As Way Opens

We cannot avoid it.  No matter where we turn, we find politics.  Even when traveling, we find newscasts on televisions in airports, on radios in our cars, in prompts on our computers.  Whether it’s the European Union and Brexit, a failed coup in Turkey, the Republican and Democratic National Conventions for the Presidency, or our own choices for positions on various Meeting Committees, choices are being made that will affect policies for various groups of people – large and small.  We can try to avoid politics – we can look away, turn off, drop out, etc but in the end, the policies others make without our participation will eventually affect our lives.  

I remember sitting at the dinner table some years ago with my parents and extended family.  We broke the cardinal rule of talking about religion and politics, but then, that was no big surprise for us.  What was a surprise was that political lines had become hardened in intervening years.  I was, and am an Independent, and shared about the research I’d been doing regarding candidates – listening to various sources about each one, reading articles, etc.  My family was shocked.  First of all, they didn’t think I was that interested in such things, and secondly, they didn’t think I knew as much as I did.  Nowadays, it’s hard not to know what’s going on.  It’s hard not to form an opinion, considering the barrage of ‘talking heads’ giving us information and viewpoints.  It’s hard work to discern, for ourselves, what choices to make.  

Perhaps some advice from an old Friend might help.  Edward Burrough was raised in the Church of England, later became a Presbyterian, and when hearing George Fox preach in 1652, immediately converted to what would become the Religious Society of Friends.  He was in his late teenage years.  Rejected by his parents, Edward became a major voice in the Society, preaching as one of the ‘Valiant Sixty’ and writing pamphlets supporting the life and testimonies of Friends.  He spoke with King Charles II on behalf of Quakers who were being persecuted in New England by Puritans there.  He was later imprisoned, where orders for his release from Charles II were ignored.  He died at Newgate Prison at the age of 29.  He felt the physical and spiritual brunt of politics, and what it meant for his country and for his personhood.  Here is one of the many things he wrote:

“We are not for names, nor men, nor titles of Government, nor are we for this party nor against the other… but we are for justice and mercy and truth and peace and true freedom, that these may be exalted in our nation, and that goodness, righteousness, meekness, temperance, peace and unity with God, and with one another, that these things may abound.” [1659]

For more about Burrough go to


Joys & Concerns

Congratulations Beth!  Beth Henricks was recognized as a Recorded Minister of the Gospel this past Sunday, July 17th during the final gathering for worship at Western Yearly Meeting.  Both she and Katherine Murray were honored for their work and recognized for their call to ministry with presentations of the recording certificates.  Each of these women were put forward for recording by Indianapolis First Friends.  We’re so thankful for the ministry that God has done and will continue to do through their lives.  A celebration is being planned!

Sara Edgerton has received the Outstanding Contributions to Cancer Control Award from the Indiana Cancer Consortium. A news report says: “Sarah Edgerton’s professional career began 35 years ago as CEO of the Indiana Community Cancer Care. The organization focused on working to provide cancer programs for rural and underserved hospitals… Sara’s well rounded education served her well in an unusual career path that allowed her to live out her Quaker philosophy of living a life of service to others.”  We congratulate Sara for this remarkable award, and know and have seen the fruit of her life in the many ways she serves in our own Meeting. Congratulations Sara!

Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities

Wednesday Supper before Worship - Since the closing of the Broad Ripple MCL, Friends have been searching for a new location to meet to eat before Unprogrammed Worship on Wednesdays.  For those interested, Friends will be meeting for supper Wednesday evenings between 5:30 and 6:00 pm at the Marsh Supermarket's Soup and Salad Bar at 2350 Broad Ripple Avenue, at least through the month of July before Silent Worship.   The worship gathering begins at 7:00 in the Parlor.   

YOU are invited! - The Ish group at Indianapolis First Friends invites you and your family to join us on Saturday, July 23 for an all ages evening of music and fellowship. We will gather early to share food, beverage and connection and then stay for the 8pm show put on by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and their special guest Michael Cavanaugh.  The theme for the evening is the music of Elton John and Billy Joel. Have the perfect Rocket Man snack or Piano Man punch recipe? Bring snacks and beverages to enjoy and/or share with others.  Please RSVP so that we can be on the lookout for you and share if you know what you might bring. Parking is free. Plan is to meet at the front entrance at 6:30 to stake our spot. (You can always join us later as well if that's too early.)  Evite: or contact the office.

Oak Leaf Meeting for Reading women will be gathering Tuesday July 26th in the parlor at 7 pm.  Catherine will be leading the discussion for the novel Lila by Marilynne Robinson.   If you are interested in being on the email list please contact the office or Kathy Rhyne at  

Future 2016 Oak Leaf novels will be:  
August 30 - Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
September 27 - The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
October 25 - All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner
November 29 - The Friendly Persuasion by Jessamyn West
December 27 - The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

Trunks of Treasures - Shalom Zone Garage Sale - On July 30 from 8:00 am to noon the Shalom Zone churches (Cross and Crown, Allisonville Christian, Epworth, First Friends and St. Pius X) will be sponsoring "garage sale" and “craft sale” opportunities for individuals in the Cross and Crown parking lot at 79th and Allisonville Road. You will be able to reserve a space for $10 in advance ($15 day of sale). The rest is up to you - bring your own table or use the trunk of your car. You get to keep whatever you earn.  The adjoining neighborhood of Ivy Hills will have its annual garage sale the same day so there should be no shortage of folks looking for a deal.  The Shalom Zone will donate the reservation fees to School on Wheels, a voluntary program which tutors homeless children throughout Marion County.  For more information, contact the office

Sing for a Day – Sunday, August 14th -  Ladies Only!  No men allowed!!!
Okay girls – have you been longing to sing, but just haven’t had the chance?  Well, now you do!  You’re all welcome to join Ruthie and prepare a choral piece to sing in Meeting for Worship on Sunday, August 14th.  No experience necessary!
Just bring your voice, and lift it to the Lord!  We will practice Thursday night, August 11th at 6:30, and then again Sunday morning at 9:30.  Come once, or twice for practice, but come ready to sing!   

Save the Date! IFCL Film showing! IFCL Presents the documentary film “Quakers – That of God in Everyone”. This 90-minute documentary will introduce you to untold stories of Friends from the American Heartland who profoundly influenced the course of American history, simply by seeing that of God in everyone. The IFCL will be showing the film on Friday, August 19 at 7:00pm in the parlor. Quaker scholar and author Paul Buckley, who provides commentary throughout the film, will lead us in discussion at the conclusion. For more information, contact the office.

Earlham School of Religion is receiving an evaluation committee from its accreditor, The Association of Theological Schools, on September 19-22, 2016. In preparation for and as a requirement of that evaluation, the school invites comments in writing to the school and/or to the Commission concernting the institution’s qualifications for accreditation. Comments may be sent to Earlham School of Religion, Attn: Jay Marshall, 228 College Ave., Richmond, IN 47374 prior to September 16, 2016. The school will appreciate any help that can be provided.

Picture it: A Jewish wedding – “l'chaim, mozeltov!” Buddhists chanting, a turbaned Sikh on a large white stallion, dancers, songs and prayers in different languages........and a large array of Quakers with messages of peace, love and light. These are some of the things you might see and hear at the Festival of Faiths on September 18 at the Veterans War Memorial from 1:00 – 5:00pm.

The idea is to have a large Quaker presence including First Friends Meeting, Plainfield, Fairfield, Valley Mills and others as well as AFSC, FCNL, IFCL and other Quaker organizations. 

We are inviting everyone to attend and we are asking people to help with the Quaker area representation. We need a few people to help set up, take down and attend the booth. It is not necessary to be present the whole time. Come anytime that works for you and any time you can give will be appreciated. If you are interested in helping or want more information contact the office.

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 best use the Earth’s gifts?
Tip #1: We can appreciate our food, and try not to waste it.
Tip #2: We can take care of our toys and games and share them when we are done with them.
Tip #3: We can wrap presents with the Sunday news comics to reduce the number of trees cut for paper.
Tip #4: We can visit local parks and wildlife preserves to learn how to enjoy and protect our environment.

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