Concerns, Announcements and Devotional Thought

A Weekly Ministry of Indianapolis First Friends Meeting


As Way Opens 

Shared by Eric Baker in Meeting for Worship:

In singing, there is a physical foundational process of proper breathing, where you breathe from your diaphragm. It’s similar to yoga breathing, where it’s not from the chest - which is more of the hyperventilating breath - but it’s the deep calming breath that they talk about. That’s good for singing, because it helps in projection.  I’m teaching this, and I’ve found that in teaching it, it’s a good practice for me to do at the beginning of my day. Not really for the purpose of singing, but just for cleansing. I’m going to breathe out negative vibes and breathe in positive ones… what can I do in my day? What does my day look like?

I’ve found that as I breathe in, one of the things I do is that I pray a little prayer that I would be completely present with every person that’s going to be sitting in front of me that day. So I think about my day, specifically some of the students that I will be teaching and having conversations with and I would like to think that there is something of God in that. That in those moments, as I am completely present with that teenager sitting in front of me that I can recognize the image of God in them. And hopefully, I can represent the presence of God to them and in our conversation. I’ve found that it’s been a challenging but very good thing for me to do. Not just as I try to be present to this person as we have this conversation and as I’m listening, but really to remember and practice that God is present there with us in our conversation.

Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities

Thank you to all who participated in cleaning up the woods in preparation for this Sunday’s Worship in the Woods. We hope to see you all there, and don’t forget to bring chairs or a blanket to sit on! Please note that there was an incorrect announcement in the bulletin last Sunday that there is a Woods Work Day this Saturday, but the work day has already happened and we apologize for the miscommunication.

Gathering Group is Tuesday, September 2nd 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.

Please join us for Community Soup on Friday, Sept. 5th, anytime between 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.  Enjoy soups, bread, and dessert in a relaxed atmosphere.  No cooking, no dishwashing, and no charge.

Norma Wallman will lead a late summer wildflower walk at Holliday Park on Saturday, September 6 from 10:00-11:30. Join her as she shows how to distinguish one yellow composite from another. Asters and smartweeds will also be present. Call 327-7180 to register.

Sunday School Kickoff is on September 7th and we’d like to encourage you all to wear your Pajamas! We’ll have breakfast at 8:30 with classes beginning at 9:00. We want to see you comfy in your pj’s and slippers! The children’s classes are: preK - 2nd grade led by Kathy Rhyne and Ann Panah, 3rd - 5th grade led by Amanda Cordray, and 6th - 12th grade led by Dan Lee and Jed Kay, which will meet in the brightly colored Youth Room across from Fellowship Hall. The adult classes are: Quakerism in the Parlor, Seeking Friends in the Seeking Friends Room, Wired Word in the Coffee Circle Room, and of course, the Choir will meet for rehearsal.

Don’t miss 2nd annual Festival of Faiths on Sunday, September 7, 1-5pm at the Veteran’s Memorial Plaza (Meridian and Michigan St).  One of the most exciting things about it is that so many Quakers are participating! First Friends, North Meadow Circle of Friends, Iglesia Amigos, WYM, AFSC, RSWR, and other Quaker meetings will have a ‘Quaker Booth’ at the Festival, including a Friends Worship Space.  We intend to host a Quaker Sing-a-Long, Unprogrammed and Programmed Worship Times.     Booths and activities will help us better understand and appreciate our neighbors from different religious traditions, as well. There will be a main stage outdoors with a grand opening ceremony.  Special speakers will join in panel discussions.  There’s something for everyone! For more info about the Festival, visit If you’d like to help, talk to Ruthie!

Sunday, September 14th will be a very special day for our Meeting, as we welcome new members.  Each of these folk have submitted their request for membership to Ministry and Counsel, have been visited by the same, and have been approved for membership by our Monthly Meeting.  We are thrilled to welcome Kathy Rhyne, John, Heather, Sam, and Ellie Arle and Dan, Jennifer, Paul, Bethany and Anna Lee. Come celebrate with us!  A reception will be help after Meeting, hosted by Membership Growth and Participation. 

Friends, Food & Fox! You're invited to discuss this and other "Foxisms" at the renewed Indy First Friends Young Adults Fellowship! Responding to a spoken desire to rekindle a fellowship group for 20-30 somethings, the Indy First Friends Young Adult Fellowship will have their first meeting Wednesday, September 17, 7-9 p.m. at the Meeting House. Hope to see you there! Any questions, contact Jim or Leslie Kartholl at 317-945-5578 or by email at and

Calling all ladies! USFW is having a gathering of all the ladies of the meeting on Thursday, September 18th from 6pm-8pm and would love for you to join us.  Norma Wallman will discuss her life and her walk with Christ. It is sure to be inspirational and full of flowers. Please join us for a fun filled evening in Fellowship Hall. Dinner will be provided. Please RSVP if you plan to attend by emailing or calling 317-255-2485.

Discovering God in a Changing World. You are invited to an exciting 4-part program series with Dr. Dan Moseley right here at First Friends! This seasonal, year-long series will help you learn how to develop spiritual practices that will encourage and support the life to which God is calling you as an individual and a community. Sessions will consist of a Saturday retreat from 9-1pm, Meeting for Worship on Sunday at 10:15am followed by a luncheon and then a Q&A with Dan. The first session is September 27-28th, when Dan will focus on discovering gifts from the community and Christian tradition to help us adapt to change. There is no fee, but you are encouraged to pre-register with Amanda Bow in the office at

Don’t forget to bring in some undies for the 7th Annual Underwear Drive ‘Underneath It All’! Please donate NEW underwear, socks, t-shirts, and bras. All sizes are needed from Toddler sizes to Adult sizes for High School Students! 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. 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. We will be collecting until just after Labor Day. Contact Linda Lee if you have questions.

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.  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.  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 need to work in the home, 3) no sanitary towels so they stay home one week each month, fall behind, and leave school, 4) 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. 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 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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