Concerns, Announcements and Devotional Thought

A Weekly Ministry of Indianapolis First Friends Meeting


 As Way Opens    by Ruthie Tippin

"Quaker Up!"  The Quaker Oats Company is 135 years old.  It needed a new ad campaign... something to revitalize its image.  An article in the New York Times explains, "The tag line for the new campaign, “Quaker Up,” takes the name of the brand and turns it into a verb meant to invoke the energy, or fuel, needed to get through the day, said Dan Fietsam, chief creative officer at Energy BBDO, the agency that worked on the television and print ads for the campaign." George Fox and the early Friends would have loved this... that's what they were all about.  The energy - the fuel - needed to get through each and every day for the early Friends was the power of God's Spirit.  To "Quaker Up!" was to make oneself available to what was already surrounding each person, infusing each person, within each person... God's Spirit.  

 A box of oatmeal, a package of energy bars, a jar full of cookies will not make any difference.  It's only when you consume them that change happens.  The same is true of God's Spirit.  It is something interior that must be recognized, opened, and taken in.  George Fox calls it 'tasting', 'dwelling', 'walking' in the Light.  It is the experience of God through the power of the Holy Spirit that changes us, that feeds us, that strengthens us, that helps us.  Too often, we ignore the power of God's Spirit.  We leave it packaged within us.  Let us take the time to wait, to dwell, to open ourselves to this power of love and light within.  Let's Quaker Up!

 "All Friends everywhere... in the light dwell, that you may come to learn of Christ in the Life and with it know the movings of the Spirit of Life in you, that moves against all the works of death and so works freedom,… a measure of this living Spirit and Power being known in every one... with it you are kept diligent, quick and lively to walk in the Life.  For it is the Life that redeems,... overcomes and gives an entrance into rest.  Therefore, every one of you know a measure of that Spirit, which exercises meekness, truth and faithfulness in you,... breaks that bond of iniquity and scatters the armies of the aliens.  That you may all know what it is to follow the Lamb, with joy and peace in your minds, your hearts upright to your Guide..."    George Fox, 1653

Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities

This Sunday, August 17th at 4:00 p.m., the Indiana Friends Committee on Legislation will meet at First Friends.  We ask all interested parties in Indiana to join us to discuss the future of this organization, determine a governing board and seek individuals in making a difference within our state as Quakers.

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 choir is always looking for new members, and you don’t have to be a professional to join us! Our first choir rehearsal is Sunday, August 24th at 9am. There will be no rehearsal on Aug. 31st, and we’ll start singing September 7th. Anyone interested in singing, please join us.

Mark your calendars for August 24th and our Quaker Affirmation fundraiser lunch after Meeting for Worship - this will be our Quaker hoedown as we will provide BBQ chicken and pork, baked beans and corn for a delicious lunch for your donations.  

Jon and Ruthie invite you to an Open House!  The date is set for Sunday, August 24th.  Drop in any time from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at 2031 Mystic Bay Court, near Keystone at 80th Street. 'We're getting settled in, and would love to share our home with you.'    

The 7th Annual Underwear Drive ‘Underneath It All’ has begun! Please donate NEW underwear, socks, t-shirts, 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.

We have a need! Have you been looking for an easy way to get involved in our meeting? We are starting a funeral meal ministry and would like your help. There a couple of ways that you can help this ministry. One way is to provide a dish when called upon via a phone call. These are usually short notice so the more people we have involved, the better. The other way to help is to be available to actually serve the meal to the family in need. It usually takes a few hours of your time and maybe a little bit of shopping for fill in food. If interested, please contact Jody Long at or 317-797-4505.

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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