Greetings in Christ’s name!
Most likely, the name “Quaker” was originally a derogatory term given to members of the Society of Friends in 1650. The term had earlier been applied to members of other religious sects who shook with religious fervor during their worship. But, as the story goes, George Fox admonished Justice Bennett in Derby, England, saying that the judge ought to “tremble at the word of the Lord.” The judge then turned the phrase and called Fox and his followers “Quakers.” However, the first Quakers called themselves the Religious Society of Friends or Friends of Jesus or just…Friends. They took that name from John 15:14, where Jesus said to his disciples, “You are my friends if you do what I command you.” So Friends were people and are people who attempt to do what Jesus tells them to do.
If you read John 15, you’ll find that Jesus offered profound words and metaphors. He compared himself to a vine to which branches are attached and from which those branches receive sustenance and life. He told his disciples to remain in his love. He told them to love one another. And he said he has told them these things so his joy might be in them and their joy might be complete. It’s a wonderful passage from which to draw our name, and I’m proud to have the name Friends. Let’s continue to live out the wonderful calling that is attached to our name and be friends (and Friends) to those we encounter.
If you’re interested in donating to our food pantry, we have specific needs right now: Peanut butter, jelly, breakfast items, canned fruit, pasta, sauce and box meals like hamburger helper. You can drop them at the church most mornings and contact firstname.lastname@example.org to let him know when your donations will arrive.
Jon Kerr is seeking bible verses that might guide his team in choosing a piece of art, made from the oak tree out front. They are hoping to have at least one large carving or art created from the tree that will appropriately express our sense of identity and mission in this community. If you have ideas for verses that would inspire such art, let Jon know by emailing email@example.com
My friend, Bob Flick, is leading a Free Adult Mental Health First Aid training for the Episcopal Health Foundation. The evidence based training will be at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church on July 24. The training will help you identify risk factors and warning signs, give you basic information about depression, anxiety, trauma, psychosis and substance abuse, and help you develop a 5-step action plan to help individuals experiencing a mental health issue. The training is free, but you must register at this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeHDGF6HY-uKGo-uR77cb8HCO4YyfNnFqQQylvDlNo1UHw7Vg/viewform
Our altar flower sign up is now online. If you would like to donate the altar flowers one Sunday in honor of a loved one or special event in your family, you can sign up at tinyurl.com/flowersFFC, or simply call the church office. Your announcement will appear in the slides that are shown before the service and on our livestream.
Dr. Ted Roeser is requesting volunteers to help deliver Meals on Wheels the week of August 2-6. Volunteers simply show up at the church about 11:30am to load up about 15-18 pre-boxed meals into their cars. They then drive, according to the instructions, on a loop around Friendswood, stopping to take meals to peoples’ doors. It takes about an hour and a half. Contact Ted if you’re willing to help (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Lord says, “Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name, you are mine.” So, may the power and the peace of God’s presence be around you and within you guiding you every step of your life.