Friendly Reminder    
June 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.

USFW Dinner Meeting June 6
All USFW ladies are invited to Shirley Ertel's home for supper at 6:00 PM on Tuesday June 6, followed by a short business meeting to discuss summer projects.  Please RSVP to the church office by June 5 to help with food planning.  Join us for our final USFW meeting before the summer break!



Father-Family Lunch June 11
The USFW women invite the whole church family to honor the fathers and ministering men in our fellowship by attending the Father-Family Lunch on Sunday June 11 in the dining hall at 11:30 AM, right after Sunday School.  It's a free lunch for all -- everything will be provided.  Please bring your family for worship and Sunday School, and then join us for lunch!



Rural Friends VBS Invitation
Rural Friends Church (1.5 miles west of US 27 on CR 400S) invites Winchester Friends to participate in their evening Vacation Bible School to be held June 6-9 from 6:30-8:45 PM.  There will be classes for kids and adults to explore God's creation and its purposes.  For more information, phone Cheryl (765-546-7915), Sue (546-0867), or Isaac (546-1882).



Father's Day is June 18
Please plan to worship at Winchester Friends at 9:15 AM on Father's Day.  The Christian Fellowship Committee will have small gifts for all the men in the Meeting, and you'll have opportunity to honor your father and the other caring men in your life by giving thanks to God for them during gathered worship.



Committees for the New Church Year
Since April, the Personnel Committee has worked with Winchester Friends participants to match your interests and gifts for serving God with opportunities for ministry through the Meeting during the 2017-2018 church year.  Their report will be presented for approval by the Monthly Meeting for Business, and new committee assignments will take effect on July 1.  The Committee reminds everyone that some openings still remain to be filled, and opportunities for involvement in the church's ministries exist throughout the year.  If you'd like to join a committee or get involved in ministry in other ways, please contact the church office.



Kids' SALT & Light June 26-30
Mary Clark will lead a musical Vacation Bible School for kids to Sing And Learn Together about being the "Light of the world" (Matthew 5:13-16) from 10:00 - 11:30 AM each day June 26-30 at Winchester Friends.  Attenders will learn classic Bible choruses from VBS and church camps, have opportunity to gain new musical skills, and learn the Bible stories upon which some of the choruses are based.  Special guests also will present a kids' program "Build a Better World, One Song at a Time" (see below).  SALT & Light is open to kids entering kindergarten through 6th grade next fall.  For planning purposes, parents are requested to register their children with the church office by June 23.  Invite your neighbors and friends!



Build a Better World, One Song at a Time
Aaron Fowler, his wife Laura Dungan, and their therapy dog Bella will visit Winchester in late June to participate in Kids' SALT & Light, and to present their Building a Better World... children's program at Winchester's public library on Wednesday, June 28, from 2:00-3:00 PM.  Aaron describes the event as "participating in music, movement, and stories to experience the power of building a better world together."  All area kids ages 4-12 are encouraged to attend this free educational program.  Laura and Aaron are members of Heartland Friends Meeting in Wichita, KS (and longtime friends of the Fergusons).  Their ministry in Winchester this month is being underwritten by the Christian Education Committee with funds from the John & Ardith Coon Trust.



Celebrate the Arts this Summer
The choir presented several musical specials during worship on May 21 to close their 2016-2017 season.  While they take a break until early September, please consider sharing your musical or nonmusical artistic talents (painting, photography, basket-making, needlecraft, woodcraft, poetry, drama, etc.) in praise to the Lord during Sunday morning meetings for worship.  Sunday School classes also are challenged to sign up to sing a special together at least once this summer.  Dates open at this writing are June 11, 18, 25; July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; August 13, 20, 27; and September 3.  Sign the sheet in the sanctuary parlor, or phone the church office to fill a date.  Choir rehearsals will resume on September 6 -- and there will be a seat for you there!


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



Thank You!
---to Dave Longnecker for installing more new LED bulbs in previously-fluorescent fixtures in the meetinghouse

basement in May, for installing a new fixture to improve lighting in the choir room,

and for servicing the church's lawnmowers to ready them for the summer's work
---to Terry Ketring for recent assistance with landscaping around the meetinghouse                           



FUM Belize Supper Meeting
Around 40 Friends gathered on May 21 for fellowship over an evening meal, followed by a program by Oscar Mmbali, Friends United Meeting's new pastoral minister for Belize Friends Mission in Central America.  Also present were Dale Graves (project manager for the renovation of the Belize Friends Center and School facility) and his wife Sylvia, and Eden Grace (FUM Global Ministries director).  Oscar told of his upbringing near the Kakamega Forest in western Kenya and the lengthy process of his spiritual calling and educational preparation for ministry in Belize.   He showed pictures and shared his first impressions and vision for this new assignment following his brief initial visit to Belize City last month.  As part of the evening, Winchester Friends gave Oscar $505 collected for his field support in our Easter missions offering, plus another $239 donated in the supper line that evening.  The Missions & Social Concerns Committee thanks everyone who attended that evening, all who helped provide the meal, and all who have contributed to Oscar's support account.



2017-18 Best Special Projects
Winchester Friends' Clerks & Officers met on May 11 to review funds from the 2016 Bashia & Ed Best Trust distribution that are available to help make Christ's love tangible and visible "beyond ourselves" during the 2017-2018 church year, and to begin discerning God's leading for Best Special Projects to be funded.  At least $25,000 should be available for such projects in the new church year.  Since 2001, over $250,000 has been invested in Best Special Projects to bless our community and the world.
The Clerks & Officers preliminary report will be given to the Monthly Meeting for Business on June 4.  They will meet again in late June to finalize their recommendation for continued support of many of the ministries funded in recent years, plus a few new ones. 
Friends are invited to continue listening to God for leading regarding creative new ways to utilize these funds to make Christ's love tangible.  Keep in mind that priority is given to ministries in which our own Friends are involved, and ones that are doing the most they can with the resources they have but could do more or better with a bit of extra help.  Please speak with a committee clerk or Meeting officer this month about your leadings and ideas. 



Missions Giving Basics

Specified Missions Offerings  When Friends place money in the offering plate clearly designated for a specific missions recipient or project, the Meeting treasurer credits that person's donation record (for tax purposes), then sends the entire gift directly to the designated recipient.
Unspecified Missions Offerings   A number of Friends regularly or occasionally put money in the offering marked "Missions" without naming any specific recipient.  Those gifts are credited to the giver's donation record, then deposited temporarily into the Missions Unspecified Fund of the church's financial system.  Each quarter, the treasurer sends 17% of that Fund's donations to the local food pantry, 17% to the local Gas Help (matching) Fund to help people having difficulty affording heat in the winter, 17% to Christian Peacemaker Teams, and 17% to Friends United Meeting global missions.  The other 32% of each quarter's unspecified missions gifts is held for opportunities and needs that become known to the Missions & Social Concerns Committee through the year.



Churches & Community Food Pantry
The Pantry in May 2017 served 345 households, compared to 338 that were helped a year ago in May 2016, and 10% more than the 313 served in April 2017. 



Our Sympathy
to the family members and friends, including daughter Deb Holliday and her husband Steve, mourning the death of our Friend Bill Wilkinson on June 2 at Randolph Nursing Home in Winchester



Seventh Day Initiative
Energy-Saving Task for June
Set your summer thermostat to 78 degrees or higher.
Each degree higher you set the thermostat will reduce your electricity bill by 8%; likewise, for every degree that you lower the temperature, you will increase your bill by 8%.  In the typical home, air conditioning uses more electricity than anything else -- 16% of total electricity used.  If you're serious about saving energy, address your cooling costs first.  Use ceiling fans.  Close shades or drapes during the day to keep the sun out.  Plant shade trees.  Turn your AC off when you are not home.  When returning to a warm home, do not set your thermostat extra low to cool it off faster.  It won't help.  Reduce sources of heat in your home by minimizing indoor cooking and turning off electronics.
In Indiana, over 80% of our electricity comes from power plants that burn coal, a major contributor to both global climate change and serious health problems.  Decreasing your use of air conditioning can save you money, lessen the need for more coal-fired power plants, improve health, and help curb climate change!



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 early 2016, the Missions & Social Concerns Committee began trying from a spiritual perspective to better understand the addiction epidemic. One early observation was that due to the urgency of the crisis, intervention and mitigation are getting far more attention than prevention. It's not that prevention has never been tried. Back in the 1980s, Nancy Reagan became famous for urging parents and teachers to tell kids to "Just Say No" to drugs. Unfortunately, that approach has proved not to be very effective.

One wishes that Mrs. Reagan had been familiar with the work of Em Griffin, a Wheaton College professor and communications expert who was writing during those years that messaging which stresses the negative is far less persuasive than messaging that lifts up positive reasons for change.  A more effective instruction to kids -- delivered consistently and long before their first exposure to illicit substances -- would highlight the sacredness of their miraculous bodies, of the irreplaceable gift of time, and of the human community and material world around them. Because they are sacred, those assets must be used and treated rightly in ways that enhance life, not harm it.
Fast-forward thirty years to the current opioid crisis and the debate over its causes. Frequently listed as one such cause is the loss of well-paying jobs in the US workforce due to automation. People who formerly had middle class incomes suddenly find themselves unemployed or forced into lower-wage service sector jobs. The profit from more-efficient automated production goes to far fewer workers, with much more left for executives and shareholders. Those displaced workers' anger, frustration, and unoccupied time has produced a hopelessness that many seek to escape through drugs or alcohol.

Would angry, frightened, despairing people choose differently if they had been taught early and often, by both word and example, that "there is that of God" in themselves, and that their bodies are a temple of God's Spirit to be protected? That every moment of every day is a sacred gift from God, to be made the most and best of? That family and friends are vessels of God's Spirit given to help us, but who also get hurt when we abuse substances? That our loving creator provided the abundant natural world to bless and enrich our lives, not to see us harmed through its misuse?

We'll probably only know the answer when we renew a concerted effort to teach those truths. May the Lord help us as we try.

--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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