Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Concerns, Announcements and Devotional Thought

A Weekly Ministry of Indianapolis First Friends Meeting



As Way Opens

Pope Francis has arrived in the United States.  A few days ago he set foot in Holguin, Cuba.  What a blessed journey he is taking, bringing compassion, hope and joy to all Christians, and especially to Cubans, as he stopped on the ‘crocodile’ island.  (Have you ever noticed its shape?)  I landed in Holguin four years ago with a group of women from Iowa, there to celebrate with Quakers who have long been a part of the life of Cuba. Quakers in Cuba?  In 1895, Zenas Martin had traveled to Jamaica to help develop a mission there. After two years there, traveling home aboard ship, she spoke to his friend, Captain Lorenzo Baker. As they passed Cuba, Baker invited Zenas to begin a Friends mission/ministry in Cuba.  His United Fruit Company would be opening up a plantation there, and he urged Zenas to bring the Friends message there.  Was this God’s leading, or Lorenzo’s?  Zenas took the idea back to Iowa, where he spoke and prayed about this with many other Friends.  At Iowa Yearly Meeting that year, it became clear that God was indeed calling them to begin a Friends ministry in Cuba.  But they had no idea how to finance it.  They asked God what they should do.  The answer was given… ask other Friends around the US to help them.  Several Yearly Meetings were asked, and prayerfully responded, sending funds.  The mission was started in 1900.  And Zenas made a choice… he would not open the mission at the site of the fruit company in Banes.  He wrote his wife that he did not want the mission to become a department of “the great souls corporation”.  Instead, the mission was begun at Gibara.  It is centered there to this day.  Despite all the hardships, Friends in Cuba flourish!  One conversation can turn into a great work for God.  You may think you’re journeying home, only to find out you’re at the beginning of a new adventure.  When it seems that obstacles make the future impossible, you discover a way God has prepared, and the resources you will need when you need them. God bless the Pope in his continuing conversations with the world. And may God bless us in ours! May we listen with compassion, hope and joy, and may we act on what we hear.                                                                                                                                       

Joys & Concerns

Considering the Query: ‘Do you try to set aside times of quiet for openness to the Holy Spirit?  All of us need to find a way into silence which allows us to deepen our awareness of the divine and to find the inward source of our strength.  Seek to know an inward stillness, even amid the activities of daily life.  Do you encourage in yourself and in others a habit of dependence on God’s guidance for each day?  Hold yourself and others in the Light, knowing that ll are cherished by God.’

From Advices and queries; Britain Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice, 5th edition, @ 1995-2015

Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities  


Eden Grace will speak this Sunday in Meeting for Worship at 10:15.  Eden serves on staff for Friends United Meeting, is a member of Baltimore Yearly Meeting, and is a great friend of Friends.  She will be here to speak to the work of Quaker discernment/decision making.  Eden once wrote “An Introduction to Quaker Business Practices”, where she describes the theological basis, spirituality, and best practices of Quaker decision-making, and we look forward to hearing her thoughts.  To read her paper, go to


September 24&27 – This Thursday and Sunday! Adult Sunday School Class Forum

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

What is our responsibility as a part of a group in making decisions, as Friends?

This is the last of three sessions, and we hope you will come!

All adult Sunday School Classes will be brought together as we open discussion around Quaker decision making, discernment and process.  If you can’t make it on Sunday, come this Thursday night!!!  We invite everyone to join Eric Tinsley with Ministry and Counsel, as we learn together. This is especially important to our Meeting, as we consider decisions regarding marriage equality. 



Meditational Woods Work Day – This Saturday - Sept. 26th 9:00-12:00 noon

Bring your work gloves, trowels, and clippers plus a good set of strong hands and backs. Hope to see you there. Contact Mindy Sommer and Mary Blackburn for questions. Melinda Sommer,, Mary Blackburn


Calling all 6th through 12th graders! Join us this Saturday, from 5:00-7:00, September 26th, for our Youth Group kick-off “Minute to Win It” in Fellowship Hall. Games, food, and prizes will be supplied. Bring your friends for more fun! RSVP to Hayley Adams (


To keep the fun going join us on Sunday morning at 9am in the youth room, to continue our journey with Rob Bell’s Nooma video series. Doughnuts will be providedJ.


The youth will also be working at the Mid North Food Pantry this Sunday from noon to 2:30.  If anyone would like to join us, please contact Beth.  



Last Call for Undies!  Sunday’s the Last Day for Underneath it All:

First Friends Eighth Annual Underwear Drive ~ August 26th through September 27th

Socks, T Shirts, Bras, too! Babies, Children, Preteens, High School Students— all need underwear and socks. Please place underwear donations in the labeled box in Fellowship Hall. Cash, or checks written to First Friends - designate for ‘Underneath it All’.  Thank you for your support.  


What Are Quakers Doing In the World Today? - World Quaker Day - Sunday, October 4, 2015


Join Friends all around the world for a joint day of worship and celebration. As the sun rises in each area of the world we want to remember that Quakers are worshiping through every time zone, celebrating our deep connections across cultures and Quaker traditions. We are united in love and can accompany each other on this special day. As we worship, let us hold each other in prayer and thanksgiving, and let our hymns of praise resound across the world.


9:00 Breakfast with Our Friends; portrayals of George Fox, John Woolman, Lucretia Mott

Join these Friends from the past, as they speak into the present day.

Enjoy a delicious breakfast during the discussion!

10:15 Meeting for Worship with Colin Saxton, General Secretary of Friends United Meeting

God continues to speak and act in the lives of Quakers around the world!

11:30 Fellowship Hour ~ World Quaker Exhibits

Enjoy hot and cold beverages, treats, and great company while viewing displays of Quaker organizations from near and far!

Invite your friends, your family, your neighbors, your acquaintances to First Friends Meeting!



The Eco-Film Series this Fall will be hosted by All Souls Unitarian Church, 5605 E. 56th Street. The Second film, Switch, will be shown on Friday, Oct. 9th, at 7 pm. Switch is about changing the way we use energy, to realize the many economic and environmental benefits of efficiency. Admission is free. Subsequent film will be: 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.


Women’s Gathering and Gardens!  Saturday, October 10th at 12:30 All women are invited to a Luncheon and Excursion to the Conservatory at Garfield Park, sponsored by our Friends Women Board.   Lunch will be served at the Meetinghouse at 12:30, followed by a trip to Garfield Park where we will be met by a Master Gardener for a tour of the Conservatory. The event will end at 3:30.  There is a $2.00 admission fee to the Conservatory.  If you have any questions, please contact Ann Rodino at Enjoy!


Time To Recycle – Clean out your Garage!  Sort out those Closets!

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.


Fall Seasoned Friends Luncheon for anyone retired and older is Wednesday October14th at 11:30 AM in the fellowship hall. It will be a wiener roast theme along with squash soup. Please RSVP to office or Kathy Farris (



CROP HUNGER WALK    Please plan to join with others of First Friends to participate in the 36th annual Greater Indianapolis CROP Hunger Walk on Sunday, Oct-18 at 1:45 pm.  Walkers from First Friends will meet at 1:45 p.m. at CTS, 42nd St. and Michigan Road near the registration tent.  The walk is a scenic walk near the Butler campus and a little over 3 miles.  The purpose of the walk is to raise awareness of worldwide hunger and to raise funds to help alleviate hunger both locally and globally.  Please consider a donation for this worthwhile cause.  Checks can be written to “First Friends” with a notation of “Crop Walk” and placed in the basket in the front hallway. There will also be a sign up if you would like to join our group of walkers.



Come One Come All! - To have your picture taken (at no cost, unless you want extra prints) for the First Friends Pictorial Directory!  Pictures will be taken by Lifetouch Directories at the Meeting House on Wed., Nov. 4 – Sat., Nov. 7.  The finished pictures will arrive in time for Christmas cards.  This is a great chance to have a professional picture taken of you and/or your family.  Having everyone participate enables the directory to be as useful as possible to facilitate our knowing one another, and in putting names and faces together.  We only do this every 4 years, so hopefully everyone will be able to participate.  If you cannot have your picture taken on the dates at First Friends, Lifetouch will allow you to go to another church that is also scheduling pictures at about the same time.  Sign-ups have started this September, and will be on-line and in person at the Meeting house.  More info will follow as we get closer to the sign-up dates.  If you need more info, please contact Sue Mills. If you are interested in helping out as a Host / Hostess during the photo sessions, please let Sue know.  Shifts are 4 hours.  Times are 2:30 – 9 on Wed. – Fri., and 10:00 – 4:30 on Sat.  If you would like to help with Sign-ups at the Meeting House after Meeting on Sept. 20 – Oct. 18, please let Sue know. Schedule your family portrait session now:



Attention Men! Save the date - Men’s Retreat - October 31st at FFMtg! What does it take to be a “real man” in today's world? A Christian man? A Quaker or Methodist* man? What beliefs do you have that speak to that? What are your core values?  Join us for a one day, thought provoking, and fun filled retreat at First Friends on Oct. 31st as we address these things, along with some of the Methodist men of Epworth Methodist *(our Eco Film Series partners). Call Ed Morris at 317-691-5542 if you have any questions. 



“Friends Of Nature” ~ Under a Rock: Find a big rock that’s easy enough for you to move.  Gently turn it over and look underneath.  What’s going on under there?  Look carefully to add if anything is moving.  Is anything growing under the rock? What are all the different things that live under the rock? Can you think of other animals or plants that live in darkness? Carefully turn the rock back over and then find other rocks to peek underneath.  Take care not to disturb the creatures living under the rocks. 

From ‘52 Nature Activities for Kids’ by Lynn Gordon



Indianapolis First Friends Meeting

Compassionate v Christian v Quaker

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