Friendly Reminder    
May 2017
Winchester Friends Church    124 E. Washington     Winchester, IN  47394    765-584-8276
In every way possible, Winchester Friends seeks to carry out its calling to make Christ known through meaningful worship, obedient witness, and sacrificial service, welcoming all who are willing into friendship with God and into redemptive community together.

Easter Offering for Missions Thanks!
April's Easter offering for outreach totaled $1015.  After a Best Special Projects matching grant of $500 is added, the Missions & Social Concerns Committee will send $505 to Friends United Meeting to support their global ministries in Cuba, East Africa, Palestine, Belize, and Jamaica.  Another $505 will be given to Oscar Mmbali's field support account for his new Belize church-planting ministry when he speaks here on May 21 (details below), and the final $505 will be used to support a local outreach effort still to be determined.  Thank you, Friends, for your faithful generosity!



Mother-Daughter Dinner May 9
United Society of Friends Women will hold their annual Mother-Daughter Dinner on Tuesday May 9 at 6:30 PM.  A fried chicken meal will be catered by Bouser's Barn of Union City.  Reservations should be made through the church office by Noon on May 8. 



Happy Mother's Day!
Please honor your mother and the other nurturing women in your life by giving thanks to God for them in the company of Friends during worship at 9:15 AM on Mother's Day, May 14!  Bring your mom -- and some friends, too -- for worship, fellowship, reflection upon scripture, and small gifts for all the women in the Meeting.  Please join us!



USFW in June
Father-Family Luncheon      The USFW women will provide a free lunch right after Sunday School on June 11 to honor all the fathers and other ministering men in our Meeting.  Men, bring your kids to church and lunch that day!
June USFW Meeting     The USFW will meet Tuesday evening June 6 at 6:00 PM for a meal at Shirley Ertel's home.  There will be a short business meeting to talk about the summer project (equipping the new Belize Friends Center) and to discuss the USFW's donations for the end of the church year.  For food quantity planning, please RSVP to the church office or Shirley if you plan to attend.



Choir Finale May 21
During the meeting for worship on May's third Sunday, the choir will present several of the pieces they have sung since last September.  Bring a friend to enjoy extra music during worship on the choir's last Sunday before a summer break.



Celebrate the Arts This Summer
During the choir's summer hiatus between May 28 and early September, the Music Committee invites Friends to share your musical and nonmusical artistic talents (painting or drawing, poetry, photography, handicrafts, etc.) in praise to God during Sunday meetings for worship.  Please sign the new Celebrating the Arts sheet in the parlor to volunteer for a Sunday, or phone the church office to confirm a date.



FUM Belize Supper Meeting May 21
On Sunday evening May 21, Oscar Mmbali (Friends United Meeting's new church-planting pastor in Belize) will come to Winchester Friends to get acquainted with us over a fellowship meal (including Belizean dishes!) at 5:30 PM.  Other area Friends churches also have been invited to join us for this opportunity.  Oscar is a Kenyan Friend sent out by his home church to a place and culture quite different from East Africa.  At 6:30 PM, Oscar will speak to the gathering about his vision and hopes for new expressions of Friends' witness in Belize City, including firmly grounding the Belize City Monthly Meeting, offering peacemaking efforts like the Alternatives to Violence Project, and expanding the work of Belize Friends School.  Oscar is coming to encourage our spiritual and material support for him in that new adventure.  We will present to him our Easter missions offering of $505, set out a donation basket for Friends who want to leave a gift, and distribute Oscar's FUM support cards.  The best way to begin helping Oscar is to come meet him on May 21!



2017-2018 Committees
The Personnel Committee will present its report of 2017-2018 committees and officers to the Monthly Meeting for Business on May 7.  They thank everyone who has agreed thus far to serve in the ministries of Winchester Friends for the upcoming church year that begins on July 1.  Some committees still have openings, and there are always opportunities to serve as a Sunday morning greeter, usher, kids' lesson leader, sound board technician, chauffeur for medical patients, or in other ways.  If you've not yet accepted an appointment but sense God's leading to get involved, please contact Marsha Kritsch or the church office to express your interest.


Please keep the church office updated with your current address,
phone, email, and birthday and anniversary information.



2017 Graduates
Congratulations to Kendra Holliger on her upcoming June 3 graduation from Winchester Community High School, and to Ashley Rees, who graduates this month from 8th grade at Winchester's Driver Middle School.



Clerks & Officers Meeting May 11
Each spring, Winchester Friends receives a distribution of funds left to the Meeting from the perpetual trust of deceased Friends Bashia and Ed Best.  The church at times uses part of this money for its in-house ministries, but Friends have agreed together to give a substantial portion of it each year to strengthen ministries beyond ourselves that are "making Christ's kingdom visible and tangible" in the community and world around us.  Since 2001, Winchester Friends has given at least $250,000 to such ministries, whenever possible to ones in which our own Friends are significantly involved.  The Clerks & Officers will meet on May 11 at 7 PM to prepare a proposal for using Best Trust funds in these ways during the 2017-2018 church year.  Please give prayerful consideration to creative new Best Special Projects ideas, and share them with a committee clerk or Meeting officer before May 11.



Quaker Life Subscription Renewals
One of the projects funded by Best Special Projects money  for the past few years is support of Friends United Press through a group subscription to Quaker Life magazine for active participants at Winchester Friends.  Quaker Life recently sent postcards to subscribers alerting them that the renewal date is coming up.  (A) If you are part of our church's group subscription, you do not need to respond to that postcard to keep receiving the magazine.  (B) If you are receiving the magazine but wish to stop getting it, please notify the church office soon.  (C) And if you are an active participant at Winchester Friends and are not receiving Quaker Life but would like to start, please let the church office know so your name can be added to the new list.  (D) Some Friends choose to reimburse the Best Fund for the cost of their subscription, or to purchase one for a family member.  The latest indication is that the cost will remain $25 per subscription.



Thank You! 
---to around twenty Friends who spent several hours on April 8 cleaning, trimming, repairing, and in other ways sprucing up around the meetinghouse on the Trustees Spring Workday!
---to Cleo McFarland for installing a new dishwasher at the parsonage in mid-April after the old one malfunctioned



Community Food Pantry Update
The Churches & Community Food Pantry served 313 households during April 2017.  For comparison, the Pantry served 332 households a month ago in March 2017, and 317 a year ago in April 2016.  Thank you to all who are supporting and serving in the Pantry's ministries!



Quaker Haven 2017
The preregistration deadline for all 2017 camps is May 31.  Registrations received after that incur a $50 late fee.
The Christian Education Committee offers scholarships to cover the early registration cost for kids who faithfully attend Winchester Friends, plus one guest.  Registration forms are available in the church office, or register online at <>. 

Jr. High Camp Ages 11-13 June 11-16 $290
Senior High 1 Ages 13-18 June 18-23 $290
Beginners Camp Ages 5-7 June 23-25 $150
requires a parent or guardian with each camper
Adventure Camp Ages 9-11 June 25-30 $290
Little Friends Camp Ages 7-9 July 5-8 $190
Senior High 2 Ages 13-18 July 16-21 $290



Solar Project Updates
One of Winchester Friends' responsibilities in receiving a 2015 Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light grant for the 8.6 kW solar array on the annex roof was hosting a HIPL "Using Energy Prudently" educational seminar for Friends and neighbors.  That workshop was held on April 22 at First Friends Meeting in Richmond for twelve attenders (four from Winchester Friends).

Are the solar panels really making a difference?  The array on the annex roof has been working for sixteen months, sight unseen by most of us. 

Consider this data collected since January 2016:      

---13,475 kilowatt-hours of electricity have been produced from the solar panels.  The lowest daily output was .84 kWh on Dec. 13, 2016, and the highest daily reading was 54.08 kWh on March 22, 2017.

---9492 kilowatt-hours of that electricity has been exported from our array to American Electric Power Company for credit, and 3983 kWh have been consumed in-house.

---Over 10 tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide pollution has been avoided by the green energy we have produced.

---$186 has been paid to Winchester Friends for Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) sold to an Illinois electric company

---Conservation pays.  In April 2014, the church paid AEP for 1727 kWh.  In April 2015, we purchased 1507 kWh.  In April 2016, we paid for only 824 kWh, and in April 2017 we bought just 509 kWh.

---Our meetinghouse has received an Energy Star rating of 90 on a 100-point scale.  The church's total energy cost (electric and natural gas) for April '15 to March '16 was $5043, which works out to 39 cents per square foot/year.

---The church's total electricity expense for 2015 (pre-array) was $2013.  Our total electricity expense for 2016 was $737.

The solar array, coupled with other energy conservation measures (installing LED bulbs, unplugging unused appliances), is making a difference for Winchester Friends!  Thank you, Friends, for your support and efforts that have made this possible.  And thank you to Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light for the $24,000 grant that got it started!

Seventh Day Initiative Energy-Saving Tasks for May
Wash clothes in cold water.
  Energy is needed to heat water for washing, so using cold water lessens that requirement and is easier on fabrics.  Air dry your laundry in summer.  Of all the appliances in the typical American household, the electric clothes dryer uses the most electricity.  It is possible to live without a dryer.  Install a clothesline, and plan to do laundry on sunny, breezy days whenever possible.  Wash and hang clothes in the morning, and use the dryer only briefly to help  "fluff them up" so they dry without wrinkles.  Use folding racks to dry things indoors.



Mark Your Calendar for SALT & Light
This year's musical Vacation Bible School "Singing And Learning Together to be the Light of the World" (Matthew 5:14) will be held at Winchester Friends June 26-30 from 10:00-11:30 AM each day.  Mary Clark will teach Bible choruses and music skills, and other workers will lead Bible lessons and activities for kids age 5 up through 5th grade.



Spring 2017 Social Concerns Focus:  Addiction Epidemic
For the first half of 2017, the Missions & Social Concerns Committee has renewed its 2016 focus, asking Friends to learn about, pray about, and compassionately act to address the drug addiction epidemic that is harming our community and nation.

In a recent conversation about the addiction epidemic, a medical professional told me that it has become far too common for people who have overdosed to be dropped off by anonymous "friends" at an emergency room entrance -- in some cases, literally pushed out a car door unresponsive and left lying on the ground in hope that the ER staff will discover them in time to prevent death.  It reminded me of the countless encounters I've had with incarcerated men who have painfully figured out that people they called "friends" had encouraged and enabled them to do the things that ended up costing them their freedom.  

That conversation also got me to thinking about the Gospel account of a paralyzed man whose four friends carried him to a building where Jesus was "preaching the word" to a huge crowd (Mark 2:1-12).  Unable to get anywhere near Jesus, the men did not give up and just "drop off" their paralyzed friend hoping he would be discovered and helped.  They found a way to lift him up to the roof of the building, then removed roofing material to create a hole through which they lowered their friend's stretcher to put him in Jesus' immediate presence.  Mark's text states that "when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, 'Son, your sins are forgiven.'"  (It was often assumed that maladies like his had been caused by someone's sin, whether his own or that of his family).  The religious experts in the crowd immediately objected, accusing Jesus of blasphemy for claiming he had authority to forgive sins.  Jesus answered them by healing the man's paralysis and sending him walking home carrying his mat, made whole by sacrificial friendship, spiritual renewal, and physical healing.

In our 21st century search for an effective, redemptive response to addiction, there might be some lessons in that first century incident.  Our definition of "friend" should not include people who encourage and enable us to do things that harm ourselves and others, but it should include those who will persist, even at great personal cost, in getting us to the help we need.  We must ask the Lord to teach us how to be friends like that.  In addition, the paralytic's friends brought him to One who could address more than just his physical problem.  The spiritual help we offer to troubled people needs to acknowledge the broadest meaning of sin -- "missing the mark" of God's intentions -- with less laying of blame and more emphasis on contrite seeking of restoration to cooperation with God.  Mark's account of Jesus' miracle suggests that a holistic combination of social, spiritual, and physical healing might offer the best chance of rescuing lives from the scourge of addiction.

--Ron Ferguson, for the Missions & Social Concerns Committee



Pray at Eight - Pray Without Ceasing
for people struggling against substance abuse and addiction, and for the people working to help them

The Missions & Social Concerns Committee has renewed its 2016 Spring social concerns focus -- a compassionate, spiritual response to the addiction epidemic -- for the first six months of 2017.  Watch for new opportunities to learn about this issue and to be helpfully involved in addressing it.  Please review the information already on the annex bulletin board, and renew your commitment to help sustain our Meeting's effort to pray faithfully for people struggling against addiction, and for those working to help them.

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