As Way Opens

Psalms 4:1 " Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress." 

 One of my favorite devotionals is one from 1925 called Streams in the Desert.  It was compiled by Mrs Charles Cowman who was a missionary to Japan and China and took care of her dying husband the last six years of his life.  Her entry on September 8th really spoke to me and I share an excerpt with you: 

 “It is not a man’s thanksgiving that he has been set free from suffering.  It is a thanksgiving that he has been set free through suffering.  “Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress.”  He declares the sorrows of life to have been themselves the source of life’s enlargement. 

 And have not you and I a thousand times felt this to be true?  It is written of Joseph in the dungeon that “the iron entered into his soul.”  What Joseph needed for his soul was the iron.  He had seen only the glitter of the gold.  He had been rejoicing in youthful dreams; and dreaming hardens the heart.  We need the iron to enlarge our nature.  The gold is but a vision; the iron is an experience.  The chain which unites me to humanity must be an iron chain.  That touch of nature which makes the world akin is not joy, but sorrow; gold is partial, but iron is universal. 

 My soul, if thou wouldst be enlarged into human sympathy, thou must be narrowed into limits of human suffering.  Joseph’s dungeon is the road to Joseph’s throne.  Thou canst not lift the iron load of they brother if the iron hath not entered into thee.  It is the shadows of thy life that are the real fulfillment of thy dreams of glory.  Murmur not at the shadows; they are better revelations than thy dreams.  The door of thy prison-house is a door into the heart of the universe.  God has enlarged thee by the binding of sorrow’s chain.” 


Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities

Participate in our "Sponsor a College Student" project! Just select a student off the board in the meetinghouse and send them notes, cards, treats, etc throughout the school year so they hear from someone at the Meeting and feel connected. We still have 8 students that need to be sponsored. Please call the office if you would like to participate in this important ministry. 

Join IFCL for a conversation & new book-signing  with environmentalist author Scott Russell Sanders and environmental advocate Jodi Perras! Scott Russell Sanders is the author of twenty books of fiction and nonfiction, including A Private History of Awe and A Conservationist Manifesto. He is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at Indiana University, where he taught from 1971 to 2009. The event is being held on Friday, September 30 at 7pm in the Parlor. For more information, contact the office.

 MSPC’s “Happy Feet” Family Movie Night! ~ This Friday, September 30th, the Meridian Street Preschool Co-Op (MSPC) will host a movie night on the playground. MSPC will provide popcorn, water, and juice. Families are welcome to pack their own picnic. If the weather is bad, we will hold this event in the Seeking Friends room or the basement. This will be $10 per family. Please invite other friends and family for this wonderful event.
Fall Festival! ~ Secondly, MSPC will be hosting their annual Fall Festival on Saturday October 15th from 4-6pm.  First Friends attenders and members are welcome to attend and be a part of this fun evening. There will be a bounce house, their annual chili cook-off, crafts and more! Info on RSVP’ing coming soon! 
  ‘Streams of Living Water’ theme for this Sunday will be the Social Justice Tradition: A Compassionate Faith.  Jeff Rasley will lead the Sunday School Class in Coffee Circle and Ruthie will speak about this in Meeting for Worship; life in and through the Spirit of God.  You’re welcome to join us!  

 This Sunday, October 2nd is World Quaker Day!  Friends World Committee for Consultation invites every Quaker meeting and church from around the world to celebrate WORLD QUAKER DAY (WQD) on October 2, 2016. The theme, Inspired by Faith - Witnessing Together in the World, focuses on Connecting Friends, Crossing Cultures and Changing Lives.  We will be celebrating Quaker Day during Fellowship Hour hosted by Ministry & Council. We are asking everyone to bring a snack or appetizer from one of the four corners of the globe where Quakers reside—The Middle East, Africa, Asia, and North and South America. Some of our own members will also be giving a World Quaker Day presentation in the parlor. We hope you will join us!  For more information, go to
 Follow us on Twitter! Need some Quaker inspiration through the week? Follow @Indy1stFriends on Twitter for inspirational and informative postings on Quakerism and happenings within our meeting and community. Find us on Twitter here:

 Join us at the Giving Voices to Ghosts exhibit on Thursday, October 6th from 3 to 5 pm at the Marian University Art Gallery.  Friends will meet in the FFM parking lot at 2:30 pm and carpool from there.  Art Gallery Director, Crystal Vicars-Pugh will greet us at the gallery at 3 pm and Nichole Mathews will make every effort to be there by 4 pm to answer any questions we may have.  American Friends Service Committee gave aid and food to starving children and pregnant women in Germany after both World Wars.  As a ‘Thank You’, beautiful artworks, poems, stories and letters were sent from those children back to meetings in the States will be on exhibit.

 Have you met Nichole?  She sings in our Choir, is a treasured member of our Meeting, and is also getting a lot of press!  She’s the one, who along with the “students in her German honors and advanced placement classes [at Hamilton Southeastern High School] began translating the letters, poetry and artwork, and she double-checked their work last year. Crystal Vicars-Pugh, the Marian University Art Gallery director, agreed to exhibit the work at the MU gallery.”  So says an article in the Fishers paper “Current”.  If you haven’t visited the exhibit, it will be open through Friday October 7th.  Or, you can travel with Friends to the exhibit on Thursday afternoon, October 6th (see above). AND, Nichole will be speaking in Meeting for Worship on Sunday, October 23rd, sharing about this incredible story.  Pieces of the exhibit will be on display throughout our Meetinghouse that day.  Don’t miss this part of our Quaker story! 

Rev. Dr. William Barber II, Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr. and other faith leaders will be in Indianapolis on Monday, October 3 for "The Revival: Time for a Moral Revolution of Values." This event seeks to ignite moral political activism. It starts at 6:30 pm at Light of the World Christian Church, 4646 North Michigan Road.  

Rick Juliusson, co-Director of the Monteverde Friends School in Costa Rica, will be joining us on Tuesday, Oct.11 at 7:00 in the First Friends meeting room to share stories and inspirations from their Quaker school in the cloudforest.  Established in 1951 by Friends from the Fairhope Alabama Meeting and elsewhere, Monteverde has become a model for environmental sustainability and intentional community.  The school is celebrating its 65th year and continues to provide bilingual Quaker education for 120 children ages kindergarten to grade 12.  Rick will talk about the history of the community and school, and opportunities such as study abroad, volunteering, gap year, and bilingual musical theater summer camp.  See more

Online Learning Opportunity!
Radical Spirituality:   The Early History of Quakers
Three week free online course starting October 3, 2016
Almost from nothing, the Quakers were to become the most successful sect of the 1650s and 1% of the population of England were to become Quakers. It was a radical spirituality which appealed to thousands of people, hungry for new ways of thinking. During the course, you will find out about what lies at the heart of Quaker beginnings, who its main characters were, and how in a few weeks during the summer of 1652 the Quaker movement was formed in the north of England. Created by Lancaster University in association with Woodbrooke Quaker Study Center. For more information and to register, visit

IFCL presents a conversation on Islam and the Refugee Crisis with Michael Birkel and Cole Varga. Michael Birkel is a Quaker author, and Earlham School of Religion professor. Cole Varga is Executive Director of Exodus Refugee Immigration Inc. Join us on Friday, October 14 at 7:00PM in the parlor at First Friends Meeting. For more information, contact the office.

 Indianapolis Center for Congregations Seminar at First Friends! Supporting and Encouraging Creativity in Congregations ~ You're invited to explore creativity and the arts in congregations. In this highly interactive workshop, you will gain confidence to lead your congregation into a more imaginative and creative culture while learning how to cultivate the "creatives" already in your midst. Because this workshop is using the First Friends Meetinghouse, we have been given 5 slots open for our members/attenders to attend for free! The workshop is 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday, October 26, 2016 in Fellowship Hall. Please let the office know if you are interested in attending. It will be first come first serve. For more information, please visit

Leave a green footprint! ~ The Earth is an amazing and beautiful place. All its riches will last, so long as we learn to use only what we need.

How can we help take care of the Earth?

Tip #1: We can start at home: doing chores, cleaning, & picking up our own things.
Tip #2.  We can recycle cans, plastic, paper, and cardboard.  

  From 16 Things Kids can do to Help Care for the Earth, by Dana Kester-McCabe, 2006.