Concerns, Announcements and Devotional Thought

A Weekly Ministry of Indianapolis First Friends Meeting


As Way Opens by Ruthie Tippin

Have you ever been in an earthquake?  My husband Jon grew up in Whittier, CA and remembers many times when the earth shook there.  His mother had her china cabinet bolted to the wall.  In October 1987, an earthquake hit at 5.9 magnitude, leaving 8 people dead, 9,000 people displaced and 10,000 structures damaged or destroyed.  The Whittier fault had shifted, leaving damage all along its course.  John Beede’s son Paul has sent this to us from the Red Cross about the terrifying scene in Nepal:

·         On April 25, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck 48 miles NW of Kathmandu, Nepal at 11:56 a.m. local time.  Initial reports indicate that the earthquake affected up to 8 million people, resulted in more than 3,300 deaths and injured at least 6,800 people.  The earthquake also affected surrounding countries, resulting in deaths and damage in parts of Bangladesh, China and India.  Casualty figures are expected to rise as additional assessment information becomes available.

·         The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) predicts that the area will continue to experience frequent felt aftershocks—greater than magnitude 3—in the coming weeks, with a 54 percent chance of an additional aftershock greater than magnitude 6 in the coming week. Meteorologists predict that parts of Nepal will experience heavy precipitation in the coming days, which may impact the humanitarian response and increase the risk of landslides.

No one can predict when an earthquake will happen in our lives.  Scientists do their best – and are getting better at it – but still cannot say with certainty when our world will shake us to the core.  People in our Meeting are experiencing this just now… one family has lost three people to death in less than nine months.  Each one of us has experienced earth shattering, ground shaking times in our lives.  The aftershocks continue to come.  It is impossible to bolt all the breakables in our lives to the walls.  How do we live in such a tenuous world? 

The choice I have made is to live into an unchanging relationship with God, who does not change.  I change… things in my life change… people in my life change… the world around me changes… God does not change.  God will always be.  God will always endure.  The fault lines shift around, under, through me, but God does not.  I am learning more and more to live fully into who I am, and into who God is in me.  It isn’t easy.  I love the psalmist who sometimes sings joyfully, sometimes laments, sometimes proclaims… she’s just like me.  And, we sing to the same God.  The God who is the same – yesterday, today, and forever.  And for that, I’m thankful.


Joys & Concerns

We hold in love and care the people of Nepal as they grieve the loss of loved ones, care for the injured, and struggle in the work of clearing away debris and making room for newness in the midst of so much destruction.

Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities

Please join us for Community Soup this Friday, May 1st, anytime between 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.  Now that it’s getting warmer we are switching from soups to salads. Enjoy salads, bread, and dessert in a relaxed atmosphere.  No cooking, no dishwashing, and no charge.

Nepal Earthquake Relief: Jeff Rasley, a member of our Meeting, will offer a short talk, video and photos with discussion, and then accept any offered donations to the Basa Village Foundation this Sunday during our Fellowship Hour.  The village of Basa was hit by the devastating earthquake last Saturday in Nepal, and is one that has been supported through Jeff’s work and travels there by folks in our Meeting. A GoFundMe campaign has been started to support the Foundation, and you can find more information here:  The Foundation will make a meaningful assessment of needs of the village, and will be guided by their friends in Nepal to determine how best to help Basa.

From the Gardening Group: A hoe and a weed puller are needed by our gardeners. The hoe we had last year has vanished, along with the weedwrench. We are hoping they will re-appear or perhaps someone has a hoe or two they no longer use and would like to donate. Please return them if you have them, or donate yours if you no longer need them. Thank you!

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.

What are your interests?  Our Nominating Committee will soon be gathering to consider persons who might want to serve on our various committees for the coming year (July 1 through June 30).  Perhaps you’re just the right person for one of the ministries in our Meeting.  Please take a look at our website, [For Guests/What We Do/Committees], and see if there’s a ‘match’!  Maybe you have a new idea for ministry!  Wonderful!  Please share it with Ruthie… you never know what God is up to at First Friends Meeting!

Mark your calendars for June 14th-June 18th - Vacation Bible School will begin on Sunday from 11:45am to 1:45pm, and will continue Monday thru Thursday 6:30pm-8:30pm. All children 5th grade and under are welcome! The program we will be using is Everest: Conquering Challenges with God's Mighty Power. If you are interested in being a part of this VBS adventure, we’re looking for volunteers! Contact Beth Henricks at to register or for more information.

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 this Sunday. Both men and women are welcome! 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)

Speakers coming to Bloomingdale – Sunday, May 3rd at 3 pm speaker: Professor Lonnie Valentine Chair of Peace & Justice Studies at Earlham School of Religion will speak about Quaker John Woolman and his part in the abolition movement in the US. We will pull in some local history of the Quakers moving here from North Carolina. Sunday, May 17th at 3 pm Professor Michael Birkel of Earlham College who has written a book about John Woolman and his life and thought will be speaking. Both sessions will be held at Bloomingdale Friends Church. There is no charge.

Come join us in the Woods on May 9th from 9am-12 noon!  We will be planting woodland natives in several areas, as well as continuing our work to remove winter creeper and honeysuckle.  We even need a volunteer to apply some special fertilizer to our azaleas. We always have a good time making our Woods a more beautiful and wildlife friendly place.  The more, the merrier!

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. Do you recognize these men?  They are accomplished musicians who are coming to First Friends in May. The man on the left is Randall Frieling - a pianist who has performed in Europe, Canada and the USA.  The man on the right is Martin Ellis. He has served as the organist at North United Methodist and 2nd Presbyterian Churches, and plays often with the ISO.  We are excited to host them at First Friends Meeting. Buy your tickets now for our Steinway Piano and Casavant Organ Concert! This is a concert for all ages.  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  Noah will speak in Meeting for Worship on Sunday, May 17th.

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