Concerns, Announcements and Devotional Thought

A Weekly Ministry of Indianapolis First Friends Meeting


As Way Opens by Beth Henricks

Dietrich Bonhoeffer - Pastor, Teacher, Theologian, Writer, Diplomat, Martyr.  I am writing a paper about Bonhoeffer for my class and have become immersed in his life and standing in awe of his mind, his commitment to Christ and willingness to die for his beliefs. Bonhoeffer was born in 1906 in Germany.  He studied theology, became a teacher, joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany and started an underground seminary during the rise of Nazism.   He traveled to the US in 1939 for his safety but insisted on returning to Germany because he wanted to have an impact on the events happening within his country.  He was a pacifist but was part of a plot to assassinate Hitler.   He was arrested in 1943 and remained in prison for two years and executed in 1945 just days before the Allies took over the prison.  

At the time, Bonhoeffer was not that well known.  Why has our interest in him grown over the years?  Could it be his combination of thought and action?  Maybe the consistency and credibility of his writings and his life?   Or because he wrestled with complex themes in his theology and how to live out his Christianity?  Bonhoeffer hoped that we could come to a “religionless Christianity”.  Our emphasis would not be on religion or our human structures to explain God, rather we will be transformed by Christ and the act of salvation that moves us to take action in the world.  It does seem like many of our problems over the last 2,000 years have been wrapped up in religion and beliefs versus the experience of Christ in our lives.  I really like this quote from Bonhoeffer -    “Our having grown up forces us to realize where we stand before God.  God is teaching us to live as those who can manage without him.”  Bonhoeffer coined the phrase “cheap grace”.  The cost of discipleship is steep and not to be taken lightly.  We are not promised a life of comfort and ease as a follower of Jesus.  But God is the “Beyond in the Midst of Life”.  And there is fulfillment in responding to our call from God in this world.

Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities

Goodbye to the Gathering Group. Many lovely memories have been created over many years, but unfortunately, attendance has dwindled and the time has come to cancel future meetings. The Meeting would like to thank Shirley Proctor, Helen Davenport and Joyce Bowman for their many years of guiding this group.

If you feel led to worship God in dance, gesture, and/or movement, or would like to learn to do so, contact Amy Perry ( or 696-5074), by April 30. It is hoped this group will participate in a Meeting for Worship on a Sunday during the summer.

Catherine Swanson's new book, A Map in the Wind, has been published by Finishing Line Press. It can be ordered at:   or by sending a check to: Finishing Line Press, P O Box 1626, Georgetown, KY 40324. ($12.49 + 2.99 shipping)

Meditational Woods Update: Thanks to all the volunteers who filled 3 large trash cans and 10 bags with wintercreeper and invasive honeysuckle by hand-pulling these invasives from the Woods on Saturday.  You were a mighty crew! There is more to go, so let us know if you'd like to do an hour or two another time while the ground is damp. Our WeedWrench is missing from the First Friends garage.  If you borrowed it, please call the office and let us know that you have it and when you plan to return it.  We have a limited budget and cannot afford to  replace it. The WeedWrench is essential to our work of pulling out the larger honeysuckle bushes. The fountain pump will be replaced after 12 years of faithful service and the path will be edged in May.  Enjoy the beauty of our Woods! Best, Mary Blackburn

Commissioned by the ISO, ‘Zabur’ will be performed by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Choir, and Children’s Choir, this Friday, April 24, at 8:00 pm at Hilbert Circle Theatre. Dan Rains and Bill Paraskevas from our Meeting are in the Choir. A collection of Jewish, Muslim and Christian texts have been woven together to form this musical celebration. Composer Mohammed Fairouz met with leaders of these faith traditions (including Ruthie Tippin) last year, as he began the composition.    ‘Requiem’ by Faure will be paired with the premiere of ‘Zabur’ for the concert.  Tickets begin at $20, and are available at or by calling 639-4300.

On Friday April 24, Carmel Friends Church is hosting the Watoto Children's Choir on tour from Uganda, presenting at two concerts in our church. The first is at 1:30pm, and then the main concert is at 7pm. You can see their promo on YouTube at There is no cost but an offering will be taken, and there will be African crafts and other merchandise available for sale. All money goes to the mission in Uganda. Carmel Friends is located at 651 West Main Street, Carmel, IN 46032.

Money Smart Week – April 18-25 is Money Smart Week! Stop by a free seminar sponsored by financial institutions, businesses, government agencies, schools libraries and lots of others who are joining together to promote personal financial education. Classes are held at various locations and cover topics ranging from budgeting to homebuying to estate planning. Visit for more information!

Discovering God in a Changing World. Dr. Dan Moseley will be right here at First Friends in a little more than a week! On April 25th-26th Dan will focus on generosity, and creating space to be generous in spirit, just the way spring makes room for growth after winter. This session 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. There is no fee, but you are encouraged to pre-register with Amanda Bow in the office at  Copies of Dan’s book, Lose Love Live: The Spiritual Gifts of Loss and Change are available in our office for $10 each. Come for breakfast at 8:30 on Saturday morning!!!  Sessions start at 9:00.

Quaker Men Work Day at Yearly Meeting Grounds - April 25, 9:30 a.m. (If you want, come for breakfast at Goodies at 7:30).  Hot Dogs! Sloppy Joes!  Come and eat while cleaning up the Yearly Meeting Grounds in Plainfield*.  We're equal opportunity workers - Men, Women, and Children welcome!  Please RSVP to Jim Wilson at to make sure we have plenty of hot dogs and sloppy joes!  * 203 South East Street, on main highway…

Ladies!  Oak Leaf: Meeting for Reading will be discussing Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods on Tuesday April, the 28th, 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 2015, please contact Kathy Rhyne at Flight Behavior, by Barbara Kingsolver is our upcoming book for May 26th.

Seasoned Friends – You are invited to a Luncheon for retirement age or older. The Luncheon will be Wednesday, May 13th at 11:30am. Kathy and Bill Farris will be providing different tuna salads and a soup, please bring a side or dessert to share. Come for food, fun, and friends.

Steinway & Organ Concert on May 15th 7 p.m. Buy your tickets now for our May Steinway and Organ Concert! This is a concert for all ages and includes: Leroy Anderson Concertoin C, Variations on He's Got the Whole World in His Hands by Joel Raney, and Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. Pianist Randall Frieling has performed throughout the United States, Canada and Europe as a soloist, accompanist and chamber musician.  A few highlights of his career include accompanying the Association of Disciple Musicians, Long Island Choral Festival and Institute, and National Youth Choir at Carnegie Hall. Organist Martin Ellis appears frequently with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and was the featured organist to play the premier concerts of Saint-Saens’ “Organ” Symphony No. 3 on the newly installed pipe organ in ISO’s Hilbert Circle Theatre. Martin has been a featured artist at conventions of The American Guild of Organists, The Organ Historical Society, and The American Theatre Organ Society. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for those under 18 years. Consider inviting friends or family to join you and make an evening of it! Please call the office at 317-255-2485 or purchase tickets on Sunday mornings at the table in the hall.

The Quaker Haven camp registration deadline is May 23rd - if you are interested in having your children/young people attend Quaker Haven, the Meeting will provide for 50% of the cost if you register by May 23rd.  Please send in your application to Quaker Haven with the required deposit and let the office know that your young person will attend. The application and information about the camp is available at

Join us for a Conversation on the Future of Friends, May 16th at 7:00 p.m. Noah Baker Merrill will be here to talk about the future of Friends and projects like Quaker Voluntary Service. All ages are welcome as we share in song with Jim and Leslie Kartholl, listen for the Spirit, and discuss the future. Noah is a founder of Quaker Voluntary Service and in 2009, Utne Reader magazine recognized him as one of “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World.” In 2012, Noah offered the plenary worship address on behalf of North American Friends at the Sixth World Conference of Friends in Kenya. We are very excited to have him here to discuss the future. Please join us. If you would like to learn more about Noah, you can visit his website at

On Pentecost weekend – May 22-25, 2015 – Friends United Meeting invites Friends to gather in Cincinnati, Ohio for a retreat experience entitled ‘Stoking the Fire’. We will follow a lightly-scheduled program of extended worship, prayer, plenary speakers, home groups, topical workshops and attention to the movement of the Holy Spirit. To begin preparing hearts and minds, the planning committee members are writing a 10-week devotional series. Look for the weekly series on FUM’s website. The gathering will begin on Friday, May 22nd at 3pm and go through Monday, May 25th at 1:30pm, held at the Jesuit Spiritual Center at Milford, located at 5361 South Milford Road, Milford, OH 45150. Visit for more information.

The Friends Educational Fund Scholarship for undergraduate African American students is available again this year. The deadline for ap­plication is May 31, 2015. For an application please contact the office at 255-2485 or

The Overman Family Scholarship, in memory of Jess and Mark Overman, is available again this year. High school seniors through graduate students are welcome to apply.  Undergraduate students will be given first consideration. The scholarship fund is designated to support the members and at­tenders of Indianapolis First Friends Meeting. Scholarship funds may be applied to any school related expense, i.e. books, supplies, tuition, housing, computer, etc. The deadline for ap­plication is May 31, 2015. For an application please contact the office at 255-2485 or