Friend to Friend

  Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Concerns, Announcements and Devotional Thought

A Weekly Ministry of Indianapolis First Friends Meeting



As Way Opens

I have been reading the daily devotional Streams in the Desert. (L.B. Cowman)  Earlier in August there was a message that really spoke to my heart about how a shipwright builds a vessel.  The shipbuilder plans for a ship that can withstand the strongest of storms and hurricanes at sea.  The shipbuilder does not create the ship to remain safe in the docks. The best built ships are sent out to sea and weather storm after storm.  Sometimes the ship will sustain damage and must be brought back into the docks for repairs.  But the ship will be worked on by knowledgeable and careful craftsmen to fortify the weak spots and strengthen its frame so it will head back out to sea and be strong in its purpose.


Is that not how God has created each of us?  We are vessels that are formed with love and care to withstand many storms.  God as the shipbuilder builds an amazing and resilient being in each of us that was never meant to stay safe in the dock.  Our ship was destined to be in the sea to experience the beauty of the ocean and the trauma of the storm.  Sometimes, the storm seems too much and we feel battered and beaten and we seek shelter and repair in the loving arms of our Comforter.   God is always waiting at the dock, with the healing salve of acceptance and Love, looking for our safe return to the magnificence of the ocean.  And God brings people into our lives that are knowledgeable and careful to help bolster our weak spots and secure our frame so we are ready to head back to sea. 


"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises" (2 Peter 1:4) God does promise that God’s Presence and Love will never leave us and will sustain us through our darkest storms.  If you are in the eye of the hurricane today, remember this promise.




Joys & Concerns

Thank You ‘Festival of Friends’ Folk!  Ann Panah and Bill Chapman deserve a great big hug, along with many others who helped set up, clean up, and welcome guests to the Quaker Tent at the 3rd Annual Festival of Faiths.  It was an incredible event.


“Thank you so much for letting the Lovely Lane Youth stay at your church.  They raved about you and the worship!”  First Friends hosted this great group of kids overnight this past June when they journeyed through Indy on their way to a mission experience in Kentucky.  What a blessing that was for us. Their monetary gift will now go to support our Youth Group at First Friends.  


Enjoy a blessed Labor Day Weekend!  The office will be closed on Monday, September 7th in observance of the holiday. 


‘Considering the Queries’ begins next Monday… have you found someone to prayerfully visit with about questions regarding your journey of faith?  Watch for these on our website

under ‘Ruthie’s Blog – Thoughts from our Pastor’. 


Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities  

Join Us for Worship in the Woods this Sunday! 

Each Labor Day weekend, we bring folding chairs*, blankets, bug spray and high spirits to worship together in God’s creation.  Bring your family and friends at 10:15. *The Meeting provides chairs too, so don’t worry… we’ll all have a place to sit!


Kitchen Angel Needed! Do you like to organize things?  Do you have a bit of extra time when you’re at the Meetinghouse already?  Would you be willing to help make certain that things are in good order for our Meeting kitchens?  It would be a great help to have a Kitchen Coordinator, as many different people/groups use our Parlor and Fellowship Hall kitchens Contact Ruthie, Beth or the Office if you can serve!


Underneath it All: First Friends Eighth Annual Underwear Drive

August 26th through September 27th Toddler to Adult Sizes!

Socks, T Shirts, Bras, too! Babies, Children, Preteens, High School Students— all need underwear and socks. Please Donate New Underwear

Cash or checks to First Friends - designate for ‘Underneath it All’

Contact Linda Lee with questions.

Please place underwear donations in the labeled box in Fellowship Hall.  


Tour the Center, September 8th, 11:30 to 12:30. The facility is large, so we will be touring the parts where our donations are used. Mark your calendar. If you can’t make it in September, there are monthly tours available year round. Please contact Linda.


The Eco-Film Series this Fall will be hosted by All Souls Unitarian Church, 5605 E. 56th Street. 

The first film, A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet, will be shown on Friday, Sept. 11, at 7 pm.  This film chronicles the largest movement of the 20th century and one of the keys to the 21st.  It brings together all the major parts of environmentalism and connects them.  It focuses on activism, people fighting to save their homes, their lives, and the future – and succeeding against all odds.  Admission is free.  Subsequent films are: Friday, Oct-9 at 7 pm – Switch; and Friday, Nov-13 at 7 pm. – Damnation.  This film series is sponsored by All Souls Unitarian, Cross and Crown Lutheran, First Friends Meeting, Epworth United Methodist, and Heartlands Group of the Sierra Club.  Hope you plan to attend.


PEACEFEST: Sunday, September 13th

 Join with our fellow historic peace churches, MENNONITES, CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN, and QUAKERS in our annual PeaceFest gathering.  This year PeaceFest will be held at Northview Church of the Brethren, 5555 E. 46th St., Indianapolis, 46226, on Sunday, Sept.13, from 12:30 – 2:15 pm.  There will be a pitch-in lunch.  Please bring a salad, side dish and/or dessert to share.

Sunday September 13th is our kick off to Fall and the return of our Children and Youth Sunday School classes.  Breakfast for everyone will be provided at 8:30 in Fellowship Hall and Sunday School will start at 9:00.  We encourage everyone to wear their pajamas that day.  Kathy Rhyne and Kathy Farris will co-lead the PreK - 2nd grade class, Carrie Sample and Ann Rodino will co-lead the 3rd - 5th grade class and Jed Kay and Dan Lee will co-lead the 6th - 12th grade class.    Please mark your calendars and plan to join us that day.



September 13, 21, and 27: All regular adult Sunday School Classes will be brought together for three weeks in September, as we open discussion around Quaker decision making, discernment and process.  We invite everyone to join Eric Tinsley and members of Ministry and Counsel, whether you’ve been a part of Sunday School in the past, or not, as we learn together. This is especially important to our Meeting, as we consider decisions regarding marriage equality. What process do Quakers use that stands out from other faith communities?  Why do we do things the way we do?  What is our individual responsibility toward the process?  How is that different from our responsibility as a group? 


            Session One:  Thursday, September 10 at 7:00; repeated Sunday, September 13 at 9:00

Session Two: Thursday, September 17 at 7:00; repeated Sunday, September 20 at 9:00

Session Three: Thursday, September 24 at 7:00; repeated Sunday, September 27 at 9:00

From Clerk Ed Morris of M&C: Ministry and Counsel has met in called ad hoc meetings via email recently and we are in unity that it would be best to wait until all of the Quaker Process Classes/Reviews are complete before we move forward in Monthly Meeting on the subject of marriage equality. The September Monthly Meeting is on the 20th and the last QP class is on the 27th. Therefore, M&C will wait to bring the subject forward at our MM on Oct. 18th. Childcare will be available for that meeting.  A Personal Notation: I will be gone most of the month of September. I will leave town on the 10th and will return by Oct. 4th. This is a fact that Ministry and Counsel has been aware of since I took the role of Clerk in June. While I will miss Eric Tinsley and Friends' excellent instruction, I promise you I have done and will do my homework. I have read the resource book Quaker Process by Mathilda Navias and An Introduction to Quaker Business Practice by Eden Grace as well as other articles. I hope to keep in touch via technology somewhat on my journey as well. See you in October. - Ed Morris

USFW 44th Annual Women's Fall Retreat: "Choose Gratitude" September 14 and 15

Come join us as we explore practical, worshipful and creative ways to fill our lives and spiritual practice with gratitude.  The retreat begins at 1:00 Monday (14th), and ends after lunch Tuesday (15th). 

Cost will be: $65.00 (includes 3 meals and a night’s lodging).
There will be prayer walks early Tuesday morning.
Items to bring: Bedding & Towels, Bible, Notebook & a Flashlight.
Make checks Payable to ‘WYM USFW’
Mail to: Liz Nielander 1503 S. Union, Kokomo, IN 46902   Registration is due by SEPTEMBER 5th.


Scott Russell Sanders is coming to First Friends, September 18th, 7:00-8:30 p.m... Environmental author Scott Russell Sanders will be here for a conversation on the future of earthcare in Indiana. This event is a fundraiser for the Indiana Friends Committee on Legislation. A reception and book signing will immediately follow the event. Please join us! 

Leading Voice for Israeli-Palestinian Peace to Visit Indianapolis

On September 20, 2015, the Rev. Elias Chacour, a former Archbishop of the Melkite Catholic Church in Israel, will explain how peace is still possible between Israelis and Palestinians. His address, “A Life of Peacemaking in the Holy Land,” is scheduled for 2:30 PM at Indianapolis’ North United Methodist Church, located at 38th Street and Meridian.  


Named a “Peacemaker in Action” by the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, Chacour is founder of the Mar Elias schools, which have educated tens of thousands of Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Druze children in the Galilee region of Israel. Born 1939, Elias Chacour grew up in the Palestinian village of Biram. In 1947, his childhood home was confiscated by the nascent Israeli state. Though dispossessed, Chacour became an advocate for non-violence and peaceful reconciliation between Jews and Arabs. Chacour describes himself as a “Palestinian-Arab-Christian-Israeli.” Chacour is author of two best-selling books, including We Belong to the Land and Blood Brothers, which has been translated into twenty languages. He is the recipient of several peace awards and honorary degrees, including a doctorate from the University of Indianapolis.


“This may be Hoosiers’ last chance to hear from one of the world’s most powerful voices for peace,” said Rev. Dotti Gerner, leader of Christians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East, the event’s sponsor. The event is free and open to the public. Further information is available from Charlie McDonald,



Religion, Race and Culture: The first of four public seminars to be held this year regarding this important concern is set for Tuesday, September 29, 7:00-9:00 pm at Schrott Center – Butler Univ. “Religion and Race in the African-American Experience”: ‘The tragic events of Ferguson, MO in 2014 sparked a national conversation about race. Join us as we hear reflections on religion and racial justice from two noted religious scholars and activists: Rev. Pamela Lightsey - Boston Univ School of Theology, and Rev. Starsky D. Wilson – Pastor of St. John’s Church St. Louis, Co-Chair Ferguson Commission, advancing policies to strengthen the region following the death of Michael Brown Jr, and the subsequent community uprising.


Time To Recycle

On behalf of the Shalom Zone, First Friends is to host a recycling event on Saturday, Oct-10, at First Friends from 10 am – 2 pm.  Electronic items of all types are welcome.  Simply stop by on Oct-10 and drop off the items you would like to recycle.  If you are not able to make it on Oct-10, you can arrange to drop off your items ahead of time.  Please call Bill Chapman (317 255-4739) or the office to arrange the drop off.  See the attached flyer for suggested items and more info.


Save the Date: Say "Cheese!"
Did you know that First Friends publishes a directory every 4 years that includes pictures to make it easier to get to know the names and faces of the members and attendees of our Meeting? It's also a great opportunity on a deal for a family portrait.  We will have sign up, registration information and all the details for our picture days by early September, but put the dates of November 4th-7th, 2015 at First Friends on your calendar!  Expect the new directory to be available in early 2016. More detailed information coming soon.


Indianapolis First Friends Meeting

Compassionate v Christian v Quaker

3030 Kessler Blvd. E. Dr.              Indianapolis, IN   46220