As Way Opens

I am so thankful for our Circle of Care group at First Friends.  I am thankful for Barbara O. who had a leading 6 years ago to help establish this ministry that would support friends that had experienced a loss, an illness, a birth, a death, a short term need or other transition.  Barbara and many others like Amy P., Vicki W., Lynda S. set up groups and a process to meet needs through meals, visits, cards, transportation, and our annual Grief Gathering that occurred this past Sunday.  What a wonderful experience to have our Circle of Care host those of us that have experienced a significant loss this past year.  I am thankful for the members of the Circle of Care (Damian W., Carolyn H., Jan G., Debbie G.) that have committed themselves to this important ministry and planned this event on Sunday. (Also thanks to Ray G. for clean up).  I am thankful for Leslie K who helped facilitate our discussion of loss and provided some powerful insights.  I am thankful for all that participated and shared from their heart the feelings they have had in processing a significant loss.  As Parker Palmer has said, my heart broke open into expanded ways to hold our suffering and grief.  

I have been reading a book that Elizabeth Watson, a Quaker originally from 57th Street Friends in Chicago wrote, describing her experience of losing a daughter when she was 23 years old.  She relied on a number of writers that inspired her during this horrific time in her life.  She introduced me to Rabindranath Tagore, the Indian writer, philosopher, mystic who was the first non European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913 for his book Gitanjali.   He wrote about life, death, our longing for God and the beauty of the ordinary (sounds pretty Quakerly to me).  This poem of his speaks to my experience of so many guests that have entered my life during this past year, shining the light of God.

“Guests of my life, 
You came in the early dawn, and you in the night.  
Your name was uttered by the Spring flowers and yours by the showers of rain.  
You brought the harp into my house and you brought the lamp.  
After you had taken your leave I found God’s footprints on my floor.”


Joys & Concerns

Much appreciation to all who contributed to the Mid North Food Pantry during November. $1,320.00 has been collected!  Thanks to all who donated funds and thanks to the children who contributed food items. 

Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities

Join us this coming Sunday, December 4th!
Festival of Lessons & Carols
Vespers Service
5:00 pm in the Meetingroom
Join us afterward for a Complimentary Light Buffet in Fellowship Hall

The Festival of Lessons and Carols is a time laden gift at Christmas, telling the story of the promise of the Messiah and the birth of Christ, using a series of scripture readings and hymns.  Choir, congregational singing, and soloists combine to share the story of Christ’s coming to earth – the Word made flesh.  The best-known version is broadcast annually from King's College, Cambridge, on Christmas Eve. The carols vary from year to year, although some music is repeated. The service ends with the hymn "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing".  You, your family and friends are welcome to join the Choir and musicians of First Friends Meeting in our Vespers Celebration of the Festival this coming Sunday, December 4th at 5:00.  A complimentary light buffet will be served afterward.

Babysitting Co-Op on Saturday, December 3!   December 3rd will be our babysitting co-op evening from 6:00 - 10:00 p.m.  This is a free night of babysitting that will be hosted by Kathy R. and Cindy K.   Please let the office know if you would like to attend.  

College Care packages for our students - It is time to send college care packages to our students as they prepare for their midterms at school.  We will have boxes out this Sunday for you to provide goodies like nuts, candy, cookies and other treats.  If you would rather donate money, the office will purchase items for the boxes.  We will be mailing them December 7th so we need your support this week. If you are bringing in treats, please provide enough for 10 students.

United Christmas Service Project ~ You are cordially invited to help brighten Christmas for a family in need.  You can help by taking a tag or two from the Christmas tree in the front foyer of the meetinghouse, purchasing and wrapping the gift listed on the tag, noting the person to whom the gift is to be given on the wrapping (very important), and placing the gift under the tree.  We encourage folks to place the gifts under the tree by December 11 so that we can more easily take an inventory of gifts that have been purchased.  The absolute last date for delivery is December 18 as we intend to deliver the gifts after Monthly Meeting on December 18.  All are welcome to help in the delivery.  This is a great opportunity for everyone (particularly kids) to participate in the true meaning of Christmas by purchasing and delivering gifts to someone who will really need and appreciate the gifts.  Thanks for everyone’s help with this meaningful project.

VOCE (Carolyn T. is a member), presents the 2nd Annual Madrigal Dinner on Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 6:00 -9:30 pm at the First Friends Church 3030 Kessler Blvd E. Drive, Indianapolis, 46220, in Fellowship Hall. Featuring a homemade authentic recipe five-course Renaissance meal, Madrigal music by VOCE, costumes, merriment and holiday cheer. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased November 1, 2016 – December 1, 2016 on the VOCE website -

Legislative Priorities for FCNL - 350 Quakers from around the country met in Washington DC for the annual meeting of Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)on November 10th - 13th.  Several from First Friends attended and the legislative priorities for FCNL over the next 2 years were approved (see them here:  We also lobbied our Senators and Representatives on supporting passage of Criminal Justice reform for non-violent offenders in the lame duck session.  If you are interested, call your Senators and ask them to support Senate Bill S2123 and your Representative to support bills in the house HR 3713 and HR 759.  More information about this legislation is on the FCNL website:

Crown Hill Woods Petition - The Dr. Laura Hare Charitable Trust (LHCT), a private foundation whose primary purpose is to protect and preserve ecologically significant land, has made a negotiable offer to purchase Crown Hill Woods, a 14.75-acre parcel currently owned by the VA. The LHCT intends to make the site open to the public for passive recreation while preserving the forest intact-- if they are allowed to purchase the property. If you’d like to urge the VA to be a willing seller, you can sign the new Crown Hill North Woods petition here:

A simple way to share a blessing is to save our stamps!  Over $70,000 has been raised for Right Sharing of World Resources through the donation of cancelled stamps.  Save all your Christmas Card Stamps, and donate them!  Here’s how: Stamps should be cut from envelopes with 1/8” to 1/4” of paper around the stamp. For foreign mail include the envelope as well. There are many dealers who collect foreign envelopes. Save the envelopes of domestic mail postmarked prior to 1946 too. Bring your stamps to the Meetinghouse, or send them to: Quaker Missions West, 650 Harrison Ave., Claremont, CA 91711.

Christmas Caroling ~ Everyone is invited to join us for caroling at 4:20 pm Sunday, December 11 in the Washington Manor lobby at American Village.  We will sing in the dining room at 4:30 and will proceed to three other places.  After singing, we will eat at Steak and Shake at 86th and Westfield Blvd.  Contact the office if you have questions.