them into reusable shopping bags. In addition, “Quaker Green” First Friends reusable tote bags will also be available for purchase, with proceeds going to youth Quaker Affirmation. In honor of Cinco de Mayo we will also enjoy Mexican food. Come join us for fellowship and fun!
Stoking the Fire: Stirring up the Embers ~ Friends United Meeting (FUM) invites you to join us as we seek to stir up the embers of our faith, both individually and as a beloved fellowship of Friends. Speakers will include Mary Glazer, Doug Gwyn, Kelly Kellum, Richard Sitati, Katie Ubry-Terrell, and our own Bob Henry! The event will be held from June 7-10 at the Quaker Hill Conference Center in Richmond, IN. The registration deadline is May 31st so don’t delay! For more information or to register, please visit www.friendsunitedmeeting.org/connect/stoking-the-fire-2019
Teacher Position Opening with MSPC ~ Maple Seeds Preschool Cooperative (MSPC, formerly Meridian Street Preschool Cooperative), a non-profit organization, is a play-based program centered on the philosophy that children, parents, and teachers learn from each other. Through a purposefully planned environment, we carefully nurture each child’s social, emotional, and cognitive development. The 3/4s Classroom Teacher would be responsible for providing quality, developmentally appropriate programming for one class of children with the support of two participating parents daily. The class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30-11:45 am with enrichment until 1:30pm on Thursdays only. This position begins in September 2019, with fall and spring breaks, and summer break from June through August each year. Salary to be discussed at interview. For more information including how to apply, please visit http://bit.ly/2VAypqH.
Books Galore ~ We have a fine library containing many books on Quaker practices, beliefs, and history. The library, refreshed and well-organized by John M and committee, is beside the office. Also see the pamphlets from Pendle Hill covering topics of current interest. We also have a book exchange cart. You are welcome to take a book, you are invited to donate books, but please, just a few at a time. The cart is in Fellowship Hall. Or sometimes beside the side entrance to the parlor.