As Way Opens
The Ministry of Showing Up
This past Saturday I was in St Augustine FL attending the ordination of my dear friend Karla from Earlham’s seminary. Karla and I met during my first 2-week intensive class three years ago and as part of a small group we shared our hearts, our beliefs, our faith, our prayers and our heartaches. Karla is my spiritual friend and we have remained connected through God’s thread even though we live many states apart. I promised her that if possible, I would attend her ordination. It took some doing to make this happen, but I felt it was important to show up on this most important day that she had worked so hard and for so many years to achieve.
I realized the importance of the ministry of showing up when my dad passed away 14 years ago. I had never been one to attend many funeral or memorial services of friends’ family members because I never thought it would mean that much to them. I was wrong in my thinking because I was incredibly moved by the number of people that showed up for my dad’s (and my mom’s) service. It really meant something to me that friends would take the time to be present and hug me, hold my hand and tell me that they were holding me in the Light. They didn’t have to say anything more than that. It was their presence that held my spirit and grounded my being.
I remember taking Helen Davenport to see Ann Kendal when she was in the hospital in Anderson. It was near the end of her life and I don’t know that Ann even knew we were there. But the way Helen held Ann’s hand, whispered in her ear, touched her hair and kissed her on the forehead was one of the most beautiful things I have experienced.
I think showing up is more important than saying the right thing or providing the right counsel. Sometimes we just need to be present. Where do you need to show up this week?
Joys & Concerns
Right Sharing of World Resources Project Update! You will be happy to know that we have now received the six-month report from our sponsored project with Right Sharing, Keyo Friends Women Group in Gambogi, Kenya. Although the women have only just begun their businesses, it looks like this project is off to a good start and the business activities are doing well. And they also seem to be putting a special emphasis on savings by the women. Recent research has indicated that micro-enterprise projects with a strong savings component are the most successful. If you’d like to read what they’ve been up to during these six months, read about it at http://bit.ly/KeyoFriends6Month. If you’d like to read a transcript of the group’s original report, please visit http://bit.ly/KeyoReport6Month.
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
Sunday Morning Unprogrammed Worship ~ As the summer winds down and we return to Sunday School, please be mindful that unprogrammed worship goes on in the Parlor each Sunday morning from 9-10am. As you greet others before the service, please remember to keep noise to a minimum in the hallways. You are more than welcome to greet one another in the foyer, meeting room or Fellowship Hall. Thank you for being respectful!
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, September 19 at 7:00pm. See locations here: http://bit.ly/ThreshingFall2019.
The Festival of Faiths is coming again! It will be held September 22, 1:00pm to 5:00pm. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and more. All together celebrating religious diversity and freedom. We always help host a Quaker booth each year at this festival. If you’d like to come sit in the Quaker booth for a period of time, help with either set up or tear down, and/or sit at the booth and represent Quakers to curious festival attendees, please consider volunteering! To sign up, please contact the office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Buddy Bags are here again this year! We are collecting food for the kids at Allisonville Elementary School Fall Break. We are going to have 30 bags this year and they will be delivered on October 2nd. What we need from you are the following donations: Microwaveable Entrees, Chicken Salad with Crackers, small jars of peanut butter, 4/packs of fruit cups, vegetables cups, pudding cups, and applesauce: small boxes of raisins, packets of oatmeal, boxes of Pop-Tarts, protein or granola bars, packages of peanut butter or cheese crackers, fruit roll ups and bags of goldfish. If you do not want to purchase food, cash or check donations will also be accepted. We all pulled together last year to make this work so I know we can do it again this year! Please contact the office at email@example.com with any questions.
Soup & Service ~ You are invited to join our First Friends community for our Soup & Service event immediately after Meeting for Worship on Sunday, September 29. We always hold Soup and Service whenever there is a 5th Sunday in a month. During this informal luncheon we will enjoy fellowship as we learn more about one of Witness & Service’s outreach projects. You are invited to bring a dessert to share, but it is not necessary. Please plan to attend.
Support Group, Anyone? ~ Jan H would like to start a book-based support group at the meeting for those experiencing family or relationship challenges (even if that challenging relationship is with yourself). In harmony with the ideas that relationship difficulties are nearly always a two-way street, healthy relationships begin with healthy communication, and that our personal histories shape our present relationships, here are a few books to consider:
1. “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz
2. “The Mastery of Love” by Don Miguel Ruiz
3. “How to Hug a Porcupine” by June Eding and Dr. Debbie Ellis
If you might be interested in such a group, please follow this link to complete the brief interest and scheduling survey and recommend other book titles to consider: https://forms.gle/Mj7axyhnvJYbGXncA. If you cannot access the survey, please contact the office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Youth Group Dates & Events! We are excited for another year of Youth Group! We will have a series of fun outings and events, along with sessions held in the basement after Meeting for Worship until 1:00, with lunch provided. Here is the complete Youth Group schedule for the rest of the year.
October 13th – Putt-putt golf at Birdies in Westfield
November 3rd - Youth group with Aaron and Michelle
December 6th - Annual Christmas party in the basement
January 12th - Youth group with Aaron and Michelle
February 2nd - Bowling at Woodland Bowl
March 8th - Youth group with Aaron and Michelle
April 17th - SkyZone Glow Night
May 3rd - Youth group with Aaron and Michelle
We will also be planning a trip to Kings Island next summer. We hope your kids can join us for any or all of these dates!
SPICES: A Series on Quaker Testimonies as Practiced in the Community Garden
5. Equality ~ God provides an equal opportunity for all our gardeners in our space behind the Meetinghouse. Equality and fairness are traits stressed in the Bible and by the Quaker Testimony of equality where treating people in a respectful and equal manner is important.
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 44 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.45” ~Matthew 5:44-45 (King James)
There are several ways we demonstrate the Testimony of equality in the Community Garden, mostly in small ways. Small ways make a difference too and add possibility to the creation of a better world.
All persons have an equal opportunity to view the beautiful flowers in our Community Garden. Our Hope plot is dedicated to those who have passed on before us and those who need hope for today. Anyone is welcome to take some of the colorful Cut and Come Again Zinnias. They make lovely bouquets. There are many marigolds throughout the garden and people may ask and cut them with the owner’s permission.
Participating in the garden community is an equal opportunity open to those who choose to partake. Even lesser-abled people have been assisted by other gardeners when some tasks were too difficult for them. Everyone in the Meeting and people in the wider community are welcome to work individual plots in the Garden.
Mid-North Food Pantry clients have benefited from delicious Community Garden produce. We share what we grow with relatives, F/friends and neighbors. If anyone wants some of the produce, they may ask individual gardeners about it. We always have a little extra. Some of it may be available at the Harvest Pitch-In after Meeting for Worship on November 3rd. Be sure to mark it on your calendar and join us!
Experiment with Light! Friends, all are invited as we start our own program. This is a continuation of the lovely meditation experiment presented by Jaime Mudd in June.
We will be gathering at the Meeting House on the 3rd Tuesday of every month, starting October 15, at 7:00 pm for 90 minutes. To register, please contact the office at 317-255-2485 or email@example.com. Please register by October 8th. If you have any questions, please contact the office. They'll send your questions to one of the facilitators. Facilitators: Jill F, Ed M, Mary Ellen L and Sam R. For those who expressed interest before, it would be great if you would confirm your interest with the office. That will help us properly set up the room, prepare materials, and so forth. It's an amazing opportunity to grow both individually and as a community. Hope you join us.
This Week’s Queries
Do you know anyone who has left organized religion or is close to doing so? What has driven them away?
How have belief systems influenced your view of God and neighbor? Have you made any changes over time?
Where have we migrated or where do we need to migrate at First Friends?