As Way Opens
On Sunday April 28th, our Circle of Care team hosted a luncheon and a gathering for folks that have experienced some kind of loss in their life. While we traditionally have a gathering for folks that have experienced a death in the family on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, we heard from others that another gathering, one that would be open for not only the loss of a loved one, but other losses like pets, a relationship, long term illness, job loss, etc, would be appreciated. We did not know what to expect or how many would be in attendance. Jan Gildner facilitated our discussion and a wonderful group gathered together and our parlor turned into a holy place of sharing as we opened our hearts to each other. We laughed and we cried and we shared our whole selves in honesty and authenticity. While we all felt sadness, there was a sense of hope in the space of our gathering.
I like this quote from Rufus Jones - "Many times I have found my way home in the dark because my feet felt the road when my eyes could not see it. There is Something in us, deeper than hands or feet, that finds the way to the Central Reality, and when we arrive we know it." That Sunday felt like we were all travelers on the road together and feeling the road even when we couldn’t see where we were going. I am so thankful for this faith community at First Friends that keeps walking and talking and feeding and praying and listening to each other. This is truly how we make visible God’s Spirit in this world.
Joys & Concerns
We’d like to share our thanks with those who volunteered last week at the Pantry! Ray G, Bill F, Christie M, Beth F, Dan H, Mara S, Linda and Rik L, Jody L together with 3 of her fellow Delta Faucet colleagues, and Carol and Jim D. We were very busy and served 108 families.
Also, MANY thanks to all who contributed to the recent Mid North Food Pantry collection. We collected a total of $2,218.75 and a check was recently given to the pantry by the First Friends volunteers. Mid North was most appreciative of this contribution and wanted to provide a big “Thank You” to First Friends!
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
Your Talent is Needed! ~ The choir is on vacation May 26 through September 1. Please see the sign up sheet on the bulletin board in the hallway to sign up for summer music! We are hoping you will come share your talent with the congregation. Be it with your voice by singing or by playing an instrument. You can even do a reading or a dance! Sing up now for any or several of these dates. Thank you for sharing your God-given gifts!
Save the Date – Volunteer Recognition & Luncheon ~ Please mark your calendars for Sunday, May 19th when we will recognize and honor our volunteers. The Christian Education & Connections Committees will put on a luncheon during Fellowship hour to celebrate the end of the school year programming and to thank everyone who’s made each Sunday here at the Meeting so wonderful this year! This event will also be a pitch-in; if you can, please plan on bringing a dish to share! Please plan on joining us that day.
Calling All Graduates! ~ As we do each year, we will be honoring our graduates on Sunday, May 19th. 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.
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.
Come join our merry band of peaceful Weed Warriors! We are planning the following times to enhance the beauty of our meditational woods: May 13, May 22, and May 29. 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 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 Invited ~ The Community Garden is partnering with Mid-North Food Pantry. We invite you to participate in this endeavor in a variety of ways. You may help garden, harvest, transport, sort and wash produce, etc. Please contact the office at email@example.com. You may volunteer once or regularly! We hope our efforts can further the pantry’s efforts.
Interfaith Humanitarian Event ~ The Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council, OBAT Helpers (a humanitarian organization actively working in the Kutupalong Refugee Camp (the largest refugee camp in the world with more than a million Rohingya refugees)), Muslim Alliance of Indiana, Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation and Beth-El Zedeck want to invite you to break bread with them on May 25, 2019 for an interfaith Iftar (a meal after sunset during Ramadan). The interfaith Iftar is being held to raise awareness and funds for Rohingya refugees who after having fled persecution, violence and genocide in Myanmar, are now settled in the world's largest refugee camp in Bangladesh. OBAT Helpers, an Indianapolis based nonprofit, addressed this humanitarian crisis by providing initial relief to the refugees through distribution of meals and essential items of daily living, followed by continued efforts to rebuild their lives through provision of shelters, education, empowerment opportunities and health care.
Iftar or breaking of the Ramadan fast will take place at 9:01 pm. This evening meal will be preceded by an hour long program in which you will hear from representatives of the sponsoring organizations and learn about the impact of the Rohingya crisis. Rabbi Glickman and his wife, the keynote speakers, have both been to the camps and have established a community kitchen for the Rohingya people.
Ticket sales go directly to the OBAT Helpers and their programs to help the Rohingya people. We hope that you will join in this inspirational evening to stand with Rohingya refugees. The Iftar will take place at the Jewish Federation on May 25th, 2019. You can register for the event and find additional info here: http://bit.ly/InterfaithIftar2019
Make Plans for Memorial Day Weekend! Join us on Sunday, May 26th for Worship in the Big Oval! Memorial Day Sundays are really special at First Friends Meeting – we gather in Fellowship Hall and enjoy our own ‘Indy 500’ experience in the Spirit! Bring your family and friends and join us at 10:15.
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
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!
This Week’s Queries
1. What have I learned from listening to God in the earth, rocks, trees, water, and animals? How has this learning affected or changed my life?
2. In what ways does my daily life exemplify, reflect, or belie my respect for the oneness of Creation and my care for the environment?
3. What changes am I willing to make?