As Way Opens

Requiem; [Latin, requies, rest.]  “Overall, Requiem for the Living is a prayer for rest (requiem) for the living, as much as for the deceased.  It’s a ‘grant us rest’, even more than a ‘grant them rest’.  So says the composer Dan Forrest of the piece that will be performed on Palm Sunday by a number of people from neighboring churches, including six singers from First Friends Meeting.   Requiems are usually sung as Latin Masses for the dead. Published in mid-2013, Requiem for the Living offers a fresh and inspiring perspective on life, love, loss and renewal.    As we’ve begun learning the notes and phrasing, one movement in particular has struck me in particular.  The second movement begins with dark, harsh, percussive sounds as the chorus cries out ‘Vanity – all is vanity!’ All seems lost, as Job cries out, wishing he’d never been born.  Hopelessness, defeat, death seems pervasive. As if from nowhere comes the ethereal sound of prayer, ‘May light shine upon them, O Lord’.  Over and above the darkness comes this light – perpetual light, full of mercy and compassion.  And then, we hear this: ‘Come unto me, all ye who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’    As we consider the ministry of Christ - his life, his death, and his resurrection – what do we know of the rest of Christ?  The understanding that even with the places of hopelessness, defeat and death in our society, our world, and our lives, there is a Life that brings rest.  Too often, at least in my own life, the loud, percussive chorus of darkness over shouts the still, small voice of light and peace.  Perhaps during these next few weeks, as we anticipate Easter together, you can join me in quieting our minds and hearts, discovering the ethereal sound of Light, peace, mercy, love, and rest.     

Considering the Query
: Do you cherish your friendships, so that they grow in depth and understanding and mutual respect?  In close relationships we may risk pain as well as finding joy.  When experiencing great happiness or great hurt we may be more open to the working of the Spirit. From: Advices and queries; Britain Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice, 5th edition, @ 1995-2015 Quaker Faith and Practice  

Joys & Concerns

Mid North Food Pantry News~ Thanks to folks at First Friends, 150 lbs. of food were delivered to the Mid North Food Pantry during the week of February.  Also, thanks to Bill and Kathy Farris, Phil Kitchel, Jade Malott, and Carol and Jim Donahue for volunteering at the pantry.  84 families were served.  

A big thank you to everyone on Sunday for raising $523 for Second Helpings.  We thank Vicki Wertz, Kathy Farris, Susan Rains, Barbara Oberreich, Carol Donahue and Beth Henricks for providing soup and helping with set up and clean up.  It was great to hear more about the wonderful work that Second Helpings does in repurposing food into over 4,000 meals per day as well as providing chef training to individuals that have had challenges in their life.  If anyone is still interested in donating, please let the office know.  

Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities    
The World Plenary Meeting January 2016 in Peru for FWCC was delightful with 350 Friends from 38 countries and high energy with 90 young adults.  Each section led worship once and there was daily Bible study with a professor from Cambridge and daily silent worship, so it was spiritually rich and transformative.  A new Rufus Jones quote to me was "With every child born is something new of God".  With so much diversity it was remarkable how warm and united we felt.        Warm and sustainable meals with little added sugar were gathering times to discuss all concerns.  A 30 year old female from Georgia (the country) and a 60 year old Russian male were comfortably talking.  Unfortunately there is tribal conflict in Burundi.  Kenyans are worried about the next election. Palestine has had a very rough year.  There are at least 6 Bolivian Meetings and they seem vibrant.  I enjoyed talking to many Friends from at least 25 countries so there was time for a lot of cross pollination of ideas during meals and home groups.  Consultation groups met on several topics.  I chose the one on sustainability led by Jonathan Wooley from QUNO (Quaker United Nations Office) in Geneva. Apparently he was very helpful or important at the recent Paris Climate Summit.  The UN defines sustainability very broadly. Recently FWCC has divested from all Fossil Fuel.  Shortly FWCC will have a Sustainability Statement that will encourage each meeting to initiate two or more concrete actions of sustainability within one year, and will encourage that one involve youth and young adults. Local color with llamas and the local Pisac market and the trip to Machu Picchu were icing on the cake.                  

Lenten Nourishment: Traditionally Quakers have believed that every day is sacred and a gift from God, so no day should be celebrated as more important than another.  However, many spiritual traditions have designated times to draw closer to God and to their religious communities.  To coincide with Lent, several of us are exploring the idea of Lenten Nourishment; using this time to go into our metaphorical wilderness and draw closer to the Inner Voice of God.    
During the seven weeks of Lent, we will post a weekly blog entry on our First Friends website inviting you to reflect each day on your relationship with yourself and with God.  It may contain scripture, wisdom sayings or suggest ways to renew your spirit.  We have some events already scheduled so please check the Upcoming Events section of the website for details. We will have a few small groups that will meet, or you could create your own small group to share in this journey.  Bill Heitman will interview someone weekly about the spiritual practices that have enriched their lives. We hope that this will provide some inspiration as we travel through the last cold weeks of winter and prepare ourselves for the birth of new life at Easter. Come join us!  And continue to check Friend to Friend each week for events and reminders.   

Quaker Affirmation Sunday School class - please join us for this interactive look at our Quaker faith each Sunday in the parlor at 9:00 a.m. Here is our schedule of topics:  February 14th - Jon Tippin, Linda Lineback, Mary Blackburn and Eric Tinsley will answer questions about their ideas of various theological topics and share part of their belief journey over the years. February 21st - We will examine the different methods of Quaker worship and why we worship in the way that we do February 28th - We will discuss discernment and how we conduct business and make decisions March 6th - We will study other religions and how they might relate to Quakerism March 13th - Daud will bring some young people from his Muslim faith community to talk about the Muslim faith for our understanding March 20th - Malte Maraj (Larry and Krishan Coffman’s wife/mother) will share with us about her Hindu faith March 27th - We will examine Quaker writers, artists and musicians Aprils 3rd - We will discuss what Quakers are doing in the world today April 10th - We will talk specifically about several Quaker organizations   

The Meridian Street Preschool Co-op is looking for a classroom teacher for their 2-3 year olds. We have attached the job description in the email you received about Friend to Friend if you’re interested, which lists the requirements and duties of the position. This position is open to anyone inside the Meeting, as well as anyone you may know who is qualified.  If you have any questions, please direct them towards the office and we can share it with MSPC.    

Calling all Men! TENORS and BASSES are needed to join the Requiem Choir! Rehearsals have begun, and more men are needed to prepare and perform Dan Forrest’s ‘Requiem for the Living’. The piece will be presented on Palm Sunday, March 20th @ 3pm by singers from our Shalom Zone* churches, invited by Allisonville Chancel Choir & Orchestra.  Rehearsals run:   Monday's @ 7pm-9pm on February 15, 22 & March 7, 14 Thursday’s @ 7:30-8:15 on February 11, 18, 25; March 3, 10 Rehearsals with Orchestra on Thursday, March 17 - 7pm-9pm and Saturday, March 19 - 1pm-3pm Rehearsal attendance is encouraged, but not required!  Come as often as possible. *First Friends Meeting, Epworth UMC, Cross & Crown Lutheran, St Pius X, Allisonville Christian Contact Matthew Tippel, Director of Music, at 317-408-4904 or if you’d like to join or have any questions.    

Young Friends Youth Fellowship is meeting this Sunday, February 14th for a special Valentine’s Day meeting. We will meet in the Youth Room at 11:30, after Meeting for Worship, and will enjoy lunch and some treats together. We are continuing our journey of Echo, storytelling of the Bible. Please email Hayley Adams if you can attend, or with any questions.

Poetry Group will meet next Tuesday. Feb. 16, at 2:00 p.m. in the Parlor.  Ed Alley will be our presenter. Ed is a retired Pastoral Counselor.  Having spent 35 years helping people find new and deeper meaning in their lives, he turned to poetry to continue that process, he sees the deeper meaning one must find in Pastoral Counseling as akin to what poetry seeks.  His poetry is largely along the lines of Poetry as Memoir.  In addition he writes about social issues and some nonsense.  

‘Quaker Spirituality’ is presented by Steve Angell, Professor of Quaker Studies at Earlham School of Religion. Fairfield Friends Meeting will be hosting several Quaker Spirituality talks from the perspective of Margaret Fell, Isaac Pennington, Caroline Stephen, Thomas Kelly and Margery Abbott. Tuesday evenings at 7:00 PM - Fairfield Friends Meeting February 16, 2016—Margaret Fell February 23, 2016—Isaac Pennington March 1, 2016—Caroline Stephen March 8, 2016—Thomas Kelly March 15, 2016—Margery Abbott Free of charge but a one-time donation of $10.00 for ESR is suggested. For further information, contact Sarah Lookabill (   

The Trustees have purchased a defibrillator (AED) for the meeting. You should see it soon near the office and the fire alarm. The staff will be getting training in Basic Life Support which includes use of the AED. Friends who wish to be trained are invited to join this training, February 17th at 5 pm. Cost is $30; certification is good for 2 years. We can accommodate up to 15 people; if you know of someone not associated with First Friends we can add them to a waiting list with members as first priority. If finances keep you from this, the Trustees are open to a "scholarship" or two. Please contact the office to sign up, or talk to a Trustee. Dan Rains, <>, for the Trustees.   

FCNL Advocacy Team Launch Workshop is having an event on February 18th, 2015 at 6:30 here at First Friends. Please join us for a workshop with Maiya Zwerling, FCNL’s National Field Organizer in learning how to join a community of people working for peace and justice, begin using effective advocacy tools, and learn how to built power in your community to make change in Washington. You can find more information about FCNL Advocacy Teams here: or contact Bill Chapman at (   

On Friday, February 19th, our choir director/organist, Shawn Porter and the Hamilton Southeastern HS Choral Department will be performing a choir concert at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Indianapolis consisting of classical, sacred, folk and gospel music.  The concert is free, though there is a free will offering at the end as the concert is in memory of a former student who died, and raises money for college music scholarships for current students in the choir program.   St. Luke’s is located at 100 W. 86th Street. Concert starts at 7:00 pm.      

Silent Auction on February 20th - Meridian Pre-school Co-op will be hosting a silent auction and dinner from ‘al-basha’ on Saturday February 20th at 5:00 p.m. at The Riviera Club 5640 North Illinois Street.  This is their annual fundraiser to support the school and there are many wonderful items to bid on during the evening.  Tickets to the event are $10.  Please let the office know if you are interested in attending and we will make a reservation for you.    

The Religion, Race, and Culture series at Butler University continues its dialogue of honest conversations with a new talk about Religion, Race, and Justice. The talk will be held on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at 7:00pm in the Howard Schrott Center for the Arts right on campus. The speakers of the night will be Reverend David Hampton from the Light of the World Christian Church, Dr. Terri Jett, professor of Political Science at Butler University, and Reverend Anastassia Zinke from All Souls Unitarian church. The event is free for all who wish to attend.    

Oak Leaf:  Meeting for Reading will be having its next book discussion located in the parlor on Tuesday, February 23rd at 7 pm.   We will be discussing Soldier Girls:  The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War by Helen Thorpe.  If you are interested in being on the email list please contact the office or Kathy Rhyne at  Looking forward to next month's discussion:  March 29th will be on Being Mortal by Atul Gawande.     

Family Bowling on Sunday February 28th after Meeting for Worship - calling all bowlers to join us for lunch and some bowling fun with your First Friends faith community.  We will provide pizza lunch and pay for bowling - you will only need to pay for rental of shoes.  We will have prizes for the best scores (different age categories).  We invite young and old to join us.  We will meet at Woodland Bowl on 96th and Keystone at noon.  Please let the office ( know if you will join us.   

The Children’s Museum is currently running an exhibit, Sacred Journeys, which is an immersive experience for those interested in traveling the world's most sacred sights through pictures and artifacts from all over the world. Families will be able to observe, discuss, and begin to understand some of the sacred journeys made by people around the world, from personal acts of faith to pilgrimages. Sacred journeys will include the Western Wall in Jerusalem, the Great Mosque in Mecca, the Ganges River in India, Bodh Gaya in India where Buddha is said to have achieved enlightenment, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, and more. The exhibit will run through late February.      

Diane Randall, Executive Secretary of Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) will be in Indianapolis on Sunday March 6th - please join Diane and others at the Indiana Interchurch Center ( 1100 42nd St) on Sunday March 6th from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.  Food will be served and Diane will share the exciting updates on the Capital Campaign and talk about the future goals and plans of FCNL.  If you are interested in attending please RSVP to    

Friends of Nature Kids” ~ Rock Around~ Look around for as many different rocks as you can find. What makes these rocks different from each other? Is it their color? Their shapes? What about the temperature of the rocks? Are some colder to touch than others. Are they soft or sharp? What kinds of rocks do you like most?