Last July, inspiration struck during a routine editorial board meeting and we decided all at once on four themes for the whole year. Normally we figure out one, maybe two. But four? We were on a roll! There was an underlying idea of Flow to it, with the summer issue as What We Keep, fall Intersection, winter Together, and spring, Moving On. This final one we felt was appropriate to both to honor the high school graduates in a special issue, as well as nod to stages we each move through as we navigate life.
And here we are. FMC is certainly in a “moving on” phase, whether we want to be or not. Our entire pastoral team has moved on, or is in the process of doing so. We as a church are in a transition that we haven’t anticipated; what are we moving towards? What are we moving away from?
What does it mean to be together? Contributors Bob Brown, Kenda Resler Friend, Marie Harnish, Dan Hess, Cheryl Martin, and Julie Monroe explore being together through the lenses of family, music, church, and community togetherness.
Due to unsafe driving conditions, we are cancelling worship for tomorrow, Sunday January 20th. You can join us on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/1stMennoniteChurch/) around 9:30am tomorrow. We will share digital prayers and information about our Faith in Action theme of mass incarceration. Be safe and stay warm. May God’s blessing flow through you.
We are worshiping tonight, Christmas Eve (Dec. 24), at 6 pm at
Shalom Mennonite Church
Church building address:
6100 E 32nd St, Indianapolis, IN 46226
Here’s the fall issue of MennoExpressions, theme: Intersection. Contributors include Haley Bastin, Kenda Resler Friend, Dean Habegger, Dan Hess, Kim Johnson, Addie Liechty, Mary Liechty, Martha Yoder Maust, and Carol Mullet. Thanks for reading MennoExpressions!
Reading, especially fiction, is one of my highlights of being alive. Disappearing into a story, mulling it over while I’m away from it, reading far too late into the night because there is just no logical place to possibly stop, sharing the excitement with a fellow reader who was just as caught up in the story—all of these make me feel so grateful to simply know how to read and to be able to be immersed in someone else’s craft, someone else’s story so completely. And yet I rarely retain more from a book than the feeling I had while reading it. I’m often reading books for book club at the very last second because after a week or so, I can’t speak to details, plot points—just the overall feeling of how much I loved it or was completely annoyed by it. I keep the feeling.
There’s a lot of literal “keeping of stuff” in these pages. Somehow lids—you know, lids to yogurt containers—prompted a lively discussion in our planning meeting for this issue. We keep lids because… we’re frugal! They have many uses! You can use them to play kitchen hockey! They are great coasters and popsicle holders! We agreed: just because something has outlived its intended use doesn’t mean it has lost its value.
And yet, we hang on to so many things Just In Case. This goes beyond literal, tangible items: What friendships do you maintain over decades? What have you retained from cross-cultural experiences or international travel? Do you believe everything you’re “supposed” to believe as a Mennonite? Why have you kept certain traditions alive, but not others? What memories or stories are important to you to pass on to loved ones? And—just as important as what we keep—what would we be better off without?
FIRST MENNONITE CHURCH will be hosting Indiana-Michigan Conference Annual Sessions June 14-16, 2018. Our theme is “Offering Ourselves to God’s Renewing” engaging multiple spiritual practices. This conference will be represented by about 50 churches and as always promotes peace and justice.
Thank you for your prayers toward this gathering. We hope to have more volunteers to help with multiple tasks and welcome your help and hands and spirit. Reach out to the staff, here at First Mennonite Church and see how you can be of service.
I love the day that submissions are due for each issue. Before that point, the issue (and its theme) is only an idea. The editorial board has hashed out a plan for a theme, we’ve divided up who will ask whom to contribute, usually with a specific prompt in mind – but we don’t know who will actually write and what they will have decided to write about. And so deadline day comes, emails begin to hit my inbox, and I see the issue start to take shape, as reflections of the theme emerge. It’s exciting to see it come to life. Your stories are beautiful, as is the trust you put in the rest of the congregation as you share your truths.
Contributors weighing in on Is it God? include Evonne Swartzendruber, Maggie Girard, Michele West, Ethel Hartman, Dan Hess, Ben Tapper, Shari Wagner, Nancy Fletcher, Julie Monroe, and Beth Goering. They have offered up incredible stories, reflections, experiences, artwork. Which one resonates the most with your own experience of God?
The Indiana–Michigan Mennonite Conference is a regional conference of Mennonite Church USA that originate from 77 congregations throughout Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.
We welcome everyone to the conference June 14, 15, & 16 and look forward to hosting it this year. Indianapolis is a wonderful city with lots to do and see. We hope your stay will be the best one yet! More to come…