As Way Opens

What does that mean… “as way opens”?  It’s a lovely Quaker phrase, and as defined in the Dictionary of Friends Terms from Friends United Press, it is ‘in accordance with specific promptings of the Spirit, as the will of God becomes known, i.e. proceeding with a proposed project “as way opens,” taking one step at a time as it becomes clear what to do.’

The closest I can come to this in literature is Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken.  He tells us, in four stanzas, of his choice of two roads he might take, and finally in the last of the fourth stanza he says this: 

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

As we travel through each day, each season, each passage of our lives, we as Quakers learn to rely more and more on the promptings of God’s Holy Spirit, especially when we find ourselves in the ‘deep woods’ with choices to make.  Would God abandon us if we took the wrong road?  Of course not.  God will never leave us or forsake us.  But, if we pay attention, God’s intention for us becomes clear, one step at a time.  

Are we afraid to step into the road less taken?  Is it easier to move along a well-worn pathway?  Do we step into the way that opens with a sigh, or with confidence in the leading of God’s Spirit, knowing that we are companioned by One who loves us dearly, who guards our way, and is faithful to walk with us… as way opens.


Announcements, Reports, & Opportunities

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.

Here at First Friends, 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. Terry Trierweiler and Norma Wallman will also be giving a World Quaker Day presentation in the parlor. We hope you will join us!  For more information, go to

Adult Sunday School Classes
Couples Tune-Up
Our Life is Love
Streams of Living Water
Friends and the Bible; Amos



Lost a necklace? Is this necklace yours? It was found in the Meetinghouse this past weekend. It’s a gold colored chain necklace with half of a heart that seems to have half of an inscription on it. If it’s yours, please come pick it up from the counter in the office hallway. 


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Participate in our "Sponsor a College Student" project! Just select a college student off the board set up 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. 


The Peace Group of Shalom Mennonite Church would like to host a screening of the documentary film, “The Armor of Light.”  This powerful film is about Rev. Rob Schenck, a prominent Evangelical minister and anti-abortion activist who questions whether being pro-gun is consistent with being pro-life, and Lucy McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis, an unarmed teenager whose murder in Florida led to a challenge of the “Stand Your Ground” laws.  It was aired on the PBS series “Independent Lens” several months ago.  For more information, see We would like to invite our fellow PCC congregations to join us in making this screening possible.  Please join us at a planning meeting at Shalom Mennonite Church on Sunday, September 25, 12:00 noon.  Feel free to bring a brown bag lunch.  If your congregation is interested in participating but no one is able to attend the meeting, please let us know of your interest.  We hope to have a representative from Hoosiers Concerned About Gun Violence with us at the meeting.  If you have any questions or comments, contact the office.  Hope to see you on September 25th!

Oak Leaf Ladies:  We will be meeting in the parlor with Linda Lee to discuss "The Elegance of a Hedgehog" by Muriel Barbery on Tuesday, September 27 at 7 pm.  If you or a friend are interested in being on the mailing list for the Oak Leaf: Meeting for Reading please contact the office. 

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 Family Movie Night! ~ On 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 not cooperative we will hold this event in the Seeking Friends room or the basement. This will be $10 per family. We will be watching Happy Feet. Please invite other friends and family for this wonderful event. 

Secondly, MSPC will be hosting their annual fall festival to be held on Saturday October 15th from 4-6pm.  First Friends attenders and members are welcome to attend and be a part of this fun evening.

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

If you haven’t read it yet, there’s a fine article from Dr. Barber in the September 2016 issue of Friends Journal. See the article online here: Adapted from a talk given to the American Friends Service Committee’s Corporation Meeting in March of this year, the AFSC has been supporting Reverend Barber’s “Repairers of the Breach’ revival tour in several cities. The full talk is available at The Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II, president of the North Carolina chapter of the North Carolina NAACP, is founder of Repairers of the Breach, chief architect of the Forward Together Moral Mondays Movements and author of The Third Reconstruction (Beacon Press).

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. In this three-week course, we will see how the events of 1652 unfolded and visit the key sites of Pendle Hill, Firbank Fell, and Swarthmoor Hall in the northwest of England. Each of these places marks a critical piece of the dramatic story of May and June 1652. 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.

Friends United Meeting has open positions! FUM in Richmond, IN is accepting applications immediately for two part-time positions in the Department of Communications: ‘Editorial Administrative Assistant’, and ‘E-Commerce and Web Assistant’. Application deadline is October 1. A complete description of the jobs can be downlaoded (respectively)
here:; and here:
Application for either position may be made by sending a cover letter and resume to or by postal mail to Dan Kasztelan at 101 Quaker Hill Drive, Richmond, IN 47374.

Indianapolis Center for Congregations Seminar – 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.

IFCL now has a newsletter! ~ IFCL’s very first monthly newsletter is now available! IFCL will use this means to share updates on their work lobbying as a Quaker voice at the Indiana Statehouse and to share the issues, legislation status, and events that are on their radar.  This month’s articles include information about summer study committees, a recap on a conversation with Rep. Ed DeLaney, a look into what events the IFCL has planned for September, and more! To view the newsletter, you may use this link: To sign up to receive the newsletter monthly, visit

SAVE THE DATE! We need your blood on Sunday, November 6th. We are having a blood drive from 9:00-noon in Fellowship Hall. More details later. 

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 use energy wisely?
Tip #1: We can turn off: games, computers, lights, TV’s, stereos, and other appliances when we’re not using them.
Tip #2: We can close doors behind us, so we don’t let out the heat in winter or air conditioning in summer.
Tip #3: We can share rides to shopping, movies, and other places to reduce gas use and pollution.
Tip #4: We can play outside when the weather is nice to reduce electricity use.

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