As Way Opens

Psalm 27:13 - I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.   As many of you know, my husband Jerry moved to a memory care unit 10 days ago.  He is almost six years into a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and his cognition, verbal skills and memory have been slowly and painfully disintegrating before my eyes.  It has been a difficult journey and one that I could never have envisioned 25 years ago.  It is probably a good thing that we do not know the future because it would be impossible to prepare oneself to step into this place. But when the storms of life enter our space, we have no choice but to engage and seek the Light for our path to follow.   There has been a lot of darkness in my journey the last few years, but time and again I have “seen the Lord in the land of the living”.  Caregivers that have entered my life and tangibly shown God’s love to Jerry, friends that have reached out with prayers, acts of kindness, encouraging words, a faith community that has held me in a foundation of love and many other random gestures that have shown me the goodness of the Lord.  Friends, this is our call from God; not to believe a certain way or worship in a certain way but to embody the goodness of the Lord for each other.     

Considering the Query: Respect the wide diversity among us in our lives and relationships. Refrain from making prejudiced judgments about the life journeys of others. Do you foster the spirit of mutual understanding and forgiveness which our discipleship asks of us? Remember that each one of us is unique, precious, a child of God. From: Advices and queries; Britain Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice, 5th edition, @ 1995-2015 Quaker Faith and Practice    


Joys & Concerns

Monthly Meeting for Business is this upcoming Sunday, February 21st. Please plan to meet in the parlor after Fellowship Hour. Attached to this email is our last Monthly Meeting’s minutes.  

This week we have published the Office Administrative position on several job websites. We hope to receive many promising applicants in the coming weeks, and if you know of someone qualified for the job, please let the office know. It is our policy to hire someone from outside the Meeting.    

Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities    
FCNL Advocacy Team Launch Workshop is hosting an event tomorrow, 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 build power in your community to make change in Washington. You can find more information about FCNL Advocacy Teams here: or contact Bill Chapman (    

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.       

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 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      

Lenten Nourishment:  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. 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 this Friday for walking with Kathy Rhyne at the Monon Community Center in Carmel at 9:30 am. Also, this Sunday, February 21st join Bill Heitman at the Marott Apartments lobby for nighttime meditational at 6:30 pm. For more information, check the First Friends Upcoming Events section on our website.   

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 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.    

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.     

God’s Response to a Violent Nation: A Quaker Perspective Philip Gulley and Carrie Newcomer will be presenting “stories with musical responses” on Wednesday, February 24th, at 7:00pm. This event is sponsored by Trinity Episcopal Church. This is a part of their Lenten Series: Healing Our Violence. If Not Now, When? This event is free to the public, but donations are accepted at the door. Questions about this event? Please call, 317-926-1346  

Meet Isaac Pennington!  Tuesday, February 23rd at Fairfield Friends in the ‘Quaker Spirituality’ discussion group led by Steve Angell, Professor of Quaker Studies at Earlham School of Religion.  Tuesday evenings at 7:00 PM - Fairfield Friends Meeting 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 (  

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. This is a free event; we will provide the games, pizza, and 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.

Diane Randall, Executive Secretary of Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) will be in Indianapolis on - 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 United Meeting is hosting a series of small group gatherings in the coming weeks and we would love to have you join us! Friends from across Indiana will be gathering to discuss the good work of FUM and how we can all better partner together and support our shared work both here in North America and around the globe. Part of the gathering will focus on Energize, Equip and Connect: The FUM Campaign. We are in the midst of a threeyear $3,000,000 effort to strengthen FUM’s sustainability and enable us to launch several new initiatives, including many aimed at revitalizing our work and witness in North America.  
 First Friends Meeting, Indianapolis ~ Sunday, March 13—4:00-6:00pm  Carmel Friends Church ~ Sunday, April 24—4:006:00pm  West Newton Friends Meeting ~ Wednesday, April 27th—6:30-8:30pm We invite you to choose the gathering that is most convenient for you. Please RSVP to Kim Schull at to let us know what event you plan to attend. There will be refreshments and great fellowship for all!  We hope to see you there!  

Western Yearly Meeting is having its annual Spring Retreat at Quaker Haven Camp on April 8th-April 10th. This year’s retreat will be led by Scott Wagoner, who is the founder and director of “Growing Edge Resources”. Scott has been a pastor for over twenty-five years. He is a graduate from Taylor University, and got his Masters of Divinity from Earlham. This year’s retreat is focused on expanding the vision of discipleship. Please contact either the office or WYM PME Director Della StanleyGreen ( The registration deadline is March 15th   

Quaker Earth Care, February 2016 – Sylvia Andrews 
“Quaker Earthcare,” outlines some positive outcomes from the Paris agreement. The entire article is available online at ,, It is great to have some progress on a global level, however here in our state Hoosier Environment Council is still fighting some negative bills going through this session of legislatures. Here in our state, HB 1082 “The No More Stringent than Bill” would make it illegal for Indiana’s Executive Branch to pass policies that are tighter for public health than what the U.S. EPA does, for those situations where the EPA has set standards. You can contact our congressional representative here, A highlighted piece from this month’s Befriending Creation, is written by the QEW General Secretary, Shelley Tanenbaum titled “Paddle to the Future.”   

“Friends of Nature Kids” ~ Mimes in Nature~ Each person thinks of something around them and then acts it out while the others guess what it is. It could be something as simple as pretending to be a stick, or something harder like pretending to be a gust of wind. Whoever guesses right gets to go next.   From 52 Nature Activities by Lynn Gordon, Chronicle Books, San Francisco