As Way Opens
I rode a train to Chicago on New Year’s Eve (I do love being on a train and seeing our towns and cities through the lens of a railroad car window) and had the opportunity to spend 4 hours reading Rob Bell’s book How To Be Here. As we begin 2019, I found his big question of the book haunting me - What are we here for? Maybe you are wondering this question as you reflect on the ending of one year and the entry into another? In the book, Rob shared the experience of writing his first book and staring at a blank word processing document and feeling anxious with the blinking line in the upper left-hand corner. He wasn’t prepared for how intimidating that blinking line would be. That blinking line of the blank page was taunting him. As he talked about staring at a blinking cursor, I could feel his sense of uncertainty within myself of what do I need to bring into existence on the blinking line of the blank word document? What does this world need from our unique selves?
I believe in the idea that we are co-creators with God and that creation is unfinished and constantly evolving and creation needs our contributions, that which we are called to give. What is stopping me from writing on that blank page? Could the blinking line be asking us the question of who are we to do this? “That question can be paralyzing. It can prevent us from overcoming inertia. It can cause crippling doubt and stress. It can keep us stuck on the couch while life passes us by.” We might be stuck in our heads with the failures of our past. The 13th century Islamic scholar and mystic Rumi says ‘Your life has been a mad gamble. Make it more so. You have lost now a hundred times running. Roll the dice a hundred and one.”
I invite each of us in 2019 to start putting ourselves into that blank document and find God’s calling that makes us come alive.
Joys & Concerns
Let’s all give a big thanks to our food pantry volunteers from Wednesday, December 19th: Kathy and Bill F, Christie M, Mara S, Beth S, Linda and Rik L, and Jim D. Many thanks to our faithful volunteers!
We had a wonderful and inspiring Christmas Eve service here at First Friends with Vicki W, Sam H and Dave B sharing poetry and Eric B, Savannah B and special guest Paula G sharing beautiful music. Thanks to all that participated and attended. Thank you to Kim H for the photos.
FCNL’s Young Adult Programs! Did you know that Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) has a variety of programs for young adults? Here’s what’s available:
· The Young Fellows Program allows recently graduated individuals (up to 29 years old) to work as fulltime members of the FCNL staff for 11 months. Benefits include salary (meets DC living wage standard), healthcare, paid vacation, and sick leave. Fellows will be placed on various teams at FCNL, including legislative, communications, and outreach teams. For more information or to apply, visit https://www.fcnl.org/updates/young-fellows-program-32?utm_campaign=yap&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ak Application deadline for this program is February 18, 2019.
· The Advocacy Corps allows young adults, 19-30 years old, to lead locally-based grassroots campaigns to influence members of Congress. Participants take part in a 10-day immersive training in community organizing, local media outreach, and lobbying. Participants commit 25 hours a month for 9 months and receive a financial stipend. Application deadline for this program is April 19, 2019. For more information visit https://www.fcnl.org/updates/advocacy-corps-34
· Spring Lobby Weekend is an advocacy event for students happening March 23-26, 2019. This event will include three days of lobby trainings and speakers followed by one day of lobbying on Capitol Hill. This March we will be revisiting our immigration work started at last year’s event, and we are excited to welcome 450 young adults to Washington, DC to tell their stories and make their voices heard! If you have any questions or are interested in recruiting young adults in your area, please contact Larissa@fcnl.org.
· Summer Internships are also available! If you are looking for an internship this summer, apply for the Summer Internship program. Deadline is March 29, 2019.
Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities
Christian Prayer Unity Service ~ At least once a year, Christians are reminded of Jesus’ prayer for his disciples that “they may be one so that the world may believe” (John 17.21). This is an ecumenical service where Christians all over Indianapolis will gather to pray. This year, First Friends Meeting will be hosting the prayer service for Indianapolis on the evening of Sunday, January 20. More details will be released as they become available. We are asking our members and attenders to please donate cookies or snacks for the service—please contact the office at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help. Thank you!
Thank you for Making 2018 a Success!!
Thank you for your support! As we look back on all the memories from 2018, First Friends would like to sincerely thank all Friends who supported us. You were able to make the year full of laughter, fun, joy, comfort, peace, reflection, and holiness. Your year-end contributions and pledges made a big difference! If you haven’t made a pledge yet, it’s not too late! You can send in your pledge to the office (mail, or at email@example.com) or visit our website at www.indyfriends.org, hover over “Attenders” at the top and select “Make a Pledge for 2019”. We couldn’t thrive without you, so thank you for the donations of time, money, and all your support! Let’s make another great year in 2019.
Sunday School will resume this Sunday, January 6th! We hope you will join us at 9:00am!
PreK – 5th grade in our large children’s room
6th - 12th grade in the basement
The following adult classes will be offered:
Seeking Friends - Bob Henry will lead the group through the rest of Brian McLaren book, We Make the Road by Walking. After we finish that book we will continue the class with another read.
Wired Word (in Coffee Circle classroom) - will be led by Harold M to talk about current events from a spiritual perspective.
Choir - will be meeting in the old children’s library. Anyone that has a heart for singing is welcome to join.
Nursery care will be available during Sunday School. We hope to see you this Sunday!
Affirmation Class for our youth will resume on Sunday January 13th at 11:00am. Bob will lead the discussion on Quaker Theology. See you there!
Martin Luther King Jr Celebration Service ~ Please mark your calendars for a service in celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, organized by the Shalom Zone. It will be held at 11:00am on Monday, January 21, 2019 at Cross and Crown Lutheran Church, 5233 E 79th St. We will gather together as a community of churches to remember and celebrate Dr. King’s dream of racial harmony and social justice in America. This commemorative service is a public testament of our common values as communities of faith actively seeking the shalom of the city as the prophet Jeremiah reminds us. Through the inspirational words of Dr. King and in the singing of songs of hope and freedom and as we share a luncheon with our neighbors, we become renewed and refreshed for the new work ahead. For more information please visit https://goo.gl/L5wGxN. If you’d like to volunteer, please sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a0f4ca4ad2ea20-mlkservice