Concerns, Announcements and Devotional Thought

A Weekly Ministry of Indianapolis First Friends Meeting


As Way Opens 

I was reflecting on Ruthie's message Sunday afternoon and reading a wonderful book, The Meaning of Mary Magdalene by Cynthia Bourgeault.  The chapter I read examined the Song of Songs and its wisdom meaning of love.  The author quoted St. Bernard of Clairvaux, the great reforming monk that started a monastic community at Clairvaux in France in the early twelfth century.  St Bernard had great influence throughout Europe and the Holy Land and was a persuasive preacher as well as a mystic devoted to the contemplation of the humanity of Christ and the power above the pope.Bernard wrote extensively on the Song of Songs (a gripping tale of love) and his words affirmed the message that Ruthie shared on love this past Sunday.

 "If anyone desires to grasp these writings, let him love!  For anyone who does not love, it is vain to listen to this song of Love - or to read it, for a cold heart cannot catch fire from its eloquence.  The one who does not know Greek cannot understand Greek, nor can one ignorant of Latin understand one speaking Latin. So too, the language of love will be a meaningless jangle, like sounding brass or tinkling cymbal, to anyone who does not love."  

 Jesus so clearly articulated the foundation of our lives - love!  As the famous love chapter outlines in I Corinthians 13: 1-3, "If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing."  The concept is so simple and yet it is the challenge of our existence - to live in Love.  


  Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities


Come and Sing in a Summer Women’s Chorus next Sunday! We will rehearse this Thursday night, July 10th at 7:00, and next Sunday morning at 9:00.  If you can’t come for one, just come for the other.  Hopefully, you can come for both practices! . All women are welcome to join Ruthie and Pat Price as we make beautiful music together!  No experience necessary!  See you in rehearsal!


 Got a dirty car? Bring it to our Youth Car Wash this Sunday, July 13th, when the kids of the Meeting will be washing cars after Meeting for Worship. They will be accepting freewill donations to benefit the Youth Quaker Affirmation Class.

 A reception will be held for this years’ Friends Education Fund Scholars this Sunday, July 13th.  The fund was created in the mid-1940’s by several members of First Friends Meeting who were the surviving governing board of the only orphanage for African American children in the state of Indiana.  We will hear more about this treasured ministry in Meeting for Worship that day.  Please join us!

 Finance Committee Report – 5/31/2014

For the 5 months ending May 31, 2014, EXPENSES exceeded income by $1,632.   Our budget for the entire year has a DEFICIT of projected income compared to projected expenses, as we expand our programs & services.   To make it easier to ensure your contributions continue regardless of the weather or vacations, you may request automatic transfers from your bank to be sent to First Friends. Contact the office if you need more information.  Thanks for your financial support!


Ladies!  Oak Leaf: Meeting for Reading will be discussing Broken For You by Stephanie Kallos on the third Tuesday of July, the 15th, at 7 pm in the Parlor. If you would like to be on the email list or need a copy of the book list for 2014, please contact Kathy Rhyne at The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak is our upcoming book for August.



Western Yearly Meeting Sessions, July 17-20 in Plainfield        ‘Stewardship’

“To turn all we possess into the channel of universal love becomes the business of our lives.”  John Woolman

Don’t miss the excellent speakers, along with all the other important events happening during Yearly Meeting this year. Eden Grace will bring devotions each day, in addition to speaking in Meeting on Sunday morning. She has just joined the FUM staff as Global Ministries Director after serving in Kenya with FUM for nine years. Eden is a member of New England Yearly Meeting. For information and to register for the sessions events, please visit

On Sunday, July 20th, we encourage everyone to attend Meeting for Worship at the Yearly Meetinghouse in Plainfield at 10:30am. Shawn Porter and Eric Baker will minister in music at 9:30 that morning, during the Concert of Gifts and Talents.  Ruthie will be leading the singing.  Eric and Shawn will also play during the Meeting for Worship. For those who wish to worship at First Friends, we will gather at 10:15 for Unprogrammed Meeting for Worship in the Meeting Room, hosted by Mary Blackburn. 

Western Yearly Meeting Sessions Request – AFSC fundraiser – From Ann Panah: I have volunteered to host the Friday session lunch on July 18th at the Yearly Meetinghouse in Plainfield. This will be a fundraiser for our local AFSC Indiana Peacebuilding Program, led by Erin Polley. I would like to start planning this meal and I’m looking for volunteers to cook/serve/clean-up. AFSC (American Friends Service Committee) hosts local events such as the ‘Windows and Mirrors’ exhibit and works towards promoting programs to bring about peace and justice in the world. For information on AFSC please visit Please contact me at or 317-250-4161 if you are interested in helping plan and/or serve.


Our Vacation Bible School program, Wilderness Escape is quickly approaching!  We will begin on Sunday, July 27th at 11:30 a.m.  - 1:30 p.m. and will include lunch. Our adventure continues Monday, July 28th through Thursday, July 31st at 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Our Fellowship Hall will be transformed into Camp Israel with a variety of tents and tribes! Kids up to fifth grade are welcome.   Please consider signing up your kids, grandkids, neighbor's kids for this wonderful experience.  Contact Beth Henricks or the office for registration details. We need the following help with our decorating: 1 EZ Up Tents/Canopies, ethnic looking rugs and blankets for the tents, large baskets. We will need these items by July 20th and will return them August 3rd.  Please let Beth Henricks  ( know if you have any of these items.

Peace Fest 2014 is coming to First Friends on Sunday, August 3rd.  Historic Peace Churches will gather - Shalom Mennonite, First Mennonite, Northview Church of the Brethren, and Friends Meetings through the Indy area - to share and celebrate the goal of peace in our community and world.  First Friends is hosting this potluck lunch and gathering. Expect music, speakers, and lots of interesting time shared together.  Come one, Come all!

Energizing Indiana is a program funded by utility rates (no cost to you) that can raise your home’s performance, lower energy consumption, improve in-home air quality and increase your home’s value.  Sign up and schedule an appointment.  After your home energy assessment is completed, First Friends will receive $25 from Energizing Indiana for each assessed home.  Both you and First Friends will benefit!!!  More info concerning this program is on the table in the hall.

 Would you like to receive a copy of each First Day’s sermon?  Simply sign-up for Wednesday Word by sending an email request to or call the Meeting Office at 317-255-2485.