Concerns, Announcements and Devotional Thought

A Weekly Ministry of Indianapolis First Friends Meeting


As Way Opens by Beth Henricks

Eight months ago I called a Friend of Friends Committee of National Legislation (FCNL) to ask if he would be willing to contribute to our capital campaign.  This is a Friend I have admired and respected for a number of years.  He has been significantly involved in abolishing the death penalty in his home state and he is a committed Quaker and strives for peace and social justice.  We had a lengthy conversation as I knew he had cared for his wife of 35 years through a painful and difficult death 2 years ago.  As we were sharing about our lives, he told me that he was gay.  This was a real surprise to me and he went on to share that he had found a companion that he cared deeply about.  We did not discuss all that led up to this, but he did share that he had been afraid to speak his truth and was still concerned about going public with this information.  I saw him at WYM annual session two weeks ago with his companion and he told me that he was ready to be public.  The issue of same sex marriage is on the news, in our court systems and being talked about within many churches and denominations.  It is a divisive issue but one that has had significant change in opinion by many.  I believe that the fear we experience when we see a lifestyle different from ours, is overcome with love and acceptance when we see that this is our brother, sister, father, mother and child.  It was beautiful to observe a sincere handshake and hug between my Friend who has gone public and another person who has publicly voiced concern biblically about sexual orientation.  Hearts change attitudes one person at a time.  


Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities

Please join us for Community Soup/Salad this Friday, August 1st, anytime between 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.  Enjoy salads, bread, and dessert in a relaxed atmosphere.  No cooking, no dishwashing, and no charge.

Peace Fest 2014 - Sunday, August 3 – 1:00 pm – Potluck Lunch at FFM!  Shalom Mennonite, First Mennonite, Northview Church of the Brethren, and Friends Meetings through the Indy area will share and celebrate the goal of peace in our community and world.  Tim Nation, Director and Co-Founder of Peace Learning Center will speak and lead us in a training session.  First Friends is hosting. Please bring a main dish, salad or side, or dessert.  Come one, Come all!

Gathering Group is next Tuesday, August 5th at 7:00 pm. Friends gather to do all kinds of handwork: crochet, knitting, rug working, whatever you want to do. All are welcome to join in and create.

Attention! We need 5 volunteers to work the Dairy Barn at the State Fair from from 3:30 pm to 9:45 pm on Saturday August 9th. Tthe Dairy Association will donate $1100 for our Quaker Affirmation Class.  Please contact Beth Henricks (  Kids need to be 15 years old or can be accompanied by a parent if 12 - 15.  You will be provided several breaks and all of the Dairy Barn food you can eat (who could turn this down).  You can also visit the fair prior to your shift as we will provide the ticket into the fair.

Finance Committee Report – 6/30/2014

For the 6 months ending June 30, 2014, EXPENSES exceeded income by $5,258. Thank you for your continued support of our Meeting and its work and witness.  As previously reported, our budget for the entire year has a DEFICIT of projected income compared to projected expenses, as we expand our programs & services.

Un-programmed Meeting on Mondays at 12:15pm continues. We begin in the traditional way by entering in silence and beginning our worship. We end at 1:00 when the clock chimes, then have conversations and eat the lunches we have brought. Everyone is welcome to join us.

Ladies!  Oak Leaf: Meeting for Reading will be discussing Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief on the third Tuesday of August, the 19th, 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 Shakespeare Saved My Life, by Laura Bates is our upcoming book for September.

Come join us on August 23rd from 9:30-12:00 for a work day in our woods. We need some help pulling weeds and placing mulch around the fountain area. The weed wrench needs to be used on the ever invasive honey suckle, along with some stick clean up and general clean up along the road way. This is in preparation for our worship in the woods August 30. Please come help as long as you can.  We don’t ask that you need to stay the whole time. Thank You now from all of the Woods Committee for you time in helping us. Mindy Sommer & Mary Blackburn, Co-Chairs

The 7th Annual Underwear Drive ‘Underneath It All’ has begun! Please donate NEW underwear, socks, tshirts, and bras. All sizes are needed from Toddler sizes to Adult sizes for High School Students– they all need socks and underwear! If you don’t have time to shop, you can also donate by cash or check to First Friends, designated for Underneath it All. All donations will go to the John H. Boner Community Center, which serves some of the poorest neighborhoods in Indianapolis. Boner Center staff and volunteers work with five elementary schools every day during the school year and for six weeks in the summer. Social Workers will distribute the donated items to families as needed. Please place donations in the labeled box in Fellowship Hall.  Cash or checks may be placed in offertory plates if labeled as donations to the Underwear Drive. Begins now and ends Sunday, August 31. Contact Linda Lee if you have questions.

News from Mid-North Food Pantry: With help from Fall Creek Gardens and at the Purdue Extension garden on the State Fair Grounds, the pantry now offers fresh-picked vegetables to families on a first-come first-served basis. They would love to be able to share YOUR extra vegetables too! Donations can be delivered during regular pantry hours (MWF from 10am-2pm), or brought to the church if it’s close to our regular monthly delivery date (the 3rd Wednesday of every month). Other items that the pantry is in need of are: peanut butter, tuna or other canned meats, spaghetti sauce, pasta, rice, cereal, healthy snacks (granola, trail mix, dried fruit), and baking items such as flour, sugar, and baking mixes. For more information about the Mid-North Food Pantry, visit 

BeFriending Creation is the bi-monthly newsletter of Quaker Earthcare Witness. The most recent issue included an article by Justin Mog, Ph.D., entitled ‘Grab a Shovel, Find Some Dirt, & Join the Good Food Revolution.’ The article talks about changing the way we think about food and our relationship to the land, and about becoming a food producer rather than just a consumer. If you’d like to read it, please follow this link to the newsletter:

Western Yearly Meeting (WYM) and Friends United Meeting (FUM) 2014 Projects

First Friends, Indianapolis is just one of many Friends’ Meetings that comprise WYM and FUM.  WYM and FUM exist to bring Quakers together to do work that individual meetings are not able to do alone.  Each year WYM and FUM each sponsors a fundraising project which typically helps Quaker mission work.  Set forth below are brief descriptions of the projects for 2014.  Please help as you are led and able.  Both projects are equally endorsed by First Friends’ Witness & Service committee.  Your contributions should indicate which project (or both) you wish to support.  Checks should be made out to First Friends.  Thank you for your support.  Please refer to the websites of WYM and FUM for further information about these Quaker organizations and these projects. 

  • WYM 2014 Special Project. This project is titled “Movin’ on Down the Road” Belize.  WYM runs a Belize Friends School that helps challenged 8th grade boys pass a required test to obtain further education (the “further education” is equivalent to our high school).  Without such “further education” these boys would typically have little direction for their lives, mostly ending up in a gang and doing what is necessary to obtain money to live.  The Friends’ school in Belize assists approximately 20 students each year but would like to expand to include additional students.  The goal of this project is to raise $10,000 for the expansion of this school ministry.  You might recall that about a month ago, First Friends, Indianapolis hosted Dale Graves who asked for financial assistance for his anticipated expenses to go to Belize and be chief administrator of the school for the next year.  This WYM project complements the efforts of Dale to help the school expand to accommodate additional children.  The boys who desire to attend the Belize Friends School appreciate any help that you are able to provide.
  • FUM 2014 Summer Mission Project. This project is titled “Education for Esther.”  While visiting a Friends’ school in Turkana, Kenya, Quaker Eden Grace discovered that girls begin school in the first grade about the same rate as boys, but almost all drop out by the 8th grade.  They drop out for several reasons...1) parents can’t afford to send them, 2) they are needed to work in the home, 3) they don’t have sanitary towels so they stay home one week each month, fall behind, get discouraged and leave school, 4) they marry in their early teens and begin having babies.  Esther was the only girl in the 7th grade and it was unlikely that she would stay in school long enough to complete 8th grade let alone proceed to further education.    Eden Grace promised Esther that if she would stay in school and complete 8th grade, we would send her to high school.  FUM would like to ensure that all the girls who passed and qualified for high school would be given the necessary funds to continue their education in a Friends’ school in Turkana.  It costs $400 per year to cover fees for one student.  The promise that such fees will be available is a great incentive for these girls to stay in primary school and go on to high school.  The goal of this project is to raise $20,000.  Esther and many other girls in Turkana appreciate the help you are able to provide.

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