As Way Opens
‘For this reason, I kneel before the Father from whom every family in heaven or on earth takes its name, and beg him out of his wealth of glory to strengthen you mightily through his Spirit in your inner nature and through your faith to let Christ in his love make his home in your hearts.  Your roots must be deep and your foundations strong, so that you and all God’s people may be strong enough to grasp what breadth, length, height, and depth mean, and to understand Christ’s love, so far beyond our understanding, so that you may be filled with the very fullness of God.  To him who by the exertion of his power with us can do unutterably more than all we ask or imagine, be glory through the church and through Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever.  Amen.’  
Ephesians 3:14-21 Goodspeed Translation

Paul prayed this for the church gathered in Ephesus.  It is my prayer too, for this New Year for those of us in First Friends Meeting – both gathered in our Meetinghouse, and spread far and wide throughout the country.  Wherever we are, my prayer is that those who name First Friends as our spiritual home will be strengthened in God’s spirit inwardly, and discover clearly the fullness of God.  May we share that rooted, deep sense of love and strength with one another, and with those we meet beyond the bounds of our fellowship, bringing glory to God.  May others see, notice, understand, and grasp the wonder of God’s ministry in their lives through the people of First Friends. And may we notice it in one another, giving God thanks and glory.    


Considering the Query: Do you take part as often as you can in meetings for church affairs? Are you familiar enough with our church government to contribute to its disciplines processes? Do you consider difficult questions with an informed mind as well as a generous and loving spirit? Are you prepared to let your insights and personal wishes take their place alongside those of others or be set aside as the meeting seeks the right way forward? If you cannot attend, uphold the meeting prayerfully.   From: Advices and queries; Britain Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice, 5th edition, @ 1995-2015 Quaker Faith and Practice

Joys & Concerns

Monthly Meeting for Worship to Conduct Business will gather for the first time in the New Year this Sunday, January 17th.  You’ll find the minutes from our last gathering attached to this issue of Friend to Friend. Please review them prayerfully, and come ready to reach in to the work of God at First Friends!
Seasoned Friends enjoyed hot soup and great company today, as twenty-one people joined together for fun and fellowship.  Fun and games didn’t end until after 2:00, on a very, very cold day!

Thank you, Mary Ellen Lohr, for a microwave over that magically appeared in the Parlor Kitchen.  What a nice surprise!  

Thank you, Norma Wallman, for excavating the ‘Foster’ and ‘Holiday’… otherwise known as the huge refrigerator and the chest freezer in the Kitchen!  Huge job! Great results!

Thank you, Amy Perry, for sorting and categorizing all the children’s book in the library collection we have!  What a treasure trove of surprises for our kids!  And what a discovery of things yet to bring in.  

Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities  

Brent Bill, Quaker Author,
will share stories from his new book “Life Lessons from a Bad Quaker – a Humble Stumble Toward Simplicity and Grace”, a presentation hosted by Indiana Friends Committee on Legislation.
When: This Friday, January 15 from 7:00 to 8:30
Where: First Friends Meeting
For more information, contact IFCL Clerk Bill Chapman (  A freewill offering will be taken to support the advocacy work of IFCL.  IFCL exists as an instrument in the search of God’s will for Quakers who are wrestling with the issues of our day.  IFCL attempts to relate our Quaker faith and Quaker testimonies to the shaping of responsible policy making by our Indiana government legislators. 

Sunday, January 17th brings Dr. David Carlson, Professor of Philosophy and Religion, from Franklin College, speaking to us on Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend.
Religious studies is not only his job, but also a significant part of his life. Carlson said he was first interested in making religious studies a career when he “realized that religious studies was more about questions than pat answers.” Carlson has been teaching at Franklin College for 36 years. Among his honors as a professor are the Faculty Teaching Award and the Dietz Faculty Excellence Award. “Teaching allows me to see students be transformed, not just informed, by what they are learning,” he said. In 2013, Carlson presented a paper on Christian-Muslim relations at Nazareth College in New York and was one of the speakers at the Earlham School of Religion Writer’s Conference. In 2011, Carlson published ‘Peace Be with You: Monastic Wisdom for a Terror-Filled World’.  Join us for an inspirational and information time of worship.
47th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration Service of the INDIANA CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE (ICLC) will be held Monday, January 18th at St John’s Missionary Baptist Church, 1651 Dr. Andrew J. Brown Avenue, Indianapolis, IN. The official program will commence at 10:00 A.M. Rev. Dr. Daniel T. Hembree, Bluff Road United Methodist Church, Columbia, SC is this year’s main speaker.   During this year’s celebration service, the Indiana Christian Leadership Conference will embrace the Indianapolis interfaith community.  Scheduled to represent their various faith traditions during the invocation will be persons from the Buddhist, Catholic, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh Communities, who will offer prayers and inspiration derived from the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Quaker Affirmation Class for Adults
began last week during Sunday School hour
 (9:00 a.m.) in the parlor.  We had a great time of sharing and connecting and heard from George Fox and Margaret Fell.  This Sunday, Deb Hejl will lead the class as we delve into the history of Quakers coming to America.  All are welcome to attend even if you missed class last week.  The class will last through the next 3 months so feel free to come as you can. 

First Friends is Growing!
 More and more families are coming, and that means more children! Beginning Sunday, January 10th, our kids are divided into three groups for Children’s Worship: Pre-Kindergarten through Kindergarten,
First and Second Grade, and Third through Fifth Grade.  Teachers are ready, classroom space is prepared, and we are excited to share God’s love and light with the children of our Meeting.  Remember, all children are excused from Meeting for Worship after a Children’s Message each Sunday for their own time of worship, suited for their age and interest level.

Quaker Life magazine is being offered to us for renewal at a group rate of $20.00 per year.  Published by Friends United Meeting, you will receive six issues a year, that will “inspire, inform and   teach you.”  The journal is normally priced at $35.00 annually.  We keep one copy in our Library.  Please let the office know if you would like to add your name to the list of subscribers.  Thank you!

Parent Cafe Workshop on the Near East Side! East Tenth United Methodist Children and Youth Center will be hosting a Families First Parent Cafe beginning Jan 11 to help families build stronger, healthier families. We need VOLUNTEERS for our Parent Cafe. There is need for table hosts to help facilitate discussion and for volunteers to help with childcare. If you're interested in volunteering please email Chisato Sakamoto at or call at 317-644-7207

Brrr!  It’s Cold Outside! Please continue to bring donations of winter clothing for the Boner Center. The box is in Fellowship Hall on the stage in front of the curtain. They appreciate what we are doing to help the homeless and others in need of clothing. 

Sunday February 7th we will host “Souper Bowl Sunday
” after Meeting for Worship in fellowship hall.  Soup will be prepared for all to enjoy for a free will donation to Second Helpings.  Both Statia Murphy and Vicki Wertz work at Second Helpings and we want to support this important organization for those less fortunate in our city.  Start your Super Bowl Sunday by eating soup at the First Friends “Souper Bowl” party and learn more about Second Helpings.

Thursday, January 21 2016, 6:30 – 8:00pm; Setting the Record Straight: Facts and Science of Climate Change.
 The University of Chicago Alumni Club is hosting an event you might find of interest:   Dinner at the Woodstock Club followed by a presentation by Gabriel Filippelli, Professor of Earth Sciences at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).  Cost: $36/person
Scientists, unlike politicians, understand that human-produced greenhouse gasses are impacting climate. The concern is now what the future trajectory of climate will look like and how it will affect ecosystems and humans. This is the real climate change debate, which is being played out in the world of data, field observations, and peer-reviewed publications by scientists who scratch for competitive federal funding make their observations. Politicians, pundits, and climate scientists funded by energy corporation-aligned groups may try to cast doubt on the results and even motivations of scientists for the purpose of delaying a more informed discussion on climate change. Professor Filippelli will present the science of climate change, his understanding of what future climate scenarios will look like and what impact they might have.  Gabriel Filippelli is a Professor of Earth Sciences and Directs the Center for Urban Health at IUPUI. An environmental chemist and climate change scientist, Dr. Filippelli has published over 80 papers on this topic, including recent ones in the top journal Nature and Science, as was recently named a Fellow of the International Association of Geochemistry.  
If you'd like to attend, register at

Quaker Earth Care - The Hoosier Environmental Council will begin its Environmental Advocacy Training in January.  Issues include Clean Energy, Sustainable Food and Energy, Climate Change and Environmental Justice.  They also have resources for Green Minded Religious Congregations of All Faiths.  In November, HEC worked with the Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis Green Congregations, Slow Foods Indy, and other allies to host a Spirit & Place workshop on sustainable foods and healthy foods for healthy bodies.  Panelists answered questions about proper health and nutrition, the impact that agricultural practices have on the environment, and the impact that agri-chemicals and fertilizers have on the human body.  

 If anyone is interested in volunteering at HEC as an environmental advocated please contact Sylvia Andrews or Amanda Shepherd at HEC.  Some of their major concerns during the coming legislative session include the “Right to Harm Bill, SJR 12” and the Mounds Greenway.  If you have ever felt the desire to do more for the environment in Indiana than just donate money this is your chance.  Host a Greening Your Community party, call others about legislation, and attend legislative Third House meetings. 
On a lighter note, climate change affects not only people but animals and plants as well.  I was walking my dogs after the recent high winds and saw a squirrel’s nest on the ground.  The squirrel was above in the tree contemplating the loss.  Maybe he/she should have been included with the tornado victims on the morning news.  

“Friends of Nature Kids”
~ Home Sweet Home ~ Where do all the creatures in nature live and sleep at night? See how many different animals’ homes you can think of and maybe even find!  From 52 Nature Activities by Lynn Gordon, Chronicle Books, San Francisco.